John Harris

Journalist & Author

How the Covid-19 pandemic has increased Amazon’s dominance – podcast

As high street rivals were forced to close this year, Amazon has gone from strength to strength. But reports of conditions in some of its huge warehouses have brought a new level of scrutiny, as John Harris explains
Before the pandemic struck, high street retailers were already struggling to stay competitive with online companies that offered low prices and rapid deliveries. When Covid-19 forced shops to close and consumers to stay at home, online retailers,…

Local people have had to improvise during the pandemic. Could their solutions stick? | John Harris

A new kind of community politics – ‘flatpack democracy’ – has emerged in towns left to fend for themselves by the centre
About eight months ago, a fascinating social change began to ripple through hundreds of British neighbourhoods. Given the deluge of news that has happened since, it is easy to forget how remarkable it all seemed: droves of volunteers who were gripped by community spirit coming together to help deliver food and

How Amazon became a pandemic giant – and why that could be a threat to us all

Online retail grew massively in lockdown, and Amazon reaped huge profits. But where is the company’s relentless innovation and automation heading – and is it time to clip its wings?
For the last year, Anna (not her real name) has been working as an Amazon “associate”, in the kind of vast warehouse the company calls a fulfilment centre. For £10.50 an hour, she works four days a week, though, during busy periods, this sometimes goes…

The dream of going ‘back to normal’ is a huge distraction from the need for change | John Harris

A vaccine will start to ease our collective anxiety, but the reasons why Covid-19 hit the UK hard will not be going away
Back in June, as people in England were adjusting to the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, and Black Lives Matter was all over the news, I interviewed a number of young people who live in east London. As the conversations went on, a fascinating question came up: if they were presented with…

A lesson from the US election: we’ll never understand voters just by looking at polls | John Harris

If a country has so lost the ability to comprehend itself that its best minds have to depend on surveys, it clearly has a problem

Biden wins: follow the latest election news and reaction

As well as the celebrations triggered by Joe Biden’s eventual victory, one quieter sound can be heard in the US: that of opinion polling once again being read the last rites. Pollsters and analysts may have got the winning…

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