Britain

Over one million UK children kept off school in face of government threats and propaganda

By Harvey Thompson and Tania Kent, 18 September 2020

By Thursday evening, 1,118 schools had been hit by coronavirus infections, forcing many to close partially or fully.

Oppose the unsafe reopening of UK schools and universities! Attend Online Educators Rank-and-File Committee meeting

18 September 2020

We urge educators and students in Britain to register and participate in the online forum being held on Saturday, September 19 at 2 p.m.

British government and universities pursue reckless return to higher education under pandemic conditions

By Simon Whelan, 18 September 2020

Students now face a limit on socialising under the government’s arbitrary limiting of gatherings to six, yet can go to work and to campuses.

Iraq Body Count co-founder: WikiLeaks exposed mass civilian casualties to a global audience

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 18 September 2020

John Sloboda said that the Iraq War Logs had been brought “to the largest global audience of any single release.” There have been no comparable revelations in the last decade.

Former CIA director Leon Panetta: We are prosecuting Assange to intimidate others

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2020

Panetta’s comments confirmed the mafia-character of the US-pursuit of Assange, its politically-motivated nature and flagrant disregard for international laws.

Students return to UK universities: Build campus safety committees!

By Danny Knightley, 17 September 2020

Campus safety committees must ensure safety procedures are put in place to protect the health of students and staff alike, and fight for increased testing on campuses.

Manchester Go North West bus drivers vote overwhelmingly to strike

By Dennis Moore and Robert Stevens, 17 September 2020

Workers in Manchester should emulate the move by London bus drivers at a number of garages, who this week set up the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

Former Der Spiegel journalist exposes US government lies that Assange “failed to redact” and “put lives at risk”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 September 2020

Testimony from John Goetz established that the only “harm to life” came from US war crimes which Assange and WikiLeaks were trying to expose.

Assange exposed “a very serious pattern of actual war crimes,” Daniel Ellsberg tells extradition hearing

By Thomas Scripps, 17 September 2020

Ellsberg said that “with the Manning and Assange papers, I found my name being mentioned all the time as a very good person … to use me as a foil against these new revelations which were supposedly very different from mine.”

Schools at epicentre of UK’s coronavirus explosion

By Robert Stevens, 16 September 2020

The virus is resurgent in workplaces, schools, and communities, with the R (reproduction) value rising above 1 across the UK.

The political significance of the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee: “Change is coming in the working class”

By our reporters, 16 September 2020

The formation of the committee shows that bus workers are starting to draw a balance sheet from their experiences over the past six months and are ready to fight back.

London bus drivers launch rank-and-file safety committee to fight renewed threat from COVID-19

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

“We are not cattle and will not be sacrificed to protect the profits of the corporations and banks who have made a financial killing during the pandemic,” states the resolution passed by the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee.

London bus drivers resolve to fight for Assange’s freedom

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 16 September 2020

The first action of the newly formed London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee was to pass a resolution calling for the defence of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange faces life imprisonment in politically motivated trial, witnesses argue

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2020

Both expert witnesses shared the view that the prosecution of Assange is politically motivated—which, if found to be true, would bar his extradition.

Assange would not have fair US trial, witness tells Old Bailey

By Thomas Scripps, 15 September 2020

A damning picture was painted of the degrading treatment which would characterise Assange’s detention in the US and of the impossible restrictions which would be placed on his legal defence.

Three postal workers test positive at UK Royal Mail’s Medway Mail Centre

By Paul Lee, 14 September 2020

The outbreak at the “state-of-the-art” delivery office demonstrates that workers’ health is being imperilled in an ongoing scramble for profit.

UK firms announce hundreds of thousands of redundancies

By Barry Mason, 14 September 2020

There is a fear among some bourgeois commentators and political representatives that a sudden end to the Jobs Furlough scheme could lead to social upheaval.

Revelation of US government conspiracy on COVID-19 exposes EU herd immunity policy

By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2020

Revelations that US officials conspired to lie to the public about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic also expose the politically criminal role of the EU.

Brexit crisis intensifies after Johnson government tears up agreement with Brussels

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2020

Brexit epitomises the malignant growth of inter-imperialist antagonisms that are plunging the world into a brutal trade war and exacerbating the threat of military conflict.

