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How far do you agreewith the proposition; the cabinet is dead?

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How far do you agree with the proposition; the cabinet is dead The notion is one that is widely argued and has a vast divergence of opinions. No one can argue however, that aspects of the modern cabinet are different from the eighteenth century origins. Although the cabinet has expanded since its routes, this is hardly surprising because now the government intervenes much more on aspects such as agriculture and health. Modern Prime Ministers have found it difficult to keep the cabinet size below 22 members. Attempts have been made to reduce it in size, for example, farmers may be offended they are not represented in government, as would the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish. In a response to the criticism that the cabinet is not a true representation of society and that the cabinet should remain small so decisions can be made decisively, some plans have been put forward. One idea is to reduce the size of the cabinet and having 'super ministers' who may look after several areas, such as defence, foreign policy and international development or education and culture. As well as making sure all interests are and feel represented. ...read more.


Major, however allowed much more public agreement among cabinet ministers and so bypasses this criticism. Michael Portillo and John Redwood kept their positions despite having reservations regarding the policy of Europe. However, the appearance of disunity was an important factor in the Conservative party defeat in the election of 1997. This is an important factor as to why Blair reverted back to the collective responsibility of Thatcher. The appearance of unity in the party is a reason as to the parties success in the two elections it has won. The voting public likes to see unity in the party. Therefore, it would seem that the cabinets of the future are unlikely to criticise government policies. Supporters of the cabinet and those who feel it is an important government body would point to the many jobs carried out by the cabinet and cabinet members. It acts as a central clearing house for key decisions and 'fine tunes' polices so they can work. It plays a vital part in the co - ordination of all government activities - the heads of every major department and function in the UK are there, for example policing. ...read more.


Blair prefers to make decisions and policy in discussion with individual ministers and policy advisors. Many can understand why Blair has decided not to use the cabinet as a whole much. There are many flaws in ministerial responsibility; the blame is often handed out long after the minister has left office. We saw this during the BSE disaster where the relevant ministers resigned, retired or moved to different responsibilities. This is an example of where the convention of ministerial responsibility lacks 'teeth' in an important situation. The future for the cabinet looks bleak as they lose more and more members and general support. It is my opinion, however that the cabinet plays and important part in government. It is important for a minister assigned to dealing with a certain situation so they can have an expert knowledge in this particular field and would therefore be best in any rising situation. I do feel that large cabinet meetings are often ineffective and little progress is made. I feel that the cabinet is not so much dying but just changing so policies can be made more efficiently and effectively with smaller groups in meetings. ...read more.

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