Britain

Families and survivors hold seven-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 17 January 2018

Some 1,500 people, including survivors and the families of those who died in last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, staged their monthly Silent March on January 14.

UK: The political lessons of Carillion’s collapse

By Julie Hyland, 17 January 2018

When CEOs, accountants, regulators and governments are all implicated in such events, it is not the corruption of a single corporate entity that is at issue, but the capitalist profit system itself.

UK: Election of pro-Corbyn slate to Labour’s National Executive Committee underscores left shift in working class

By Chris Marsden, 16 January 2018

Corbyn is now in control of his cabinet and, following various reshuffles, has a majority of the party membership and now the NEC.

UK: Carillion collapse threatens jobs and pensions, exposing plunder of social assets

By Julie Hyland, 16 January 2018

There are reports of banks shifting Carillion off their balance sheets over the last months in anticipation of its inevitable folding.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS assets

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.

Fraud of official inquiry into Grenfell fire exposed by forced withdrawal of project management adviser

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

The scandal over KPMG serves once again to dispel any illusions that the official Grenfell inquiry has anything to do with establishing the truth or holding the guilty to account.

UK government refuses to pay for essential safety improvements six months after Grenfell fire

By Margot Miller, 12 January 2018

While 36 councils have applied for help with funding, housing minister Alok Sharma recently conceded that no money has been handed over to date.

New publication by Mehring Books (UK)

The falsification of David King’s work

12 January 2018

Mehring Books has produced a new pamphlet to memorialise David King, who devoted his extraordinary artistic gifts to salvaging the historical truth of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath.

UK: Cabinet reshuffle leaves May’s government impotent and divided

By Chris Marsden, 11 January 2018

The crisis in the Tory party over Britain’s exit from the European Union is behind a renewed offensive to shape the Labour Party as the leadership of a pro-Remain government.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

“Sexual misconduct” witch-hunt targets conductor Charles Dutoit, director Max Stafford-Clarke and actor Ed Westwick

By Paul Bond, 11 January 2018

Just before Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had cancelled appearances by its artistic director, 81-year-old conductor Charles Dutoit.

Britain's Guardian newspaper registers concern at collapse of high-profile rape cases

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 9 January 2018

Events that confirm the fundamental importance of the presumption of innocence have been met with undisguised antipathy from those sections of the media most closely involved with the #MeToo campaign.

UK: Social media giants face sanctions if they fail to provide “proof” of Russian interference

By Julie Hyland, 9 January 2018

The select committee’s aim is to manufacture a pretext for imperialist intrigues against Russia while censoring alternative media sources.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

British National Health Service faces escalating crisis due to chronic underfunding

By Dennis Moore, 5 January 2018

The head of the Kings College hospital trust, one of the largest in the UK, resigned citing the inability of hospitals to provide adequate care amidst soaring demand.

More Britons than ever forced into homelessness due to rent increases

By Tom Pearce, 4 January 2018

The horror stories featured in this year’s report by the local government and social care ombudsman reveal a situation comparable to Victorian slum housing.

Head of Britain’s NHS demands national roll-out of drunk tanks

By Julie Hyland, 3 January 2018

There is a direct relationship between this orgy of financial parasitism and the explosion of self-medication.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Profiteering by insulation industry central to Grenfell Tower fire in London

By Tom Pearce, 28 December 2017

One UK government department was peddling combustible plastic products even as another was being warned of the risks of using plastic insulation in residential buildings.

UK: Thousands to see in the New Year sleeping rough on the streets

By Margot Miller, 28 December 2017

More than 9,000 people are rough sleepers and 78,000 families are living in temporary accommodation in England alone, including 120,000 children.

UK steps up provocations against Russia

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 27 December 2017

The effort to play up the passage of a Russian warship through the North Sea on Christmas Day is only the latest example of the UK’s escalating propaganda campaign against Russia.

UK Conservatives seek closer economic ties with China

By Jean Shaoul, 27 December 2017

The announcement points to the divergence between Britain’s commercial interests and those of its foremost ally, the United States.

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2017

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.

