Yes Prime Minister Case Study

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Yes Prime Minister Case Study



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Sir Humphrey is suspected to be a Russian spy - Yes Prime Minister

And they did not commemorate it with any fanfare. In fact, the opposition party and the media and all of social media have also been quiet. Six months: our third elected government completed their first six months on the job yesterday. For those who may have forgotten, His Majesty the King conferred dakyen to the incoming prime minister, ministers and opposition leader on the 7 th of November last year. Now, look at it another way. Yet, I do not see anything significant in terms of narrowing the gap. Yes, the government removed the cut-off mark after class X allowing all students to move to high school.

But at what cost? Removing the cut-off mark has single-handedly done more to undermine the quality of education than anything else in the history of modern education in Bhutan. So all students can count on making it through high school, but because of the decline in the quality of education, students from poorer families will now be placed at a greater disadvantage. Doing away with the cut-off mark was easy. It was also reckless. Now it is incumbent on the government to compliment that one reckless policy with a string of good policies, some of which will be difficult, to ensure that the quality of education is not compromised. Yes, the government also instituted the 4 th Pay Commission and they are currently studying their report. But why did the government make the report public?

Matters concerning money — that includes taxes and budgets, but especially pay and salaries — cannot be discussed in the public for one simple reason: you cannot please all the people all the time! Elementary support personnel will receive an increase of Nu 2, from Nu to Nu An increase of Nu for ESP is a pittance. But General support personnel fare even worse. And local government officials fare the worst. Elected local government officials will not receive any increase in their salaries! True, LG officials received two pay increases during to In fact, it will widen the existing gap. So to narrow the gap among public officials, the government must narrow the pay gap — in absolute terms, not by percentages and compression ratios.

Here, the government has done precious little. I can say that with confidence simply because I hardly see any new development work being implemented. With development work throughout the country at a virtual standstill, no gap is being narrowed, not between the public and private sectors, and certainly not between our rural folk and the rest of the country. And without development we cannot narrow the gap. I voted for DNT. I voted to narrow the gap. It now becomes my responsibility to hold them accountable to fulfill their promise.

So as the government completes a significant milestone, and while the opposition party and the media and all of social media are complicity? The World Press Freedom report is out. In the two years leading up to the start of parliamentary democracy, private media thrived and continued to grow for a few more years. At one time, we had 11 private newspapers!

Then, gradually, private newspapers started shutting down. Bhutan Observer was the first to fold. Of these, Bhutan Times , a mighty paper during its heyday a decade ago, has been reduced to a sorry shadow of its former self. Kuensel, a state-owned enterprise, has used its deep pockets, endless resources and strong connections to the government to drive private newspapers out of business.

And they are continuing to do so. The editorial went on to suggest that government should not engage in businesses that the private sector is capable of providing. But I wonder if Kuensel would be ready to practice what they preach. I wonder if they would be willing to let go of the unfair advantages and privileges that they themselves enjoy as a state enterprise. I wonder if they would be willing to heed their own advice to provide a level playing ground for their private counterparts. If they are not, then they would reek of hypocrisy, a hypocrisy of the highest order that emanates from outright arrogance.

Kuensel profits immensely as a state enterprise. This gives them an insurmountable advantage over private newspapers … and over printing presses, photo studios, publishing houses, Dzongkha translators, stationery shops and IT vendors. This is gigantic, considering that their competition in the private sector are living from hand to mouth at best. In reality, most of them are in the deep red. And left unchecked, Kuensel will drive more private newspapers out of business.

They must make sure that Kuensel does not continue to enjoy undue support and privileges from the government that undermine the growth of the private media. Next, a special audit must be carried out, not by outside firms as has been the practice, but by the Royal Audit Authority. The special audit must go beyond the financials to cover the performance of the company and its effect on the private sector. After the audit, the government must give serious thought to pulling out of Kuensel.

At the very least, they must ensure that Kuensel stops competing with private businesses by providing services in the areas of printing, stationery, photography, translation, retail and IT. Instead, they should be required to stick to their core mandate of reporting news. More importantly, the government should distribute their advertisements among all newspapers, and more equitably, to address their own concerns regarding state-owned enterprises , if for nothing else. As for me, I know that I should have done a lot more to improve the media landscape, especially in the private sector, during my tenure in the government.

