Within the parameters of the British state, the central state may be considered to be crucial, since it is within the centrally based ‘corridors of power’ that many decisions are made. Constitutionally, Britain operates a tripartite division of powers
(see Figure 5.2) between the legislature (Parliament), the judiciary (judges, courts and tribunals) and the executive (the Civil Service and departments wherein they work). This remains something of a constitutional ﬁction, however, since there is a great deal of interplay between the three arms of the constitution. Crucial to this interplay is the role of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet which has developed over the past two centuries and is today pivotal in the making of policy. On re-election to government in 1997, Labour under Tony Blair’s prime ministership signalled the importance of the Cabinet, for example by establishing within it the Social Exclusion Unit and with it the central planks of that government’s programme.