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Matthew Cooper

Matthew Cooper has 5 articles published.

Jeremy Corbyn Does Not Support Our Troops

in Brexit/Islamism by

June 24 2017 marked National Armed Forces Day in Britain, but despite many coming out to support our Troops of past and present, one face was missing from the crowd – Jeremy Corbyn

Prime Minister Theresa May was in attendance at the event, along with Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, and quite rightly so. Mrs May shared her praise for the Armed Forces by stating “they do a fantastic job for us and we should be grateful to them all”. Her words of admiration for our troops were echoed by many at the event, except for Jeremy Corbyn, who decided he had somewhere better to be.

That’s correct. Instead of joining the hundreds who gathered to give thanks to our Armed Forces for all they do to keep Britain safe, the Labour leader opted for the leftist, middle-class music festival Glastonbury. I remember reading the headlines from the mainstream media, and hoping this was yet again another fake news agenda, but on this occasion, I was gravely mistaken.

The best that Comrade Corbyn could muster up, in a measly attempt to show his support for our Armed Forces, was a picture circulated across his social media platforms.

His failure to attend National Armed Forces day was regarded as “dishonourable” by many veterans and Sir Michael Fallon. However, what I find more disgraceful is not the fact that Corbyn posted a picture on the day of the event, instead of attending, I was more disgusted to learn that the photo posted by Corbyn was in fact taken in November 2015.

Not only is Comrade Corbyn a staunch pacifist, he has shown that he stands against one of the cornerstones of British patriotism – our strong military. Whilst I believe that we are all entitled to our own personal views, I also believe that as a political leader, you have a moral obligation to support those who have shown astounding courage, bravery, and sacrificed much to protect our nation – By choosing not to attend events such as Armed Forces Day, Jeremy Corbyn is failing to fulfil this obligation.  A simple picture will not suffice.

However, it was clear that the thousands who turned up to watch the Labour leader speak felt differently. Rather than questioning his presence at Glastonbury, as opposed to Armed Forces Day, the crowds broke out into the chant of “oh, Jeremy Corbyn” as he appeared on stage to deliver his Marxist speech. Corbyn’s speech came in the form of a party political appeal to his core supporters, but what was alarming was his use of open border rhetoric, implying that Britain should not have border controls.

He may have been directly criticising Donald Trump when referring to the border wall at the music festival, but Corbyn’s choice words signal a warning to Britain. Not only was there an element of hypocrisy behind this reference – considering the wall was in place to prevent those without a ticket from gaining access to Glastonbury, the open border rhetoric used by Corbyn would suggest that Labour would never intend to control immigration, despite it being one of the sole factors behind the ‘leave’ vote on June 23.

Corbyn then went on to say that he believes we should adopt a maxim in life when meeting new people; his message to the crowds was “don’t see them as a threat, don’t see them as an enemy, see them as a source of knowledge, a source of friendship, and a source of inspiration”. Perhaps we now have an explanation to why Corbyn regards terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas as his “friends”, and why he believes Britain should negotiate peace with ISIS.

Corbyn showed his true colours at Glastonbury; by politicising a music festival and using it for his own personal gain, he has demonstrated that he is not your ordinary politician, standing up for the working class; he is an opportune, manipulative Marxist who plays on the fears of young people concerned about their future in a post-Brexit Britain. He may have been the man of the hour at Glastonbury, but millions of viewers at home, angered by his decision to snub our troops, will make sure he is never the man of Britain.

General Election 2017: The Real Winners & Losers

in Brexit by

As Britain witnessed a highly unprecedented outcome on June 8, who really benefits from Theresa May’s snap General Election and why? Is this really a time for celebration, or rather, concern?

Theresa May’s gamble in calling a snap general election awkwardly backfired, after the Conservatives found themselves falling short of a majority by 8 votes. The notion that Britain is a one party state was found false as surprisingly European-style left-wing politics formed a strong opposition.

As we reflect on the result of this general election, who are the true victors and losers of this shock outcome? A full roundup can be read here.

The Real Winners

Fortunately Jeremy Corbyn is not Prime Minister, but his party’s growth in the number of seats means that his Marxist ideas have not been banished to the annals of history.

It may have come as a surprise to you to see the Labour Party, led by a man who calls Hamas his “friends”, gain 30 seats on June 8, just days after another terror attack in London.

Despite these gains, the party still fortunately lost the election overall after only winning a total of 262 seats. However, the general election will be viewed as a personal victory for Jeremy Corbyn after proving wrong many of his critics, who had given predictions of the death of Labour.

