John Harris

Journalist & Author

Where next for our series about life beyond Whitehall? | John Harris

Anywhere but Westminster is six months old – tell us exactly where we should go next, and what you think the story should be

Comment is free’s Anywhere but Westminster series has now been running for six months. In our quest to take the temperature of Britain in 2011 and explore the increasing gaps between politics and real life, we’ve focused on an array of big issues, and been to villages, towns and cities in England, Scotland and Wales.

We’ve also been developing the crowdsourcing ideas on which the series is based. For our coverage of library closures, we visited North Yorkshire at the suggestion of a Comment is free user who had posted on the initial thread. In Inverness, we built part of our story about rising Scottish optimism around the Global Energy group for the same reason – as well as inviting the SNP to respond to some of your comments. The film and article about low pay in London and Swansea drew on the views and experiences of Comment is free users, as did our last story, about evangelical Christianity and social activism in Liverpool.

When we began the series, a first appeal for ideas and suggestions said this:

“We want to look at social changes that mainstream politicians always seem to understand long after they’ve happened. So, if where you live is changing fast, or stuck in a rut – or, just to maintain a note of optimism, being taken somewhere different by the efforts of people on the ground – we want to know.”

That still stands: this series is meant to be the antidote to the world as seen from Westminster and Whitehall, so if you think there’s a story that says something about where Britain is actually going, let us know.

So, a renewed appeal. This series is about society, and the economy, and what it is to live and work in modern Britain. Both culturally and geographically, the further we are from SW1, the better things seem to get. So: where should we go next, and what’s the story? This time, we’re after specific ideas rather than views and opinions. We’ll be regularly on the thread ourselves. And if you’d rather email than post here, you can contact us at © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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