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Lessons of power

After seven years at No 10, I believe that government retains a great power for good, and that politicians are as impressive, and ethical, as their counterparts anywhere else. The danger is not from hubris, but that governments will believe the myth that they are condemned to mistrust and powerlessness

By Geoff Mulgan   May 2005

When I first came into government in the heady days after 1st May 1997, I imagined a brief, frustrating period of struggle with the bureaucracy before a return to normal life. Some insiders had advised me to wait a couple of years before going into government, on the grounds that such an inexperienced group of ministers would be bound to make a mess of things at first. Others said that few people with a think tank background, like mine, had thrived amid the compromise and backbiting of Whitehall and Westminster.

But I was keen to work in government because I…

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