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How Far Has Devolution Diluted Central Governmental Control

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 09:12 AM
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To what extent has devolution of power diluted the central control of the Cabinet and government within the British state.

At present, the UK Parliament in Westminster is the supreme political assembly. The UK Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world. Parliamentary government in the United Kingdom is based on a two-chamber system. The House of Lords (the upper House) and the House of Commons (the lower house), which sit separately and are constituted on entirely different principles. The legislative process involves both Houses.   This has been the case since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

The mechanisms of such a great machine as British democracy are indeed complicated. The Parliament is headed by the Prime Minister, who is then supported by a Cabinet.

The Cabinet is composed of about 20 ministers, although the number can vary. They are chosen by the Prime Minister and may include departmental and non-departmental ministers. The functions of the Cabinet are to initiate and decide on policy, the supreme control of government and the co-ordination of government departments. The exercise of these functions is vitally affected by the fact that the Cabinet is a group of party representatives, depending upon majority support in the House of Commons.

To keep its workload within manageable limits, a great deal of administrative work is carried on through the committee system. This involves referring issues either to a standing Cabinet committee or to an impromptu committee composed of the ministers directly concerned. The committee then considers the matter in detail and either disposes of it or reports upon it to the Cabinet with recommendations for action.

The Cabinet Office is headed by the Secretary of the Cabinet, a civil servant who is also Head of the Home Civil Service, under the direction of the Prime Minister. It comprises the Cabinet Secretariat and the Office of...


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