I regret that I could not and did not. That said, I will continue to support a free and fair media. So I offer my services to the private media if they feel that they are unfairly constrained by Kuensel. Similarly, I offer my services to private businesses if they feel that Kuensel is receiving and taking undue advantage. I will take up their case with the government and, if needed, the judiciary. And I offer my services to Kuensel employees if they feel that there are corrupt practices in their organization. I will protect their identity, but will take up their cases with the Anticorruption Commission.

In I posed a question. It turns out that several readers guessed the identity of the hooded hangman. But the same scenario continues to unfold today, with Kuensel as both the unknown hangman and the one applauding the death of private newspapers. We need to join hands to rein in Kuensel. Otherwise, the killing spree of private newspapers will continue. Last year, during the election period, the Interim Government seems to have conducted a study of state owned enterprises and released a report that is critical of companies established by the former government.

If the Interim Government was honest and if they genuinely wanted to question the usefulness and viability of SOEs, they should have done so immediately after assuming office, without hesitating to consider if the former government would return or not. In fact, if SOEs was a burning priority, one that merited the attention of the interim government, the members, some of them at least, should have questioned the government even before their appointment as members of the 3-month long interim government. Similarly, the DHI should have questioned the establishment of the Construction Development Corporation or the State Mining Corporation as a part of their organization.

And in spite of the fact that due process was followed while establishing each and every one of the new SOEs, I agree that better guidelines may need to be in place. In this connection, I challenge Kuensel to substantiate their views that some SOEs were established for political reason, and prove their allegation that they were created to benefit party supporters. These are serious accusations and must be dealt with forthright. Granted, some of these corporations are yet to turn a profit. But give them time and they all will become financially viable. At any rate, profit was not the main motive for establishing these corporations.

That these services were not available, especially at desired quality and scale, motivated the government to establish these corporations. I wish to make one final point. The government seems to be thinking of privatizing some of the SOEs. I hope they will tread cautiously. I hope they will not misuse privatization as a ruse to transfer ownership of national assets like the juicy lottery business to a few already well-off individuals. And I hope they will not misuse privatization as a quick way of generating revenue to pay for expensive campaign promises. That would be unsustainable. That would be short-sighted. PC: Business Bhutan. But … where is the opposition? Yes, I see them attending ceremonies and photo ops with the prime minister and the government.

It promotes harmony. But just promoting harmony is not enough. In other words, the two parties could go in cahoots to put personal and party interests ahead of the national interest. So where is the opposition party? He was in his constituency recently. And he opposed. Unfortunately, he opposed the previous government, not the current one! He would already know all that. So let me highlight just a few of the work that was done … to help me understand why he is so disappointed. Perhaps the honorable MP does not approve of the gewog center roads that we blacktopped.

He would know that we blacktopped GC roads to Orong Or perhaps he does not agree that the two central schools we opened in his constituency, one each in Orong and Gomdar, are appreciated by his constituents. Staying with Dewathang, he may be upset that a brand new bedded hospital was constructed there in spite of the fact that Samdrup Jongkhar already has a district hospital. And he may not approve of the fact that 6 medical evacuations were carried out from his constituency by helicopter. Or could it be that he does not like his constituents doing business?

If that is the case — if he does not support rural businesses — then he would be really upset because we opened gewog banks in all four of his gewogs. All households in his constituency receive units of free electricity each month. This is the case in all gewogs throughout the country, but for some reason he may take exception to it. Similarly, again for some reason best known to himself, he may feel that doubling the rural life insurance was a bad idea. Maybe the MP does not approve of the construction of the Southern East-West Highway that we had begun quietly, but in earnest.

In particular, the road connecting Langchenphug in Jumotshangkha and Samrang is under construction from both sides. And a road to connect Chokorling in Nganglam to Dewathang is also under construction. Perhaps the honorable MP did not like Gewog Development Grants which provided Nu 10 million to each of his five gewogs. This enabled the local governments to implement a wide range of development work which they considered important but were outside the scope of the 11 th Plan. I know that the GDG scheme would offend him as during his tenure as an MP in the ruling party, he enjoyed using the Constituency Development Grant, a much smaller scheme, but one that gave MPs full control of the funds.

But who knows? Maybe he does not like to see industrial growth in Samdrup Jongkhar. After all we spent Nu million for developing the Motanga Industrial Park, and he may be alarmed that 30 industrial plots have already been allotted. And who knows? It could be just that he does not like to see Samdrup Jongkhar thromde develop. After all, he would know that Nu million was budgeted in the 11 th Plan compared to just Nu million in the 10 th Plan. This would basically mean that, between the 10 th and 11 th Plans, development activities were almost doubled in Samdrup Jongkhar town. The next time MP Ugyen Dorji visits his constituency, I suggest that he reduce the number of his parties and increase the quality of his observation.

