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What makes a good prime minister? DO NOW Pick up the TRUE and FALSE cards on your table and stand behind your desk. You will use the cards to answer assess.

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Presentation on theme: "What makes a good prime minister? DO NOW Pick up the TRUE and FALSE cards on your table and stand behind your desk. You will use the cards to answer assess."— Presentation transcript:

1 What makes a good prime minister? DO NOW Pick up the TRUE and FALSE cards on your table and stand behind your desk. You will use the cards to answer assess a series of statements designed to test your understanding of the course so far. This is a knock- out competition: If you get a question WRONG, you must sit down. If you get the question RIGHT, stay standing. There will be a prize for the winner.

2 Questions 1)Democracy is a means through which government achieves legitimacy. 2)The citizen assemblies through which ancient Athens was governed were examples of direct democracy. 3)Majoritarian democracy protects the rights of minority groups. 4)Edmund Burke believed that MPs in the House of Commons were delegates not representatives. 5)Modern Britain is a liberal representative democracy. 6)The judiciary is the branch of the state responsible for making laws. 7)All Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs and Lords in Parliament are members of the government. 8)Under the principle of collective responsibility, all Cabinet decisions must be unanimous. 9)The Prime Minister has three primary sources of power: those derived from the Royal Prerogative, those arising through convention and those arising from his/her majority in the HoC. 10)Unelected civil servants in areas such as the Cabinet Office or the No.10 Policy Unit are considered part of the executive. 11)The four ‘great’ offices of state are: Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Defence Secretary. 12)The coalition government is centred on a group called ‘the quad’ made up of David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander

3 Learning objectives To explain the sources of prime ministerial authority To judge what makes a Prime Minister effective To engage directly with the course assessment objectives

4 Match the Prime Ministers to their dates in office; add their party membership PMDates in officeParty Gordon Brown Tony Blair John Major , Margaret Thatcher James Callaghan Harold Wilson , Edward Heath Alec Douglas-Home Harold MacMillan Anthony Eden Clement Attlee Winston Churchill

5 Match the Prime Ministers to their dates in office; add their party membership PMDates in officeParty Gordon Brown Labour Tony Blair Labour John Major Conservative Margaret Thatcher Conservative James Callaghan Labour Harold Wilson , Labour Edward Heath Conservative Alec Douglas-Home Conservative Harold MacMillan Conservative Anthony Eden Conservative Clement Attlee Labour Winston Churchill , Conservative

6 What makes a good mini-essay? Work in pairs Study the 25 mark short essay and the accompanying mark scheme Pay close attention to the marks available for each of the three Assessment Objectives: Knowledge and understanding; Analysis and Evaluation; Communication Give the essay a mark out of 25, including a breakdown by AO; you must be able to justify your mark

7 AO1 – Knowledge and understandingAO2 – Analysis and evaluationAO2 – Communication Level 4 (10–11 marks) The student successfully demonstrates accurate knowledge and understanding of political concepts, theories, institutions and processes and the relationships between them, producing an answer that deploys relevant knowledge and understanding to address the requirements of the question and demonstrates significant contextual awareness. The student’s answer includes relevant evidence and/or examples to substantiate and their illustrate points. Level 4 (7–8 marks) The student evaluates political institutions, processes and behaviour, applying appropriate concepts and theories. The student provides analysis which displays sound awareness of differing viewpoints and a clear recognition of issues. Parallels and connections are identified, together with valid and precise comparisons. The answer includes relevant and convincing interpretations or explanations. Level 4 (5–6 marks) The student communicates clear, structured and sustained arguments and explanations, making excellent use of appropriate political vocabulary. The response should be legible with few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The student produces answers with a clear sense of direction leading towards a coherent conclusion. Level 3 (7–9 marks) The student demonstrates generally accurate knowledge and understanding of political concepts, theories, institutions and processes and the relationships between them, producing an answer that addresses the requirements of the question and demonstrates adequate contextual awareness. The answer provides evidence backed up by clear examples to illustrate their points. Level 3 (5–6 marks) The student evaluates political institutions, processes and behaviour, applying some concepts or theories. The student provides clear arguments and explanations and demonstrates awareness of differing viewpoints and recognition of issues. Parallels and connections are identified, together with some sound comparison. Level 3 (3–4 marks) The student communicates arguments and explanations, making good use of appropriate political vocabulary. The response should be legible but there may be occasional errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. A conclusion is linked to the preceding discussion.

