Ian Cobain's book, Cruel Britannia is an interesting read - provided you've got quite a strong stomach - Cruel Britannia by Ian Cobain - review | Books | The Guardian
The book catalogues the routine use of torture by British intelligence services in various arenas since the Second World War, & the routine lying by the authorities to cover up the activities of it's agents.
Personally I don't find the use of torture particularly surprising - it's always been used in wars. What is surprising to me however is the fact that politicians who lie about this (as Jack Straw did in 2005) never,ever pay a political price.
Could it be the case that the British electorate take torture in war as a 'given', & basically expect their politicians to lie about it?