Prime Ministerial powers

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  • Prime ministerial powers
    • Patronage
      • Assists Power
        • Pm can appoint diplomats, life peers, senior civil servants
        • Appoint cabinet ministers
          • conservatives can appoint who they like
          • Labour must keep the shadow cabinet as their cabinet between 1981 to 2011
        • Can put members of their end of the party into powerful positions
      • Restraints on power
        • Has to only approve a short list of senior judges
        • Pm's cant get rid of powerful members in the party
        • Have to include member from both end of the party in a cabinet
        • A reshuffle can be very dangerous to the PM
          • Thatcher built up enemies on the backbenches
          • Corbyn can't get enough people in his Shadow cabinet
    • Authority in the cabinet system
      • Assists power
        • Blair allowed ministers to dictate their own policy but had meetings with them before hand
        • Can for their views across
          • Thatcher started meeting with her opinion
        • Organize structure of government  (merge and change departments)
          • Blair's changes to Cabinet office
          • Thatchers 2 teir local government
        • Appoint cabinet committees and senior civil servants
        • Manages the Agenda
        • Chair cabinet meetings
    • Party Leadership
      • Assists power
        • A majority strengthens power
          • Blair had 418 seats in 1997
        • Unlikely to face a leader ship challenge after a victory
        • Can re-brand the party
      • Restrains power
        • Pm can loose confidence and be ousted
        • leaders can face a leadership challenge up to once a year
        • Popular Pm does not mean popular policy
          • Poll Tax
          • Iraq war
    • Public Standing
      • Assists power
        • can form links to US
        • PM is communicator in chief for the government
        • Opinion polls show opinion on PM not party
          • Major had high opinion polls after Gulf war
          • Blair had the heighest and lowest polls of any post war PM
            • Restrains power
              • Thatcher was always divided in polls
      • Restrains power
        • Thatcher was always divided in polls
    • Policy making Role
      • Assists power
        • Most important person in a crisis
        • Can control power given to minister
        • Blair's Kosovo involvement
        • Major's cones hotline + national lottery + citizens charter
        • Can keep policy from opposition
      • Restrains power
        • No department of their own
        • They're most responsible
        • Major and Blair both had little success domestically
        • Blair's efforts to improve public health failed - 40% more money, 14% more productive
    • Prime minister office
      • Restrains power
        • Spin Doctors gave PMs bad press
          • Alister Campbell didn't allow good coverage over Blair
          • Andy Coulson was previous sin doctor for Cameron = got fired to hacking scandal + not very vocal
      • Assists power
        • 190 staff (civil servants, political advisors)
        • alternative source of advice from ministers
        • Coordinates power across whitehall
        • Includes
          • Policy and Government unit
          • Communicators and strategy unit
          • Government and public relations unit
        • Can give bad press so good press looks a lot better
        • Under Blair PMs office gained lots of power
  • Assists power
    • Blair allowed ministers to dictate their own policy but had meetings with them before hand
    • Can for their views across
      • Thatcher started meeting with her opinion
    • Organize structure of government  (merge and change departments)
      • Blair's changes to Cabinet office
      • Thatchers 2 teir local government
    • Appoint cabinet committees and senior civil servants
    • Manages the Agenda
    • Chair cabinet meetings

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