Britain

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

Manchester “anti-Semitism” protest

Blairites and Tories share platform calling for Corbyn’s removal

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2018

Tory MP Chris Green not only called for Corbyn’s removal, but suggested how the Blairites could defy the democratic will of their own party’s members.

UK government attempt to gag teachers as cuts deepen

By Tania Kent, 21 September 2018

The government reaction must be seen as a warning: not only will school cuts continue unabated but that they will move forcefully against any attempts to block their austerity agenda.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

UK: Fresh novichok allegations used to escalate anti-Russia offensive

By Thomas Scripps, 19 September 2018

The crucial question is not to uncover every aspect of the dealings between spies of capitalist states, but to understand to what ends the British narrative of the Skripal affair is being pursued.

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

UN special rapporteur to examine extreme poverty in the UK

By Barry Mason, 17 September 2018

That the UK now requires such a visit demonstrates the impact of more than £110 billion in austerity cuts and the destruction of one million public sector jobs.

UK Food Foundation: Four million children have poor diets

By Liz Smith, 17 September 2018

The situation worsened during the summer school holidays, with an estimated 3 million children nationwide at risk of going hungry.

Tory faction fight over Brexit escalates as leadership challenge to May threatened

By Robert Stevens, 15 September 2018

The “hard Brexit” wing of the ruling Tories is facing a backlash due to concerns in business circles over the economic consequences.

Mehring Books UK publishes The Heritage We Defend 30th anniversary edition

15 September 2018

The new edition of the foundational 1988 work by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, is now available for order in the UK and Ireland.

Grenfell Fire: Fire Brigades Union warned of cladding dangers 19 years ago

By Paul Bond, 14 September 2018

The FBU report proves that every aspect of fire safety had failed at Grenfell Tower, due to decades of deregulation and cuts, long before the fire broke out.

British nationalist Nigel Farage addresses co-thinkers in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 September 2018

Farage was sponsored by corporate interests and welcomed by prominent powerbrokers within the governing Liberal Party.

UK: Rival Socialist Party members vie for position as deputy leader of civil servants union

By Robert Stevens, 13 September 2018

The sordid episode demonstrates that the pseudo-left organisations have no independence from the trade union bureaucracy.

Trades Union Congress in Britain silent on anti-Corbyn coup plot

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2018

The TUC crowed that this year’s congress marked the 150th anniversary of its founding, but not one platform speaker even referred to the attack on the leader of the Labour party established by the unions.

Huge rise in deaths of homeless people in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Across Britain, it is common to see tents and encampments set up in cleared wooded areas, underneath bridges, underpasses, or the less noisy areas of city centres.

Wonga payday loans collapse shows extent of UK poverty

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Under conditions of deeper austerity and growing financial insecurity, the collapse of Wonga will not bring an end to the payday lending crisis for millions of people.

Britain: No-confidence motions passed against leading Blairite MPs

By Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2018

The Blairites have no compunction about defying Labour members and will only go if they are forced out.

British media blacks out self-immolation of woman at Barnet council office

By Tom Pearce, 8 September 2018

The Conservative-run Barnet council has long been known for its cost-cutting and privatisation of services.

UK “identifies” Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2018

The government’s narrative, supplied by the same security services that faked “evidence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” cannot be taken at face value.

May stakes out Britain’s imperialist ambitions in Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 7 September 2018

While aid has always been about Britain’s geo-strategic interests, in future it will be used not to alleviate poverty, but to boost Britain’s business interests.

Retreat by Corbynites on anti-Semitism definition emboldens UK right wing

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 6 September 2018

Once again, Corbyn and his immediate coterie have capitulated in the hope of appeasing their critics and maintaining party unity.

Report by Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media undermines claims of chemical attack in Douma

By Paul Bond, 6 September 2018

In the face of the orchestrated attack on the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media as “Apologists for Assad,” the careful work by Paul McKeigue, Jake Mason, David Miller and Piers Robinson is all the more noteworthy.

The Socialist Equality Party and the anti-Corbyn coup plot: A reply to a reader

By Chris Marsden, 5 September 2018

The SEP does not cede leadership to Corbyn, nor stand aside from a political fight that is pitching tens of thousands of workers and youth against a rightist cabal of pro-austerity and pro-war criminals.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

Further evidence of official criminality surfaces as Grenfell fire inquiry resumes

By Robert Stevens, 1 September 2018

The inquiry will not bring justice as it is the creature of the Conservative government and, under the provisions of the 2005 Inquires Act, has no powers to prosecute anyone.

Royal College of Nursing union chief resigns amid mounting anger over NHS pay deal

By our reporters, 1 September 2018

National Health Service workers have spoken to NHS FightBack reporting teams about the pay deal, with many angered at the unions for accepting it.

Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2018

The lying campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite aims to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and war.