UK Tories use Extinction Rebellion protests to argue for savage political repression

By Richard Tyler, 12 September 2020

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asked officials to take a “fresh look” at the legal status of Extinction Rebellion and see if it can be classified as an “organised crime group.”

UK government’s “Operation Moonshot”—a trojan horse for herd immunity policy

By Thomas Scripps, 12 September 2020

Under the cover of a non-existent mass testing programme, the government plans to encourage as much intermingling as possible.

UK Conservative government votes down Grenfell Tower safety recommendations as inquiry resumes

By Charles Hixson, 12 September 2020

The inquiry’s toothless “suggestions”—that tower block tenants be granted a few minimal safety rights—have been tossed into the bin by the Tories.

Assange hearing adjourned as prosecution lawyer is tested for COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 11 September 2020

Dr Stephen Frost, founder of Doctors for Assange, told the WSWS, “While the Court today adjourned due to the risk of infection from COVID-19, Julian Assange has been sent back to Belmarsh maximum security prison where the threat of infection from COVID-19 is extremely high—and he is severely immunocompromised.”

UK government blames young people as COVID-19 surges

By Thomas Scripps, 10 September 2020

The government’s new and tokenistic six-person rule does not apply to workplaces or schools, and groups of six can continue to visit pubs, bars, and restaurants.

Assange targeted for political views in “terrifying threat to First Amendment,” expert witnesses tell hearing

By Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 10 September 2020

WikiLeaks’ exposure of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan had played “possibly the most important role” in catalysing public opposition to both wars.

COVID-19 outbreaks spread within a week of England and Wales schools reopening

By Tony Robson, 9 September 2020

Virtually no part of the UK has been left unscathed, with teachers and pupils testing positive in both primary and secondary schools.

Heathrow airport ground staff given ultimatum: Accept pay cuts or face redundancy

By Margot Miller, 9 September 2020

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, these savage ultimatums have become the new normal in industrial relations.

Assange extradition hearing: WikiLeaks exposed US drone killings, torture and rendition, says Guantanamo Bay lawyer

By Laura Tiernan and Thomas Scripps, 9 September 2020

Clive Stafford Smith likened US torture tactics to those of the Spanish Inquisition.

“It’s not safe for my kids but they are forcing me to send them to school”

UK Educators Rank-and-File Committee holds initial meeting

By our reporter, 9 September 2020

Teachers and parents from Britain and internationally attended the initial meeting of the Educators Rank-and-File Committee.

The working class must demand an end to the show trial of Julian Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 8 September 2020

Assange’s kangaroo court extradition hearing has seen the UK, which boasts of being one of the world’s oldest democracies, sink to the level of a tinpot dictatorship.

Protesters condemn show trial of Julian Assange at the Old Bailey

By our reporters, 8 September 2020

Longstanding supporters were joined by others who had travelled from across the UK and from Switzerland, France, Portugal, the United States and Australia.

Watch John Pilger’s speech outside the London show-trial of Julian Assange

8 September 2020

“The American indictment is clearly rigged, a demonstrable sham. So far, the hearings have been reminiscent of their Stalinist equivalents during the Cold War.”

Alarm bells as London bus driver tests positive for COVID-19

By Laura Tiernan, 7 September 2020

Neither Metroline nor Unite has issued any statement to alert more than 500 drivers at Cricklewood about the reappearance of COVID-19.

As British show-trial resumes: The working class must defend Julian Assange!

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 September 2020

The persecution of Assange is an attempt to intimidate mass opposition to imperialist war, social inequality and a turn to authoritarianism, amid a breakdown of global capitalism and an eruption of the class struggle.

Millions reject UK government’s return to work call as COVID-19 cases escalate

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 5 September 2020

The response to the pandemic has been driven from day one by a “herd immunity” policy and indifference to the deaths of tens of thousands.

“We have a right to withdraw our labour, especially when being exposed to disease and death”

UK Morrisons distribution worker speaks on Bridgwater COVID-19 outbreak

By our correspondent, 4 September 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with a worker about the situation at the distribution centre of major supermarket chain Morrisons in Bridgwater, Somerset, which had an outbreak of COVID-19 in March.

Oppose NUJ censorship of journalist Craig Murray!

By Laura Tiernan, 3 September 2020

The National Union of Journalist’s actions are an attack on press freedom and the public’s right to access information independently of the state-controlled and corporate media outlets.

