Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639), an English author, diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1614 and 1625, is credited with the following statement:
"An ambassador is an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country." He said that on a mission to Augsburg in 1604.
Your friendly proprietor proposes a corollary (fast forward 411 years):
"A politician is a person, honest or otherwise, who is paid to lie to her (or his) own country."