Britain

Australian teachers’ defence of Julian Assange welcomed by WikiLeaks supporters

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 December 2019

US comedian Jimmy Dore discussed the initiative on the December 19 edition of his “Jimmy Dore Show Podcast.”

Collapse of UK National Health Service threatened as Johnson government readies further onslaught

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2019

Figures compiled by NHS England found that in November the health service missed all targets for Accident and Emergency (A&E) care, operations and cancer treatment.

Homeless woman gives birth to twins outside the University of Cambridge’s Trinity College

By Margot Miller, 31 December 2019

Had it not been for the prompt assistance of the public, the mother and children may have died on the steps of one of the world’s richest universities.

UK Muslims demand investigation of Conservative Party’s Islamophobia

By Jean Shaoul, 30 December 2019

Johnson put racism and Islamophobia at the heart of his election campaign, pitting Indian Hindu voters against Pakistani Muslim voters.

Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison

By Mike Head, 28 December 2019

Assange’s phone call highlights the danger that he could die in jail, effectively at the hands of the British, US and Australian governments.

UK Johnson government launches anti-Gypsy/Traveller/Roma measures

By Paul Bond, 28 December 2019

Without enough authorised encampments, the proposal to allow police to seize Travellers’ caravans—their homes—and destroy their property would effectively criminalise the existence of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.

UK Public Meetings:

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

28 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) is holding public meetings on the Labour Party’s general election debacle and the way forward for the working class based on the fight to build a new, genuinely socialist party.

Desperate to stem protests, dozens of governments shut down internet access in 2019

By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019

Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.

UK Whirlpool recall highlights threat to millions from defective domestic appliances

By Margot Miller, 27 December 2019

Faulty washing machines, tumble dryers, cookers, fridges, freezers—everyday household items we take for granted—are turning the homes of millions into death traps.

BALPA trade union sells out British Airways pilots struggle

By Barry Mason, 24 December 2019

BALPA have forced through an agreement over pay that workers previously threw out.

BBC accused of pro-Tory propaganda during UK general election

By Thomas Scripps, 23 December 2019

According to a recent YouGov poll, just 44 percent of Britons trust BBC news journalists to tell the truth.

UK to leave European Union at end of January after Johnson passes Withdrawal Agreement

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

A total of 38 Labour MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn’s instruction to oppose the bill.

UK Labour Party leadership contest begins after general election meltdown

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

The bogus character of all claims that this is a leadership contest between “left” and “right” is epitomised by the fact that the two most prominent Blairite challengers are Corbyn’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer and his Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry.

Judge says Assange extradition hearing will take “three to four weeks” as political opposition mounts

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Assange appeared physically unwell, but followed the proceedings carefully via videolink from Belmarsh maximum security prison.

“He is a political prisoner, not a criminal”

Medical observers blocked from attending Assange hearing

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Dr. David Morgan and Dr. Marco Chiesa are among the more than 100 doctors from around the world who have issued three open letters to the UK and Australian governments protesting Assange’s brutal persecution.

Queen’s Speech features Johnson government’s anti-strike legislation

By Robert Stevens, 20 December 2019

The Queen’s Speech confirms that the mantra of “Getting Brexit Done” is intimately bound up with escalating the offensive against the working class.

UK general election result confirms protracted death of the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 19 December 2019

Labour haemorrhaged support across the UK and among all sections of workers, young and old, from the north and south, those in favour of leaving the European Union and those for remaining.

Nurses and health workers strike in Northern Ireland

By our reporters, 19 December 2019

Over 15,000 nurses and other health workers struck December 18 in Northern Ireland over pay and staffing.

Over 100 doctors demand Australian government act to save the life of Julian Assange “before it is too late”

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

Addressing Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors write: “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison

17 December 2019

The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories.

Powerful response to call for stepped-up fight to free Assange and Manning at SEP (Australia) meeting

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

The speakers stressed that the upsurge of support for Assange and Manning was inseparable from the growth of the class struggle internationally.

Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Assange’s threatened extradition, but declares he is “not a journalist”

By Oscar Grenfell and Kevin Reed, 16 December 2019

The blog post justifying the decision to exclude Julian Assange from a list of imprisoned journalists is shot through with contradictions and double-speak.

Socialist Equality Party used UK general election to put forward a socialist perspective

By our reporter, 16 December 2019

The SEP's candidates reached thousands of workers and youth and was followed across Britain and internationally.

