Britain

Massive collapse of UK housing built for “social rent” in last decade

By Simon Whelan, 18 December 2018

The number of council homes in Britain has halved over recent decades and is now at its lowest level since the late 1960s.

UK: “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters found guilty of terrorism charges

By Margot Miller, 17 December 2018

The defendants, who are preparing to appeal the verdict, potentially face life in prison for preventing the departure of an immigration removal flight.

Grenfell fire: Local resident and Grenfell Action Group member, Joe Delaney, gives harrowing account to inquiry of night of fire

By Barry Mason, 17 December 2018

Delaney has a long record of fighting for decent and safe housing in the area and seeking justice for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell inferno, which has earned him the respect of the entire local community.

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

Number of UK households in energy debt increases by 300,000, owing nearly £400 million

By Dennis Moore, 15 December 2018

Up to 3,000 people die each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Bodyguard: A political thriller in six episodes from the UK

By David Walsh, 15 December 2018

The series centers on a British Army veteran, David Budd, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Budd now serves as an officer with a branch of the police in charge of security for politicians.

Julian Assange denounces his illegal detention in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2018

The WikiLeaks publisher, whose health appears to be deteriorating, made the comments at a hearing against the Ecuadorian government’s “Special Protocol,” aimed at forcing him into British and US custody.

Second phase of Grenfell inquiry delayed for a year

By Alice Summers, 14 December 2018

The delay leaves the corporations and governmental bodies that are responsible for the fire able to continue to evade justice.

Britain's NHS denies life-saving treatment to migrants

By Kelly Taylor, 14 December 2018

A 71-year-old Jamaican woman, Elfreda Spencer, died of sepsis this year after being denied chemotherapy because she could not afford to pay the upfront cost of her treatment.

UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2018

The vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May’s days are numbered.

Hundreds of residential tower blocks around UK still clad in flammable material

By Margot Miller, 13 December 2018

In Salford, flammable cladding has been partially removed from some of the nine local authority-owned blocks—up to the fourth floor, and only completely from one block.

UK: May faces possible leadership contest after seeking concessions from EU on Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 December 2018

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday once again insisted that he would not call a vote of no confidence—allowing the crisis ridden Conservative government to stagger on.

UK unions call off strikes against redundancies at Cammell Laird shipyard

By Barry Mason, 12 December 2018

The unions have already made clear they accept the need to reduce costs, urging only that there should be no compulsory redundancies.

UK workers, young people defend Yellow Vest protests in France: “I only wish that we could do it here as well!”

By our reporters, 11 December 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Britain who support the Yellow Vest protests in France.

May delays Brexit vote while Corbyn refuses to move no confidence motion

By Chris Marsden, 11 December 2018

May called off today’s scheduled vote because she knew her proposed agreement with the EU would be heavily defeated.

UK government’s role in anti-Corbyn campaign exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2018

The Integrity Initiative (II), funded by the UK, US governments and NATO, has played a central role in the campaign against the Labour Party leader.

Huffington Post renews smear campaign against UK Professor Piers Robinson

By Julie Hyland, 10 December 2018

Robinson is being attacked for his research on Syria, including probing questions regarding the predatory imperialist aims of the “war on terror,” which is verboten for the official state propagandists in Britain and the US.

Still no justice as phase one of Grenfell Tower fire inquiry closes

By Paul Bond, 8 December 2018

The inquiry was never intended to bring the guilty to justice and is being overseen and directed by the very capitalist state apparatus and its political representatives that are responsible for turning Grenfell Tower into a death trap.

UK: University and College Union seeks to demobilise pay dispute

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 8 December 2018

The UCU, past masters at isolating and demobilising struggles over pay and job losses, finally authorised a token pay strike at the end of November—at just six institutions.

Ecuadorian president hints again at moves to renege on Julian Assange’s asylum

By James Cogan, 7 December 2018

The fight for the freedom of Assange is a matter of fundamental political principle.

UK: Labour Students leadership and Zionists extend witch-hunt of Chris Williamson MP

By Thomas Scripps, 7 December 2018

The cancellation of the Sheffield meeting, at which Williamson was due to speak, became a launch pad for a nationwide offensive wherever the Blairites and Zionists have influence within student groups.

National Health Service workers among increasing users of food banks in Britain

By Ben Trent, 7 December 2018

A survey of 21,000 health workers found that 49 percent had to seek financial help from friends and family the previous year.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

Socialist Equality Party opposes RMT rail union sellout at Liverpool meeting

By our reporters, 6 December 2018

For over two years, RMT and the drivers’ union ASLEF in the UK have sabotaged the fight by thousands of guards in defence of their jobs and the safety of railway users.

Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2018

Last year, Denise Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part Three

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 5 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the final part.

Bank of England warns “no-deal” Brexit would be worse than 2008 crash

Labour pledges to rescue British capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2018

The "worst case" scenario presumes there would be custom checks on the UK’s border for goods, with the UK unable to reach new trade deals with the EU or other countries until 2023.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part One

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 3 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the first part.

I object—Ian Hislop’s search for dissent: An exhibition that eradicates socialist ideas and revolutionary action

At the British Museum, London

By Paul Mitchell, 1 December 2018

Would-be satirist Ian Hislop had access to one of the world’s most magnificent collections, in the British Museum, but ends up producing an exercise in political, social and artistic emptiness.

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

By Thomas Scripps, 30 November 2018

The evidence points to Abedi having been viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism.

Combustible cladding doomed Grenfell Tower within 10 minutes of initial fire

By Barry Mason, 29 November 2018

Even a crown placed at the top of Grenfell Tower, designed to enhance its appearance, contained combustible material.

New “Corbyn council” in Haringey, London demands more cuts

By Paul Bond, 29 November 2018

The self-styled “Corbyn council” is imposing the cuts on top of 40 percent reductions imposed by their Blairite predecessors.

Guardian newspaper spearheads new accusations against Assange and WikiLeaks

By James Cogan, 28 November 2018

The newspaper has the nerve to declare that it serves to “give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful, and hold them to account.”

British PM May attacked from all sides ahead of parliament Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 28 November 2018

As it stands there is no parliamentary arithmetic under which May can get the Brexit deal passed.

Falling building debris causes injuries and deaths while profits mount for UK developers

By Charles Hixson, 27 November 2018

Rather than being random tragedies, such accidents are the direct result of deliberate government policies.

EU summit backs Brexit withdrawal declaration

By Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2018

The 26-page political declaration, which has no legal force, outlines future relations in trade, fisheries, travel, security and financial services.

UK: Vauxhall and Cammell Laird workers strike against mass job cuts

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2018

Both strikes have developed in a rebellion against the collaboration, by the Unite and GMB trade unions, with the employers’ job cuts.

UAE pardons British PhD student Matthew Hedges on spying charges

By Paula Smith, 26 November 2018

The United Arab Emirates’ rulers granted British PhD student Matthew Hedges “gracious clemency.” Just days earlier a court in Abu Dhabi sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Black Friday strikes hit Amazon in Europe

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Amazon workers launched strikes and protests in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and the UK.

European Jewish Association slanders left and urges dialogue with far-right

By Jean Shaoul, 24 November 2018

Central place at the two-day event in Brussels, November 6-7, was given to a session slandering UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as an “existential threat” to Jews.

No to driver only operated services at West Midland Trains! For a national mobilisation of rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 24 November 2018

Drivers at West Midlands Trains are resisting a coordinated effort by the private train operator Abellio and rail unions to impose Driver Only trains in 2020.

Corbyn auditions for government before big business and intelligence agencies

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2018

Corbyn appeared before the Confederation of British Industry on Monday to deliver what was billed as his main policy speech on Brexit.

Tens of thousands of retail jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 23 November 2018

The list of closures in the retail industry reads like a cull, with 85,000 jobs already lost this year.

UN says millions in Britain deliberately plunged into “great misery”

By Robert Stevens, 21 November 2018

UN special rapporteur: “We are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the postwar British welfare state.”

City of London Corporation reneges on its social housing pledge

By Charles Hixson, 21 November 2018

Only 900 units, less than a quarter of the City’s council home building project, are set to be completed by 2025.

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

By Alice Summers, 20 November 2018

The long-term police operations against left-wing organisations are an anti-democratic and morally degraded attack and reveal a serious and present threat to the entire working class.

Thousands attend anti-fascist protest in London

By Robert Stevens, 19 November 2018

The nationalist and pro-capitalist programme of rally organisers provided no basis for workers and youth to fight fascism and the far right.

“Capitalism is causing the problem with refugees and making them the scapegoat”

London demonstrators speak out against racism and fascism

By our reporters, 19 November 2018

A number of those interviewed spoke of the parallels with the 1930s and the need to oppose the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.

The only answer to Brexit is the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2018

Every faction of Britain’s ruling elite—whether pro- or anti-EU membership or urging some form of continued relations—is viciously opposed to the interests of the working class.

Britain: Reading University flags article on “ethics of revolution” under anti-terror policy

By Tom Scripps, 17 November 2018

The banning of Norman Geras’ essay under anti-terrorism legislation is a police state measure that has, for the first time, targeted an article discussing socialism and revolution.

Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs

Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back

By Steve James, 17 November 2018

French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee tyre manufacturing plant poses workers with the challenge of creating new organisations of struggle.

