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University Degree: UK Government & Parliamentary Studies

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 5
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Was Thatcherism just 'old-fashioned' Liberalism?

    3 star(s)

    Victorian values and laissez-faire economics. However, this is perhaps too simple a definition, for Thatcherism it should be argued is a blend of conservatism and liberalism, arguing (paradoxically) for the rolling back of the state or the legitimacy of the free market, as well as the need of a strong state, as well as the emphasising the importance of authority, all traditional conservative traits. Moreover, Thtacherism was not without its critics, even going so far as to claim it being anything but Conservatism due to its ideological basis, contradicting the hitherto party tradition of evolutionary change and pragmaticism.

    • Word count: 2404
  2. Marked by a teacher

    How presidential is the premiership of Tony Blair.

    3 star(s)

    During the election campaigns of 1997 and 2001, the emphasis seemed to be towards a Presidential style, with the campaign focusing heavily on Tony Blair. However while therefore it could be argued we are developing a Presidential system in terms of electing a national leader rather than a collective executive, in this essay we are mainly concerned with the claim that a growing similarity between the two systems is a Presidential dominance of the executive, whilst the Cabinet becomes a purely advisory body, in effect a 'rubber stamp'.

    • Word count: 2375
  3. Marked by a teacher


    He went on to lead the party to a landslide victory in the general election after a campaign that focused significantly on his personality. Inevitably, Tony Blair was idolised by his party for this achievement. However this wasn't the first time in British Politics that the emphasis was placed so strongly on an individual. Periods of the 1980s Thatcher government were described as presidential in style. These periods coincided with convincing election victories and strong cabinet allegiance. However as soon as public support faltered, Thatcher faced criticism from within her own party saying that she had filled the cabinet with compliant cronies.

    • Word count: 2139
  4. How can we understand the rise of the SNP in Scotland? This essay is focused on proving that rational choice theory is the approach that best explains the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party in Scotland.

    It is critical that each approach sufficiently explains all of these periods, and predominantly the period 1800-1934 when generally nationalism in Europe was rising, but arguably was in terminal decline in Scotland. Secondly, I shall go on to use the synthesis between the schools of thought to conclude that whilst all explanations of nationalism can to differing extents be valid, the one that best explains the rise of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) in Scotland is rational choice theory. Some may argue it is of little importance to analyse the period pre 1934 when discussing the rise of the SNP in Scotland, as it preceded the existence of the SNP.

    • Word count: 2427
  5. Given the previous record of devolution to Northern Ireland are there good reasons to expect the current settlement in Northern Ireland to be more successful?

    Over a century later Henry II, the King of England, tried to claim and annex Ireland to England. He managed to gain control over a small area around the city of Dublin. Since then this area adopted English laws and the language and was protected by the kingdom. In the next few centuries attempts to extend the area of English control in Ireland were unsuccessful. The Irish perceived the English kingdom as a threat to their sovereignty and identity. By the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I the Irish island except the province of Ulster was under the English rule.

    • Word count: 2691
  6. If social class no longer determines party allegiance in the UK, what does?

    class alignment (decline of middle-class votes for Conservatives and working-class votes for Labour). The year of 1970 is considered to have been the beginning of this process (Denver 1994, pp. 52-53; Garnett and Lynch 2009, p. 475). In my essay I am going to explain why social class no longer determines voting decisions and what does. First I will write how social class used to be the determining factor in the pre-1970s era. Then I will show how and why dealignment started to occur. After that I will examine what factors are deciding in voting behaviour.

    • Word count: 2403
  7. What do you consider to be the proper functions of a second chamber in the constitution of this country? Does the House of Lords, as now constituted, effectively discharge these functions? If not, what reforms would you introduce?

    It is unfair and simply untrue however to state that the second chamber is "undoubtedly a constitutional anachronism"1. The House of Lords still performs a tangible role in parliament and cannot be described simply in terms of a lingering tradition. This essay will explore the roles that the House of Lords should have in today's parliament, the effectiveness of their discharge of the roles, and reforms which could be proposed to alter the way in which the house is comprised and practices.