Julian Assange denied access to lawyers and vital evidence in US extradition case

By Thomas Scripps, 14 December 2019

It is clear that the fundamental legal rights of the WikiLeaks founder and world-famous investigative journalist are being trampled in what amounts to an extraordinary rendition.

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

Statement of the WSWS Editorial Board, 14 December 2019

The electoral debacle suffered by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn in the UK general election is yet another example of the political bankruptcy of what passes for the left and labour organisations.

Johnson wins majority in UK election after collapse of Labour vote

By Chris Marsden, 13 December 2019

Johnson’s return consolidates the most right-wing government in post-war British history, with devastating consequences for the working class.

BBC reporter accused of breaking law by revealing postal vote and commenting negatively on Labour

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2019

Laura Kuenssberg should have been immediately suspended pending an investigation. Instead the BBC issued a terse statement that it “does not believe it, or its political editor, has breached electoral law.”

The anti-Semitism accusations against Corbyn: A witch-hunt in the service of imperialism

By Jean Shaoul, 13 December 2019

The witch-hunt centres on a concerted attempt to equate opposition to Zionism and the colonial policies of the Israeli state with hatred of the Jewish people in general and the infamous and reactionary anti-Semitism of the Nazis in particular.

The Sun forced to delete article promoting fascist propaganda against UK left

By Paul Bond, 12 December 2019

The publication by the Sun of an article charging that Corbyn is the centre of a “hard-left extremist network” is part of an authoritarian turn by the ruling class.

Britain’s general election and the coming struggle of the working class for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2019

Underlying the intensity of political conflicts is an historically unprecedented social polarisation between the classes that is now beginning to find expression in a global eruption of the class struggle.

Labour’s pose as defender of the National Health Service exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2019

Labour’s claim to be the only party that will defend the NHS is the main reason many support the party. But like most of its main pledges, this too is without genuine substance.

London: Attendees at Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally speak

“The Socialist Equality Party has one goal and that’s what I feel most inclined toward, the class struggle”

By our reporters, 11 December 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those who attended the Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally in London on Sunday.

SEP (UK) candidate Dennis Leech speaks at hustings in Manchester

By our reporter, 11 December 2019

Leech emphasised the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prevent his extradition to the US.

SEP holds final UK election meeting in London

“Our fight is for workers to base themselves on a socialist and internationalist perspective, one rooted in a profound concern for history and informed by its lessons”

By our reporters, 10 December 2019

Opening the rally, Thomas Scripps explained that one of the central pillars of the SEP’s election campaign is the fight to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Dirty War on the National Health Service: John Pilger documentary “goes to the heart of the struggle for democracy today”

By Jean Shaoul, 10 December 2019

Pilger’s work is a deeply passionate appeal to working people in the UK to oppose the decades-long, covert assault on the NHS by all three major parties.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) holds final general election rally in London

By our reporter, 9 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) held a successful rally Sunday at the conclusion of its 2019 general election campaign.

SEP (UK) candidate Chris Marsden speaks on Kashmir and Palestine at Sheffield mosque hustings

By our reporter, 7 December 2019

Marsden told the attentive audience, “Kashmir has been a terrible victim of the partition of India on religious and communal lines.”

Labour’s election pledges no answer to UK’s housing crisis

By Paul Bond, 6 December 2019

Labour’s proposed social housing construction programme is based on the same capitalist market that makes the lives of millions impossible.

Attend Socialist Equality Party election rally in London!

6 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) invites all workers and young people to attend our final election rally being held in London this Sunday December 8 at 2 p.m.

Doctors condemn failure of British government to answer letter demanding medical care for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The doctors state that “the UK government’s refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears...unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible medical risks.”

SEP candidate Thomas Scripps addresses UK Somali community hustings

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The November 30 meeting was attended by representatives of voluntary and campaigning organisations. The Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties and Plaid Cymru also sent representatives.

Protesters against London NATO summit speak in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 December 2019

At the Socialist Equality Party’s stall in Trafalgar Square, many were attracted by posters calling for Assange’s freedom.

UK: South West Rail workers begin month-long strike to defend jobs and conditions.

By Robert Stevens, 4 December 2019

The strike is the longest called by the RMT union in a bitter four-year fight by rail workers to stop DOO and is the longest rail strike in British history.

Harry Dunn’s parents take legal action against UK Foreign Office

By Barry Mason, 4 December 2019

Harry Dunn died near Croughton, Northamptonshire August 27 after his motorbike collided head-on with a car driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a National Security Agency spy.

