John Harris

Journalist & Author

From towers to Toast Rack: the brutalists with concrete plans for Britain

Long maligned as eyesores and an offence to human values, modernist architecture is enjoying a passionate upsurge in interest. John Harris visits Manchester and Sheffield to talk to the enthusiasts campaigning for these urban landmarks
On a bitingly cold Thursday morning, Jack Hale and I are standing next to a stretch of the Sheffield inner ring road, and staring, awestruck, at an electricity substation.
On the face of it, those last two words might suggest…

I’d rather have a Margaret Thatcher state school than a Michael Gove one | John Harris

His legacy is clear to see: no room for creativity and critical thinking, plenty for exams and rote learning
The other week, my six-year-old daughter had one of her school friends over for tea, and the two of them decided to have a read of Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s the story of a worldwide voyage jointly undertaken by the titular animals, with lovely subtexts…

Long hours, endless admin and angry parents – why schools just can’t get the teachers

British schools are reporting a classroom crisis, with thousands of disaffected teachers leaving the profession, and new graduates discouraged from training because of the daily stress and grind. And with the number of state school pupils set to rise by a million by 2022, the problem is only getting worse
Jacquie Sainsbury left secondary school in Canvey Island, Essex around 30 years ago with one O-level. She had five kids before deciding to train as…

We are addicted to the mighty Google, but that can change | John Harris

The left is in a lather about tax, but the bigger question is the omnipotence of digital corporations – and how we might cut them down to size
Before I even had breakfast on Thursday, I had used Google at least 10 times. As ever, I checked my Gmail account 15 minutes after I got up. Without even thinking, I then used Google to Google the latest developments in the Google tax story.…

Bristol Cable founders: ‘We’re holding people to account for their actions’

How three friends from university found themselves building a community-powered newspaper to take on flaccid content
In 2011, Alec Saelens, Adam Cantwell and Alon Aviram were undergraduates at Sussex University. Involved in student politics but well aware of its limited horizons, they began discussing the state of the media, and what to do about it. “We were talking about a leftwing tabloid,” says Cantwell, “and then something more sophisticated than that … and then we…

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