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 […]

Leave Theresa alone! | Joseph Prebble

Say what you will about Theresa May, but she is not likely to be getting much sleep lately. As if the usual business of a Brexit marathon, a raft of domestic policy, a press slathering over every misplaced word, and everlasting bickering in her Parliamentary party were not enough, she endures a horrible conference. Between […]

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. […]

Mallard View: The Guardian’s Politics of Division

Having recently praised France’s rejection of the politics of division, Joseph Harker may, at first glance, appear an upstanding member of the thoughtful commentariat. Not so. In a quite astounding piece, Harker, the Guardian’s deputy opinion editor, has written, in support of freshly elected Labour MP Laura Pidcock’s similar statement, of his refusal to count […]

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 […]

The government must renew confidence in its leadership | Joseph Prebble

With lead EU negotiatior Michel Barnier promising to get to ‘the heart of the matter’ in overseeing the UK’s departure from the EU, there has rarely been so urgently a need for a national leader who has both a passionate rigour on the issue and broad support from the country. Only a few months ago […]

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 […]