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The prime minister n the cabinet

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The Prime Minister and the cabinet 1. The Prime Minister has many powers which make him first among equals. Firstly he has the powers of patronage which are to appoint and dismiss government ministers and cabinet ministers. This means that the Prime Minister can create the cabinet in his own image, rewarding supporters and penalising disloyal MPs and he can reshuffle the cabinet. Secondly the prime minister has authority in the cabinet which means that he chairs the meetings, manages the cabinet agenda to suit him/her. he also directs cabinet meetings to favour him, appoints cabinet committees which he can put his loyal supporters in. lastly he appoints senior civil servants and organises the structure of government. 2. Factors that may limit the prime ministers power of patronage are the claims of senior politicians for inclusion and specific posts. Many senior politicians feel that they have claims to office because of their high profile or standing in the party. ...read more.


Margaret Thatcher. 3. Many commentators feel that prime ministers have become more presidential as in acting like how presidents act i.e. President Bush. Also some feel that he is an elected dictator. The Prime minister can act as he wishes as we do not have a written constitution to limit his powers or his behaviour. Firstly the prime minister now has increasing control over appointments made in the civil service. Prime ministers now have greater control of public departments so as to make sure that what they want is what is being done. The civil service has grown too large to be controlled by the cabinet however now it has been developed into a centralised bureaucracy with the prime minister in control. The prime minister is now more closely involved in foreign and economic affairs as is the President of America. The media today is making the electorate focus on the leader of the party rather than the whole party and its policies as in America the electorate vote for the leader not the whole party. ...read more.


Tony Blair shook off reports of political corruption in his party by disowning both MPs before anything was proven against them. Presidents in America claim to be outsiders politically and socially so as to not seem as having the same vested interests as government insiders. Prime Ministers from James Callaghan to Tony Blair have done the same. Tony Blair used this when he was reforming the Labour party success ensured that the same approach would be continued in government. American Presidents appeal for support directly to the public rather than through Congress. This has been done mostly by Tony Blair who has an obsession with presentation and trying to ensure that the public is convinced that everything is running smoothly when it is not. Also he makes decisions public before discussing with parliament and his cabinet. As the cabinet have collective ministerial responsibility they have to agree and follow it. The Prime Minster's powers have in recent years become more presidential because of the increase in power in the place of the cabinet and the power of using the media. However there are many constraints on this power increasing so this might not increase furthermore. ...read more.

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