8 ‘The office of the prime minister is what its holder chooses to make of it.’ Discuss. (25) The powers of the prime minister have developed largely through convention. There is no centrally codified and entrenched list of precisely what the incumbent may or may not do. As a result, Asquith was probably right to conclude that ' the office of the prime minister is what it's holder chooses and is able to make of it' - put another way, the PM has the power to do whatever he can 'get away with'. However, if we look more closely at Asquith's remark, we can see that things are not quite as clear as they seem at first. This is because whether or not the incumbent is 'able' to do something depends as much on the abilities of those around him and on circumstances as on the abilities of the prime minister. We can see this quite clearly in the case of Gordon Brown. Brown clearly has some of the skills that are required of a modern prime minister. He is unquestionably capable intellectually and had an impressive track record as chancellor during New Labour's first decade. However, in other respects, Brown was found wanting following his move to No10. First, he is less comfortable in the media spotlight than his predecessor Tony Blair. Brown's performance at PM's questions brought criticism and commentators questioned his political instincts, e.g. over the 'election that wasn't' (2007) and the 'bigotgate' episode during the 2010 election. The second variable concerns the abilities of those around the PM. Though Brown was unchallenged as Blair's successor, this clearly did not mean that the parliamentary Labour Party was fully behind him. Many potential challengers merely lacked the backbench support or experience in government to mount a credible challenge. From 2007 onwards, figures such as Ed Balls and David Miliband appeared to many backbenchers as credible alternatives to Brown; their appeal increased as things began to turn sour. Brown also faced more able opposition from across the House--not least after David Cameron succeeded Michael Howard as Conservative party leader. Finally, regardless of the incumbent PM's abilities, they can always come unstuck if circumstances--or 'events', as Harold Macmillan put it--turn against them. Brown had to contend with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that did for his predecessor. Brown's premiership was also damaged by the Northern Rock fiasco, the global credit crunch and the row over the ‘10p’ tax rate. These events, plus poor performances by Labour candidates in by-elections, inevitably resulted in disquiet on the back benches—particularly as the general election approached. In conclusion, prime ministerial power is not simply about whether the prime minister has the necessary personal qualities to do the job. The extent to which he is able to assert himself will also be affected by the abilities of others, by events, or even by the sense that it is simply ‘time for a change’.

9 How the essay was graded AO1 = 10/11 AO2 = 7/8 AO3 = 6/6 23/25 marks

10 The Prime Minister: roles, responsibilities and key powers RoleDescriptionKey powersLimitations Chairperson The Prime Minister sets the agenda for the Cabinet and, by extension, for the wider government. (S)He dictates the order or policy meetings and decides what issues are discussed and when. Setting the policy agenda Party Public opinion Chief executive The Prime Minister appoints ministers, including to Cabinet posts, and determines how government departments should be organised. They are also the head of the Civil Service, which implements Government policy. Patronage Managing the machinery & personnel of government Cabinet Party Chief communicator The Prime Minister is the face of the Government--particularly in times of crisis. On issues such as Terrorism or Disasters they are the lead communicator on behalf of the Government. Influencing the National mood Public opinion Chief legislator The Prime Minister is the official overall spokesperson for the Government in Parliament. They answer questions in Parliament and can be decisive in pushing through legislation. Setting the legislative agenda Parliament Party Chief diplomatAs the head of the Government it is the Prime Minister that acts as the face of Britain Internationally, whether this is at the EU, NATO, UN or other organisations. Declare war Sign treaties Britain’s geopolitical and economic position

11 What makes a good prime minister? Working with a partner, make two lists of the factors that make a prime minister successful in his/her various roles Aim for as many factors in each column as possible For additional credit, give an example of a Prime Minister that embodies each factor (example below) Personal qualitiesOther factors Effective communicator, e.g. Tony Blair

12 Essay practice Produce a detailed paragraph plan in answer to the following mini-essay question: ‘In theory, but not in practice, the powers of modern prime ministers are unlimited.’ Discuss. (25) Your answer must include evidence/examples to support your points.

