Why are policies so often poorly constructed and badly implemented? An increasingly popular answer points the finger at politicians and civil servants. Full-time politicians, and today most politicians are full-time, run errands for their constituents, stopping from time to time to gibe at their opponents. As a result, the few who make it to ministerial rank have had scant opportunity to acquire the knowledge or develop the judgement to oversee and advance a department’s policies. The civil servants have little incentive to develop the competencies in policy-making and management that they cannot deploy in conversations with their ministers. What use is a servant who cannot be understood?