Engineering workers occupy three BiFab yards in Scotland

By Darren Paxton and Sandy Campbell, 23 December 2017

Although workers effectively took control of the yards, the GMB and Unite trade unions were at pains to insist the action was a “work-in.”

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

UK report singles out schools with “high levels of disadvantage” for attack

By Tania Kent, 21 December 2017

Schools nationally will see a funding cut of 1.5 to 3 percent this year.

Report finds steady increase in UK child and pensioner poverty

By Margot Miller, 21 December 2017

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1,252,000 people—including 312,000 children—were destitute at some point in 2015.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Oppose media witch-hunt against “the left” over Grenfell fire

By Robert Stevens, 18 December 2017

The aim is to conceal the fact that, half a year on, no one has been questioned about, let alone arrested for, the inferno that killed more than 70 people.

EU summit agrees talks will move forward, but Brexit crisis continues

By Chris Marsden, 16 December 2017

Guidelines issued for the UK on Brexit stipulate that it must adopt all new European Union laws created during the transition period, while being excluded from any decision-making role.

Brexit crisis deepens after Tory revolt on eve of EU summit

By Chris Marsden, 15 December 2017

The parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May has been hailed as proof of a majority for a “soft Brexit”—preserving at all costs full access to the Single European Market.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

Grenfell fire inquiry opens: No one faces police questioning until autumn 2018

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2017

In the week prior to the procedural hearings, survivors launched a petition to demand that the blatantly undemocratic nature of the inquiry be changed.

Millions of the poorest in the UK eat an unhealthy diet

By Thomas Scripps, 13 December 2017

Under the impact of cuts to social services, falling wages and rising food prices, many working people are unable to provide themselves, and particularly their children, with a healthy diet.

“We need to talk about Jeremy”: The City of London discusses its attitude to a Labour government

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership team has spent months persuading ruling circles that Labour can be trusted to take the reins of state.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

UK “Magnitsky bill” escalates US-led anti-Russia offensive

By Julie Hyland, 11 December 2017

The move by right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin is part of a cross-party effort to build pressure for a far more aggressive stance against Moscow.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

British “aid” diverted to jihadi forces in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 8 December 2017

The revelations confirm Britain’s covert support of jihadi forces as proxies to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

UK terror report confirms Manchester and London terror attackers known to MI5

By Robert Stevens, 7 December 2017

A report into four terror attacks in the UK this year found that at least one could have been prevented—raising the question why police and the intelligence services failed to do so.

Former UK minister indicates Brexit referendum “deal” between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2017

According to Ken Clarke, Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s British arm, News International, said she was “running the government now in partnership with David Cameron.”

Proposed Brexit deal blocked by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2017

The May government has failed to reach an agreement with the European Union after seven months of acrimonious talks.

Grenfell fire families challenge government inquiry cover-up

By Robert Stevens, 5 December 2017

The petition represents the first major independent challenge to the government’s plans to carry out a cover-up of the events that led to the deaths of at least 71 people.

Betrayal of UK rail workers’ fight against driver only operations reveals treacherous role of unions

By Michael Barnes, 4 December 2017

The sellout of Southern rail workers—with conductors holding 39 days of strikes and drivers many days of walkouts—demonstrates there is no line the unions will not cross.

UK government rocked by Trump’s fascistic twitter postings

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2017

Following Trump’s unprecedented public attack on the Prime Minister, the alliance between the two countries has never been shakier.

One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

By Dennis Moore, 2 December 2017

A new study by the homeless charity Shelter shows widespread and pervasive homelessness across the UK, with an additional 13,000 without accommodation in the last year alone.

UK Labour staffer death is second linked to unproved allegations of sexual harassment

By Julie Hyland, 1 December 2017

The presumption of innocence until proven guilty has been jettisoned based on unsubstantiated allegations, rumour, innuendo and gossip.

Choreographed media fawning over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 1 December 2017

The engagement has much to do with well-placed concerns in ruling circles that when the 91-year-old reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth, dies, this could fuel republican sympathies.

