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Ashley, Jackie


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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


The Guardian - United Kingdom | 06/07/2010

Social cuts hit all Britons

The British government has announced cuts of up to 40 percent for social services and other sectors. While many welcome the plans as a way of fighting "social welfare scroungers", the cuts will also hit the middle classes, warns the left-liberal daily The Guardian: "For there is no 'they', no 'we'. Deep cuts in welfare will hit millions of people who read the papers and never connect 'scroungers' with themselves or their families. ... There is no easy free-loading 'them' in all this; there is only 'us'. Intelligent ministers understand it. They know that the optimism will vanish, as surely as the England flags and bunting did. As the hard reality kicks in, probably through the winter, the mood will change radically. If [trainer of the English national football team] Fabio Capello can go from national hero to villain in an afternoon or two, how much more so can [politicians like] Osborne, Cameron and the rest."

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 22/09/2008

A hypocritical party conference

Columnist Jackie Ashley discusses in The Guardian the options open to the growing anti-Gordon Brown faction in the Labour Party: "Already a few things have moved into focus in the clear air of Manchester. One: this conference will not much matter. There will be a bubble of unity. It will last as long as a bubble does. Two: the movement to drive Gordon Brown out has moved from the fringes of the backbenches and the lower ministerial ranks to the cabinet. Three: even so, Brown's greatest power is still the division among his enemies. ... None of this will help unless he can pacify his cabinet. ... Brown needs to look his colleagues in the eye and bind them back in, with a promise of no more vicious briefings and a resolution to be a team leader. I do not believe he will do this. At some level, I don't think he can. So, in the end, I think there will be some kind of attempted putsch. It will come after the conference, with its false display of unity, has finished."

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 14/04/2008

Brown's mutiny prevents him from getting the job done

"[British Prime Minister] Gordon Brown may have been disappointing. But he isn't a disaster. He has been too timid. But that doesn't mean he is a 'coward'. And most of those who have turned on him have their own axes to grind," writes Jackie Ashley on Brown's fading popularity. "Instead of calculating who will replace Brown and when, or elbowing one another, ministers should be asking themselves why they are not making a better fist of defending the government as a whole. There has been little plain speaking and a lot of hiding under the sofa. The curse of pseudo-presidential politics is that everything, good and bad, is loaded on to one person, while the rest of the government act like commentators, not the players they really are. Whether or not Labour loses power at the next election, there's a good year and more still to go, and a lot of governing to do."

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 30/07/2007

How to deal with canabis in the UK?

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed a desire to reclassify cannabis as a hard drug. The columnist Jackie Ashley considers "it's far more important to educate people about what dope does to the brain than reclassify and then crack down on it. ... The cannabis argument today is like the tobacco argument in the 60s. The science is there for those who want to look .. . The tobacco (and indeed alcohol) comparisons are worth recalling when we consider the second thing we know for sure about cannabis - that you can't eradicate it through the police and the courts. Its use is too widespread, the drug smuggling and distribution networks far too large, and public tolerance too high. ... The nanny state has its limits. With cannabis, it's the facts, not the wagging finger, that might bring about reform."

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 27/02/2006

The suspension of London Mayor Ken Livingstone

"This is surreal. It is undemocratic," writes columnist Jackie Ashley, reacting to a decision by an unelected, three-member disciplinary panel to suspend London Mayor Ken Livingstone for one month after he compared a Jewish newspaper reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. "It is very easy to attack Livingstone for going over the top, for expressing himself pugnaciously or indeed for a lifelong aversion to diplomatic language. Many people find his words odious. "...But does this really warrant his suspension as mayor of London for four weeks, from Wednesday? Who, you may want to know, has the power to suspend someone with a huge democratic mandate anyway? ... Ken is popular partly because he has taken bold decisions ... but also because he speaks out. Ken is Ken. That's why London chose him."

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