NATO bitterly divided as London summit begins

By Alex Lantier, 3 December 2019

NATO heads of state arrived yesterday in London for a two-day summit beginning today, 70 years after NATO’s foundation in the aftermath of World War II in 1949.

Halt the extradition of Julian Assange!

CIA spying on Assange’s lawyers exposes criminal operation against WikiLeaks founder

By Eric London, 3 December 2019

The surveillance violates the centuries-old right to attorney-client privilege and exposes the prosecution and extradition effort as an illegal frame-up.

Opposing NATO and Trump means fighting to free Julian Assange!

By Chris Marsden, 3 December 2019

The aim of Trump and Boris Johnson is to either send Assange to the US, lock him up and throw away the key, or subject him to such psychological and physical cruelty that he dies in prison.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson: “If Julian is taken to that Devil’s Island across the Atlantic, his life is lost”

By Oscar Grenfell and Richard Phillips, 3 December 2019

In an interview with the WSWS, Hrafnsson stated: “The case of Julian Assange is, in all senses, the turning point. It is the biggest and the most serious attack on journalism and the free press in decades, if not 100 years.”

Many unanswered questions as Tories exploit London terror attack

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2019

The brutal murder of the two young students was seized on by Boris Johnson and the pro-Tory media, with the Sunday Times leading on a promise from the prime minister to “lock terrorists up and throw away the key.”

Greater Manchester Unite community branch hears report on fight to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 2 December 2019

The branch listened attentively as an SEP member reported the growing public concern over the plight of Assange and his declining health.

“You are the luckiest generation in history because you have the opportunity to change the world”

Warm reception for SEP candidate Chris Marsden at Sheffield student meeting

By our reporter, 2 December 2019

Marsden told students that Britain has the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, who is being targeted because he exposed war crimes, locked up in a maximum-security prison and intends to ship him to America to face 175 years in prison.

John Pilger visits Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison: “Look how you frighten them!”

By our reporter, 30 November 2019

The following speech was delivered by veteran investigative journalist John Pilger to a public meeting in London on November 28 at St Pancras New Church.

Hillsborough families denied justice for 96 deaths after 30 years, as ex-police chief walks free

By Robert Stevens, 30 November 2019

David Duckenfield, former match commander of the South Yorkshire Police, was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter.

Fire Brigades Union study exposes decades of deregulation and cost-cutting that led to Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 2

By Alice Summers, 30 November 2019

The FBU’s lengthy study is all the more important in the context of a concerted smear campaign by the media, the police investigation and the official Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which have set out to cover up the principal causes of the fire and shift the blame to the London Fire Brigade.

Groundswell of support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 November 2019

The surge of support for Assange is a welcome blow to the conspiracy of silence surrounding his persecution, enforced by governments, establishment parties and the corporate media around the world.

Delay in publication of UK security report used to feed anti-Russian campaign

By Paul Bond, 29 November 2019

Allegations of Russian attempts to influence the UK’s 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election reveal sharp factional disputes within the British bourgeoisie.

Fire Brigades Union study exposes decades of deregulation and cost cutting that led to Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1

By Alice Summers, 29 November 2019

The FBU’s study is all the more important in the context of a concerted smear campaign by the media and the official Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which have set out to cover up the principal causes of the fire and shift the blame towards the London Fire Brigade and firefighters.

UK’s chief rabbi aids right-wing campaign against Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 28 November 2019

The witch hunt against Corbyn and the wider left has been made possible by Corbyn’s refusal to mobilise the hundreds of thousands who joined the Labour Party based on his pledge to oppose austerity and militarism against the Blairite right wing.

Socialist Equality Party campaigns at Chalcot Estate in North London

Britain's cladding crisis

By Our reporters, 28 November 2019

Most of the Chalcot Estate’s 717 homes, roughly 3,000 people, were evacuated in June 2017 after fire experts told the local council they could not guarantee the tower blocks they lived in were safe. They are still not safe.

Doctors’ open letter defending Julian Assange wins global support

By Laura Tiernan, 27 November 2019

An open letter by doctors urging action to save the life of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has received international media coverage, winning growing support among doctors.

Thousands of UK university staff begin eight-day strike with support of students

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2019

Hundreds of strikers mounted picket lines at university campuses at 63 institutions around the UK.

Lecturers and students speak out in UK university strike

”Whether you’re in Hong Kong, Bolivia, Chile or Lebanon, in Britain or in Italy, it’s the same fight…against social inequality and social injustice”

By our reporters, 26 November 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to university workers and lecturers on the first day of the strike at 60 higher education institutions in the UK.