Johnson government’s “hostile environment” for immigrants and asylum seekers wins fascist allies

By Robert Stevens and Barry Mason, 2 September 2020

This week, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that an Army Watchkeeper drone—previously used in Afghanistan war zones—is to fly over the English Channel to monitor migrant boats.

Profiteering leaves UK care homes vulnerable

By Thomas Scripps, 1 September 2020

Investors’ pursuit of short-term profits has seen vast resources looted from the care sector and providers laden with unsustainable debts.

Attend the UK online education forum Saturday September 5, 2pm

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of teachers, educators, parents and students! For a general strike against the reopening of schools!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 29 August 2020

The reopening of schools is based solely on utilising the education system as a childminding service to force parents into unsafe workplaces.

Government agency minutes reveal at least 40 active COVID-19 outbreaks at UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 29 August 2020

The information is not available in the news section of the Food Standards Agency’s website or its social media accounts.

Tate UK strikers: “COVID-19 is being used to inflict a jobs massacre”

By Paul Mitchell, 29 August 2020

Strikers warn that the pandemic is being used to enforce unprecedented job cuts and further privatise the arts and culture sector.

Scottish National Party oversaw COVID-19 disaster

By Steve James, 28 August 2020

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s government has overseen a murderous COVID-19 policy, particularly against elderly care home residents.

Julian Assange receives first visitors in six months: “He is in a lot of pain”

By Oscar Grenfell, 28 August 2020

The visit has underscored the brutal conditions in which Assange is imprisoned and has sparked renewed fears that his health is continuing to deteriorate.

UK “hostile environment” sees two more asylum seeker deaths

By Thomas Scripps, 27 August 2020

Mercy Baguma’s death sparked anger with a protest held yesterday outside the Home Office immigration centre in Glasgow.

British government to use treason laws targeting Russia and China to suppress domestic dissent

By Simon Whelan, 27 August 2020

Under the changes being considered, merely voicing opinions and facts associated with the hindrance of British interests abroad—however the government defines this—will make citizens and groups open to accusations of treason.

British think tank fronts right-wing “academic freedom” campaign—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 26 August 2020

In Britain, this campaign relies wholly on posing as an opposition to the pseudo-left purveyors of identity politics on campus.

Victims of herd immunity: further evidence that UK care home residents were denied medical treatment

By Margot Miller, 25 August 2020

National Health Service managers instructed care homes that residents who became sick were to be covered with DNAR (do not attempt to resuscitate) orders.

Coronavirus reproduction rate rises above 1 in UK, as infection cases surge

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2020

The damning R value data issued by SAGE was totally ignored by the government. This is despite Johnson and his key scientific and medical advisors repeatedly claiming for months that its actions would be determined by the R rate.

UK: WSWS survey finds support for a general strike against school reopening

By Tom Pearce and Charlotte Salthill, 25 August 2020

More than 200 parents and staff from secondary, primary and early years settings responded to the survey, from locations across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, registering overwhelming opposition to the resumption of classes under such unsafe conditions.

British think tank fronts right-wing “academic freedom” campaign—Part 1

By Thomas Scripps, 24 August 2020

Policy Exchange argues for a combined intervention into both academia and student politics on campus to suppress left-wing protest and give free rein to far-right ideologues.

Corbyn was “lectured” by Johnson government on “herd immunity” and said nothing

By Chris Marsden, 24 August 2020

Corbyn was involved in talks with the Tories who told him explicitly that theirs was a murderous policy of allowing the coronavirus to develop unchecked.

European countries force children back to school amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alejandro López, 22 August 2020

The drive to reopen schools after the summer break continues unabated throughout Europe as the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the continent.

Johnson government extends ban on evictions as UK faces “avalanche” of homelessness

By Laura Tiernan, 22 August 2020

The delay follows an outpouring of public opposition to eviction proceedings due to begin Monday, with 290,000 renters at immediate risk of homelessness.

Nearly 300 workers infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Northampton sandwich factory

By Paul Bond, 22 August 2020

Northampton, already on a coronavirus watchlist, has the highest rate of new cases in England and could be subjected to a local lockdown.

Johnson government scraps Public Health England, accelerating break-up of National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2020

The main “crime” of PHE for the ruling elite was that it was part of a “bloated” NHS still not sufficiently responsive to the expertise and “flexibility” of the private sector.

UK government demands universities slash “low-value” courses in return for financial aid

By Stephen Hunter, 20 August 2020

Access to university education is to be closed off for working class students, with the axing of courses and the forced bankruptcy of poorer universities.

