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  • 1. The Politics AssociationThe Politics AssociationAS Government and PoliticsAS Government and PoliticsPowerpoint PresentationPowerpoint PresentationThe Prime Minister

2. The Prime MinisterThe Prime MinisterMargaret ThatcherConservative1979 - 1990John MajorConservative1990 - 1997Tony BlairLabour1997 - ?Head of theHead of theexecutive branchexecutive branchof theof thegovernment andgovernment andchair ofchair ofthe Cabinetthe Cabinet 3. The History . . .The History . . . 1688 Glorious Revolution.1688 Glorious Revolution. 1689 Parliament passes Bill1689 Parliament passes Billof Rights to curb powers ofof Rights to curb powers ofmonarch.monarch. Tax, laws now neededTax, laws now neededconsent of Parliament.consent of Parliament. Monarch remained Head ofMonarch remained Head ofExecutive and appointed aExecutive and appointed aCabinet to run country.Cabinet to run country. When the monarch stoppedWhen the monarch stoppedattending Cabinet meetings,attending Cabinet meetings,the First Lord of the Treasurythe First Lord of the Treasurytook over.took over. The First Lord of the TreasuryThe First Lord of the Treasurybecame known as the Primebecame known as the PrimeMinister.Minister.Robert Walpolewas FirstLord of theTreasuryfrom 1721 to 1742.Walpole wasprobably Britainsfirst Prime Minister. 4. Do anything toDo anything todefend the UKdefend the UK Make treatiesMake treaties Take and giveTake and giveaway territoryaway territory Control the armedControl the armedforcesforces Make use ofMake use ofemergency powersemergency powers Confiscate /Confiscate /destroy propertydestroy property Intern non-UKIntern non-UKcitizenscitizens Control how theControl how thecivil service workscivil service works Control patronageControl patronageThe PM and the ROYAL PREROGATIVEThe PM and the ROYAL PREROGATIVEAn important aspect ofthe roles/powers of themodern PM.These powers wereoriginally held by themonarch, and formally,they still are.As PM, Tony Blair can 5. POWERS of the Prime MinisterPOWERS of the Prime MinisterHead of StateHead of State&&Head of GovernmentHead of Governmentthe difference between thethe difference between thetwo roles istwo roles isnot always clear . . .not always clear . . .Formal PowersMainlyPREROGATIVE POWERSThere is also a distinctionbetween Head of Stateand Head of GovernmentInformal PowersChief policy maker.Chief government spokespersonLeader of the Parliamentary Party 6. Head of StateHead of State Head of armed forces.Head of armed forces. Negotiate treaties.Negotiate treaties. Grant honours.Grant honours. Head of Civil Service.Head of Civil Service. Appointment of seniorAppointment of seniorjudges, archbishops orjudges, archbishops orbishops of the Churchbishops of the Churchof England.of England.duties that wouldnormallybe carried out by aPresidentin an electivesystem and are thereforeoutside party politics andare conducted for thewhole nation 7. Head of GovernmentHead of Government Appointment ofAppointment ofministersministers Dismissal ofDismissal ofministersministers Appointment ofAppointment ofheads of publicheads of publicbodiesbodies Dissolution ofDissolution ofParliamentParliament Chair of CabinetChair of CabinetConcernspartypolitics 8. Prime MinisterialPrime MinisterialGovernment DebateGovernment Debate Shift from Cabinet to PrimeShift from Cabinet to PrimeMinisterial government.Ministerial government. Party system centralised underParty system centralised underthe control of the PM.the control of the PM. PMs more closely involved inPMs more closely involved inforeign and economic affairs.foreign and economic affairs. Electorate encouraged to identifyElectorate encouraged to identifygovernment policies with partygovernment policies with partyleader.leader. Downgrading of Cabinet andDowngrading of Cabinet andcommittees.committees.Too much power?Too much power?Is the Prime Minister noweffectively a President?Does the Prime Minister nowhave too much power? 9. PM as President Debate FORPM as President Debate FOR Thatcher as PM quasi-monarchicalThatcher as PM quasi-monarchical(Johnson).(Johnson). Thatchers as mother of the nation.Thatchers as mother of the nation. Reduction of Cabinet meetings.Reduction of Cabinet meetings. PM as the focal point of the modernPM as the focal point of the modernCabinet similar to stature of USCabinet similar to stature of USPresident.President. 10. PM as President Debate AGAINSTPM as President Debate AGAINST Practical restrictions on PMs power toPractical restrictions on PMs power tohire and fire.hire and fire. Limits on involvement of PM in initiationLimits on involvement of PM in initiationof policy.of policy. Limits to the extent that a PM canLimits to the extent that a PM cancontrol all government business.control all government business. PMsPMs cancan be powerful but need to havebe powerful but need to havecolleagues all on board. Good examplescolleagues all on board. Good examples Thatchers downfall and Majors Thatchers downfall and Majorsweakness after 1992.weakness after 1992. 