John Harris

Journalist & Author

Millennial sex and Trump meltdown? Catch up on our live look at the week

Look back on our discussion about the week’s best stories and comments, with views from our journalists

4.25pm BST

We are about to close comments, but wanted to say a big thanks to all of you who joined us today … and now go forth and enjoy your weekends (whatever they entail).

As I said earlier, this is a new Friday feature. We want to create a community space for our readers to share ideas and projects, and also engage with our journalists – finding out more about editorial decisions. We welcome more opinions on how to make this format work, so please share them in this form as well as in the comments.

4.11pm BST

As it’s Friday many of you will, we hope, (and if you aren’t there already) be thinking of getting out into the countryside over the weekend.

If you’re in the UK, I can’t think of anywhere better to do this than the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales national parks, places I feel I know well after wading through the inspiring pics you sent in after their borders were re-drawn this week …

3.55pm BST

Intergenerational inequality has been in the news again, as homeownership has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years, according to the latest research by the Resolution Foundation this week.

Many young families are being locked out of the chance to own their own homes as stagnating wages and rising prices have pushed the housing crisis beyond inner London to other large cities including Manchester.

Related: Is it time to abandon the dream of owning a home? Readers’ views

3.42pm BST

Here the Guardian’s writer on social affairs talks about going to Calais to talk to lone child refugees and the response her piece garnered.

I’ve been looking at the online response to the piece we published earlier this week about lone child refugees in Calais. Broadly, it can be divided into two categories: people who say it made them feel sad or angry and people who say this isn’t Britain’s problem.

3.26pm BST

Back to politics and you are continuing to discuss Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith’s leadership hustings. Get involved by clicking on the comments here, or scrolling to the bottom of the page for more.

I’m a Labour member and pretty despairing of the whole situation. Aside from Trident, there seems very little bluewater between the two candidates, and lets face it, the whole point of Trident is that by the time its launched (or not launched) we’d be dead anyway, so we’d never actually know.

I want to get out there on the doorsteps talking about the party to constituents, but at the moment its like trying to sell a fire damaged house, and when you’re taking people round it catches fire again.

I have been a Labour Party member for 42 years, cutting my teeth supporting Margaret Jackson (Beckett) in Lincoln in 1974. It may be my age but I am increasingly pessimistic about the future of the Labour Party if we do not offer a coherent, radical vision for the future security and prosperity of everyone (possibly with the exception of Boris) in a just and tolerant society. Traditional Labour voters, in my opinion, still believe in public service, hard work, tolerance, moral responsibility and the essential goodness in people. I detect similar qualities in the vast majority of our young people. What we lack is courageous, visionary, intelligent, inspirational, practical, fiery, feisty, articulate, sensitive, inclusive, energetic leadership. Not much to ask is it?

I voted for Corbyn last time. I have no personal loyalty to him and would consider a viable alternative. However, Owen Smith is Andy Burnham Mark Two. Policy on a swivel. Soundbites and substance-free sugar.
The PLP has yet to ask why Corbyn was so popular with members, many of whom have been moderate Labour supporters for decades. Until they have that discussion and listen, yes, listen, not talk, they will continue to be baffled by leadership election results. I have contacted any number of Labour MPs in recent months and only one has had the decency to reply with anything other than an automated reply explaining how busy they are; presumably talking to each other on Twatter (no I don’t mean Twitter).

3.17pm BST

Sticking with pictures, we asked Eleni Stefanou, a social producer here at the Guardian, to talk a little about how her team are approaching the latest way to tell stories with Instagram.

Instagram introduced a new feature this week called Stories. Here are some of the similarities it shares with rival app Snapchat: posts fill the entire screen, can be drawn and written on and disappear after 24 hours. Instagrammers were quick to call out the cloning – rapper Big Narstie perhaps best capturing the mood when he tried out the feature:

“What’s going on? You feeling less like a cat and more like a squirrel today? Yep.” – Olivia on #InstagramStories!

