John Harris

Journalist & Author

My problem with Spotify – even though I’m a subscriber | John Harris

It’s a miracle of the age, but Spotify’s suspect ‘playlists’, shaky finances and low pay are bad for music fans and creators alike
In the last 20 or so years of technological revolution, has any artform been as transformed as music? Film and literature may still be adjusting to new platforms and business ideas, but they cling to the same basic rules. Art and theatre seem largely unchanged. As Netflix and Amazon Prime embed themselves…

We can solve the UK’s housing crisis – with a little imagination | John Harris

Too many of the new houses being built in Britain are unaffordable or badly constructed. But viable alternatives exist
Housebuilding, housebuilding, housebuilding. Last year, Theresa May pledged to make “the British dream a reality by reigniting home ownership in Britain once again”, and insisted she was taking “personal charge” of the effort to solve the country’s housing problems. Not long after, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, promised to eventually ensure the construction

What happens when the jobs dry up in the new world? The left must have an answer | John Harris

We need to address the questions raised by rapid automation, and find new ways to redistribute power
If modern Britain has a defining problem, it boils down to an across-the-board failure to leave the past behind. Brexit, self-evidently, is a profoundly retrogressive project, helmed by Tory politicians split between continuity Thatcherites and devotees of a supposed one-nation Conservatism who still yearn for a quiet, sepia-tinted England. The latter are personified, in her own shaky way,…

Rats, mould and broken furniture: the scandal of the UK’s refugee housing

The Home Office says that asylum seekers deserve ‘safe, habitable’ homes. What too many of them get is filth and squalor
The cramped upstairs box room was meant to be used by one of Duminda’s children, but it is not in a fit state. An old mattress is propped up against the wall, and behind it is an expanse of black-green mould. In the downstairs bathroom, there is similarly widespread damp, and a smell that…

Theresa May can rally her troops, but the Tory party is dying on its feet | John Harris

The botched reshuffle is a short term fix for the Conservatives, who haven’t even begun to address the structural problems they face
In all the noise surrounding this week’s reshuffle, one sound in particular has been unmistakable: that of rising Tory angst about the party’s future. It might be strange to witness such self-doubt at the moment Britain’s departure from the EU looks set to realise so many Conservative dreams. But Brexit is…

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