Th“The British Prime Minister now has Presidential Powers” Discuss the Validity of this Statement
It would be correct to say that over the years the British Prime Minister has become more of a Presidential figure in Parliament. Recent prime ministers that have been referred to as presidential include Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Harold Wilson. Prime Ministers are supposed to be ‘First Among Equals’ (Primus Inter Pares), however recent Prime Ministerial actions have got people questioning whether or not the Prime Minister has more power and is becoming a Presidential figure. The idea that the prime minister is now more presidential is drawn from the knowledge of the United States president and how the British Prime Minister compares to him. Firstly, the media turns the Prime Minister into a political celebrity. The actions the Prime Minister takes inside parliament and also much of the PM’s personal life is publicised in newspapers and television. The Prime minister is the spokesperson for the government. Although their access to the media can be used for personal benefit, the media has been more critical of politicians in recent years. There is evidence of this as the BBC made allegations that the Iraq dossier was ‘sexed up’ during Tony Blair’s time as Prime Minister (class notes). The U.S President tends to have media coverage also. The wider use of special advisors increases how presidential the Prime Minister appears. The ‘Spatial leadership’ that the Prime Minister now adopts also gives us this impression. Prime Ministers now distance themselves from parties and government and develop their own ideologies. Examples of this include Blairism and Thatcherism (class notes). In times of distress in the country the people often turn to the Prime Minister in search of a solution. They PM tends...
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