Britain

UK parliament committee demands sweeping social media censorship

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2019

Social media companies would be required by law to remove what is deemed as “disinformation,” as well as “harmful content,” or face potential fines.

How the ruling elite sought to suppress revolution

Renewal: Life after the First World War in Photographs

By Paul Mitchell, 22 February 2019

As one progresses around the exhibition it becomes clear that the main concern of British imperialism in the post-war period was to overturn the real “renewal” represented by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the “better world” beginning in Russia (none of which, incidentally, is shown in the exhibition).

Honda announces 3,500 job losses at Swindon, England

By Robert Stevens, 20 February 2019

The only realistic way for Honda workers to fight back is through the adoption of their own independent strategy.

Alleging “Russian influence,” Facebook bans left-wing pages

By Andy Thompson, 20 February 2019

Facebook suspended four pages run by Maffick Media, including In the Now, Soapbox, Back Then and Waste-Ed, which posted content critical of US foreign and social policy.

The desecration of Marx’s grave: A warning

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2019

The attack on Karl Marx’s grave is a significant warning of the growing danger to the working class across Europe and internationally from far-right forces that have been deliberately cultivated by the bourgeoisie and given succour by the mass media.

Seven Blairite MPs resign from UK Labour Party

By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 19 February 2019

It is Corbyn’s appeasement of the right that has allowed the seven MPs to walk out instead of being booted out by Labour’s members.

UK school pupils and students protest climate change

By our reporters, 18 February 2019

Up to 15,000 young people demonstrated throughout the UK on Friday, protesting in every main town and city.

Veteran Trotskyist Barbara Slaughter addresses Leeds climate change demo

By our reporters, 18 February 2019

Slaughter, of the Socialist Equality Party, was warmly welcomed, especially when she described the global character of the crisis and the necessity for global action to address it.

New attacks on pensions imposed by UK Tory government

By Dennis Moore, 18 February 2019

A BBC analysis finds that millions of workers in Britain will see pay cuts in the coming weeks, as the amount they have to pay in pension contributions increases.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

A reply to Britain’s Community Security Trust

By Chris Marsden, 16 February 2019

The following is a reply by Socialist Equality Party (UK) national secretary Chris Marsden to Mark Gardner, deputy chief executive & communications director at the pro-Zionist Community Security Trust.

Climate change and the fight for socialism

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), 15 February 2019

Young people are organising across national boundaries in recognition that climate change has global causes and global consequences. In doing so, they are meeting up with an international resurgence of the class struggle.

“Turning Point UK:” A far-right offensive on British campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2019

A check of its leading personnel exposes TPUK as a top-down operation of the Tory right, with the substantial backing of Turning Point’s US-based parent organisation and its fascistic supporters.

New study reveals more details on deadly flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower

By Alice Summers, 14 February 2019

The study showed that ACM cladding is 55 times more flammable than the least flammable panels, with the PIR insulation used behind it at Grenfell Tower giving off smoke that was 15 times more toxic than the less flammable alternatives.

British government’s “Project After” plan for post-Brexit economic crisis

By Steve James, 13 February 2019

The Financial Times reported on a secret economic planning group in the British government, tasked with planning for a deep post Brexit economic crisis.

British troops given free hand to shoot civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Jean Shaoul, 13 February 2019

One soldier stationed in southern Iraq claimed he and fellow troops were told they were allowed to shoot anyone who acted suspiciously.

UK: Anti-Semitism witch-hunt provokes backlash in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2019

The opposition of Corbyn et al. to all attempts to expel the Labour right has once again handed the initiative to the Blairites, despite Labour’s membership in overwhelming numbers hating everything they say and do.

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

UK rail worker sends solidarity to Detroit auto workers protest

9 February 2019

“I wish you good luck and never give up. You need to be organised and stand up to the oppressing regime in order to succeed.”

Corporate tax cuts in UK save big business billions of pounds

By Barry Mason, 8 February 2019

According to an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, previous cuts in corporation tax led to a reduction of around £16.5 billion a year in revenue, between 2010 and 2016.

Stansted 15 anti-deportation protesters go free

By Robert Stevens, 7 February 2019

While avoiding jail sentences, the 15 were still found guilty and now have criminal records.

NHS 10-year plan: Recipe for further attacks on services and privatisation in UK

By Ajanta Silva, 7 February 2019

Under the banner of providing more choices, the government is ready to send more and more patients to private hospitals with the NHS footing the bill.

