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According to Hennessey these are “the engine room of government”, the forum in which the real decision making power lies.According to former Chancellor Lawson (The View from Number 11) Cabinet is merely the forum for approving decisions “already taken elsewhere.” Blair chaired more than half of all Cabinet Committees during his premiership indicating a desire to tightly control policy formulation.One of the main things to remember is the George Jones ‘elastic band’ theory of power – that power resources change over time according to the particular circumstances of the time. Often, questions ask about extent to which Cabinet government is threatened…is relatively straightforward.
Ensures the effective development, coordination and implementation of policy.
Blair was criticised heavily for fusing the cabinet office together with the PM’s political office thus (according to critics like Kavanagh) “politicising” the civil service.
It is kept alive by the fact that the prime ministers authority is linked to the backing he or she receives from the ‘big beasts’ of the cabinet, some of whom may enjoy such widespread support within the government and party that they are effectively ‘unsackable’. Devolution, the HRA, the European Union and other developments such as the normalisation of the use of Referenda have limited the role of Cabinet.
The Coalition Agreement for Stability and Reform in 2010 was necessitated by the failure of the Conservatives to obtain a majority in the 2010 General Election. He was forced to share power with his Deputy Nick Clegg (who had a veto over Lib dem appointments to the government and cabinet). (Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Alexander)supports the Prime Minister and ensure the effectives running of government.
Political decision making involves ongoing negotiation among some or all of these groups each of which have powers of different kinds.
Although the PM may often appear to be the most significant individual within the Core Executive there will be many times when s/he will have to negotiate a preferred outcome and will certainly not be able to impose it.In so doing although they recognised that in general Prime Ministerial Power may have increased they recognised also that Prime Ministerial Power was itself a variable which depended upon the personal qualities and characteristics of the PM and of other important politicians and leaders and on the political standing of the Prime Minister which in turn depended upon such factors as the degree of party unity, the perceived effectiveness of government policies among the electorate, the size of the government's parliamentary majority, the strength of the opposition parties and the extent of mass media support or criticism.On this basis it could be argued that Mrs Thatcher and Mr Blair were in general more dominant than Mr Major and Mr Brown partly because of personality differences and partly because of differences in political circumstances.However it is true also that the power of individual Prime Ministers varies according to political circumstances.Broadly speaking Mrs Thatcher's powers within the political system were relatively limited when she first became PM but increased significantly as she gradually dismissed critical Cabinet Ministers, organised the military recapture of the Falkland Islands and won successive General Elections in 19.Although the PM may often appear to be the most significant individual within the Core Executive there will be many times when s/he will have to negotiate a preferred outcome and will certainly not be able to impose it.emerged with Crossman in the 1960s who claimed that there had been a transformation of Cabinet Government into Prime Ministerial Government.Consistent with the idea that post war PMs had gradually become more and more powerful to the point where they were much more than merely ‘primus inter pares.” The core feature of this view is that it is the PM, and not the cabinet, who dominated both the executive and parliament.Under coalition Clegg was allocated the chair of a significant number of cabinet committees.Smith (1999) – A complex theory of the distribution of power within central government.Also given the major differences in the UK and USA systems of government it is not true to say that the UK Premiership is evolving into a US -style presidency but this is not the claim of Professor Foley's theory; note that his book is entitled "The British Presidency".Questions often revolve around power resources of the PM ie has PM power increased in recent years?