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QUESTION What issues of the convention of ministerial responsibility do the facts of the above scenario raise - Essay Example

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In the countries that have elected governments, the elected executive body is not only powerful to take decisions on behalf of a common man, but they are also responsible for the offices they hold. Every ministry has its own responsibilities. Off course the Ministers have lots of staff working under them, but still it is a ministerial responsibility to make sure that everything goes well…
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QUESTION What issues of the convention of ministerial responsibility do the facts of the above scenario raise
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QUESTION What issues of the convention of ministerial responsibility do the facts of the above scenario raise

The office bearers are answerable to the parliament in general and the constitution of UK is strong enough to keep a check on everyone who has power and who is holding the offices in various ministries. To ensure the departments and governing bodies work properly, the government has a set of rules, and the responsibilities of these ministries are known to the general public. Thus if anyone goes against the norm, it is noticed and pointed out by the general public.
The scenario created in the case is a very interesting one. First, the family minister who is supposed to protect the family unit and its respect is having an extra marital affair. Then the minister of social welfare is not willing to accept her fault and as a result lots of people are kept waiting for their social welfare funds. Thirdly, the prime minister simply finds it easy to ignore the no confidence vote!!! If for a moment one believes that this could happen in the UK government and House of Commons, it means that there practically would be no constitution to stop the powerful from destroying those who are powerless against them. Well, thanks heavens, this is not the case in general. The case is a piece of fiction which is too far fetched. In the past we do have examples of ministers who have abided by the rules and legislations provided to them by the constitution. Constitution for any elected government is the supreme authority. With the constitution in place, the ministers have the guideline for them to work upon.

The Crichel Down Affair (1954) is one case that proves the importance of ministerial responsibility. : "Crichel Down was a piece of farmland in Dorset compulsorily bought by the government for defence use. Commander George Martin, son of the original farmer, wanted to buy the land back in the 1950s now that it was no longer used by the MoD. However the Ministry of Agriculture resisted, wanting to use the land for experimental farming in a time of rationing and agricultural development. However, Martin, a former equerry in the Royal Family, had very influential friends and stirred up much trouble in the local Conservative Party and government backbenches. There followed a public inquiry which criticized the department's decision and civil servants, especially their methods. It was seen as an example of an over-powerful state. Finally Dugdale announced that Martin could buy the land back and told the House of Commons he was resigning." Dugdale's resignation went down in history as an honourable, even heroic, one: a minister taking responsibility for civil servant's actions. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministerial_responsibility)

The issues raised by the scenario: Keeping this incident in view, the question that comes to my mind to carry forward this debate is that what are the measures taken by the government to ensure that the ministers are able to meet their responsibilities Is it just natural that the personal affairs of a minister can be a real concern in the dispensation of his or her public duties What are the ministerial ethics we are looking for Do the media have any role in pointing the faults of ministers out to them Also, we need to know if collective Ministerial Responsibility myth or a reality

With reference to the scenario stated, an extra marital affair, which is specifically in the personal interest of the ... Read More
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