That would make a much better strategy to serve his constituents. And I too will gradually join the conversation. The country was experiencing an economic crisis. In its efforts to address the critical shortage of Indian rupees, the central bank imposed a series of policies including restricting the supply of rupees; rationing rupees to Bhutanese traveling to India for business, studies, medical treatment or pilgrimage; closing bank accounts of Indian citizens; and suspending loans in several sectors. These policies did little to solve the rupee crisis.

Instead, they fueled panic, prompting citizens to hoard Indian currency. The result was that Bhutanese were buying rupees at a premium, paying Nu for every Rs when in fact the two currencies were pegged at equal value. More importantly, the entire economy took a big hit, growing at just 2. So, soon after assuming office in , I worked closely with RMA and successfully addressed the rupee crisis. In addition, we gradually improved the economy by injecting liquidity in the banking system, investing in infrastructure notably in widening the East-West Highway, building central schools, improving airports, blacktopping gewog roads, constructing farm roads, and expanding the electricity and telecom network , reducing interest rates, improving ease of doing business, waiving taxes for small businesses, establishing REDC, and providing unprecedented support to hydropower, tourism, agriculture, livestock and CSIs.

Our hard work paid off. GDP growth rates increased from a low of 2. By the time Benjamin Disraeli became Prime Minister, the house was in poor shape. It was time for modernisation. The late 19th and early 20th century saw 10 Downing Street transformed from a humble terraced house into a grand residence with modern facilities — a home and office fit for the most powerful politician in the country.

Disraeli persuaded the state to pay for renovation to the entrance halls and public rooms, though he paid for the refurbishment of the private rooms himself. During his occupancy in , electric lighting was fitted and the first telephones were installed. The Marquess of Salisbury, who succeeded Gladstone on one occasion, was the last Prime Minister not to live at Number Balfour was the first inhabitant of Number 10 to bring a motor car to Downing Street. Over the years, more and more changes and improvements were made to the house. When Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald first entered the house, he wanted Number 10 to regain some of the grandeur it had during the times of Walpole and Pitt.

Missing a proper library or at least, one containing more than just Hansard reports , MacDonald set about creating one. The custom of the Prime Minister and other ministers donating books to the library continues to this day. Central heating was installed in and work began to convert the labyrinth of rooms in the attic, which had formerly been used by servants, into a flat for the Prime Minister. This unrest and fierce opposition would continue, and civil war in Ireland was only averted with the outbreak of the First World War in August The Cabinet Room at Number 10 was the nerve centre of Britain's war effort. Asquith had been forced to take on the additional role of Secretary of State for War following the resignation of the incumbent in March , but quickly appointed Lord Kitchener following the outbreak of war.

On 15 April , Number 10 was the site of a meeting between General Haig, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in France, and the Cabinet to go over the detail of the planned Somme offensive, later known as the Battle of the Somme. During a Cabinet split on 25 May caused by public outcry at allegations the army had been under-supplied with shells and the failed offensive in the Dardanelles, for which Kitchener and Churchill respectively were blamed , Kitchener was stripped of his control over munitions and strategy, and Churchill lost his post as First Lord of the Admiralty.

As a result of the split, Asquith formed a coalition government with the opposition Conservatives, whose leader was future Prime Minister, Andrew Bonar Law. Asquith remained leader of the coalition until his resignation on 5 December Under Prime Minister Lloyd George the number of staff at Number 10 expanded and offices spilled out into the garden to cope with the demands of the administration of the war. In the first days of its existence, the War Cabinet met times. This cabinet took total responsibility for the war, and on 3 occasions it sat as the Imperial War Cabinet when prime ministers from the Dominions attended.

It provided a vigour previously lacking from the war effort. Highly able young men were appointed to collect and collate data and to bypass slow moving government departments. They were not liked by diehard civil servants, who they continually bypassed. However, the men from the Garden Suburb gave Lloyd George the one thing Asquith seemingly never had — up-to-date, meaningful statistics. Their work was invaluable, providing the War Cabinet with data on merchant ships sunk and UK farm production, issues essential to address if the country was not to be starved into defeat. Lloyd George made an appearance at one of the first floor windows to acknowledge them. During the s the world's eyes rested on Europe. With rising tensions between Germany and Czechoslovakia, the prime ministers of France and Britain did what they could in an attempt to avoid another war.

