If you challenge nothing, you challenge no one | Matthew Cowley

One of the first things you learn in debating is that understanding the arguments in favour of your position is only half the battle when making a watertight case. A good debater should be able to understand in detail the arguments that their opponents might make, because in understanding those arguments you can find potential […]

It’s time to change the status quo of statehood | Matthew Cowley

“National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. ‘Self-determination’ is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action.” – Woodrow Wilson, 1918. Forgive me for opening with a quote, but it is an important one. 100 years ago in February, the status quo […]

If We Don’t Stand for Anything, We Might as Well Not Stand At All | Matthew Cowley

After the surprise result of the 2017 General Election, a lot of Conservative activists have speculated as to how we might emulate the success of Jeremy Corbyn’s election machine, in such a way that shows that there are still lessons to be learnt from 2017. Those who have formed movements like ‘Moggmentum’ to coalesce around […]

Polarised Politics Makes Society Worse | Matthew Cowley

People with different political views to your own merely have different perspectives on how to make society better, rather than whether to make society better. If you believe that their policy prescriptions do nothing to improve society, or even make it worse, then challenge them on the policies that they propose, not their moral character. […]

The Answer to the Trump Right and the Corbyn Left | Matthew Cowley

The Trump Right and the Corbyn Left are significantly different on paper, but both are symptoms of the same kind of political problems. Trump rails against free trade and immigration; Corbyn against big multinationals, foreign property investors, and the free movement of capital that enables tax evasion. Their target market is the kind of people […]

Representation Over Representativeness: The Case for First-Past-the-Post | Matthew Cowley

Aside from the arguments around its traditional place in our political structure, there are several arguments in favour of First-Past-the-Post (FPTP). Whilst the clamour for electoral reform has continued to grow, the case for it isn’t as black-and-white as it is being made to seem, and it is about time that those of us opposed […]

There is No Moral High Ground | Matthew Cowley

Politics has become incredibly adversarial. The abuse of people on all sides of the political spectrum is concerning and detrimental to constructive debate. If we are to have the mature discussions we need on the pressing issues of the day, then we need to clear up this misconception that there is a ‘right’ and a […]

We need a Conservative Youth Base | Matthew Cowley

The 2017 General Election saw an unprecedented increase in both youth turnout and support for the Labour Party amongst the young. This was the result of more factors than simply a manifesto aimed at students, it was the result of a combination of Labour’s main strength and the Tories’ main weakness. Labour has a very […]

U-turn if you want to | Matthew Cowley

We expect our politicians to make the right decision every time. We expect them to be exemplary role models in every aspect of their private and professional lives. If we want to have a better politics in this country, we need to accept that all our politicians – whatever their party or ideological background – […]

The NUS has Failed Students, We Deserve Better | Matthew Cowley

Rather than a student movement, the NUS is an ideological clique limping towards oblivion. The new NUS President may be a marginal improvement on her anti-Semitic predecessor, but with a professed desire to ‘kick out the Tories’ she remains an emblem of an NUS unable to do its job. The role of the NUS is […]