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

To what extent does the prime minister control the cabinet?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent does the prime minister control the cabinet? The extent to way in which the prime minister controls cabinet varies, and can vary greatly, as Prime ministers have great amounts of scope in which they can manage and control the cabinet and the system surrounding it. The cabinet itself refers to the collective decision making process in British Politics. Cabinet fuses executive and legislative branches of government, as its members head government departments but are also drawn from Parliament and is the senior executive organ - which controls policy-making process and makes all major government decisions. Collective collegiality adds strength to the government as a whole and makes the governing party in parliament more united and therefore stronger. One of the key aspects of control over the cabinet stems from collective collegiality. The main reasons for the control the Prime Minister has over Cabinet are due to the powers he/she has over the Cabinet itself. ...read more.

Middle

They are now places where discussion isn't encouraged and dissent not tolerated, and many of the decisions made there have in fact already been approved of, but merely require formal approval. Thatcher, at first, manipulated the Cabinet to great effect for her cause. She would speak to individuals outside of meetings, change the agenda to suit her, divided and ruled over the ministers and would essentially lay the foundations for what the modern PMs now carry out. This has given rise to the terms "sofa government", which refers to the informal decision making taken by Blair, and the "kitchen cabinet", a result of close reliance on non-elected advisors and close allies. However, the power the Prime Minister has over Cabinet is not absolute, and relies heavily upon the Prime Minister being popular and successful. Thatcher started off being popular and high achieving in her foreign affairs, and thus ruled her Cabinet with an iron grip, but towards the end of her career as a Prime Minister, she lost huge amounts of public and ministerial support, and her Cabinet began to turn from her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Blair's Third Way. Added to this is the growth of populist outreach, where PMs speak on behalf of the population, claiming to feel their deepest fears and trying to comfort them. Independent institutions such as the PM's Office have expanded massively in recent years, meaning that the PM has even greater control over government and its running, as it helps to join up the executive at its highest level in an administrative fashion, which the PM can modify to suit his or her purpose. In conclusion, the Prime Minister has a great deal of control and power over the Cabinet, but while it isn't complete, the control he or she has over them is far more reliable than the control the PM will have over all the party MPs - as the ministers picked to be in Cabinet will be trusted and loyal to the current Prime Minister. Any revolts coming from the party will normally be first seen among the backbenchers, and not the Cabinet themselves. ...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

4 Stars - An effective essay overall. Clearly and logically expressed and organised - with a well developed argument that considers and weighs a range of points. The essay could be improved through use of more detailed supporting examples and by consistently addressing the question throughout.

Marked by teacher Dan Carter 17/09/2013

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. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent does Parliament control executive power?

    4 star(s)

    This reduces the control of parliament over the executive. Collective responsibility can inhibit parliament's ability to call government effectively to account. This means that when scrutinised by parliament, government can form a united front which makes it difficult to elicit information about policy which reduces parliamentary control over government.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the view that the cabinet is no longer an important part of the ...

    He decided to make a change to the tax of the Bank of England, yet he did this without consulting any members of the cabinet. This is an example of the Prime minister taking the power and choice as opposed to the cabinet, suggesting they are less important.

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

    in this, such as the size of the majority, leadership skills and party unity. The President though, due to the relative lack of party loyalty and the election system, which often results in 'split-ticket voting', cannot hope to have such control.

  2. To what extent is Labour still a Socialist Party?

    acceptable for the public sector to borrow money for investment in public services and the Socialist believe that there should be extensive interference from the state to keep the problem of unemployment at a low level and that to stimulate the economy, its acceptable for the public sector to borrow

  1. To what extent are judges neutral and independent?

    Thirdly is the strict process of appointments into the judiciary. Despite the fact that the Lord Chancellor and the PM jointly appoint higher judges, any obvious political bias would cause an uproar in Parliament, damaging the government, so they tend not to do this to save face, which means that

  2. To what extent is Parliament representative?

    There is altruistic representation, 'delegate representative' and judgement representation. Altruistic representation is where an MP seeks to protect and advance the interests of the populous he represents. It is for the electorate to decide whether the MP in question is sincere in trying to seek a resolution to the issues raised.

  1. To What Extent is conservatism an ideology?

    They expected people to have a sense of responsibility towards each other. However, when socialism became more popular in the twentieth century, the conservatives changed ideas and began to emphasise the importance of the free market and individualism, as they were opposed to the idea of collectivism.

  2. What Limits Are There on The Power of The Prime Minister?

    More presently, Tony Blair's Cabinet has included ministers who do not agree with the 'new' Labour views and policies and whose 'old' Labour views are well attested, such as Prescott and Beckett. Martin Burch stated in 1990 that the Prime Minister has to make ministerial appointments with some recognition of the need for political balance and administrative competence.

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