John Harris

Journalist & Author

Britain’s insecure towns aren’t ‘left behind’. They hold the key to our future | John Harris

The desire for community and stability should not be dismissed as nostalgia. It’s our politicians who need to get with the times

It can be found in the opening pages of a book published in 2014: one of the most influential ideas in modern British politics, given its first airing in the days when Ukip was on a roll, and the forces that would propel Britain towards Brexit were decisively coming into view. “Over recent…

Brexit breakdown part 1: Why are the Tories winning Walsall?

With Brexit fast approaching, John Harris and John Domokos have spent four months sampling the mood of the country. In episode one of this new series, they spend time in the Midlands town of Walsall, where despite cuts and Tory chaos, Labour isn’t breaking through 
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‘Lost for words’: Somerset cuts £28m of help for most vulnerable

Tory council latest casualty of drastic austerity measures imposed on local government
On Wednesday the eight-person cabinet of Somerset county council voted through £28m of spending cuts, spread over the next two years. Over the previous six months, speculation had raged about whether Somerset would become the next Conservative-run council to join Northamptonshire in effectively going bankrupt and to call in government commissioners to sort out its mess.
And here was the answer, delivered…

The growth of private policing is eroding justice for all | John Harris

Security firms stepping in for overstretched officers is another signifier of how austerity Britain is becoming more unequal
Martock is a 4,700-population village on the edge of the Somerset Levels. Superficially, it does not look like somewhere positioned on the cutting edge of social policy, with faint echoes of the future as imagined by JG Ballard and Philip K Dick. But viewed from a certain angle, a scheme that has been running since April might…

Britain’s shared spaces are vanishing, leaving us a nation of cliques | John Harris

Austerity and technology have combined to close pubs, youth clubs and libraries up and down the country
In our towns, villages and suburbs, they are now such a common sight as to be mundane: boarded-up pubs, awaiting conversion to some new use or forlornly falling into dereliction. The current rate of closure is put at 18 a week. In rural areas, shuttered hostelries represent something particularly tragic: with churches reduced to silent visitor attractions…

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