UK defies UN deadline to hand over Chagos Islands/Diego Garcia to Mauritius

By Jean Shaoul, 26 November 2019

The UN meeting in May condemned Britain’s occupation of the Chagos Islands and a non-binding ruling by the International Court of Justice calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory within six months.

The significance of the doctors’ open letter in defence of Julian Assange

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2019

The doctors’ action marks a new stage in the struggle to free Assange because it has been taken independently by a group of professional workers, animated by profound concern for his fate and for democratic rights.

Eight-day strike by 40,000 UK university workers begins

By Robert Stevens, 25 November 2019

More than 40,000 lecturers and other staff are striking for eight days at 60 higher education institutions from today against an onslaught on their pay, conditions and pensions.

West Midland Trains workers escalate fight against strike-breaking operation

By Michael Barnes, 23 November 2019

The WMT strike is the latest in an almost four-year battle by workers at the UK’s private rail franchises to forge a unified struggle between drivers and conductors.

Scottish court authorises eviction of Glasgow asylum seekers by Serco

By Steve James, 23 November 2019

Dorrian’s ruling is an example of class justice, upholding Serco’s interests against vulnerable, stressed and insecure people.

UK Labour Party manifesto: A blueprint to save capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 22 November 2019

It is extraordinary that, under conditions where millions of young people are seeking a socialist alternative, neither Corbyn’s foreword to the manifesto or the actual text of the 107 page document mentions the word “socialism.”

UK covered up war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2019

The BBC’s “Panorama” cited evidence surrounding the killing by UK troops of innocent and unarmed civilians.

Socialist Equality Party campaign team attends University College London strike of outsourced workers

By Thomas Scripps, 21 November 2019

The strikers, joined by many students and academic staff, occupied the University’s student centre for a rally, with speeches delivered in English and Spanish.

Striking university workers speak out: “Assange won’t be defended by the rich, it must be the working people!”

By our reporter, 21 November 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to striking outsourced workers at University College London, on Tuesday.

Corbyn’s “left” pretensions exposed in UK general election debate

By Robert Stevens, 21 November 2019

The debate was proof that, in any period prior to Tony Blair’s government, Corbyn would barely be considered even a “left” reformist.

Corbyn tells British industry executives: “It’s sometimes claimed that I’m anti-business. That is complete nonsense”

By Robert Stevens, 20 November 2019

The Labour Party leader reassured the Confederation of British Industry, “You and your business have so much to gain from a Labour government.”

Julian Assange appears in court via video link: Legal rights denied by judge

By Thomas Scripps, 19 November 2019

The British ruling class has no intention of providing even the appearance of a fair trial of Assange, after which they intend to railroad him to his persecutors in the United States.

Labour Party candidates pledge to ignore Corbyn’s Brexit policy and campaign for Remain

By Thomas Scripps, 19 November 2019

An alliance between Labour and the Remain parties, and possibly some strongly pro-European Union Tories, is seen by sections of the ruling elite as an option for cancelling Brexit without handing power to a Corbyn-led Labour government.

Protesters at London’s Trafalgar Square speak out to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 November 2019

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the protesters who attended Saturday’s demonstration to demand the freedom of the WikiLeaks founder.

Socialist Equality Party announces candidates in UK general election

By our reporter, 18 November 2019

The SEP is waging a political struggle against austerity, authoritarian rule, militarism and war.

Glasgow helicopter crash inquiry scapegoats pilot

By Steve James, 16 November 2019

After six years waiting, the verdict of a Fatal Accident Inquiry has pinned responsibility for the Clutha helicopter crash solely on the aircraft’s pilot, David Traill, who was one of those killed.

Corbyn and main union backer McCluskey oppose Labour conference free movement pledge on immigration

By Robert Stevens, 15 November 2019

McCluskey intervened to ensure that it is the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s position that is reflected in this year’s election manifesto.

UK High Court bans strike by 110,000 Royal Mail postal workers

By Robert Stevens, 14 November 2019

In response to the ruling, unofficial walkouts by postal workers must be organised and linked up with other workers throughout the delivery and communication industry and other sectors coming into struggle.

Blairite MP Margaret Hodge refuses to back Corbyn as prime minister

By Thomas Scripps, 13 November 2019

The measure of Corbyn’s politics is that he enters his second general election at the head of the same party fundamentally that launched the 2003 war in Iraq, the 2008 bailout of the banks, and began the drive for austerity.