On 12 September , thousands gathered at Downing Street to listen to Hitler's speech on the final night of the Nuremberg Rally, convinced Britain stood on the brink of war. As tension mounted further in Europe, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain made several attempts to appease the situation, and Number 10 became the focus of international attention. The Munich Agreement was signed and war — for now — had been averted. Chamberlain gave the speech a second time, from a first floor window of Number My good friends, this is the second time there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour.

I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Now I recommend you go home, and sleep quietly in your beds. But over the following 12 months tension did not lift, and on 3 September , Chamberlain broadcast to the nation from the Cabinet Room at Number 10, announcing that the country was now at war with Germany. When Winston Churchill replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister, he and his wife moved into Downing Street's second-floor flat, where Churchill did much of his work.

He often dictated speeches, memos and letters to his secretary while lying propped up in bed in the morning or late in the evening, cigar in hand. By October , the intense bombing period known as the Blitz began. Churchill was dining in the Garden Rooms when the air raid began. As he recalled in his memoir Their Finest Hour :. We were dining in the garden-room of Number 10 when the usual night raid began. The steel shutters had been closed. Several loud explosions occurred around us at no great distance, and presently a bomb fell, perhaps a hundred yards away, on the Horse Guards Parade, making a great deal of noise. Suddenly I had a providential impulse. The kitchen in Number 10 Downing Street is lofty and spacious, and looks out through a large plate-glass window about 25 feet high.

The butler and parlour maid continued to serve the dinner with complete detachment, but I became acutely aware of this big window. I got up abruptly, went into the kitchen, told the butler to put the dinner on the hot plate in the dining-room, and ordered the cook and the other servants into the shelter, such as it was. I had been seated again at the table only about 3 minutes when a really loud crash, close at hand, and a violent shock showed that the house had been struck. My detective came into the room and said much damage had been done.

The kitchen, the pantry and the offices on the Treasury were shattered. Steel reinforcement was added to the Garden Rooms, and heavy metal shutters were fixed over windows as protection from bombing raids. The Garden Rooms included a small dining room, bedroom and a meeting area which were used by Churchill throughout the war. In reality, though, the steel reinforcement would not have protected him against a direct hit. In October , the Cabinet had moved out of Number 10 and into secret underground war rooms in the basement of the Office of Works opposite the Foreign Office, today's Churchill War Rooms.

Following near misses by bombs, in , Churchill and his wife moved out of Downing Street and into the Number 10 Annex above the war rooms. Furniture and valuables were removed from Number 10 and only the Garden Rooms, Cabinet Room and Private Secretaries' office remained in use. Churchill disliked living in the Annex and, despite it being almost empty, he continued to use Number 10 for working and eating. A reinforced shelter was constructed under the house for up to 6 people, for use by those working in the house.

Although bombs caused further damage to Number 10, there were no direct hits to the house, allowing Churchill to continue to work and eat there right up until the end of the war. As soon as war was over, Churchill and his wife moved back to Number 10, where he made his Victory in Europe VE Day broadcast, which was delivered from the Cabinet Room at 3pm on 8 May On 19 March , the Argentinian flag was raised by a group of scrap metal merchants on the island of South Georgia, a British overseas territory and dependant of the Falkland Islands.

There had been a lengthy dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the sovereignty of the Islands and this action was seen as a precursor to the Argentinian invasion which would follow. Argentine General Leopoldo Galtieri ordered the invasion of the Falklands to be brought forward to 2 April , pre-empting any reinforcement of the United Kingdom's military presence in the area. Margaret Thatcher responded by sending a naval task force to recapture the islands, which set sail from Portsmouth on 5 April following a meeting of the Cabinet and the granting of a UN Resolution. Margaret Thatcher's personal assistant, Cynthia Crawford, who moved into the flat at Number 10 to keep the Prime Minister company during the all-night vigils, recalls the 74 days of the conflict inside Number She did not once change into her nightclothes in the flat for the duration of the war.

She wanted to be able to go to any briefings with the naval commanders at any time without the fuss and bother of having to get dressed. She also wanted to know everything that was happening, every single detail, so she could keep on top of events. She had to know how the soldiers, sailors and airmen were getting on. She was so worried about them. It was awful when we heard any reports of our ships being hit. Her determination and powers of endurance were unbelievable. Denis was in the room next door. The 2 of us would sit in armchairs either side of a two-bar electric fire, listening to the radio. Crawford recalls the Prime Minister leaving Downing Street at 8am each morning to attend military briefings for an update of events during the night and to discuss the next part of the campaign:.

