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recognised as a competent politician. Donna was particularly keen on me running. Of course, if I became a minister, she would expect to become my private secretary -- in charge of a high-powered staff. There was also an argument that the added prestige and power of a minister would help to retain my seat.  

I was by no means convinced of the wisdom of running. Without belonging to a faction, or doing some kind of deal with the power brokers, there was very little chance of being elected to cabinet. If, by some fluke, I did become a minister, there would be less time to spend in the electorate and no time at all to pursue my biological research. However, having seen our range of ministers at close quarters, it was tempting to think that I should be able to perform at least as well as some of them. After a term as a backbencher, I knew what that felt like. My curiosity about the ministry had been raised. This was a chance, a very remote chance, to experience life from within the inner santum of cabinet. If I ran and got beaten there would be no disgrace, and at least a kind of personal claim would have been made -- that I was as good as some mof the party hacks.

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