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Lawyers are rarely regarded with affection. Lawyers-turned-politicians even less so. Nonetheless David Gauke’s speech at this week’s Lord Mayor’s banquet is worth a careful read, not least for its defence of the rule of law as a critical element underpinning democracy (a word never off the lips of some politicians wholly ignorant that something more than shouting “The people have voted” repeatedly is needed to sustain a democracy). Gauke’s quiet praise for the unfashionable virtues of public service, intellectual rigour, a serious determination to grapple with complex problems, the wish to reach “a decision based on what is right and not necessarily what is superficially popular”, for the value of experience and evidence was doubtless welcomed by his audience. But its applicability is wider, as he recognised. He cannot be the only person who wishes that politicians would deal “with the world as we find it, not as we imagine or represent it to be.”