    • Word count: 2200
  8. Why did turnout decline substantially between the British general elections of 1997 and 2001, yet recover a little in 2005 and 2010? Why is there such a strong contrast between the turnout of the youngest and oldest cohorts of voters?

    The public were aware that 'every published poll gave Labour a lead by from 11 to 28 percent' (Butler & Kavanagh, 2002, p. 258) and this is backed up by Geddes and Tonge (2002, p.257) who state the reason for low turnout was the belief that labour was the 'only viable electoral choice'. This view is disputed in Britain Votes 2001 (Whitely et al, 2001) where it is claimed that other factors such as the economy and party leaders were more influential factors.

    • Word count: 2936
  9. Free essay

    Assess the Perofmance of the Labour government 1929-1931

    Labours "Diversified schemes"[4] looked impressive and as a result the General election of 1929 saw a seat gain and took control of 288 seats along with the Liberal party gaining 59 seats. This reinforced the point that there was a clear repudiation of the Conservative government and the policies it had pursued. As a result Baldwin resigned and left Macdonald to form the second Labour government. Labour put forward many promises during the electoral campaign most notably the debate arising from unemployment.

    • Word count: 2520
  10. Where does decision-making power lie in the British executive?

    According to the Westminister model, all decisions are made by Parliament and there is no higher authority. The Parliament has both authority and the legitimacy because the House of Commons is elected by the people. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister are answerable to Parliament, and the decisions are put into practice by a neutral civil service. Power is concentrated within the Parliamentary system and is relatively insulated against outside influences. A key concept of the Westminister model is parliamentary sovereignty. As most of the decision-making is done in the Parliament, parliamentary sovereignty is essentially executive sovereignty.

    • Word count: 2098
  11. In what ways, if any, is the UK Parliament more than the instrument of party leaders?

    Once a majority party is elected, the monarch asks the party to formulate a government. The party leader becomes the Prime Minister, enabling the majority party to gain power over the executive. In the House of Commons, British parties are noted for their remarkable unity when it comes to voting. Once a party line is agreed after soundings and discussions between the Chief Whip and MPs, the final decision is expected to be binding on all MPs of that party. A member who votes out of party line runs the risk of having the party whip withdrawn; this is tantamount to expulsion from the party.

    • Word count: 2087
  12. British politics - analysing the reasons for low electoral participation.

    It would be fair to say that the effectiveness of the right to vote has declined. Studies have attempted to explain that the first part the post method may be an unsatisfactory British voting system, which could discourage right thinking people to avoid having their say. In reference to the British Politics in focus book Bentley says that the majority of voters in the four elected terms did not vote for the governing party. This happened in 1997 when labour only won 43.3% of a vote but received a huge commons majority to retrieve power.

    • Word count: 2213
  13. To what extent and why do New Labours proposals for the NHS differ from those of the previous New Right Conservative Government?

    Thatcher considered a move to private health insurance which never materialised as it was widely rejected by her peers. It is argued that Thatcher only stayed true to the core objectives of the NHS only because of the political damage it could do to the party if they were challenged (Lund, 2008). The Griffith's report of 1983 and American market economist Alain Enhoven were highly influential in what would become the most radical reforms ever proposed for the NHS. The Griffiths report outlined how making the sector more business like, creating competition between providers and linking funding to productivity would strengthen the sector in terms of cost effectiveness as well as managers being introduced at every level to improve the quality of management.

    • Word count: 2422
  14. Voter Turnout in UK General Elections 1997 2005

    (Electoral Commission, 2002, p6) This essay will analyse the possible reasons behind the substantial decline in turnout since the 1997 General Election and its only slender improvement in 2005. It will examine and attempt to provide some explanations for the strong contrast between the turnout of the youngest and oldest of voters and will also explore possible solutions to rectifying the problem of low voter turnout. A point that should first be addressed is why voter turnout is important. According to Pateman (1970, cited in Scully et al, 2004, p522)

    • Word count: 2800
  15. Will devolution lead to the break up of the UK?

