Nobody trusts anyone in authority today. It is one of the main features of our age. Wherever you look, there are lying politicians, crooked bankers, corrupt police officers, cheating journalists and double-dealing media barons, sinister children's entertainers, rotten and greedy energy companies, and out-of-control security services.
Things come and go in the news cycle like waves of fever.
Sometimes history repeats itself. And sometimes it doesn't.
One of the main functions of politicians - and journalists - is to simplify the world for us.
The Kurds had always had a bad time. They were oppressed by the Ottoman empire. Then, at the end of the First World War, they were promised a homeland, but the new Turkish state refused to give them any land, while the British went and created the new state of Iraq and sent aircraft to bomb the Kurds there into submission.
The idea of elegance and aristocratic indulgence of an ocean cruise was born out of the image of the rich men and women who ruled the British Empire slowly sailing to India and the Far East while sipping gin and tonic on deck - served by men in white jackets.
Al-Qaida became the new Soviet Union, and in the process, Bin Laden became a demonic, terrifyingly powerful figure brooding in a cave while he controlled and directed the al-Qaida network throughout the world. In this way, a serious but manageable terrorist threat became grossly exaggerated.
I have always been fascinated by the story of Henrietta Lacks.
Henrietta Lacks' cells are immortal. They are known as the HeLa cell line, and they have become deeply involved in all sorts of medical and genetic research - sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
At the end of the nineteenth century, a fanatical craze for physical fitness swept through Britain. Millions of men and women took up gymnastics, body building, and other physical exercises. Such a thing had never happened before, and it was given a name - Physical Culture.