Prime Ministers Uk Essay

817 Words4 Pages
To what extent have Prime Ministers become more powerful in recent years? Within the current government, David Cameron has clearly continued the trend of exploiting his office in order to focus the media on him as an individual. This certainly gives the impression of more individual dominance rather than collegial or collective decision making – as has been the case for other recent PMs But when we consider such developments in terms of actual increases in power for the PM, it may be a matter of style rather than substance. Cabinet has certainly declined as a full forum for decision making. e.g. BoE independence was made by the Blair/Brown axis not full cabinet. Brown as PM operated a “kitchen Cabinet” including the likes of Ed Balls, but excluding the Chancellor. Under Cameron, George Osborne and Oliver Letwin appear closer to the PM’s ear than most. Therefore PM power has increased in this sense. Furthermore, recent PMs have increasingly sought the advice of special advisers. Blair’s press secretary, Alastair Campbell, became known as ‘the real Deputy Prime Minister’. Under Cameron Andy Coulson and Steve Hill have mattered more to the PM than most of Cabinet. These tactics certainly afford the PM more power. Another recent phenomenon is one whereby the electorate focus on the head of the government rather than the government as a collective, suggesting that we have a de facto single executive. This might have something to do with the way politics is now reported on TV where the PM gets far more coverage than the rest of their Cabinet and this suggests an increase in PM power. The personal style of governance of recent PMs also extends to their habit of taking personal control over departmental affairs: Under Blair obvious examples could be Northern Ireland or child poverty. Whilst under Brown, there is strong evidence to suggest that he often overruled
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