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7. Misconceptions about MPs
About this Lecture
In this module Alan Johnson answers the question: “What’s the biggest public misconception about what MPs do?”, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea that MPs should always be in the House of Commons; (ii) the constituency caseload of MPs; (iii) the misconception that MPs can effect change in unrelated areas of public service, e.g. the NHS.
This course takes the form of a series of questions put to former Labour MP and Cabinet member, Alan Johnson. In the first module we ask, “What is the relationship between the Prime Minister and Cabinet?”. We follow this in the second module with a question on the role of Labour’s NEC, and the internal workings of parliamentary parties more generally. In the third module, we ask which of Alan Johnson’s actions or policies as an MP made the biggest impact, before turning in the fourth module to the timely subject of how much power the Secretary for Health has when coordinating a response to a pandemic. In the fifth module we ask, “How much of an influence does Parliament have on government decisions?”, focusing on change over time. We then turn in the sixth module to the question of Parliament’s efficiency, asking: “If you could change one thing about the parliamentary process to make it more efficient, what would it be and why?”. In the seventh module, we cover the biggest misconceptions about MPs, before in the eighth module asking how the role of the media in politics changed during Alan Johnson’s career. We conclude in the ninth module with a question on whether the pomp and ceremony of Parliament is off-putting to citizens in our democracy. This course provides both conceptual knowledge and a variety of helpful real-life examples for the “UK Politics” section of the A Level exam specifications.
Alan Johnson spent 20 years as an MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle before retiring from the Commons in 2017. During his career, he served in multiple New Labour Cabinets. His positions included: Home Secretary (2009-10), Secretary of State for Health (2007-09), Secretary of State for Education (2006-07), Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (2005-06), and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2004-05).
Cite this Lecture
Johnson, A. (2022, June 14). UK Politics – Alan Johnson on Parliament - Misconceptions about MPs [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-alan-johnson-on-parliament/misconceptions-about-mps
Johnson, A. "UK Politics – Alan Johnson on Parliament – Misconceptions about MPs." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Jun 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-alan-johnson-on-parliament/misconceptions-about-mps