French, British boats clash over English Channel scallops amid Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 31 August 2018

The clash highlighted how unexpected conflicts could erupt over Britain’s exit from the EU amid the relentless stoking of nationalism on both sides of the Channel.

The “spice” drug crisis in Britain

By Anna Mayer, 29 August 2018

The prevalence of the drug “spice” among the homeless highlights that the roots of the pandemic are social, not individual.

UK Court of Appeal reinstates Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba

By Ajanta Silva, 29 August 2018

Despite only being a trainee paediatrician at the time of Jack Adcock's death, the responsibilities heaped on Bawa-Garba as a junior doctor that day were extraordinary.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council and the obliteration of local authority services provision

By Paul Bond, 28 August 2018

The council is “reviewing” how to reduce the number of children who are taken into care , cut support for those with learning disabilities and introduce fees or charges for services.

UK foreign secretary uses US visit to support Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2018

For the hard Brexit faction, the future of May’s premiership is understood in terms of days and weeks—with Johnson’s leadership challenge gathering pace.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

Amazon Prime Day produces 209 percent increase in UK health and safety complaints

By Steve James, 24 August 2018

Prime Day saw strikes at Amazon warehouses in Germany and Spain and a work to rule in Poland.

UK Labour leader Corbyn silent on Afghanistan troop deployment

By Paul Mitchell, 23 August 2018

May’s announcement is a servile response to the demands of Trump, who has reversed his election promise to reduce US involvement in Afghanistan.

Anger over sell-out pay deal at Sheffield Supertram

By Laura Tiernan, 22 August 2018

Under the new agreement, pay will reportedly rise by just £1,700 over three years for a Supertram driver and £1,600 for conductors, far below rates for drivers and conductors at Manchester Metrolink who are covered by the same union.

UK: Boris Johnson gathers support for pro-Brexit Tory leadership challenge

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

Johnson’s anti-burqa comments and the leadership ambitions that informed them were spurred on by effusive support from Trump and his former adviser, Steve Bannon.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman takes his place alongside anti-Corbyn witch-hunters

By Julie Hyland, 20 August 2018

Whatever the progressive sentiments of those who signed up to the project, the Momentum network was from the very start aimed at controlling and ultimately sabotaging any genuine challenge to the right.

London: Ecuador embassy vigil marks six years since Julian Assange granted asylum

By Paul Mitchell, 18 August 2018

If forced out, Assange faces arrest by British police and imprisonment on bail infringement charges relating to a case dropped by Sweden over a year ago.

UK: Westminster “terror incident” remains unclear

By Paul Bond, 18 August 2018

While the authorities are not yet able to confirm that the incident was a terrorist attack, it will be used to intensify policing powers and surveillance across the capital.

UK artists’ visa refusals highlight tightened legislation against migrants

By Paul Bond, 17 August 2018

Implementation of the repressive Control Order was confirmed in operational guidance to border staff last month.

Anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn links opposition to Israel’s crimes with support for terrorism

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2018

The British Labour Party leader is seeking to appease rather than confront his opponents, whose attack centres on the claim that opposition to Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

British government’s educational “reforms” exacerbate inequality, reduce school funding

By Alice Summers, 16 August 2018

The policies of both Labour and Conservative governments have led to massive spending cuts, threats to teacher pay and privatisation.

UK: Police take no action over far-right attack on Bookmarks bookstore

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2018

Despite London being the CCTV capital of the world and the fascist perpetrators gleefully posting videos of their activities on social media, there have been no reports to date of the police detaining, arresting or charging anyone.

UK: Three police officers acquitted of misconduct in restraint death

By Paul Bond, 15 August 2018

The victim was suffering an epileptic seizure when he was seized and forcibly restrained by seven policemen, who held him face down.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions

By Steve James, 14 August 2018

Serco wrote to Glasgow City Council of its intention to evict “former Asylum Seekers who do not wish to engage in voluntary return, and who the Home Office have determined have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

UK government warned of dangers of flammable cladding three years before Grenfell fire

By Tom Pearce, 14 August 2018

The warnings are further evidence of the vast criminality committed at Grenfell by the political and corporate elite.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

International artists’ visa refusals highlight UK government’s “hostile environment” against migrants

By Paul Bond, 13 August 2018

The racist visa bans have provoked widespread protests, condemning them and their parallels with the 1930s.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

Based on bogus charges of anti-Semitism

Details emerge of plot to oust Corbyn or split UK Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 11 August 2018

In their plot to remove Corbyn, Labour’s right wing are reasserting the nakedly neo-liberal and militarist agenda pursued by Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Julian Assange reportedly asked to give secret interview to US Senate Intelligence Committee

By Mike Head, 9 August 2018

WikiLeaks said it received a request for Assange to answer questions about supposed “Russian interference” in the 2016 election.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

UK: Haringey Development Vehicle scheme scrapped, but social cleansing threat remains

By Paul Bond, 8 August 2018

The scheme would have seen the demolition of 1,400 council houses and their replacement by luxury developments and supposedly “affordable” properties.

