'The Houses of Parliament have been increasingly willing and able to control government ministers in recent years'. How far do you agree with this statement?

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  • 'The Houses of Parliament have been increasingly willing and able to control government ministers in recent years'. How far do you agree with this statement?
    • Agree
      • Introduction of select committees in 1979
        • Willing and able in the case of the Home Affairs Select Committee rejecting Theresa May's selection of candidates to be head of the child sex abuse inquiry; saying they were "totally inappropriate".
      • The House of Lords
        • Some are appointed because they are experts in their field of expertise, for example Karren Brady and Digby Jones in business and Robert Winston in (biological) science, which would allow laws to be passed with expert advice with people who know something about it, thus making it more legitimate.
        • Scrutinise bills in exactly the same process as the commons (1st reading, 2nd reading, committee stage 3rd reading) as in the commons, therefore it is thorough
        • Because the Lords have already been promoted from whatever field they work in, they cannot be controlled in the same way that MPs can (whips can ask MPs to vote with their party leader with the promise of a peerage if they have already been party leader and have retired, e.g. Paddy Ashdown, Michael Howard, Neil Kinnock and Margaret Thatcher have already been given peerages). This makes Lords harder to control and because some are appointed from other fields too, this makes them less likely to vote with the government because of party allegiance and more likely to express concerns.
    • Willing but not able
      • Introduction of PMQs in 1961
        • Allowed MPs to ask questions to scrutinise the PM and the Government, but the PM doesn't have to answer the question, thus making it hard for MPs to control the PM especially. In ordinary ministers' questions, they might also point out the positive things that they've done  instead of answering the question directly.
      • Whips
        • MP rebellion rates have reached 45% in 2010 from 1% in 1964 in the first term in parliament, 34% of these are conservative despite it being a coalition, the conservative part alone would've been the biggest rebellion rate in the post-war period. This shows that both MPs and ministers are hard to control despite a willingness to by the whips
      • Select Committees
        • Although select committees only have 13 members (which is smaller than the house of commons), they have the same party make-up in terms of the % seats in both, therefore less likely to challenge the government.

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