Stonehaven rail disaster due to UK’s neglected railway earthworks

By Steve James, 19 August 2020

Last week’s train crash in Scotland exposes the dangerous condition of Britain’s aging and profit-oriented rail network

Multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins brands UK workers “lazy” and “selfish”

By Julia Callaghan, 19 August 2020

The Pimlico Plumbers founder gives voice to opinions that the Johnson government feels incapable of making public.

London bus drivers deliver massive strike vote over “COVID pay,” health and safety

By Miles Driver, 18 August 2020

The ballots show the willingness of drivers to fight but Unite’s “consultative” ballot campaign is a fraud.

Johnson government forced to retreat on A-level exam results

By Thomas Scripps, 18 August 2020

Even when their overriding goal was to proceed with school reopenings as smoothly as possible, government ministers and officials could not abandon their vicious class bias for a second.

Scotland’s schools reopen as COVID-19 infects students

By Steve James, 17 August 2020

The Scottish National Party’s school reopening exposes it as the accomplice of the Johnson government’s herd immunity strategy.

Half of UK Early Years learning workers paid less than minimum wage for 25-year-olds

By Charlotte Salthill, 17 August 2020

Low pay is one of the main reasons given for leaving the profession, alongside increasing work demands and a lack of training and professional development.

Prominent lawyers and legal associations demand Assange’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2020

The 152 legal experts are unambiguous: the campaign against Assange has been based on gross violations of law and he must be immediately released from prison.

The show trial of Julian Assange: A cruel and pseudolegal farce

By Thomas Scripps and Kevin Reed, 15 August 2020

Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death.

Hundreds of thousands of A-Level results downgraded by UK government

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2020

The A-levels scandal has exposed the dirty secret of the British education system: that it is social class, not merit, that is really being graded.

UK in record recession as social catastrophe looms

By Thomas Scripps, 13 August 2020

The working class must reject all demands for sacrifice to save the economy.

Johnson government deploys armed forces against refugees making Channel crossings

By Tony Robson, 12 August 2020

These inhumane, illegal, and xenophobic measures must be opposed. What is being legitimised is state repression and a further evisceration of the right to asylum.

Reject Johnson’s lies that UK schools are safe! For a general strike to block the reopening of schools

By Tania Kent, 12 August 2020

Johnson made clear that the reopening of schools was “integral to kick starting the economy.”

“They are treating us all like pawns—we are the ones who suffer”

Health care workers rally across UK against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 11 August 2020

Thousands of health workers took part in demonstrations and rallies across the UK demanding a pay rise and adequate protection from COVID-19.

Local lockdowns in West Yorkshire following UK workplace outbreaks

By Barry Mason, 10 August 2020

The Kirklees area has had several workplace-based outbreaks of COVID-19, including at the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Britain’s National Health Service workers demand pay rise amid COVID-19 crisis

By Rory Woods, 7 August 2020

Hundreds of health workers demonstrated in London last week and dozens of protests are scheduled in cities across the country this Saturday, organised by Facebook groups.

UK government clears the path for “slums of the future”

By Julia Callaghan, 7 August 2020

On August 23, the moratorium on new evictions in England and Wales ends, threatening homelessness for the near quarter of a million people who have fallen behind with their rent since the start of the pandemic.

COVID-19 outbreaks at four workplaces in Swindon, UK

By Tony Robson, 6 August 2020

Local officials in Wales and England have sought to minimise any disruption to the operations of the corporations as outbreaks of the virus have flared up.

Transport for London coronavirus bailout prepares tube privatisation

By Paul Bond, 6 August 2020

The bailout, only half the sum requested, spearheads an assault on TfL’s workforce, in stark contrast to the generous packages offered to the privatised passenger rail franchises.

Lancet warns of massive resurgence of coronavirus after UK school reopening

By Thomas Scripps, 5 August 2020

Medical professionals warn that schools cannot be reopened safely when testing and tracing are grossly inadequate and there is already a resurgence of the pandemic.

UK teachers’ pay award: A shoddy deal for all

By Tom Pearce, 5 August 2020

The offer is divisive and paltry. It will not be funded nationally by the Johnson government, but out of school budgets which are chronically under-funded.

Britain’s jobs massacre continues

By Margot Miller, 4 August 2020

Many have no jobs to go back to, with young people especially hard hit in hospitality and retail.

