Want the truth? We Brits spend our whole lives telling lies…

Want the truth We Brits spend our whole lives telling lies…

8:08 AM on 30th May 2011

When I read the list of pathetic excuses used by benefit cheats to justify their fraudulent claims, I laughed. For example: ‘I wasn’t using the ladders to clean windows, I carried them as therapy for my bad back,’ or ‘he lives in a caravan in the drive – we’re not together.’ And best of all: ‘It wasn’t me working, it was my identical twin.’

The Government has published these wacky fibs to draw attention to the 1.6 billion lost though benefit fraud each year. They plan to replace the incredibly complicated system of benefits with a simplified ‘Universal Credit’, which they hope will lead to a reduction in the amount lost through fake claims.

Sadly, I doubt fraudulent claims will be substantially reduced, no matter how ‘simple’ the new system is – the British are brilliant liars.It’s a national pastime that would give us a gold medal at the Olympics, if only it could be recognised as a bona fide sport.

Mind games: Janet believes that the recent plethora of gagging orders and super-injunctions show how the rich and famous will go to any lengths to get away with complicated and long-running lies

Mind games: Janet believes that the recent plethora of gagging orders and super-injunctions show how the rich and famous will go to any lengths to get away with complicated and long-running lies

Never mind benefit cheats, look at our stunning role models in publiclife – how often do they tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Take the flimsy reasons they give for accepting a title – John Prescott slagged off the House of Lords for years, but when he accepted a peerage, he said it was justified because he could ‘influenceenvironmental policy’. In 2008 he called the House of Lords an ‘offenceagainst democracy’.

Last year, Diane Abbott claimed that black women supported her decision to send her son to public school: ‘I’m a West Indian mum and West Indian mums will go to the wall for their children.’

Fact: Dianne Abbott was born in London and is British. She sent her son to an expensive school because she could afford to. Of course she was right to be worried that if he went to the wrong school he could end up in a gang – but how can she claim she knows what ordinary women think

Then there are all the MP’s who fiddled millions in expenses with their creative accounting. What a load of lies they came up with to justify their moats, duck houses, tennis courts and relatives on the payroll. David Laws MP is waiting to find out whether he will be prosecuted over his expenses claims.

He has now repaid more than 56,000 – some of which was for rent he paid to his ‘flatmate’, who turned out to be his boyfriend, contravening House of Commons rules. Instead of saying ‘I admit it, I did wrong’, he claims he didn’t want anyone to know he was gay, and announced recently: ‘It is an immense relief that now the two of us can go out in public.’

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Do we live in the dark ages This is the live-and-let-live UK, where gay men hardly face a public flogging it they walk down the street together. As an excuse for fiddling thousands and thousands of public funds, this takes the biscuit.

The recent plethora of gagging orders and super-injunctions show how the rich and famous will go to any lengths to get away with complicated and long-running lies. Children have a right to privacy, but the majority of the orders are sought by men who have been deceiving their wives or partners. Ryan Giggs has joined a not-very-exclusive club of randy men who don’t want the rest of us to know about their complicated bedroom activities.

Mind you, women are the best liars – we routinely lie to get through our busy lives. I could qualify for an MA in fibbing without giving it a second thought.

Last week we were told women judge each other within seconds of meeting – looking at how fat the other was, their dress sense, their hair and whether they had spots. And (you can bet) this happens while we’re gaily saying ‘it’s lovely to meet you!’

Don’t milk it, Naomi

My bloke is secretly addicted to Dairy Milk – it’s his guilty pleasure.

His mum buys him jumbo bars of the stuff and he hides it in the freezer or in his desk, to be consumed when I’m off the premises. It will never pass my lips (yuck). I am proud to be 75 per cent cocoa queen. I like choc that’s dark, strong and bitter.

Dairy Milk is the choc of chavs, a rather naff purchase – so when I heard that supermodel Naomi Campbell was considering legal action against Cadbury for using her name in ads for its new Bliss Dairy Milk bar with ‘creamy chocolate truffle’, I thought it was on grounds of taste.

Not-so mellow yellow: Naomi Campbell

Not-so mellow yellow: Naomi Campbell

Why would the diva of the catwalk, the woman who is given diamonds at dinner parties and who wears couture, want to be associated with a downmarket chocolate

But I was wrong. Naomi is furious because she considers the ad – which contains the line ‘move over Naomi, there’s a new diva in town’ – offensive on grounds of race.

Racism A bit rich coming from the woman who went berserk at Heathrow in 2008, when one of her bags failed to be loaded on her flight to the U.S. She erupted into a tantrum, swearing and screaming abuse at the cabin crew and police sent to deal with the situation.

Naomi claimed she was arrested because she was black, but pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and had to pay compensation to the officers and staff involved. It’s pretty offensive of Cadbury to link a chocolate bar to a person of colour – I doubt it would choose a white person to promote white chocolate – but Naomi’s own track record means she can’t play the race card.

Sam’s hardly a raver

Sam Cam at a rave Hardly. The Prime Minister’s wife went to a music event in Ibiza last Friday and left at midnight, well before the time that most club nights actually start on the island.

We know Sam’s got a teeny tattoo and once played pool with trip-hop artist Tricky, but that hardly gives her street credibility. Every image we are fed of the Cams is a carefully crafted piece of marketing designed to reinforce how ‘normal’ they are – they’re just like the Blairs and the Browns in this respect.

Take the hilarious pictures of Sam in a posh frock wielding a pair of tongs and dishing out coleslaw at the barbecue for the Obamas. Or the carefully posed snap of Sam and Michelle on a pristine yellow sofa in her newly-refurbished kitchen.

Would any normal mum with three small kids choose canary yellow as a practical colour Who wipes off the handprints and baby poo As for flying Easyjet to Ibiza – it’s easy to get a 6am flight if you’ve got a chauffeur door to door.

I bet she didn’t have to stand in that horrible snaking queue through security either. Cheap flights work really well for some people, while the rest of us have to take a deep breath and try to meditate through the madness.

Older women don’t need Mary’s advice
Fan: Janet thinks Mary Portas is brilliant on television and adores her bossy manner

Fan: Janet thinks Mary Portas is brilliant on television and adores her bossy manner

Mary Portas is brilliant on television – I adore her bossy manner (I wonder why) and her enthusiasm is really infectious.

I wasn’t that impressed, though, when David Cameron asked her to chair a review into the future of our boarded-up High Streets – because Mary is a highly paid consultant to major retailers, and that could make it hard for her to be impartial or receptive to the problems of small businesses.

Mary has certainly got bags of energy – now she’s opening a shop in the House of Fraser in London’s Oxford Street, which will be filmed for a new series on Channel 4.

The shop will cater for ‘grown-up women’ – those of us over 40, who Mary thinks are under-served at present. Really I don’t have any problem finding great clothes. The choice has never been better.

I hope Mary isn’t going to flog that chunky jewellery and those statement shoes she seems to be addicted to on-screen. Stop treating older women as a special needs group please!