    The USA is a prime example of a state, which has operated for hundreds of years under a devolution like system and remains fully intact to this day. Federalism is not the same as the devolution within the UK but operates on similar principles, while devolution is just the delegation of power to subsidiaries within a unitary government federalism works in the US as a central form of government allowing each state to rule itself individually while at the same time looking to Washington as the US equivalent of Westminster, as a central government to manage the bigger picture.

    • Word count: 2482
  16. To what extent do the media in Britain determine political attitudes and opinions?

    Measuring media has been proved to be very difficult and one can identify, according to Budge (2001), that the main problems are the difficulties in distinguishing the effects of media from other influences, such as family life and education, which highly varies from person to person. The different media channels, for instance television and the press, have dissimilar impacts; they push and pull in different directions. An example of this is the Labour and Conservative support by the press versus the quiet neutral TV.

    • Word count: 2687
  17. Why is asylum such a big issue in Britain

    And government of home country is obligated to give this protection for every citizen of his country. When government of home country fails to protect these rights, people have the right to move to a country that will protect them. This is right of asylum. In 1951, this part of human right was established by an international treaty, the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Signed Convention meant that country was obligated to provide asylum or refugee to person who fleeing prosecution. Immigration actually is movement of people to another place with the aim of settling in another place.

    • Word count: 2044

    in the commons which makes it important, as well as there is the view that the commons is weakened because the majority party supports the executive (nearly a third of the majority party) in the commons. In addition to the fact that the governments growing control of measures of parliament takes effect in which it makes members comply in the executive, dominating its actions. Therefore, the executive is seen to be the core decision making body in parliament. The British parliament in some cases is seen to provide an effective check on executive power, however in other cases it is rather seen as not very effective for various reasons that I shall be mentioning later on in this essay.

    • Word count: 2223
  19. Free essay

    Decision Making- Gun Crime

    The government is committed to tackling gun crime so as to ensure the safety and security of all British citizens and has therefore on several occasions come up with decisions to tackle the problem. Decision making is the process of choosing between alternative courses of action. It is a process of making an informed choice among the alternative actions that are possible (Kourdi J 2003). It may take place at an individual or organisational level. The nature of the decision making process within an organisation is influenced by its culture and structure and a number of theoretical models that may have been developed.

    • Word count: 2002
  20. social policy

    (Townsend. 1979 pg 31) The term poverty can be further broken down into two different terms, absolute and relative. Absolute poverty is seen as the definition, based on the notion of subsistence. This is the minimum needed to sustain life. If someone is living below subsistence then they are suffering absolute poverty, as one does not have enough to live on. However this view is somewhat simplistic, who defines this subsistence level and how can it be universal? A criticism of absolute poverty is that it is based on an assumption that there is a minimum basic needs for all people, in all societies.

    • Word count: 2534
  21. Free essay

    Is there anything new about New Labour(TM)s approach to Economic Management?

    In 1951 the Conservatives came back into power under Winston Churchill and in 1955 Hugh Gaitskell took over as leader of the Labour party. Gaitskell along with Anthony Crosland saw the Labour party as moving in a different direction than Attlee. Gaitskell and Crosland wanted the party to embrace a more temperate social democrat position. They believed that a mixed economy and demand management rather than government intervention were the appropriate policies to achieve the goals of a collective welfare state and full employment.

    • Word count: 2840
  22. Free essay

    Should religious groups receive state funding for their schools?

    After the Reformation these became independent, but often kept their Church connections and funding. This established a clear link in the English tradition of faith education, although it was seldom available to many and indeed the practice of free education of poor but able boys (for few places admitted girls) often disappeared as these schools became fee-paying. A small number of schools were also founded by philanthropic individuals who set up establishments for poor pupils or left money to found schools. A local example is one, Hugh Sexey who died in 1619, left money in his will to found a school in Somerset, for poor boys and girls to learn basic literacy, numeracy and a trade.

