Being brought up among liars perverts you. (Could that account for Donald Trump?) Especially for those raising children, here is why always speaking the truth is paramount:
The truth, in my childhood, didn’t really exist. That is to say, we shared the lies. To run the household with no money required a lot of serious lying to the local garage man, the local butcher, the local everybody. And then there was the extra element of class. All my grandparents and all my aunts and uncles were entirely working class — laborers, builders, that sort of thing. One of them worked up telegraph poles. And so out of that to invent, as my father did, this socially adept, well-spoken, charming chap — that was an operation of great complicity. And I had to lie about my parental situation while I was at boarding school. I only mention these things because they’re the extremes of what can warp an Englishman.
But it is a fact that my childhood was aberrant and peculiar and nomadic and absolutely unpredictable. So if I was in boarding school, I didn’t know where I would be spending the holidays. If my father said he was going to come and take me out, it was as likely as not that he wouldn’t show up. I would say to the other boys, I had a wonderful day out, when I had really been sitting in a field somewhere.
The mixture of solitude and uncertainty fertilized the situation enormously. To which you must add the amazing cast of crooked characters who passed through my father’s life. Inevitably I was making up stories to myself, retreating into myself. And then there was the genetic inheritance I got from my father. This was a man who, while still being pursued by the police, or bankrupt, or Christ knows what, who had done prison time, then boldly stands as a parliamentary candidate. He had a huge capacity for invention. He had absolutely no relationship to the truth.