“We’re human beings, not slaves and animals”

UK newspaper exposé details Amazon’s super-exploitation of workforce

By Robert Stevens and John Newham, 30 November 2017

A Sunday Mirror reporter conducted a five-week undercover investigation at Amazon’s Tilbury fulfilment centre

Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution

How the Bolshevik Revolution saved avant-garde art

By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017

The curators have carefully selected objects to reflect the different fields of avant-garde art—providing a serious historical narrative about its development before and after the Bolshevik Revolution.

“The Bolshevik Revolution liberated art and artists”

Radical Russia: an interview with curator Peter Waldron

By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017

Curator Peter Waldron spoke to the WSWS about the Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and the Royal Fabergé exhibition running in parallel.

UK health care cuts will lead to 100 additional deaths each day

By Margot Miller, 28 November 2017

A landmark study reveals the dirty secret of austerity policies being imposed all over the world: the more money is cut, the more people are sent to an early grave.

UK living standards facing longest decline in more than 60 years

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2017

Average earnings of workers in 2021 are expected to be lower in real terms than in 2008.

Bus workers in northwest England escalate strikes for pay parity

By John Newham, 27 November 2017

As more disputes erupt, the unions are doing everything to contain the situation and oppose any united offensive by transport workers.

UK Electoral Commission investigates Leave campaign finances in Brexit referendum

By Julie Hyland, 25 November 2017

The UK Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum on British membership of the European Union breached its £7 million spending limit.

UK to offer larger EU “divorce settlement” to overcome stalled Brexit talks

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2017

The competing factions within the British ruling elite are seeking to steer a way out of unprecedented crisis under conditions in which the entire edifice of the European Union is crumbling.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Letter from welfare advice worker on introduction of Universal Credit benefits

UK claimants deeply anxious, even suicidal, due to welfare sanctions

By our correspondent, 21 November 2017

The World Socialist Web Site received this submission on the introduction of Universal Credit in the UK from a welfare advice worker.

A third of UK children in poverty, with rate set to rise

By Margot Miller, 20 November 2017

A report predicts a 4 percent national increase in children in families living in poverty, or 400,000 additional children in families with incomes of 60 percent or less of the median.

Grenfell Tower “independent” task force produces whitewash report

By Steve James, 18 November 2017

The report avoids any reference to the fire’s origins in national and local policy decisions, including the deregulation and privatisation of fire safety and building control, as well as fire service cuts.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

EU anti-“fake news” authority prepares mass censorship

By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2017

The EU is preparing censorship aimed not at false information, but at news reports or political views that encourage popular opposition to the European ruling class.

May deploys anti-Russian propaganda to distract from Brexit crisis

By Julie Hyland, 15 November 2017

The UK prime minister’s claims underscore how unsubstantiated allegations of Russian “interference” and “fake news” have become the refuge for crisis-ridden politicians the world over.

Socialist Equality Party holds meeting on Google censorship at Manchester Metropolitan University

By our reporters, 15 November 2017

The meeting outlined the political context in which the term “fake news” is used to justify censorship.

Strikes at five UK rail companies

By our reporter, 13 November 2017

Outside London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station, large pickets were mounted as up to half of all services were cancelled.

Five million people in UK earn less than £8.10 an hour

By Thomas Scripps, 13 November 2017

Full-time employment is now out of reach for many, with growing numbers forced into precarious part-time and self-employment.

May’s Conservative government faces possible collapse over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 11 November 2017

European Union officials have let it be known that they are making contingency plans based on Prime Minister Theresa May not surviving beyond the end of this year.

Metropolitan Police try to block Freedom of Information requests over Grenfell Tower

By Simon Whelan, 11 November 2017

Attempts to stifle information over the Grenfell Tower inferno come as it has been revealed that 52 London tower blocks are similarly clad in flammable material.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

More than a quarter of Londoners live in poverty

By Alice Summers, 9 November 2017

Twenty-seven percent of London residents live in poverty, according to a study by poverty charity Trust for London.

UK rail workers escalate strikes in the face of scab operation

By Michael Barnes, 8 November 2017

Ahead of the strikes, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling declared the Conservative government’s intention to coordinate a national strike-breaking operation.

SEP national secretary proposes “Capitalism Has Failed” at St Andrews University Union Debating Society

By our reporter, 7 November 2017

Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, won substantial support for the proposition that capitalism is an “abject failure.”