11. The PM as President debate looks mostappealing when used to analyse PMs withlarge majorities such as Thatcher and Blair.KEY ARGUMENT . . . KEYARGUMENTfrom TALKING POLITICS thejournal of the Politics AssociationM. Foley, in Presidential Politics in Britain, TalkingPolitics, Vol.6.3, Summer 1994, identifies four keyfeatures of the American presidency that have beenadopted by Prime Ministers in the UK. 12. Foleys argumentFoleys argumentPublic LeadershipPublic Leadership US Presidents increased appeals to public over heads of Congress.US Presidents increased appeals to public over heads of Congress. UK Prime Ministers a less strict social order, impact of television as key to politicalUK Prime Ministers a less strict social order, impact of television as key to politicalcommunication communication leaders relationship with public now central and decisive.leaders relationship with public now central and decisive.Spatial LeadershipSpatial Leadership US Presidents attempts to distance themselves from presidency when expedient thingUS Presidents attempts to distance themselves from presidency when expedient thingto do.to do. UK Prime Ministers similar distancing to give impression of being on the side of theUK Prime Ministers similar distancing to give impression of being on the side of thecitizen: i.e. Major + Citizens Charter, Blairs willingness to disown corrupt MPs andcitizen: i.e. Major + Citizens Charter, Blairs willingness to disown corrupt MPs andcouncillors prior to any investigation.councillors prior to any investigation.The Personal FactorThe Personal Factor US President represents image of party and its programme.US President represents image of party and its programme. UK Prime Minister office now personalised with personality central to public evaluation.UK Prime Minister office now personalised with personality central to public evaluation.The Cult of the OutsiderThe Cult of the Outsider US President Nixon, Reagan, Clinton - positioned as outsiders without the vestedUS President Nixon, Reagan, Clinton - positioned as outsiders without the vestedinterests of insiders.interests of insiders. UK Prime Minister Thatcher, Major, Blair all have positioned themselves as outsiders,UK Prime Minister Thatcher, Major, Blair all have positioned themselves as outsiders,either from Whitehall or their respective parties.either from Whitehall or their respective parties. 13. Foleys conclusion . . .UK Premiership has turned into an authentic Britishpresidency not a version of the US presidency. 14. Prime Ministerial StylesPrime Ministerial StylesFOURFOUR possible types of Prime Minister the type reflects theirpossible types of Prime Minister the type reflects theirambitions and their particular path to power.ambitions and their particular path to power.INNOVATORSINNOVATORS Wish to achieve some future goal.Wish to achieve some future goal. Ideologically motivated.Ideologically motivated. Will risk being unpopular.Will risk being unpopular. Not all his/her party may agree.Not all his/her party may agree. Goal / aim very personal to the innovator.Goal / aim very personal to the innovator.REFORMERSREFORMERS Seek power in order to achieve future goal.Seek power in order to achieve future goal. Ideologically motivated.Ideologically motivated. Goal formulated with, and agreed by, the party.Goal formulated with, and agreed by, the party. Goal / aim not as personal as the innovator.Goal / aim not as personal as the innovator. 15. Prime Ministerial Styles (continued)Prime Ministerial Styles (continued)EGOISTSEGOISTS Power is sought for its own end.Power is sought for its own end. Key motivation self regard,Key motivation self regard, notnot ideology.ideology. Act and think in the present, not the future.Act and think in the present, not the future.BALANCERSBALANCERS Main aim peace and stability, in country and party.Main aim peace and stability, in country and party. Some balancers seek office, some do not.Some balancers seek office, some do not. Those who dont usually compromise candidates in leadershipThose who dont usually compromise candidates in leadershipelections.elections.Key point to remember Key point to remember PMs may have more than one style or mayPMs may have more than one style or maychange their style to suit the bigger political picture.change their style to suit the bigger political picture. 16. Margaret Thatchers STYLEMargaret Thatchers STYLE Dominant personality.Dominant personality. Conviction politician.Conviction politician. Radical vision.Radical vision. Good at leading from the front.Good at leading from the front. Party had no choice but toParty had no choice but tofollow.follow. Good at getting her own wayGood at getting her own waywhen popular.when popular. Innovative policies in face ofInnovative policies in face ofopposition.opposition. Good at hiding i.e. kept herGoo

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