It took me almost 20 years to realise that evidence and rational arguments don’t drive real change on the big global issues.

For almost as long as I can remember, I wanted to work on global environmental issues. And once I’d seen my first episode of The West Wing, I knew I wanted to do it as a political adviser inside government.

I got my wish. In 2003, I became one of two special advisers to the British Secretary of State for International Development (first Valerie Amos, and then Hilary Benn) in Tony Blair’s government. I did three years in the job, served as part of Labour’s general ...


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