I would take advantage of that and jump into bed at the flat so I could get some sleep. I'd tell the Downing Street switchboard to wake me when she was on her way back so I could be ready for work. We don't all have her energy. The conflict ended with Argentinian surrender on 14 June Margaret Thatcher looked back on this period:. When I became Prime Minister I never thought that I would have to order British troops into combat and I do not think I have ever lived so tensely or intensely as during the whole of that time. By the s, the material state of 10 Downing Street had reached crisis point.

Bomb damage had worsened existing structural problems: the building was suffering from subsidence, sloping walls, twisting door frames and an enormous annual repair bill. The Ministry of Works carried out a survey in into the state of the structure. The report bounced from Winston Churchill to to Anthony Eden to to Harold Macmillan to as one Prime Minister followed the other. Finally, a committee set up by Macmillan concluded that drastic action was required before the building fell or burnt down. The committee put forward a range of options, including the complete demolition of Number 10, 11 and 12 and their replacement with a new building.

That idea was rejected and it was decided that Number 12 should be rebuilt, and Numbers 10 and 11 should be strengthened and their historic features preserved. It ended up taking a year longer than planned and costing double the original estimate. The foundations proved to be so rotten that concrete underpinning was required on a massive scale.

Number 10 was completely gutted. Walls, floors and even the columns in the Cabinet Room and Pillared Room proved to be rotten and had to be replaced. New features were added too, including a room facing onto Downing Street and a veranda at Number 11 for the Chancellor. The blackened colour was a product of two centuries of severe pollution. To keep the familiar appearance, the newly cleaned yellow bricks were painted black to match their previous colour. Erith's work was completed in , but not long afterwards, dry rot became apparent and further repairs had to be undertaken. Margaret Thatcher to appointed architect Quinlan Terry to refurbish the state drawing rooms at the end of the s.

All the building work of the past few decades could have been ruined when a terrorist bomb exploded in An IRA mortar bomb was fired from a white transit van in Whitehall and exploded in the garden of Number 10, only a few metres away from where Prime Minister John Major to was chairing a Cabinet meeting to discuss the Gulf War. Although no one was killed, it left a crater in the Number 10 gardens and blew in the windows of neighbouring houses. John Major and some of his staff moved into Admiralty Arch while damage caused by the bomb was repaired.

By , it was clear that the Downing Street complex was no longer able to support the business of the Prime Minister's Office reliably. Independent surveys established that the building was no longer weather-tight, the heating system was failing, and the information and communications technology ICT network was at the limits of its operation.

Power outages and water leaks were frequent occurrences and impacted significantly on the day-to-day operation of the Prime Minister's Office. In addition to deterioration through age, pressures on the buildings had increased dramatically over recent years, through an increase in occupancy stable at around 50 for many years to around In , Prime Minister Tony Blair to authorised a new programme of improvements, with the building remaining operational throughout. Work was launched to address structural failure, renew the infrastructure, improve access and enhance the building's sustainability. Structural issues were among the first to be tackled, and a phased exterior repair project was launched to address failing lead guttering, cracking brickwork and other structural issues.

The distinctive black colourwash was also renewed, as it had faded away in many areas to reveal the yellow brickwork beneath. All work was carried out in consultation with English Heritage. Other projects have been undertaken to renew the building's ageing infrastructure and to replace many of the building's key services, including heating, fire protection and electrical power distribution.

Rainwater harvesting was introduced in , providing a sustainable source of water for the garden. Accessibility for disabled visitors has been significantly improved through the introduction of ramps and modernisation of lifts. Many of the public areas of the building have also been restored, including the front entrance hall, the state and small dining rooms and the study. An ongoing programme is in place to upgrade facilities to modern standards, and to ensure the preservation of this historic building for years to come. Every week, Number 10 is the venue for official functions including meetings, receptions, lunches and dinners.

It is not only heads of state and official dignitaries who visit — functions are held for people from all areas of UK society, including notable achievers, public service employees and charity workers. Receptions tend to be informal gatherings. Lunches and dinners are more formal events. The dining table is laid with items from the state silver collection: a range of modern silverware pieces commissioned by the Silver Trust to promote modern British craftsmanship.

Since 10 Downing Street became the official residence of the premier, the building has performed the dual role of both residence and place of work for Britain's Prime Ministers. Number 10 has been upgraded — including new technology — throughout its history, to ensure both an acceptable standard of living for its residents and to keep the Prime Minister at the heart of decision making within government.

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