UK: Unite suspends strike action on Sheffield Supertram to recommend sellout deal

By Tony Robson, 8 August 2018

The full details of the revised deal will not be disclosed publicly until the result of the ballot has been announced, but it amounts to a meagre 4 pence increase on the original offer.

UK: Victims of state surveillance to take legal action against Undercover Policing Inquiry

By Thomas Scripps, 7 August 2018

From the outset, the inquiry did not require the police to reveal their operations and accepted as participants only some of those who already knew themselves to be victims.

Fascists attack left-wing bookshop in central London

By Robert Stevens, 6 August 2018

The attack is part of the orchestrated and well-funded resurgence of far-right activity in Britain and internationally.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Smearing of Corbyn as an anti-Semite prepares right-wing breakaway from Labour

By Julie Hyland, 4 August 2018

The Blairite right wing is openly discussing a “declaration of independence from Corbyn’s Labour” by much of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

NHS trade unions’ “best deal in eight years” revealed as a fraud

By Ajanta Silva, 4 August 2018

Health workers are expressing outrage as the truth about the latest union sellout comes to light.

What is behind the talk of a Brexit “national emergency”?

By Julie Hyland, 3 August 2018

Underlying the febrile atmosphere that has developed since the Brexit referendum vote are explosive class tensions.

Julian Assange’s lawyer: Australian government has a “duty” to protect him

By Mike Head, 2 August 2018

Jennifer Robinson said the WikiLeaks editor wants to exercise his right to return to Australia, provided he is protected from extradition to the US.

British Navy evacuated Manchester bomber Salman Abedi from Libya in 2014

By Robert Stevens, 2 August 2018

It was known at top levels of the British state that Abedi had travelled on the ship, but the public, including the families of his victims, was kept in the dark for over a year.

Dawn Sturgess funeral held in UK as unanswered questions mount in novichok crisis

By Thomas Scripps, 1 August 2018

The Conservative government is desperate to contain and control a story in which not a single word from the authorities can be believed.

UK: Memorial event held 25 years after Joy Gardner’s killing

By Steve James, 1 August 2018

The event last Saturday marked 25 years since the 1993 murder of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner by the British government’s Alien Deportation Squad.

Hundreds of residential tower blocks still covered in Grenfell-type flammable cladding

By Margot Miller, 31 July 2018

Thirteen months after the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 72 people, tens of thousands throughout the UK are still residing in tower blocks covered in flammable cladding.

British police and intelligence using children as spies

By Steve James, 31 July 2018

A report from the British House of Lords committee has revealed the use of teenagers, including those under 16, as undercover agents for the police and intelligence services.

Annie Swynnerton—a Victorian artist rediscovered but misinterpreted

An exhibition at the Manchester Art Gallery

By Paul Mitchell and Margot Miller, 31 July 2018

Until the end of this year, the Manchester Art Gallery exhibition Painting Light and Hope is showing 36 paintings of forgotten Victorian artist Annie Louisa Swynnerton (1844-1933), a native of the city.

Local councils in England selling off over 4,000 public spaces and buildings per year

By Alice Summers, 30 July 2018

Vital public facilities are being lost to working-class communities, while selling formerly council-owned parks and squares restricts right of access to previous public spaces.

Bogus anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn and the “left” escalates

By Jean Shaoul and Chris Marsden, 28 July 2018

The attack on Corbyn and his supporters centres on measures that would criminalise criticism of the State of Israel for its persecution of the Palestinians as a form of anti-Semitism

Twenty-five years since the death of Joy Gardner

By Julie Hyland, 28 July 2018

Behind the actions of the police officers involved, Joy’s killing was the result of deliberate government policy.

The killing of Joy Gardner: A Workers Inquiry is needed

By the International Communist Party (July 1 1995), 28 July 2018

The World Socialist Web Site is republishing here the July 1, 1995 statement by the International Communist Party—the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)—calling for the formation of a Workers’ Inquiry into the death of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner.

The anniversary of Grenfell Tower: Some musical reappraisals

By Paul Bond, 27 July 2018

The video accompanying Lowkey’s song, “Ghosts of Grenfell 2,” ends with powerful shots of survivors and local residents holding banners demanding answers from the political elite and companies responsible for manufacturing and overseeing the fitting of Grenfell Tower’s flammable cladding.

Corbyn outlines nationalist, anti-migrant pitch for Labour government

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2018

Under conditions of a worsening crisis for Theresa May’s Conservative government, Corbyn sought to reassure business that Labour was the party it could trust to navigate troubled waters ahead.