BALPA pilots union enforces sell-out deal at British Airways

By Barry Mason, 4 August 2020

The pilots voted for the agreement with a gun pointed to their heads by the union.

Scottish government prepares to reopen schools as new COVID-19 spikes emerge

By Steve James, 3 August 2020

The government intends to re-open all primary and secondary schools by August 18, despite COVID-19 outbreaks in call centres, distribution centres, pubs and care homes.

Families fight for justice for five workers killed by wall collapse at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By Tony Robson, 3 August 2020

Tonnes of scrap metal had been stored in the adjacent bay, piled at double the recommended height against a wall of interlocking concrete blocks with no foundation.

“This tragedy was avoidable” at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By our reporter, 3 August 2020

The wall collapsed on the five workers. Another worker was trapped and received a serious leg injury. One survivor suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

UK government forced to enact new restrictions after pandemic let loose

By Thomas Scripps, 1 August 2020

Around 4,200 people are catching COVID-19 each day in England, up 68 percent on the estimated 2,500 daily infections two weeks ago.

Grenfell Tower inquiry reveals more criminality by corporations involved in refurbishment

By Charles Hixson, 1 August 2020

An entire culture within corporations, built up over decades, which viewed regulations as impediments to reaping greater profits was evident in Rydon’s testimony.

The coronavirus pandemic and the growing mental health crisis

By Ben Oliver, 1 August 2020

Dealing with the insidious uncertainty of COVID-19's spread is more like living with a domestic abuser or being deployed to a war zone.

Report backing Johnson’s ending UK lockdown concludes: More “deaths and misery” are inevitable

By Robert Stevens, 31 July 2020

England endured the longest continuous period of excess deaths out of 29 European countries.

Talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union will end in job losses

By a socialist postal worker, 31 July 2020

To take forward the struggle in defence of postal workers’ health and to oppose the onslaught on jobs and pay demands the formation of rank-and-file committees.

UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2020

The Tories’ aim is to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the UK due to their own criminal policies.

Johnson government scientific adviser claims UK schools should never have closed

By Tania Kent, 29 July 2020

The hostility among teachers and parents to the unsafe reopening of schools is being met with propaganda to confuse, disorient and dissipate opposition.

British grandmother dies weighing just 42 pounds after her benefits are withdrawn

By Dennis Moore, 29 July 2020

The benefit system has evolved from its post-war ethos as a “safety net” to one based on punishing the sick and disabled and coercing the unemployed into low-paid work.

McCarthyite witch-hunt over alleged anti-Semitism explodes in British Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 29 July 2020

Political opposition to the criminal suppression of the Palestinians by Israel is being officially recast as a form of anti-Semitism, slandering and virtually outlawing a vast swathe of left-wing opinion.

Assange appears in court, as lawyers warn case may be delayed by new US indictment

By Thomas Scripps, 28 July 2020

As it stands, the UK courts are continuing with Assange’s extradition process based on an outdated indictment.

Johnson demands two-week UK quarantine for 600,000 Britons holidaying in Spain

By Robert Stevens, 28 July 2020

Spain was taken off the government’s “safe-travel” list with a few hours’ notice, after being put on it just weeks earlier

Vote “NO” to British Airways pilots’ contract! Form rank and file committees to oppose BALPA sell-out!

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2020

BALPA has been engaged in talks for three months with BA, which is preparing to lay off 12,000 of its 42,000 workforce.

British universities plan tens of thousands of job cuts

By Simon Whelan, 25 July 2020

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 33 percent of academic staff in the UK were on fixed-term contracts in 2017–18.

London bus drivers launch crowdfund appeal for family of murdered French bus driver: “Help the family of Philippe Monguillot!”

By Laura Tiernan, 25 July 2020

London drivers launched the crowdfund for Monguillot’s family two weeks ago and are appealing for support.

Parents oppose dangerous UK nursery and pre-school reopening

By Charlotte Salthill and Joyce Smith, 24 July 2020

A report by the Sutton Trust highlights the devastating impact of decades of austerity by Tory and Labour governments, with the pandemic triggering an existential crisis for early years education.

UK manufacturers warn of “jobs bloodbath”

By Paul Bond, 24 July 2020

More than half of manufacturing companies said they will make redundancies in the next six months, with a further 20.1 percent saying they might.