• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The role of the Prime Minister.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The role of the Prime Minister The Prime Minister has various roles in the British government system, which coincide to some extent with the administrative divisions of the No.10 Office: The head of the Executive: The Prime Minister is in charge of overseeing the civil services and government agencies, and is ultimately answerable for all its decisions. This may seem like a fairly big task in its own right, however, he/she is aided in this particular duty by the Cabinet secretariat and the Private Office. The head of government policy: Though most policy is produced through the departments and through the party's own policy making apparatus, the Prime Minister has a key influence over the party's election manifesto and the annual Queen's speech outlining government legislation for the coming year, and more generally can choose which policies he/she wishes to highlight or play down. Prime ministers traditionally are particularly influential in economic and foreign policy decisions. In this task the Policy Unit and the Press Office aid him. The party leader: The Prime Minister is not only in organisational charge of the party as well as the government, but also the figure who personifies that party to the public at large. ...read more.

Middle

As a general election draws near, the Cabinet and party usually rally to the Prime Minister, in the realisation that they will prosper or falter depending on how united they are behind the leadership. Margaret Thatcher proved to be the most dominant peacetime Prime Minister this century. She broke with a number of policies pursued by her Conservative predecessors and is credited with substantially changing the agenda of British Politics. Many of her policies are associated with her personally, including trade union reform, income tax cuts, privatisation and a reduced role for local government. She was forceful in Cabinet and in Parliament and willing to be seen as a figure apart from cabinet which did not score high on collegiality. She kept a close rein on her Chancellors and her Foreign Secretaries and, as a result, had troubled relationships with some of them. By the end her hostile attitude to the European Community (as it was then called) lost her the support of a number of her senior ministers. Mrs Thatcher is an outstanding example of somebody who regarded herself as a conviction rather that a consensus politician. She must be regarded as a successful Prime Minister, in terms of winning three successive general elections and introducing lasting radical policies, many of which have been accepted by successors, including Tony Blair. ...read more.

Conclusion

Secondly, his lack of an electoral mandate until 1992, thirdly, being surrounded by colleagues who were more senior and more experienced than himself. He lost much of his ability to speak for the nation, being treated by the media and the public alike as a target for ridicule and abuse. Progress in Northern Ireland was the principle prime ministerial achievement in this difficult period. The line of 'wait and see', or what Major called 'negotiate and decide', on the single currency just about held among Cabinet ministers until the general election. A strong contrast to Major and a similar figure to Thatcher is the current prime minister, Toney Blair. However, he has been a distinctive prime minister. On the basis of his first three years he already ranks alongside Mrs Thatcher as the strongest Prime Minister this century. Interestingly, his style of leadership closely resembles that of the leadership of his leadership of the party in opposition. His reforms of the party, particularly of Conference and NEC, were designed to make them more supportive of the leadership. In opposition he recruited a large team of aides to support him in the Leader's office and he relied on these and key figures such as Gordon Brown, rather than the shadow Cabinet. Charlie Matthews 12CAS 08/05/2007 1of 3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Comparison of the US President and British Prime Minister.

    Word Count: 2964 The fluctuating power of the French presidency The position of France's presidents has grown and reduced in importance depending on the French constitution in place. Under the Second Republic the President possessed considerable power. Under the Third Republic France adopted a classic parliamentary system of government, with a weak presidency akin to a constitutional monarch.

  2. The comparison of the US President and the British Prime Minister appears from the ...

    making, but has been manipulated by many prime Ministers to silence dissent as those who refuse to do so are forced into resignation. The American President may, if he so wishes, use alternative sources of information apart from his cabinet, namely EXOP or the Independent Executive Agencies, which are contained within the Bureaucracy.

  1. Arguments that the British Prime Minister is an elective dictator are arrant nonsense. The ...

    Montesquieu argued that the balancing power is needed among the ruling elements of the Country20. It provides an important restriction on the Prime Minister as his powers are limited in the executive and disables him to be in central power.

  2. To what extent does the prime minister dominate the UK political system?

    The importance of this position was shown by Brown, who was not elected party leader as nobody else wanted the job. As a result, Brown's popularity during his time as PM was usually very low as he did not have a mandate from the party.

  1. How and why has the role of the prime minister changed over the post-1945 ...

    century, in the sense that there have not been any formal powers added to the position, the role expectations of a prime minister today are different to what they were in 1945. "The major determinants of power have remained essentially unaltered, but ...

  2. Ministers & Departments - Revision

    or will spend a long time in the civil service * May only suggest alternatives in a neutral way * Identify possible outcomes in a neutral way * Are expected to be largely anonymous * Cannot be held publicly accountable for what they do Civil Service Neutrality This is considered

  1. During this project, I hope to test out my hypothesis that the BBC War ...

    Margaret Thatcher accused the BBC of being "Insufficiently unpatriotic" (Goodwin, 1998, p.36) and another conservative MP claimed they were "almost treasonable" (O'Malley, 1994, p.55). For this reason, Norman Tebbit (1989) described the relationship between the BBC and the Government as a casualty of the war and according to Milne, acted as a catalyst for hatred (O'Malley, 1994, p.55).

  2. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    The Single Transferable Vote system is used for the Northern Ireland Assembly. The 'closed' regional party list system is used for the European Parliament and the Supplementary Vote is used for the London mayor. Advantages of Proportional Representation * The system more clearly represents the wishes of the voters' as expressed at the ballot box.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work