John Harris

Journalist & Author

Archive for September, 2019

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Anywhere but Westminster | ’All this has to stop’: our real Brexit crisis – video

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Away from the drama in London, what’s actually  going on? In Wigan, Bury, Manchester, Nuneaton and Macclesfield, John Harris and John Domokos find confusion and weariness about Brexit and fury at the so-called coup – as well as homelessness, hunger and the deep roots of the UK’s current meltdown in what Anywhere but Westminster began chronicling 10 long years ago  

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Could Boris Johnson’s explosive election strategy work?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Anushka Asthana hears from the Guardian’s John Harris on how the chaos in Westminster looks to people in towns around the UK. Also today: Gaby Hinsliff on accusations of cronyism in Theresa May’s honours list

Having lost his majority in parliament, Boris Johnson has been forced into a corner. He will be compelled by law to seek a Brexit extension from the EU unless a deal can be agreed before the end of October – and parliament has denied him the chance to hold an election before the Halloween deadline. It’s been a rocky time in Westminster for the new prime minister, but opinion polls show his bedraggled Conservative party extending its lead over Labour. So what’s going on?

The Guardian columnist John Harris joins Anushka Asthana to discuss how the chaos in Westminster looks from towns around the UK. His video series Anywhere But Westminster is now in its 10th year as he travels the country taking the political temperature. He says disillusionment with Westminster politics has only grown and a ‘people versus parliament’ election as framed by Downing Street could well resonate.

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Britain is facing a stark choice. So why are so many people tuning out? | John Harris

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Away from Brexit and the Tory melodrama, I’ve found a mood of weariness and disconnection. Yet its causes explain where we are

As parliament tumbled through last week’s drama, I was in the north-west of England, trying to divine the public mood. (What we found is about to appear in the Guardian’s Anywhere But Westminster video series.) I spent a lot of time in Bury, the large town 12 miles to the north of Manchester whose two constituencies recently returned Labour MPs, although Bury North was held by the Tories between 2010-17. The previous year, 54% of voters in the wider metropolitan borough had supported Brexit.

Though it was not hard to find people whose belief in leaving the EU remains undimmed, the prevailing mood seemed to mix weariness with disconnection, and a sense that Westminster’s convulsions were just one more story of crisis and chaos. “I’m just confused,” one woman told me. “I’ve stopped watching any of it.” One man folded both the Brexit mess and the loss of his job as a refuse collector into a much wider story – of cuts to the borough council (which, since 2010, has lost 61% of its annual budget) and the collapse of Bury football club, a woeful example of a beloved local institution ruined by financial mismanagement and mountains of debt.

Related: Sajid Javid refuses to rule out Tory deal with Nigel Farage

Related: The three questions that will decide the next general election | Jonathan Freedland

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