With the Labour leadership contest in full swing, many of you may be starting to ponder over who to vote for. Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn, with his veteran left-winger charm? Or maybe Liz Kendall, with her ‘modernising,’ Blairite policies? Alternatively, you may not think now is the time for the Labour Party to take a drastic swing to the left or the right of the political spectrum. If this is how you feel, then your vote should most certainly go to Yvette Cooper.
Yvette Cooper’s impressive past is enough to convince even the most die-hard Tories that she is exactly the kind of person who could effectively run this country. Born into a family deeply entrenched in trade unionism due to her father’s involvement in politics, she has been in touch with the Labour ideology since a young age and is therefore likely to be a loyal and well-principled leader. She attended a state school which – although it shouldn’t win her brownie points – would be a breath of fresh air in a country where we are grossly over-represented by privately educated politicians. Furthermore, her university education highlights just how talented she is: having achieved a top degree in PPE from Oxford, she later went on to achieve an MSc in Economics from LSE. In today’s climate, a strong grasp on economics is a more fundamental aspect of being a politician than ever before. This would give her a distinct advantage the leader of the Labour Party.
However, it is not just her past that makes Cooper a perfect leader for the Labour Party. She has a wealth of experience that is completely unmatched by any of the other candidates. She has been an MP for Normanton, Pontepract and Castleford since 1997. Only Jeremy Corbyn has served in parliament for longer than her out of the other three candidates. Additionally, unlike Corbyn, Cooper has held a huge number of important political roles. She was a member of the cabinet under Gordon Brown’s Labour government, serving as the minister of state for housing and planning and later, Secretary of State for work and pensions. She has also held several important shadow cabinet positions including shadow Secretary of State for women and equalities, shadow Foreign Secretary and most recently shadow Home Secretary. This diverse array of roles in her party and in government accentuates Cooper’s eclectic range of skills and her ability to excel in a number of political fields; a characteristic which is fundamental for the leader of a political party.
Finally, Yvette Cooper is, within the Labour Party, a centrist. This may appeal to many of the party’s supporters because in recent times, the Labour Party has swung between its socialist roots and its more modern Blairite stance like a pendulum. This has caused a large rift in the party and is partially to blame for their disastrous general election defeat earlier this year. Therefore, Cooper’s relatively centrist views could be the force that eventually reunites the Labour Party so that it can begin to rebuild its former strength. If you dream of a united Labour Party which incorporates the socialist values upon which it was founded alongside a strong belief in building a powerful economy then Yvette Cooper is the candidate for you!
Words by Harry Kite