Corbyn’s manifesto proved to be popular with young people, especially first time voters. According to a survey carried out by YouGov, 66% of voters aged 18 and 19 voted for the Labour Party. Considering the fact that Comrade Corbyn promised a long list of freebies to young people, it is hardly surprising that he was successful in rallying the support of this demographic.

Ruth Davidson

While Theresa May emerged at her declaration with a look of defeat, Ruth Davidson enjoyed witnessing another breakthrough for the Conservatives in Scotland.

The Conservatives have established themselves as the voice of the Unionists, and become a clear opposition to Nicola Sturgeon’s party, after gaining an additional 12 seats since the election in 2015.

This result demonstrates a significant breakthrough for the Conservatives. After taking 56 seats from Labour in the 2015 election, the SNP found itself on the receiving end of an electoral onslaught by all of the unionist parties on June 8, with key issues such as ‘Indyref 2’ ultimately costing the nationalists seats at Westminster.

The Real Losers

Concerns about Brexit as Theresa May fails to achieve a landslide

The outcome of the election on June 8 was certainly not one Theresa May expected, or prepared for.

Instead of achieving a sweeping majority in parliament, Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election cost her party 13 seats, and could yet prove costly to the Prime Minister herself.

She now finds herself turning to another party to form a government, in this case the DUP, but Theresa May has bigger problems. Her credibility as a leader has been considerably damaged, and with Brexit negotiations looming, will it be Theresa May who leads the UK as we seek to get a deal from Brussels? The likelihood remains uncertain.

Paul Nuttall

Some would argue that the decline of UKIP was inevitable in this election, due to the outcome of the EU referendum, but others would say there is real potential for an anti-establishment voice.

Not only did the party lose their one remaining seat following the resignation of Douglas Carswell, UKIP saw its share of the vote collapse by 10.8% in this election. The leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall, also resigned on June 9, to the delight even of some in his party.

After losing millions of supporters, UKIP has yet to find a party leader with the charisma of Farage, who can find a path beyond the EU referendum success. While the party has a special place in the heart of some Brexiteers, adding UKIP to the list of ‘real losers’ seems only fair and logical, when we consider Nuttall’s failing to address the challenge the party now faces moving forward.

SNP

They may remain as the largest party in Scotland, but the SNP were dealt a crushing blow on June 8.

The party lost 21 seats to the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour Party in this election. Among those losses were prominent SNP members, including the former party leader Alex Salmond, and Angus Robertson, the leader of the party at Westminster.

This outcome is significant because not only does it highlight a rejection of the SNP, it highlights a rejection of independence. With Scottish politics becoming increasingly polarised, the prospect of ‘Indyref 2’ is slipping away from Nicola Sturgeon.

Final Thoughts

The election on June 8 will be one Theresa May will soon want to forget, and one which for many, will be viewed as a victory for Jeremy Corbyn’s shifting of Labour further left. Despite both parties gaining seats from their opposition, the Conservatives remain the largest party, although now lacking a majority.

Moving forward, all eyes will be on Theresa May. Will she remain as Prime Minister when we enter Brexit negotiations? For now, she may hold the keys to Downing Street, but Jeremy Corbyn is knocking at the door.

Asda in Firing Line Over Alleged “Sexist” Jumper

in Brexit by

In a society which is becoming increasingly politically correct, a mother from Aberdeenshire has taken the concept to a level which many would deem too far.

If you need an example as to why political correctness should have no place in British society, look no further than Debbie Dee. The mother from Huntly, Aberdeenshire was left disgusted on her shopping trip to Asda after discovering an item of clothing which she believed to be highly controversial. The item of clothing was a blue jumper for £4, with the slogan “Boys Will Be Boys” displayed on the front. This left the mother from Huntly outraged as she described the jumper as “utterly sexist”.

In a Facebook post which has now been reportedly deleted, she posted a picture of the jumper online and stated that she believed the item of clothing was problematic because of the stereotype it perpetuated amongst men. Rather than accepting the item of clothing to be a merely innocent jumper, Debbie suggested that it sends out a negative image to children because the slogan may be used as a justification by men who behave offensively or in a misogynistic way towards women.

Though many may not agree with this, some individuals did sympathise with Debbie on the matter. According to the Sun, Lori Oxton commented by saying “more than sexist, it’s a potentially dangerous mindset for both men and women. Not what our kids should be taught as acceptable or our youngsters. Well done debs for catching this, I’m quite disgusted!”. Another social media user, Fran Moldaschi, wrote “this phrase is so harmful to our children – I’m horrified that Asda is willing to perpetuate this outdated platitude”.