Some of the main provisions of the draft EU-UK proposed Brexit deal

By our reporter, 16 November 2018

The 585-page document includes a legal guarantee to ensure the Irish border remains open after Brexit, with the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU until a broader EU-UK trade deal can be finalised.

Brexit deal threatens survival of May government

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2018

Prime Minister May has been brought face to face with the full implications of the growing antagonisms between the US and Europe.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry hears harrowing witness statements

By Paul Bond, 15 November 2018

Grenfell Tower residents confirm that cost-cutting on cladding and the authorities’ refusal to consult with them on refurbishment were key factors in the fire.

British prime minister tries to minimise cabinet rebellion against draft Brexit agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 November 2018

So acute is the crisis facing May’s government that sections of the ruling class and the state apparatus are factoring in the possibility that a general election might be unavoidable, and that a Corbyn government is becoming a distinct possibility.

David Hare’s political thriller Collateral: “War has entered the blood”

By David Walsh, 14 November 2018

The series begins with the shooting death of a south London pizza delivery man. The murderer, we soon learn, is a female British army captain, who believes she has killed an Iraqi “terrorist.”

“It’s about safety but the train operating companies want to save money”

UK rail worker speaks to the WSWS about dispute over Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 13 November 2018

Rail workers in the UK have been fighting for over two years against the plans by the private rail franchises to introduce Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains.

Australian Socialist Equality Party National Secretary James Cogan addresses Grenfell Fire Forum

By our reporter, 13 November 2018

Cogan explained that a fire engulfing an entire apartment building could happen in hundreds of cities around the world.

UK: SNP-led Glasgow City Council uses gender politics and threats of blacklisting to isolate equal pay struggle

By Stephen Alexander, 12 November 2018

To obscure the class issues, the major parties, together with the unions and the media, have presented the Glasgow equal pay dispute in terms of “institutionalized” gender discrimination.

Sheffield Labour Students cancels anti-war meeting, citing police investigation of anti-Semitism allegations

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2018

The broader political purpose of the banning of Chris Williamson is aimed at silencing anti-war sentiment among students, young people and the entire working class.

UK: SEP assistant national secretary Julie Hyland addresses social sciences conference on fake news, censorship and war

By our reporters, 10 November 2018

The conference examined ways in which the media has historically been used to condition public opinion in favour of war.

UK government’s crocodile tears over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy backfire

By Robert Stevens, 10 November 2018

Social consciousness has changed as a result of the Grenfell fire. After the callous treatment of the survivors, many saw through the sympathetic posturing of the ruling elite.

Tube workers’ strike brings much of London to a halt

By Peter Austin, 9 November 2018

The tube strikes express the anger of workers after a decade of budget cuts, reductions in real wages, longer work weeks and an increase in working weekends as agreed by the unions.

The Fires that Foretold Grenfell—Documentary reveals how UK governments ignored lessons of previous fire tragedies

By Margo Miller, 9 November 2018

The documentary shows that the Grenfell Tower fire was the outcome of decades of deregulation and the ignoring of recommendations on building regulations by Conservative and Labour governments.

Residents oppose official cover-up of Grenfell fire toxic contamination

By Barry Mason, 8 November 2018

Despite evidence of toxicity in soil samples found around the site of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the authorities have failed to act to protect public health.

Increase in self-harm and suicides in UK immigration detention centres

By Simon Whelan, 8 November 2018

Reports show that from 2000 to April, 2018 there have been 35 deaths, 14 of which were self-inflicted.

Royal College of Nursing leadership in UK seeks re-election in defiance of no confidence vote

By Ajanta Silva, 7 November 2018

These are the same people who deliberately sold a rotten pay offer and were the subject of members’ outrage when the real details of the deal came to light.

UK students face rising debts, poor wages and further marketisation of higher education

By Thomas Scripps, 7 November 2018

Graduates’ pay figures are an expression of the declining wages and conditions of the working class.

Homelessness in London: Rough sleeping increases, removal of families from the city doubles

By Paul Bond, 6 November 2018

Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged to build a paltry 10,000 council homes over the next four years while there are around 250,000 Londoners on housing waiting lists.

UK: Police launch investigation into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2018

The pro-Zionist fanatics have only been able to pursue their campaign to remove Labour leader Corbyn because of his refusal to oppose them.

Massive increase in police violence across UK

By Alice Summers, 3 November 2018

Since last year, police firearms operations have risen by nearly 20 percent nationally, with some areas seeing an increase of 53 percent.

100,000 people living in unsafe UK tower blocks

By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018

Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.

UK budget: Labour makes clear big business will dictate Corbyn government policies

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2018

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell met with representatives of the financial elite Wednesday to assure them a Labour government would serve their interests.