13 STUDENT RESOURCES

14 ‘The office of the prime minister is what its holder chooses to make of it.’ Discuss. (25) The powers of the prime minister have developed largely through convention. There is no centrally codified and entrenched list of precisely what the incumbent may or may not do. As a result, Asquith was probably right to conclude that ' the office of the prime minister is what it's holder chooses and is able to make of it' - put another way, the PM has the power to do whatever he can 'get away with'. However, if we look more closely at Asquith's remark, we can see that things are not quite as clear as they seem at first. This is because whether or not the incumbent is 'able' to do something depends as much on the abilities of those around him and on circumstances as on the abilities of the prime minister. We can see this quite clearly in the case of Gordon Brown. Brown clearly has some of the skills that are required of a modern prime minister. He is unquestionably capable intellectually and had an impressive track record as chancellor during New Labour's first decade. However, in other respects, Brown was found wanting following his move to No10. First, he is less comfortable in the media spotlight than his predecessor Tony Blair. Brown's performance at PM's questions brought criticism and commentators questioned his political instincts, e.g. over the 'election that wasn't' (2007) and the 'bigotgate' episode during the 2010 election. The second variable concerns the abilities of those around the PM. Though Brown was unchallenged as Blair's successor, this clearly did not mean that the parliamentary Labour Party was fully behind him. Many potential challengers merely lacked the backbench support or experience in government to mount a credible challenge. From 2007 onwards, figures such as Ed Balls and David Miliband appeared to many backbenchers as credible alternatives to Brown; their appeal increased as things began to turn sour. Brown also faced more able opposition from across the House--not least after David Cameron succeeded Michael Howard as Conservative party leader. Finally, regardless of the incumbent PM's abilities, they can always come unstuck if circumstances--or 'events', as Harold Macmillan put it--turn against them. Brown had to contend with the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that did for his predecessor. Brown's premiership was also damaged by the Northern Rock fiasco, the global credit crunch and the row over the ‘10p’ tax rate. These events, plus poor performances by Labour candidates in by-elections, inevitably resulted in disquiet on the back benches—particularly as the general election approached. In conclusion, prime ministerial power is not simply about whether the prime minister has the necessary personal qualities to do the job. The extent to which he is able to assert himself will also be affected by the abilities of others, by events, or even by the sense that it is simply ‘time for a change’.

15 AO1 – Knowledge and understandingAO2 – Analysis and evaluationAO2 – Communication Level 4 (10–11 marks) The student successfully demonstrates accurate knowledge and understanding of political concepts, theories, institutions and processes and the relationships between them, producing an answer that deploys relevant knowledge and understanding to address the requirements of the question and demonstrates significant contextual awareness. The student’s answer includes relevant evidence and/or examples to substantiate and their illustrate points. Level 4 (7–8 marks) The student evaluates political institutions, processes and behaviour, applying appropriate concepts and theories. The student provides analysis which displays sound awareness of differing viewpoints and a clear recognition of issues. Parallels and connections are identified, together with valid and precise comparisons. The answer includes relevant and convincing interpretations or explanations. Level 4 (5–6 marks) The student communicates clear, structured and sustained arguments and explanations, making excellent use of appropriate political vocabulary. The response should be legible with few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. The student produces answers with a clear sense of direction leading towards a coherent conclusion. Level 3 (7–9 marks) The student demonstrates generally accurate knowledge and understanding of political concepts, theories, institutions and processes and the relationships between them, producing an answer that addresses the requirements of the question and demonstrates adequate contextual awareness. The answer provides evidence backed up by clear examples to illustrate their points. Level 3 (5–6 marks) The student evaluates political institutions, processes and behaviour, applying some concepts or theories. The student provides clear arguments and explanations and demonstrates awareness of differing viewpoints and recognition of issues. Parallels and connections are identified, together with some sound comparison. Level 3 (3–4 marks) The student communicates arguments and explanations, making good use of appropriate political vocabulary. The response should be legible but there may be occasional errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. A conclusion is linked to the preceding discussion.

16 TRUE answer FALSE answer

17 The Prime Minister: roles, responsibilities and key powers RoleDescriptionKey powersLimitations Chairperson The Prime Minister sets the agenda for the Cabinet and, by extension, for the wider government. (S)He dictates the order or policy meetings and decides what issues are discussed and when. Setting the policy agenda Party Public opinion Chief executive The Prime Minister appoints ministers, including to Cabinet posts, and determines how government departments should be organised. They are also the head of the Civil Service, which implements Government policy. Patronage Managing the machinery & personnel of government Cabinet Party Chief communicator The Prime Minister is the face of the Government--particularly in times of crisis. On issues such as Terrorism or Disasters they are the lead communicator on behalf of the Government. Influencing the National mood Public opinion Chief legislator The Prime Minister is the official overall spokesperson for the Government in Parliament. They answer questions in Parliament and can be decisive in pushing through legislation. Setting the legislative agenda Parliament Party Chief diplomatAs the head of the Government it is the Prime Minister that acts as the face of Britain Internationally, whether this is at the EU, NATO, UN or other organisations. Declare war Sign treaties Britain’s geopolitical and economic position


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