In contrast to this, there were a number of social media users who did not share Debbie’s disgust towards the jumper. One individual added “rape, murder and terrorism are things which leave normal people gobsmacked and raging. Not Debbie Dee though. All she needs is a jumper”. In response to Debbie’s outrage, an Asda spokesperson stated “our aim is to make clothes people love, never to offend”.

Why We Need To Stamp Out Political Correctness

In my personal opinion, political correctness should have no place in any democracy. When I think about the meaning of true democracy, I think of free speech, and as a nation we pride ourselves on having the freedom of choice, the freedom of having our own personal views. But is this really the case in Britain today? Many people fail to grasp the fact that one of the clauses of living in a democracy is whilst we have the right to feel offended by others, we also have the right to express views that may so happen to offend others. If one cannot innocently express their views due to the risk of “triggering” others, then free speech is not free at all.

In regards to Debbie Dee, and her outrage towards the slogan “Boys Will Be Boys” seen on an item of clothing, we may argue that she has allowed herself to be offended on behalf of others by desperately inventing a message about sexism or gender fluidity from a slogan which simply intended to symbolise the carefree days of childhood, where boys are boisterous, noisy, and energetic. These days, they would be tranquillised for being too masculine. Asda have reiterated that it was not their intention to cause any offence by using this slogan, however Debbie, along with those supporting the mother from Huntly, have chosen to misinterpret the use of this slogan on the boy’s jumper in a way which they believe, to some degree, undermines the female gender.

For me, and perhaps many others, this story is a prime example of why political correctness is highly problematic and should be stamped out of British society. Instead of being a nation which embraces its liberty, we are rapidly becoming increasingly so the nation of political censorship, the nation which shuts down freedom of speech, and a nation where we become offended by harmless intentions. Are you offended by this slogan? However you feel is for you to decide, but you should not seek to impose your views on others by restricting freedom of expression.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/woman-asda-jumper-complaint-boys-will-be-boys-gender-stereotype-identity-a7740156.html

 

Localism Should Be Embraced on June 8, Not Neglected

in Brexit by

Since calling a snap general election, the Prime Minister has placed Brexit firmly at the centre of her election campaign. But are other important issues such as localism being left behind in British politics altogether?

I have always been a strong believer in grassroots politics, which, for me, means local candidates, local policies, for local people. However, far too often in recent elections, I have seen local candidates using national policies in the hope of winning seats in Westminster and local government. I personally disagree with this approach to election campaigning, where voters are subjected to what I would describe as ‘umbrella manifestos’ – simply meaning national policies in multiple constituencies or a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Though I accept the electorate tend to vote for their preferred parties as opposed to individual candidates, voters also want to select candidates they can trust; this means candidates who have a clear plan to protect local services, and even candidates who have already made a positive difference to their constituencies through their work in local government. While, most understandably, Brexit will certainly be at the centre of general election campaigns, and with very good reason, we do also need to be sure to also remember local issues.

Some would speculate that Theresa May will use this election as an opportunity to eradicate UKIP by luring its supporters towards a cross by Conservative candidates in the ballot box, suggesting that after achieving their ultimate goal, UKIP no longer have a part to play in British politics. However, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall has other ideas, and has recently stated “I really do believe that you haven’t seen the end of UKIP. I’ve read UKIP’s obituary so many times, we always come back and we always come back stronger”. The party faces a major challenge to their very existence, especially after losing 145 seats in the local elections, which took place across the country on May 4 2017. Many of these seats were lost to the Conservatives, who have managed to attract UKIP supporters by promising to deliver the Brexit they voted for in June 2016.

Meanwhile, in light of the Labour Party’s draft manifesto being leaked, it seems that pie in the sky politics is evident once again on the left as Comrade Corbyn has proposed policies such as the abolition of university tuition fees and renationalising Britain’s railways, without providing any details as to how they propose to fund such policies of course. Like UKIP’s Paul Nuttall, Jeremy Corbyn is also playing into the hands of the Prime Minister. In a recent BBC interview with political editor Laura Kuenssberg, the Labour leader was asked six times if he would take Britain out of the EU, if he becomes Prime Minister on June 8. Rather than providing what should be a simple ‘yes’, Jeremy Corbyn asserted that “Brexit is settled”. His lack of clarity on this issue will be used as a weapon by Theresa May, who has made it clear to voters that under her leadership, Britain will be leaving regardless of the type of deal we receive in negotiations. Whilst the policies in the Labour Party’s draft manifesto may resonate with a chunk of the electorate, the party has placed no emphasis on localism or politics at its grassroots, and has resorted to the use of sound bites such as ‘for the many not the few’.

