Is the Prime Minister Becoming More Presidential? Essay Plan

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Is the PM becoming presidential?

Intro
Foley thesis from ‘The British Presidency’ (2000)
Emphasises dominance of PM over cabinet
Must distinguish between style and substance

For
Spatial leadership
* Thatchers ‘Thatcherism’
* Blairs ‘Third Way’
* Similar to Bush’s ‘Compassionate Republican’
* “Ideological consciences of their party” - Heywood
Populist outreach
* PM’s claim to “articulate deepest hopes and fears” – Heywood * Cameron’s ‘Big Society’
* Obamas ‘Yes we can!’
* Blair addressing death of Diana
Personality politics
* “brand image” Heywood
* John Majors soap box
Personal mandates
Special advisors / Downing St. Machine
* Blair 50 advisors, Major 8
* Creation of ‘Policy Implementation’ unit etc.
Strengthened cabinet office
* Now resembles small scale PM’s office
Control of cabinet affairs
* Blair reducing to one 45 minute meeting a week
* Thatcher altering minutes of meetings in favour
Bypassing of cabinet
* Blair’s bi-laterals
* ‘Sofa government’
Patronage
* Control over careers
* Inclusion of opposition ministers in Cabinet to silence under CCR Prerogative powers
* Derived from Head of State
* Similar to president not needing party support
* However, Brown pledged to reduce these
Media focus
* Andy Coulson spin doctor for Cameron
* Alistair Campbell spin doctor for Blair
International representation
* “rubbing shoulders” with other presidents
* “ difficult to look at Cameron and Obama after bilateral and say they did not look similarly presidential” – McNaughton * Cameron and Obama exchanging gifts (BBQ and table tennis table) Involvement in foreign policy

* Middle east, Balkans, parts of Africa

Against
Parliamentary government
* People vote for party, not individual
Stronger tradition of party politics
* Stronger sense of left and right
* Labour ahead in recent opinion polls despite Ed Milliband Not Head...
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