John Harris

Journalist & Author

Rats, mould and broken furniture: the scandal of the UK’s refugee housing

The Home Office says that asylum seekers deserve ‘safe, habitable’ homes. What too many of them get is filth and squalor
The cramped upstairs box room was meant to be used by one of Duminda’s children, but it is not in a fit state. An old mattress is propped up against the wall, and behind it is an expanse of black-green mould. In the downstairs bathroom, there is similarly widespread damp, and a smell that…

Theresa May can rally her troops, but the Tory party is dying on its feet | John Harris

The botched reshuffle is a short term fix for the Conservatives, who haven’t even begun to address the structural problems they face
In all the noise surrounding this week’s reshuffle, one sound in particular has been unmistakable: that of rising Tory angst about the party’s future. It might be strange to witness such self-doubt at the moment Britain’s departure from the EU looks set to realise so many Conservative dreams. But Brexit is…

Take it from the insiders: Silicon Valley is eating your soul | John Harris

Former Google and Facebook executives are sounding the alarm about the pervasive power of tech. Will we listen?
One source of angst came close to being 2017’s signature subject: how the internet and the tiny handful of companies that dominate it are affecting both individual minds and the present and future of the planet. The old idea of the online world as a burgeoning utopia looks to have peaked around the time of the Arab…

The Tories are savaging libraries – and closing the book on social mobility | John Harris

Since 2010, more than 478 libraries have closed in England, Wales and Scotland. It’s the old Tory con: talk up advancement, then attack the institutions that make it possible
If they weren’t already here, we’d have to invent them: public spaces, crammed with books, computers and information points, where events and meetings regularly take place, and children in particular get an early taste of the world beyond their own immediate experience.
Related: The UK

Johnny Marr and Maxine Peake: ‘You can’t avoid homelessness in Manchester. It touched us both’

When the musician and the actor met in 2014, they ‘clicked straight away’, bonding over a mission to bring back socially conscious art. They talk about shamanic rock stars, working-class guilt and how their spoken-word album about homelessness strives to be a modern Cathy Come Home
Back in the autumn of 2014, Johnny Marr was about to release his second solo album, go on tour and get down to writing his autobiography. Maxine Peake, meanwhile,…

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