3.01pm BST

We asked the Guardian’s picture desk to highlight some of their favourite images from the thousands they cast eyes over each week aiming to illustrate articles, and sometimes to tell their own stories. Here, picture editor Joanna Ruck shares some of her thoughts:

We receive around 20,000 photos a day into our picture system and some images just jump straight out at you – like this woman dancing during the South African elections.

Related: Voters deliver stinging rebuke to ANC in South African election

Related: Brazilians on Rio 2016: ‘I hope the Games offer a good time for everybody’

2.48pm BST

We continue to be entertained by your underwhelming holiday pics per the gallery we launched earlier. Here’s a couple more from the selection you’ve been sending in …

Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to do live theatre during an English summer.

Sent via GuardianWitness

By Richemont

5 August 2016, 11:14

The plan was very simple. Cycle out the coast and spend a nice evening on the beach with friends, have a BBQ and a few drinks. But then the British summer really did a number on us. 45 minutes of wet cycling and some overpriced fish and chips later this was the result.

Sent via GuardianWitness

By Alpeace89

5 August 2016, 11:44

Related: Your underwhelming British holiday photos

2.24pm BST

Our community team looked through the comments this week, and enjoyed the debate underneath this article, written by Guardian’s environment editor John Vidal, about pollution off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The Olympics bidding process is complete nonsense. No city bid should be accepted if the city has not already achieved sustainable, operating solutions for various basic issues including air cleanliness, water quality, safety and infrastructure. Instead, bids are accepted from places with massive problems in these areas, containing promises to ‘fix everything in time’. Why would anyone think a city like Rio would fix in the 8 years since the bid all the problems never adequately addressed in the previous 300 years?

Its simple. Once profit becomes the one and only guiding principle then everything else slides into a trough of ‘just barely livable’. The well off can isolate their living conditions, the rest do the best they can with what they have. There’s no mystery or magic to this — look at the evolution of clean water and sanitation in Victorian London, from polluted wells and ad-hoc sanitation to piped water and organized sewerage. By the turn of the 20th century access to potable water was regarded as a right, not a commodity.

Societies are actually going backwards. Privatization is retrogressive, a necessary step only for societies who have run out of options to make profits from productive labor. Its ultimately self-defeating as the health and welfare of the population as a whole is compromised.

Brazil has a vast coastline of pristine beaches, so why do the events have to be held in Rio at all? I will never understand this rigid, inflexible focus on coming out parties for Olympic cities.
It was unrealistic to expect any cleanup when you factor in the “squatter” slums of some four million people that surround the city, built without water or sanitation. Cities should already be clean when that corrupt bidding process begins.

2.04pm BST

The week before the Olympics is always a drag. It dawdles along with all the urgency of a slug in summer, only stopping to spit out bad news. So far week we’ve had word from Rio that the judges and referees might be corrupt, the water is dangerous, the infrastructure is collapsing, and that Great Britain might not even exist by the time the next Olympics come along.

But we’ve been here before. In the week before London 2012 we worried about athletes not going to the opening ceremony, transport confusion and the exorbitant cost of the whole thing.

Related: ‘It completely changed my life’: your memories from London 2012

1.47pm BST

With the Olympics upon us, Jason Burke’s piece about elite Kenyan distance runners shone brilliant light on the mess of stuff that lies behind international competition: global inequality, the way athletics funds whole chunks of Kenyan society, the constant shadow of doping, and the fact that many Kenyans see athletics as “a shortcut to financial security and success.” The quotes alone were fascinating, as in the case of the marathon runner Wesley Korir, who’ll be competing in Rio. “People always ask: Why do we run so fast?” he said. “There’s a simple answer. We are running away from poverty.”

Related: Eldoret: the Kenyan town trying to ‘run away from poverty’

1.18pm BST

We also asked our readers for views on the study which said millennials are having less sex. Here are two very different responses.

Millennials are not less interested in sex, we just have less to prove about it.

