Government is a hundred times tougher but a thousand times more satisfying. Look back at 1997–2010, and you may still only recall the end, with all its bitterness and defeat. Over time, however, the achievements are clear and they are real – real in their effects on people’s lives, real in the change in the country, real politics. Think of the minimum wage; the huge cuts in hospital waiting times; the improvements in schools; the fall in crime; and a stack of things from a successful Olympic bid to civil partnerships to peace in Northern Ireland. Think of the relief of poverty of pensioners and how it used to dominate the news every winter and of the families who saw the support for children doubled. We can agree or disagree on Iraq or Afghanistan or Kosovo. But the country counted and in the creation of the Department for International Development and the trebling of its aid budget, we led the world in development policy. Most of all, by governing for twice as long as the previous longest Labour government, the Tories were forced to change and to pretend as much continuity as dislocation of policy.