Escalation of Universal Credit rollout in UK threatens millions more with poverty

By Robert Stevens, 4 November 2017

As well as facing delays in receiving the Universal Credit payments, many of those on the benefit face punitive “sanctions” aimed at cutting the pittance they receive even further.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Art auction for Grenfell fire survivors raises £2 million

By Paul Bond, 30 October 2017

The auction in London met up with the feeling of solidarity that many people have with those devastated by the fire.

Survey of UK nurses exposes staff crisis in National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 28 October 2017

214 out of 224 acute hospitals operated without an adequate level of nursing staff during day shifts last October, while 85 percent of them did not have proper staff levels on night shifts.

London: Public-private housing partnership to enforce social cleansing in Haringey Borough

By Ross Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 27 October 2017

Many working class people will be forced out of a borough where 48 percent of households have either no savings or are in debt.

Grenfell Fire Forum launches Facebook page

By our reporters, 26 October 2017

One Forum participant said the Facebook page “will be important to give a voice to the survivors, many of whose terrible experiences have still to be told.”

Road death of UK pensioner the result of tragic circumstances

By Dennis Moore, 25 October 2017

According to evidence presented, Yate had been working a continual week of night shifts at a supermarket in a losing battle to try and pay off £50,000 in debts.

Tsar to Lenin screens to sold out audiences in London and Manchester

By our reporters, 25 October 2017

The documentary was shown on October 14 at HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, and at the Barbican Centre in London on October 22.

Airbnb and eBay paying virtually no tax in the UK

By Margot Miller, 24 October 2017

While profits soar to exponential heights, corporations engage in myriad complex scams to evade paying even the minimal and ever decreasing corporate taxes levied by governments.

UK: BAE Systems and Vauxhall to impose mass job losses

By Dennis Moore, 23 October 2017

Job losses at Vauxhall and BAE Systems are among thousands of cuts across the UK as the economy stagnates.

Post-Grenfell: More than £400 million needed to make London residential buildings safe

By Tom Pearce, 20 October 2017

London has 32 boroughs, of which just 21 answered a survey on the cost of planned remedial safety work.

Rift deepens between Britain and European Union as talks reach no agreement

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2017

EU leaders will today inform British Prime Minister Theresa May that after five rounds of negotiations over the terms of its exit from the EU, the UK needs to make further concessions.

Hurricane Ophelia’s tail hits Ireland and UK

By Margot Miller, 17 October 2017

Three lives were reported lost and winds of up to 109 mph left 360,000 homes and businesses without power in the Republic of Ireland.

Youth suicides at a record high in the UK

By Alice Summers, 14 October 2017

Economic and academic pressures on young people are exacerbated by a systemic decrease of funding for mental health counselling.

UK school funding crisis worsens

By Tom Pearce, 14 October 2017

Due to budget cuts, schools have asked for donations from businesses to provide basic necessities, resulting in further reliance on the private sector.

UK government refuses funds for unsafe tower blocks post-Grenfell

By Robert Stevens, 13 October 2017

No money has been made available to fund the installation of sprinkler systems, despite fire brigades stating that they are essential to prevent fires spreading.

British Clinical Commissioning Group to slash health services in Dorset

By Ajanta Silva, 11 October 2017

More than 75,000 people signed petitions against the Clinical Service Review, with many thousands across the county participating in protest marches, meetings and gatherings in Dorchester, Poole and Bournemouth.

UK draws up plans to back US military attack on North Korea

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2017

At the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said his government was prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea or another adversary.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

London’s Garden Bridge project abandoned at massive cost

By Paul Bond, 9 October 2017

From an original proposal to pay only “enabling costs” from public funds, £60 million towards capital cost was committed by Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson and then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Tory party on verge of leadership contest after disastrous conference performance by May

By Robert Stevens, 7 October 2017

Theresa May only remains in place to keep the party together and avoid an eruption of unrestrained factional warfare.

Huge increase in UK firefighters with mental health problems

By Dennis Moore, 6 October 2017

Many of the firefighters who tackled the Grenfell fire suffered mental health problems following that terrible event.