UK: NHS subsidiary companies—tools for tax exemption and privatisation

By Ben Trent, 31 October 2018

Large swathes of NHS provision have been sold off to the private sector, driving down the pay, terms and conditions of workers and hugely reducing the quality of services.

The Unexplained Wealth Order legislation and London’s financial aristocracy

By Thomas Scripps, 30 October 2018

The move will not in any way alter London’s status as a playground for the super-rich and haven for illegal wealth.

Tens of thousands of teachers demonstrate in Glasgow for better pay

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2018

The demonstration was far larger than the EIS anticipated and shows the desire of teachers to fight back against pay cuts.

Tamil family fight UK plans to deport their seriously ill father

By Simon Whelan, 27 October 2018

Authorities sought to deport Sangarapillai Balachandran, who had been headhunted by a British company due to a severe shortage of civil engineers with his specific skills.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.

UK: Report reveals widespread soil contamination after Grenfell Tower fire

By Alice Summers, 24 October 2018

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council and government health agencies have downplayed the significance of the report and refused to investigate further.

Europe makes delayed criticism of Saudis over Khashoggi murder

By Jean Shaoul, 23 October 2018

Britain’s quiescence reflects its dependence on the House of Saud for policing the oil-rich Gulf peninsula.

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

“McStrike”: UK unions police anger of young workers

By Alice Summers and Robert Stevens, 20 October 2018

Behind talk of a coordinated struggle, the demand of service workers for better pay and conditions is being misled by the trade unions.

Brexit impasse at European Union summit

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2018

The failure to reach any agreement over Brexit is the product of escalating national antagonisms within Europe and internationally.

UCU recall conference seeks to silence opposition to sell-out of UK lecturers’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2018

Anyone believing that today’s recall will provide an opportunity to discuss the betrayal underestimates the contempt of the union apparatus for democratic debate.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Survivor’s statement reveals disdain for residents by the political and corporate elites

By Paul Bond, 17 October 2018

The statement by Edward Daffarn further demonstrates how residents were kept in the dark about decisions regarding the Tower and their fatal consequences.

Slashing of welfare spending forces millions into poverty in UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 October 2018

Half of the cuts will come from the freezing of working age benefits that has occurred since 2016, and will deliver cuts of nearly £16 billion.

“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018

The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.

Brexit crisis leaves fate of May government in balance

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2018

If the May government fails to secure an EU deal without precipitating a pro-Brexit Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rebellion, a general election might result, bringing a Jeremy Corbyn Labour-led government to power.

Scottish National Party proposes pact with Labour for second Brexit referendum

By Steve James, 15 October 2018

The SNP is proposing support for a Labour government in the UK based on demands for a rerun of the 2016 Brexit vote.

Bonus removal cancels out Amazon’s UK pay rise

By Alice Summers, 13 October 2018

Workers are effectively paying for their own wage increase through the slashing of employee benefits, share and incentive schemes, with some possibly seeing a net loss.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Survivors and bereaved give evidence—“We will not be silenced anymore”

By Paul Bond, 13 October 2018

The evidence reveals a devastating picture of official negligence before and after the fire.

Britain’s pseudo-left oppose worker rebellion against Royal College of Nurses leadership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 October 2018

The no-confidence motion against the executive of the Royal College of Nurses is only one example of growing opposition to the decades of betrayals by the trade union bureaucracy.

Kilometres from the ashes of Grenfell Tower

British royals spend millions on palace improvements

By Laura Tiernan, 11 October 2018

More than £1.4 million will be spent to make Kensington Palace more comfortable for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Trial of “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters begins in UK

By Margot Miller, 10 October 2018

The activists locked themselves around a government-chartered Boeing 767 on the night of March 28, 2017, to prevent take-off.

Labour Party-run councils escalate austerity in UK

By Alice Summers, 8 October 2018

Far from standing up to Tory-led austerity measures, Labour councils are blazing the trail when it comes to attacks on public services.

UK: No to Driver Only Trains in any form, mobilise against rail union sellout

By Michael Barnes, 6 October 2018

The struggle by rail workers in defense of jobs is in danger, due to the systematic sabotage of their fight by the unions.

US, UK and NATO allies ramp up anti-Russia offensive over “cyber spying” and Skripals

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2018

To frame the demand for the seven arrests, the US utilised all the material gathered by its NATO allies against Russia over the Skripal/novichok affair.

Risk of no-deal Brexit staggers European companies and economy

By Alex Lantier, 5 October 2018

With mass layoffs prepared in auto firms, plans in ruling circles are well advanced to place the cost of any Brexit crisis firmly on the backs of workers internationally.