Corbyn refuses to fight ramped-up bogus “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 12 November 2019

The frenzied media campaign branding Corbyn, the Labour Party and its left-wing members above all as anti-Semitic is the “push back” demanded by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

UK workers see 2 pence an hour average wage increase, while pay of richest skyrockets

By Margot Miller, 11 November 2019

Since 2016, pay has increased from £58.73 an hour to £63.18 for the top income earners, compared to a tiny increase from £12.71 to £12.73 an hour for those on average pay.

UK’s Royal Mail seeks legal action to prevent postal strike

By Robert Stevens, 9 November 2019

Royal Mail intends to impose conditions now widespread throughout the “gig economy.” The Communication Workers Union have done everything possible to avert industrial action.

A tale of two UK Labour MPs—Chris Williamson and Tom Watson

By Laura Tiernan and Chris Marsden, 8 November 2019

Williamson, a Labour Party member for 43 years, has been Corbyn’s most prominent defender against the efforts by Labour’s Blairite wing to remove him as leader.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg speaks for British ruling elite in his attack on Grenfell fire victims

By Robert Stevens, 7 November 2019

Everything done by the Tory government from the morning after the fire has been aimed at shielding the guilty and preventing justice from being done.

UK: 1,000 Asda supermarket workers threatened with sack for rejecting new contract

By Margot Miller, 6 November 2019

The new contract imposes flexible working, ends long-service benefits, paid tea breaks and time off during bank holidays.

Socialist Equality Party stands in UK general election: No to austerity, militarism and war! Free Julian Assange! For class struggle and socialist internationalism!

Socialist Equality Party (UK), 6 November 2019

The Socialist Equality Party is standing candidates in the December 12 UK general election to wage a political struggle against austerity, authoritarian rule, militarism and war.

Concert for Assange outside UK Home Office demands “No extradition!”

By Laura Tiernan, 6 November 2019

Hundreds gathered to hear speeches by Assange’s father John Shipton and fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, and a performance by rap artist M.I.A.

UK: Tens of thousands of university and college staff vote to strike

Ballot follows strike votes by postal workers, railway conductors, airline pilots, NHS staff

By Barry Mason, 4 November 2019

Record turnouts by hundreds of thousands of workers for industrial action reveal the extent of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's collusion with trade union bureaucrats to suppress a social explosion over the past 4 years.

Britain: 180 years since the Newport Rising—Part 1

By Paul Bond, 4 November 2019

The Newport Rising, as it has become known, marked an historic point in the development of the class struggle and the organisation of the working class in Britain.

Trump targets Corbyn in UK election intervention

By Laura Tiernan, 2 November 2019

Trump’s intervention comes less than four months after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the US government would not allow a Corbyn government to take office and would “push back” to prevent this.

Roger Waters on RT: “The US and UK are trying to kill Julian Assange”

By Kevin Reed, 2 November 2019

Roger Waters, the internationally acclaimed musician and creative force behind the rock band Pink Floyd, is playing a prominent and welcome role in the fight to free the WikiLeaks publisher.

England-Bulgaria match highlights growing fascist activity around European soccer

By Paul Bond and Robert Stevens, 1 November 2019

The resurgence of fascistic forces in central and eastern Europe has been fuelled by the restoration of capitalism following the collapse of Stalinism three decades ago.

UK art exhibition for Julian Assange: “If courage was not contagious, I wouldn’t be here today”

By Paul Bond, 1 November 2019

An Exhibition of Free Expression: Dedicated to the defence and freedom of Julian Assange was recently on view at Monkton Arts, Ryde, Isle of Wight.

Inquiry issues cover-up report on Grenfell Tower fire disaster

By Robert Stevens, 31 October 2019

By focusing almost exclusively on the London Fire Brigade’s actions on the night, Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry deliberately transfers blame away from the real culprits.

Britain set for December 12 general election

By Robert Stevens, 30 October 2019

MPs voted to hold what will likely be the most volatile general election in post-war British history.

UK: Johnson set to win new vote to hold December general election

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2019

MPs voted last night to reject Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s motion to call a snap general election on December 12.

Many of 39 found dead in UK lorry were Vietnamese victims of people traffickers

By Robert Stevens, 28 October 2019

Many of the victims were Vietnamese, desperate to escape crushing poverty, only to die in Europe entombed in a dark container.

European Union delays Brexit extension decision as Corbyn tries to avoid general election

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2019

Germany, Spain and Italy are all pushing for the three-month Brexit extension, while French President Emmanuel Macron has emerged as the lone opposition voice.