John Harris

Journalist & Author

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Revolutions are for zealots and fools – as the Brexit Bolsheviks will find out | John Harris

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Leaving the EU was meant to be Thatcherism’s finale, but could turn out to be its death instead

• John Harris is a Guardian columnist

The centenary year of the Russian revolutions of 2017 highlights an accidentally topical question: what do revolutionaries do when they actually get their revolution? The immediate aftermath of the Bolshevik takeover of October 1917, wrote Leon Trotsky, often boiled down to “legislative improvisation”. In his autobiography, My Life, he explained the general idea as follows: “Everything had to proceed from the beginning. There were no ‘precedents’, since history had none to offer … As a rule, matters were brought up for consideration without previous preparation, and almost always as urgent business.”

Related: Why Jacob Rees-Mogg for Tory leader is no laughing matter | Michael Segalov

There is – or rather, was – another Conservatism, hostile to grand schemes, accepting of looking to the state for help

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Brexit is clearly a terrible idea. But it has to happen | John Harris

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Those who still hope to stop us leaving the EU need to think harder about the repercussions: the politics of the referendum period could come roaring back

• John Harris is a Guardian columnist

Social media is awash with it. In a certain kind of company, conversation inevitably turns to it. Now, even senior broadcast journalists hint that it might be possible, triggering great surges of online excitement. Barely a year after the EU referendum and only three months since the Daily Mail’s triumphal “Crush the saboteurs” front page, you can almost smell it: a rising expectation that the nightmare of leaving the EU might somehow be averted, allowing the country to return to some kind of normal.

Related: Scottish and Welsh leaders call repeal bill a ‘naked power grab’

Related: Government could end Brexit talks without a deal, says Damian Green

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How pop music built liberal Britain | John Harris

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

The tents may be down but the spirit of Glastonbury lives on – while the Tories are stuck in the 1950s

British Conservatism – with both a big and small “c” – is once again feeling the pangs of crisis. Tory optimists might be hanging on to the fact that their party has just scored its highest vote share since 1983; as Brexit grinds uncertainly on, Britain remains in the grip of an avowedly rightwing vision. But the last time a Tory government was elected with a convincing majority was 1987. The UK’s big cities seem more impervious to Conservative politics than ever. The fact that the Tories did so badly among people under the age of 45 – 55% of whom backed Labour, while only 29% voted Conservative – underlines the sense of slowly gathering twilight.

Related: Glastonbury is more evidence: Corbyn’s appeal crosses classes | Owen Jones

Related: Pop music was a great leveller. Now it’s a bespoke plaything for the rich | John Harris

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How pop music built liberal Britain | John Harris

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

The tents may be down but the spirit of Glastonbury lives on – while the Tories are stuck in the 1950s

British Conservatism – with both a big and small “c” – is once again feeling the pangs of crisis. Tory optimists might be hanging on to the fact that their party has just scored its highest vote share since 1983; as Brexit grinds uncertainly on, Britain remains in the grip of an avowedly rightwing vision. But the last time a Tory government was elected with a convincing majority was 1987. The UK’s big cities seem more impervious to Conservative politics than ever. The fact that the Tories did so badly among people under the age of 45 – 55% of whom backed Labour, while only 29% voted Conservative – underlines the sense of slowly gathering twilight.

Related: Glastonbury is more evidence: Corbyn’s appeal crosses classes | Owen Jones

Related: Pop music was a great leveller. Now it’s a bespoke plaything for the rich | John Harris

Continue reading…

Posted in Guardian RSS | No Comments »

How pop music built liberal Britain | John Harris

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

The tents may be down but the spirit of Glastonbury lives on – while the Tories are stuck in the 1950s

British Conservatism – with both a big and small “c” – is once again feeling the pangs of crisis. Tory optimists might be hanging on to the fact that their party has just scored its highest vote share since 1983; as Brexit grinds uncertainly on, Britain remains in the grip of an avowedly rightwing vision. But the last time a Tory government was elected with a convincing majority was 1987. The UK’s big cities seem more impervious to Conservative politics than ever. The fact that the Tories did so badly among people under the age of 45 – 55% of whom backed Labour, while only 29% voted Conservative – underlines the sense of slowly gathering twilight.

Related: Glastonbury is more evidence: Corbyn’s appeal crosses classes | Owen Jones

Related: Pop music was a great leveller. Now it’s a bespoke plaything for the rich | John Harris

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