In the UK at least, 1990s “ladette” culture saw young women proving their feminist credentials by being more like the boys and having more casual sexual encounters than they might actually have wanted to. Millennials, on the other hand, have no pressure from family to remain virginal (my mum put me on the pill and bought me condoms without batting an eyelid), but also no pressure to be sexually liberated either.

There are many reasons why millennials are less into sex, the main one being the rise in technology. Social skills are dependent on human interaction, and nowadays people do not make effort to go out and meet others, they prefer to stay in and interact online instead. This coupled with worries about contracting sexually transmitted diseases means a lot of people would rather just stay in and watch porn.

1.17pm BST

The sex lives of millennials came under the microscope this week. Here, Nicola Davis, who writes about science and technology for the Guardian and Observer, talks about working on this story.

One of the studies I covered this week looked at the sex lives of Americans, revealing that a greater proportion of young adults today are abstinent than they were in previous generations. The study is the latest in a string of papers based on the US General Social Survey – which has asked questions about sexual behaviour almost every year since the late 1980s. And, as always, it throws up food for thought.

1.10pm BST

I asked for some opinions on last night’s Labour leadership debate (yes, really, John … )

You are really asking for it.

Do you go around poking sleeping dogs with sticks too?

For myself I’ve completely lost interest in Labour’s internal war because it just doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Both sides have become firmly entrenched in their beliefs and believe their Labour would romp to victory if only it weren’t for the other side and their wrong-headed ideas. They don’t seem to be willing to risk a split either, so we can probably expect Labour to remain a lame duck for the foreseeable future.

It doesn’t matter what anyone says or does in the leadership campaign – Corbyn is bound to win by a large margin, but that’s not going to make a jot of difference. Frankly I’m somewhat surprised that Smith chose to run – he seems like a bright spark and he must surely know that it’s a foregone conclusion. He could have left Eagle to take the fall.

It does seem to be picking up attention as the morning goes on, but outside the guardian have been quite shocked by how little coverage it got in the news at breakfast. No matter what you think about it it is the leader of the party in place to hold the government to account so deserves more than a passing nod.

Almost nobody in the office knew it was going on… and I have to admit I completely forgot about it last night despite being a regular on these pages and more politically engaged than the average Joe.

12.58pm BST

The weather in the UK hasn’t been great lately, and readers have been telling us – and showing us – their experiences of a very British summer so far. Many of you will recognise the scenes in this gallery showcasing some of the, er, ‘best’ images – if you have shots of your own you can add them too by clicking on the blue GuardianWitness contribute buttons on this article.

Related: Your underwhelming British holiday photos

12.41pm BST

Zofia Niemtus is commissioning editor for the Guardian’s education networks.

My favourite story of the week came on Tuesday and involved a volcano that looked like a smiley face. In fact, that was the entire thing: a helicopter flew over the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii and filmed some lava that looked like two eyes and a grinning mouth. But those 20 seconds of footage became so much more.

12.13pm BST

Every week we will draw attention to the stories people have been reading – with the aim of prompting debate around them.

Among our most-read this week was a stream of stories about a man who gets more air-time (mainly for his outrageous comments) than a plane: Donald Trump. This week the Republican candidate went for Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American soldier who died to protect his unit. Khan rebuked Trump as unpatriotic and selfish, to which Trump said: “I’d like to hear his wife say something.” Another popular comment piece asked: Trump has gone totally off the rails. Will his base finally notice?

Related: Hillary Clinton bikini mural covered with niqab after public decency complaints

Related: Pokémon Go: five tricks for pro players that are almost as good as cheats

12.01pm BST

Hello and welcome to our second Guardian social. The idea is simple: every week we will open a comment thread below a live blog, creating a space for our readers to come together and discuss the week’s news and comment. It’s also a place to also share projects and ideas.

We will update the blog above the line with views from inside the building, including insight from our journalists on articles they’ve worked on.

Continue reading…

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 6th, 2016 at 2:20 pm and is filed under Guardian RSS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. « Fly the flag for Team GB. After all, it’s probably the last hurrah for ‘Britain’ | John Harris | If the Trotskyists are on the march there’s chaos ahead | John Harris »
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