John Harris

Journalist & Author

The British public are careful and calm – the problem is that the government isn’t | John Harris

A view of people as rule-breaking chancers is being used as a distraction from the Conservatives’ failures. They mustn’t get away with it
This is what a true crisis feels like. The UK has now recorded more than 100,000 deaths from coronavirus and, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser, the daily toll will continue to be awful “for some weeks”. Our capital city is so overrun that Covid patients are being moved…

You don’t have to be a lockdown sceptic to worry about how Covid is being policed | John Harris

All the ‘tough’ talk ignores who is always targeted in such crackdowns, and those who still need help
The lockdown sceptics, it seems, are in abeyance. Opportunistic media voices who made a habit of denying the necessity of restrictions and the severity of the pandemic are still here, but noticeably quieter. Only 16 MPs, split between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist party, voted against the government’s latest measures. Bursts of dissent about restrictions…

‘Open all schools!’ ‘Close all schools!’ What England really needs is creative thinking | John Harris

The pandemic has sparked a shouting match. Instead we should be working out how to keep everyone in education safe
The crisis enveloping schools, and the noisy resentment it has sparked, reflect just about every aspect of England’s Covid-19 story. The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, has taken the government’s grim mixture of arrogance and incompetence to new depths. When Boris Johnson was interviewed by Andrew Marr today it was striking to see…

Fear, mistrust – and hope: Britain’s long walk away from the EU

For many, Friday marks a departure as mind-boggling as it is heartbreaking. But the path to Brexit was laid years before the referendum
As a previous Tory prime minister trying to find his way through difficult times once said: this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Brexit is hardly complete. The last-minute nature of the UK’s trade deal…

Throughout history Britain’s ruling class has created crisis after crisis – just like now | John Harris

Boris Johnson’s run of bad decisions on Brexit and Covid have their roots in a saga of elite entitlement and superficiality
When the novelist John le Carré died earlier this month, among the passages quoted by journalists was a short excerpt from The Secret Pilgrim, published in 1990. In the book, the words are spoken by Le Carré’s fondly loved character George Smiley. “The privately educated Englishman – and Englishwoman, if you will…

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