There was a time when the Liberal Democrats were champions of localism in British politics, but not anymore. Under the leadership of Paddy Ashdown, while not exactly a champion of liberty, the party did nonetheless gain 46 seats in the 1997 general election by building local bastions of support in target constituencies over a prolonged period of time. This was carried out by gaining a foothold in local elections, campaigning on local issues, and ultimately using these tools as a means to gain seats in Westminster. The strategy was known as ‘the Ashdown effect’. The former leader established this strategy after years of local campaigning in the constituency of Yeovil, and by this tapping into local feeling, overturned the Conservative majority of 11,382 by winning in the 1983 general election with a majority of 3,000.

But under the leadership of Tim Farron, the party has moved away from this election tactic in stark contrast. Gone are the days of ‘the Ashdown effect’, where local issues were at the heart of the Liberal Democrat’s election strategy. Now, we are in the days of nice but dim Tim, who, like his colleagues, is hell-bent on keeping Britain in the EU and ignoring the democratic vote of 17.4 million people. The party have pledged to campaign to keep Britain in the single market, despite a government issued leaflet clearly stating before the EU referendum on June 23, that a vote to leave the EU would also mean leaving its institutions, including the single market. Despite the leaflet being issued at the cost to the British taxpayer, nice but dim Tim is incapable of accepting this fact, and insists that membership of the single market was not on the ballot paper when the UK voted to leave on June 23. Therefore, one might argue that a party which once championed localism has lost its way, and jumped on the Brexit bandwagon.

Final Thoughts on Localism

For me, the Stoke on Trent by-election in February 2017 highlighted two clear points. Firstly, we learnt that the issue of Brexit will not be enough for parties to win seats in Westminster. The UKIP leader saw an opportunity to be elected in a constituency he labelled as ‘the Brexit capital’ after it voted to leave the EU by 69.4%, yet still failed to get over the line.

Unfortunately, it seems that Paul Nuttall has not learnt this lesson as the party announced he would be standing for election in the constituency of Boston & Skegness, where the people voted overwhelmingly in favour of leaving the EU by 75.6%. Despite failing to be elected in the so called ‘Brexit capital’, he still believes that he stands a chance in Boston & Skegness due to its mass support for Brexit. This brings me on to my second point, which is that constituents do not want opportunist politicians being parachuted into constituencies where they have no affiliation to whatsoever. Local people deserve local candidates, individuals who have a clear understanding of the area they are standing to be elected in, along with a sound awareness of the issues their constituents face on a daily basis.

I would like to make it clear that this article is in no way, shape or form anti-Brexit. I wholeheartedly believe that as a nation, we will prosper once we have left the failed EU project behind, and can once again be a country with an optimistic global outlook. However, I find it disappointing that I am yet to discover a candidate in any political party who has a local agenda when campaigning. As the UK prepares to vote on June 8, our MPs should remember that we deserve candidates who are passionate about not just Brexit but also the communities we live in, candidates who share the same vision as their constituents, and candidates who put people before party.

Theresa May – Looking For Trade In All The Wrong Places?

in Brexit by

With Article 50 officially triggered on March 29, and a snap General Election called by the Prime Minister on April 18, is Theresa May making a mistake by putting all of her eggs firmly in the Brussels basket?

When I tune in every evening to watch the day’s latest news, I can’t help but feel frustrated with Theresa May placing such a huge emphasis on getting the best deal for Britain from our neighbouring EU countries. Despite the British people voting to take back control of our borders, our laws and our trade deals, the Prime Minister is still insistent on bargaining with Brussels, but at what cost? She believes that by calling an early general election, this will strengthen her stance when entering into EU negotiations. Of course I can’t blame her for calling a snap election, especially when the Conservatives are enjoying a 25 point lead over Labour according to a latest ComRes poll, making Theresa May the clear favourite to win and continue as Prime Minister. However, is she really right to prioritise a trade deal with a declining, bureaucratic EU over potential trade deals elsewhere? I think not.

