This week we talk to Mark Garnett, senior lecturer at Lancaster University in Politics, about the changing role of the Prime Minister and his new book “The British Prime Minister in an Age of Upheaval”. We talk about the motivations of individuals (duty and public service or ego and money?), the role of devolution and what the role of PM will look like in the future.
In this timely book, Mark Garnett provides a bracing reassessment of the role of the British Prime Minister, from Margaret Thatcher’s controversial tenure to Boris Johnson’s attempt to confront a pandemic with a ministerial team created to face the very different challenge of Brexit. Taking a thematic approach, Garnett explores the impact of major political developments and personalities on key aspects of prime ministerial functions as party leader, Cabinet-maker, chief diplomat and electoral talisman.
Much of the controversy over the position of Prime Minister, he concludes, arises from a confusion between the occupant’s inescapable political prominence and his or her – often limited – ability to achieve positive policy outcomes. With both David Cameron and Theresa May forced to resign since 2016, the book questions whether the nature of the job has become a deterrent for politicians who are motivated by a desire to serve the British public, opening the way for individuals with much less laudable motivations.
Available in all good book stores that are only a brick or a click away. Link to buy here: