chapter  7
37 Pages

The core executive

This chapter looks at referendums, pressure groups and other forms of participation in the United Kingdom, in order to assess whether or not they overcome Rousseau's challenge. Insider groups work in close cooperation with their target audience. Over time, they may be accepted as new insider groups, and begin to place less emphasis on public campaigning since they now enjoy private access. Since sectional groups are generally perceived to fight for their own material interests, wherever possible they try to convince the public that important principles are involved in their struggle. In the UK, the system never came close to that totalitarian state, and is probably described as liberal corporatism or neo-corporatism. The usual explanation for the failure of neo-corporatism in the UK is that the trade unions became too powerful. It was reported that some members had even considered kidnapping Tony Blair's five-year-old son. Pluralists argue that government can act as an impartial arbiter between competing pressure groups.