John Harris

Journalist & Author

Archive for the ‘Guardian RSS’ Category

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Corbyn shows there’s a new way of doing politics. Straight talking is back | John Harris

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Parroting old slogans no longer works. In an increasingly chaotic world, the Labour leader understands the need for morality and authenticity

What strange times these are. Three weeks ago this election looked set to be a drab affair centred on a prime minister apparently unable to fulfil even the most basic requirements of campaigning, and the seemingly unstoppable prospect of a huge Conservative win.

Related: Up against the Maybot, Corbyn struggles not to be a personality | John Crace

The Facebook age is egalitarian in spirit. Woe betide the politician who will not turn up to the debate

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A fishy business: why the Tories are back in Scotland – video

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

John Harris and John Domokos get immersed in the towns and cities of north-east Scotland, where the oil price crash and the ups and downs of the fishing industry have created a political storm around Brexit and Scottish independence – and the perfect climate for a Tory revival

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‘I feel strangely optimistic’: meet the first time voters

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

More than a million people have registered to vote for the first time on 8 June. We ask new voters how they feel about having their say

On a Wednesday evening in Walsall, near Birmingham, people from a local temple were handing out chips and beans to anyone who was homeless, or hungry, or both. They expected to reach 100 meals within an hour; four years ago, it was more like 20.

In the queue, one twentysomething told me his benefits money had already run out, leaving him penniless until next Monday. I asked him about the election. “I don’t really know about politics, if I’m honest,” he said. “As soon as I hear Brexit, I switch off.” But you’re living out the consequences of politics. “I know,” he replied. “I’m living in poverty. I’m not an idiot. I’m struggling.” He had never voted before, but probably would this time – even if he hadn’t yet chosen a party: “My dad’s saying Conservative, my mum’s saying Labour.”

The referendum is definitely affecting my vote. It was such a shock, like waking up with a very bad hangover

I’m really trying to focus on the policies rather than people

I feel like it’s the old versus the young sometimes, and they’re not voting for what I would want for my future

Related: More than 2.3m people have registered to vote since election was called

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Britain’s cities are falling victim to Theresa May’s cold, crabby nostalgia politics | John Harris

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Our urban centres are bearing the brunt of the latest austerity cuts. Not since the Thatcher era has a Tory government dared to pit town against country this cynically

‘There’s nobody representing us,” said the thirtysomething man killing time on a side street in Handsworth, Birmingham. Amid the weekday bustle on nearby Soho Road, a smattering of people told me they would be voting Labour, there was irate talk about the Conservatives’ record on immigration, and a few British-Asian former Brexit supporters said they now regretted voting for the leave side, what with prices creeping up and the uncertainties facing small business people. But to a greater extent than anywhere I’ve visited over the past three weeks, the election felt irrelevant to ordinary life.

Related: General election 2017: ITV hosts first leaders’ debate – as it happened

There is a deepening polarisation at the heart of all this, glaringly evident on the national political map

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‘We are not represented’: why is this election so white? – video

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

In the third part of their election roadtrip, John Harris and John Domokos spend time in Birmingham and Walsall – the kind of urban, multiracial communities that the politics of Brexit has suddenly pushed to the sidelines. They find Theresa May’s hardline immigration stance and cuts to English language classes sparking anger and frustration, but also find Labour supporters attracted by her ‘strong and stable’ pitch for their votes

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