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Three Political Truisms   All political careers end in failureEnoch Powell   It’s the economy, stupidBill Clinton aide ...
Prime ministerial powers- formal   Head of the Executive   Chair of the Cabinet   Quasi Head of State   Commander-in-c...
Prime ministerial power- informal   Chief policy maker   P olitical patronage , (which is the    use of state resources ...
Limitations on power- formal   Parliament   Cabinet   Party
Limitations on power- informal   Popular Image   Media image   Personality   Parliamentary majority   Party dissent ...
Jim Callaghan   Parliamentary majority   Party dissent (unions)   Media image   Wilson’s stature   Misuse of dissolut...
Margaret Thatcher   Internal dissent   Media image   Length of tenure   External events
John Major   Stature of predecessor   Parliamentary majority   Party dissent   Cabinet dissent   Media image   Perso...
Tony Blair   Internal dissent   One big event   Parliamentary majority   Lords and judicial activism
Gordon Brown   Stature of predecessor   Personality   Media image   Misuse of dissolution   Events – in spades   Str...
Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 1   10 years and that’s it   Thatcher, Blair, Brown   Pareto’s revolving elit...
Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 2   External events are increasingly    influential   It’s not the events, it’...
Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 3   It’s not just the economy stupid   Major 1992, Major 1997   Brown – memor...
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Prime ministerial power - Pros & Cons

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An excellent overview - with examples of recent Prime Ministers.

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Prime ministerial power - Pros & Cons

  1. 1. Three Political Truisms All political careers end in failureEnoch Powell It’s the economy, stupidBill Clinton aide Events, dear boy, eventsHarold Macmillan
  2. 2. Prime ministerial powers- formal Head of the Executive Chair of the Cabinet Quasi Head of State Commander-in-chief Foreign policy leader Parliamentary leader Dissolution
  3. 3. Prime ministerial power- informal Chief policy maker P olitical patronage , (which is the use of state resources to reward individuals for their electoral support) Government spokesperson
  4. 4. Limitations on power- formal Parliament Cabinet Party
  5. 5. Limitations on power- informal Popular Image Media image Personality Parliamentary majority Party dissent Cabinet dissent Strength of Opposition Stature of predecessor
  6. 6. Jim Callaghan Parliamentary majority Party dissent (unions) Media image Wilson’s stature Misuse of dissolution power Legacy of oil price hike
  7. 7. Margaret Thatcher Internal dissent Media image Length of tenure External events
  8. 8. John Major Stature of predecessor Parliamentary majority Party dissent Cabinet dissent Media image Personality Economic events Strength of Opposition
  9. 9. Tony Blair Internal dissent One big event Parliamentary majority Lords and judicial activism
  10. 10. Gordon Brown Stature of predecessor Personality Media image Misuse of dissolution Events – in spades Strength of Opposition Parliamentary majority
  11. 11. Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 1 10 years and that’s it Thatcher, Blair, Brown Pareto’s revolving elites (opposing parties rotating  in and out of government offices and squabbling endlessly over policy) Patronage Media
  12. 12. Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 2 External events are increasingly influential It’s not the events, it’s how you are perceived to be handling them
  13. 13. Lessons from PrimeMinisters’ experience - 3 It’s not just the economy stupid Major 1992, Major 1997 Brown – memories are short We’re doomed, Cap’n Mainwaring, we’re all doomed.

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