It is no secret that the UK has a considerably high trade deficit with the EU; according to Full Fact, “the UK imported around £60 billion more goods and services from the rest of the EU than it exported there in the 12 months to September 2016”. Out of all 27 member states, Germany has the largest trade deficit with the UK, despite having the strongest economy in the whole of the EU. In 2015 alone, it sold approximately £25 billion more to the UK in goods and services than we sold to it. Considering the fact that Germany’s strong economy is heavily reliant on British trade, it would seem totally illogical for Germany to hinder such a trade deal from being signed once we have left the EU, particularly when no trade deal could jeopardise thousands of German jobs. With an election fast approaching in Germany as well, Angela Merkel will seek to ensure that German jobs are protected once they enter into negotiations with Britain. She knows that this can only be guaranteed so long as trade continues, even if it is with an independent Britain. Therefore, under the current circumstances, it is plausible to argue that they need us more than we need them.

However, the question that you are probably wondering whilst reading this, and the question I have been asking myself for some time, is if Theresa May decides to take a step back from her pursuit in getting the best deal from Germany and the rest of the EU, where else can she seek a potential trade deal? Under Article 50 legislation, the UK cannot formally enter into trade negotiations, or sign new trade deals with any nations outside of the EU. On the other hand, the legislation does not prevent the Prime Minister from holding informal talks with nation leaders outside of the EU. Therefore, should Theresa May decide to hold such talks, which I believe is in our national interest, where could she look towards? I have identified two potential options available to the Prime Minister.

India

Our friends in the Commonwealth would seem like an excellent destination to begin our nation’s search for new trade deals, not to mention the most logical. There are 52 member states, amounting to approximately 2.3 billion people who share our language, our values, and of course, our monarchy. One country in particular, India, has more recently entered the spotlight as a new Commonwealth report has come to light which claims that a post-Brexit trade deal with India would be worth an additional £2 billion per year to the UK economy.

The report, entitled ‘Brexit: Opportunities for India’ by author Rashmi Banga, states “this paper estimates that a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UK will increase India–UK trade by 26% per annum. The UK’s exports to India will increase by 33% p.a. while the UK’s imports from India will increase by 12% p.a.”. Despite the fact that India has been negotiating a broad-based trade and investment agreement with the EU since 2007, which is still inconclusive, the author concludes the report by stating “this proposed India–UK FTA may be easier to negotiate than the India-EU FTA, as some of the sticking points in an India-EU FTA may be easier to resolve”. Therefore, this report demonstrates that there are clear opportunities for Britain to engage with its Commonwealth partners and strengthen the economy, debunking the myths spelled by remain campaigners that the British economy would suffer as a result of Brexit.

USA

Though the topic of trade was not on the agenda when the Prime Minister visited the recently inaugurated President on January 27 2017, President Trump did tell Theresa May in a White House press conference that he believes Brexit “will be a wonderful thing for your country”, and has previously expressed his interest in a potential new trade deal with a post-Brexit Britain prior to his election.

During the US presidential election, Mr Trump’s advisor Dan DiMicco stated that Britain will be offered a free trade deal before the rest of the EU if the Republicans win the US presidential election. In an interview, Mr DiMicco said that with the present Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership proposals on hold, “Britain would be at the front of the queue for any future trade deal once the UK has left the EU”. The comments made in regards to a UK-US free trade deal were in stark contrast to those made by President Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, who reiterated that Britain would go to the back of the queue for trade deals if we voted to leave the EU. The USA remains as Britain’s closest ally in the world, and Britain’s largest export partner. Now that the USA has elected a President who has demonstrated a clear interest in our country and has connections to Britain, perhaps the Prime Minister should take advantage of our special relationship as we head out of the EU and into the world. The USA imported $54.7 billion in goods from the UK in 2015 alone, and this figure could arguably increase once we have left EU trade barriers behind and are once again in control of our own trade deals.

We can say for certain that as a nation, we will face many new challenges to the way we trade once we have left the EU, but there is also clear optimism for the UK economy, a light at the end of the tunnel some might say, and that light comes in the form of a Commonwealth which is keen to do business with an independent Britain, and a USA led by a President who strongly admires Britain, and our decision to leave a declining EU. Like many others, I am uncertain about the direction our country will be heading in over the next few years. But what I do know is that I, along with 17.4 million people, voted on June 23 2016 for Britain to become a self-governing nation with a global outlook, free from the shackles of the EU. If Theresa May is elected to continue as Prime Minister on June 8 2017, the onus will be on her to deliver a Brexit which reflects this will.

 

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