    • Word count: 2127
  23. PC Debate

    The term is used as an insult, a joke and in sincerity by people who believe in its importance.' (2004 p36 3.3.2) The term 'Political Correctness' is therefore ideologically weighted, as opposed to being a simple description or discourse of a system or belief. The term has differing connotation dependent on a person's viewpoint. It is also used in an ironic sense to mock language or behaviour, which is actually intended to guarantee a minimum of offence as regards race, colour, religion and other groups when being described.

    • Word count: 2460

    The government realised that in order to implement more cost effective and radical changes, they had to look at the methods used within the private sector as an example and be the driving force behind the changes. One such change was to reduce the size of the public sector as a whole and of public spending. The knock on effect of a reduction in public spending was a reduction in the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement. The inherent practices of the public sector had to be overhauled and a new approach was necessary to become more efficient, competitive, budget focused and overall more effective.

    • Word count: 2496
  25. Edwin Chadwick and his success in public health

    The reports confirmed what had previously been found about the connections between health and living conditions but more importantly, they suggested how improvements could be instigated. Chadwick's work here was significant as these reports were published in the annual report of the Poor Law Commission and received official sanction, bringing their conclusions to the attention of parliament, hence leading to the Home Secretary asking for a further report to be completed. The report was the Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Laboring Population of Great Britain 1842, which Chadwick had published under his own name and expense after the Poor Law commissioners refused to allow it to be published.

    • Word count: 2149

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent should Somerset be blamed for the outbreak and the mishandling of the rebellion of 1549.

    "In conclusion it seems that Somerset is to blame for mishandling the situation in 1549, but it seems that Somerset can not be totally blamed for the rebellions. Somerset's responsibility has been widely exaggerated by historians like John Guy (source E) but in fact his role is far lesser than had been believed. The main responsibility falls upon the New Religion and The Gentry's lack of ability to suppress the rebellions before it required the Government and Kings (and Lord Protector's) intervention. All the sources apart from D imply that Somerset was not responsible of 1549, as pointed out by Guy (source E) there were too many other problems, "agrarian, fiscal, religious and social grievances fused" causing the rebellion. The over view of the sources and my personal belief is that Somerset is to blame for mishandling the rebellions of 1549, as is implied by Guy (Source E) that Somerset was to bothered waging war in Scotland and by Paget (Source D) criticises Somerset motives and procedures."

  • Compare and contrast pluralist and ruling elite accounts of political power in the UK and US.

    "In conclusion it can be seen that the UK and US share many characteristics, which can be seen as being both pluralist and elitist. However the US is essentially more pluralist with dispersed points of access with fragmented state power. The government has sub-ordinates and sub-governments, which are very different to the UK where power is more concentrated with one person, the Prime Minister. There are many differences between the two theories; however, some similarities can be seen, linking the two. Dahl argued that most people are not interested in participating much in politics, thus only a small group of individuals is involved who have to compete to win elections by appealing for popular support. Schumpter and Dahl renamed the theory as pluralist elitism, in which politics in countries like the UK and US is polyarchy, rule by many elites (a plurality of elites)."

  • Outline and Critically Assess ‘Rhodes’ Argument About ‘Hollowing Out of the State’

    "The conclusion of this paper is that bearing in mind, the significance of an ideological origin to the process, there is strong evidence that the hollowing out of the state has and is continuing to take place. However it is doing so in conjunction with the restructuring of parliamentary structure and continuous adjustment of the actors and responses within the policy network. Only in this fuller sense can the hollowing out of the state be applied to the evolution of the policy process in Britain. What has remained constant or grown in strength throughout this process are the executors of power in the core of government. Although lines of accountability remain, the likelihood of recrimination for wrongdoing has become more unlikely and this is a cause for concern for the future. Both the hollowing out of the state and the strengthening of the core executive remain a matter of ongoing process."

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