UK: South Western Railway conductors to strike over Driver Only Operation

By Tom Holling, 26 July 2018

South Western Railway is Britain’s busiest commuter train network and transports more than 4 million passengers a week in and out of London Waterloo.

Protest in London against Ecuadorian President Moreno’s persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 25 July 2018

WSWS reporters interviewed Latin American migrants and exiles condemning the new President’s abandonment of Julian Assange.

UK signs off on US death penalty for “ISIS Beatles”: What are the implications?

By Julie Hyland, 25 July 2018

Not only has the government abandoned blanket opposition to the death penalty, but it has also overturned its publicly stated opposition to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

UK: Thirteen months after Grenfell fire, police conduct just three interviews

By Alice Summers, 25 July 2018

It is an indictment of the police investigation that no arrests have been made and no charges laid for the social murder of 72 people.

Ryanair workers set to strike across Europe

By Steve James, 24 July 2018

Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to hold a third 24-hour strike today, while on Wednesday and Thursday, Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal and Spain are also due to strike in a coordinated action.

UK minister lies to parliament as debt rises and welfare claimants go unpaid

By Paul Bond, 24 July 2018

By 2022, more than 7 million households are due to move onto Universal Credit, which has a built-in delay period and is paid in arrears after assessment of income.

Imminent threat to Julian Assange underscores need for global defence movement

By Mike Head, 23 July 2018

Plans are afoot to subject the WikiLeaks editor to lengthy imprisonment by the British authorities, pending extradition to the US.

Sheffield Supertram workers hold 72-hour strike, as strike ballot in Manchester begins

By Laura Tiernan, 23 July 2018

A fight is only possible if workers break free from the grip of the Unite union, whose strategy consists of dividing workers on a company by company basis.

Sheffield residents voice strong support for Supertram workers’ strike

By our reporters, 23 July 2018

On Saturday, campaigners from the Socialist Equality Party distributed a statement in support of the Sheffield Stagecoach Supertram workers, revealing strong support among workers, young people and pensioners for the strike.

Brexit crisis prompts calls for national unity government

By Robert Stevens, 21 July 2018

The call for a national unity coalition seeks to address fears that May’s downfall could end in the election of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

UK continues to separate immigrant children from their families

By Margot Miller, 21 July 2018

In the UK, asylum seekers are incarcerated without due process at the whim of the Home Office, with no idea when they might be released.

UK poisonings: New allegations expose more contradictions

By Steve James, 20 July 2018

Despite incessant media hysteria over “novichok,” no evidence has been presented to back the claim of a second round of poisonings in Salisbury, England.

UK: Sheffield Supertram workers set to continue strike

By Tony Robson, 20 July 2018

Through its passive approach to the blatant intimidation being meted out to its members, Unite is signalling that it remains the most reliable option in blocking a resurgence of militant opposition in its ranks.

Fascist assault on UK union leader Steve Hedley

By Julie Hyland, 19 July 2018

The brutal assault on Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union by fascist thugs on Saturday is an outrage.

UK: May government in meltdown over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2018

May’s attempted compromise over Brexit has blown up, due not simply to events in Britain, but also to the antagonisms between the US and Europe.

Anti-Russia campaign revived in UK with alleged discovery of “novichok” in perfume bottle

By our reporter, 17 July 2018

The narrative being developed by the police is that a “container” of novichok was likely discarded by Russian state-sponsored agents who had attempted to assassinate double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2018

Media reports point to the ongoing conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

Participants in the anti-Trump rallies in the UK speak out

By our reporters, 16 July 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to anti-Trump protesters in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. Meanwhile, protests continued in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday.

Mass protests against Trump’s UK visit

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

Friday’s protests by hundreds of thousands of people in London made clear that masses of workers throughout the world despise Trump and everything he stands for.

UK mass protests against Trump:

“The Labour Party here and Democratic Party in the US have left a void and the right-wing are trying to fill it”

By our reporters, 14 July 2018

The turnout at the UK protests showed the extent of popular opposition to the anti-democratic and fascistic policies of the Trump presidency.

Grenfell Tower Fire inquiry testimony reveals tragic consequences of fire service cuts

By Barry Mason, 14 July 2018

Firefighters put themselves at risk by going into flats to search for people without water and negotiating the lower floors without using their breathing apparatuses to conserve them for higher floors.

UK: The rotten politics of the SWP’s Stand Up to Racism

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

The Socialist Workers Party’s aim is to promote the “progressive” credentials of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and of the Trades Union Congress.

Trump uses UK visit to heighten political turmoil over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 13 July 2018

Trump’s performance at the NATO Summit confirmed that the failure of May’s compromise over Brexit is rooted in the growing antagonisms between the imperialist powers.