UK: Employment growth at the expense of pay and job security

By Alice Summers, 6 February 2019

While employment rates have being steadily rising since the 2008 global financial crash, this increase has gone hand in glove with growing levels of job insecurity and stagnant pay.

UK’s largest supermarket Tesco to shed 9,000 jobs

By Margot Miller, 5 February 2019

The response of the trade unions to the job losses was predictably muted. No fight will be waged by them to save a single job.

Britain’s secret propaganda “Integrity Initiative” targets Russia

By Thomas Scripps, 4 February 2019

The Institute for Statecraft and Integrity Initiative’s work is overseen by military intelligence operatives and run in service to the Ministry of Defence on behalf of a network of pro-British and US imperialist outfits.

Brexit, Free Ports and the super-exploitation of the working class

By Steve James, 4 February 2019

Both Tory and Labour politicians support new Free Port deregulation zones.

John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 February 2019

As well as John Pilger, the Sydney rally will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan. Cogan will also be the main speaker at the demonstration in Melbourne on March 10.

Class, not Brexit, is Britain’s great divide

By Chris Marsden, 1 February 2019

A new report shows that decades of cuts in social programs have fallen on all workers, regardless of whether they voted to leave or remain in the EU.

UK: Corbyn allows vicious Tory Immigration Bill to pass

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 31 January 2019

Corbyn and his Labour Party are opposed to the free movement of European Union labour and support what Corbyn has termed “managed migration.”

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

UK’s May fends off demands to delay Brexit or rule out “no deal”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 30 January 2019

May’s pledge to try to extract more concessions from the EU ensured that the government won the day, although this could prove to be a pyrrhic and very short-lived victory.

Leaks expose UK and EU government plans for military deployment in Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2019

Under conditions of intolerable levels of social inequality that will be exacerbated no matter the Brexit outcome, the power of the state will be directed against the true source of social discontent—the working class.

An appeal from a UK rail worker for a joint fight of rail, bus and tram workers across Europe

By our correspondent, 28 January 2019

The WSWS has been sent this appeal from a UK rail worker to colleagues employed by state run Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). It calls for a joint fight against its privatised arm, Abellio, which is currently attacking jobs and working conditions across its private UK rail franchises.

Former leader Alex Salmond’s arrest threatens to tear Scottish National Party apart

By Steve James, 26 January 2019

Whatever the outcome of the legal case against Salmond, the SNP is being torn apart by factional infighting.

UK: Remain and Leave factions line up for battle prior to next Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2019

Theresa May is calculating that enough rebel Brexiteers in her ruling Conservative Party, who voted against her original deal, will support her to ensure no possibility of Brexit being overturned.

“People are still being deported and thrown into detention centres”

An interview with British “Stansted 15” defendant Melanie Strickland

By Margot Miller, 25 January 2019

Melanie Strickland is one of the anti-deportation campaigners found guilty of endangering safety at an airport in contravention of the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, part of Britain’s anti-terror laws.

Julian Assange issues “urgent” legal challenge against US extradition plans

By Mike Head, 24 January 2019

The WikiLeaks founder is seeking to block a concerted operation to terminate his political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy.

UK: More troubling questions emerge in the Skripal case

By Robert Stevens, 24 January 2019

Nothing has been heard from the Skripals since they were spirited out of hospital months ago in a military-type operation and taken to a secret location.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2019

The answer to austerity is not a pro-capitalist Labour government dedicated to rebuilding “national unity” across the Brexit divide, but the unification of workers in Britain with the working class across the continent in the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.

UK: Corbyn endorses second referendum after May stonewalls on her Brexit plan

By Chris Marsden, 22 January 2019

With just 67 days before Brexit is scheduled to take place on March 29, Corbyn has once again folded his hand and united with his right-wing.

British PM May to reveal “Plan B” as Brexit infighting continues

By Robert Stevens, 21 January 2019

The various options being debated are solely concerned with securing the strategic interests of British imperialism.

Ford workers at Bridgend in Wales facing 1,000 job losses

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2019

The trade unions act as management partners and are doing nothing to oppose the job losses.

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

UK: Blairites spearhead campaign to commit Labour to remaining in the European Union

By Thomas Scripps, 18 January 2019

The Blairites are opposed to a general election and aim to block Brexit without letting what is nominally their own party under Corbyn anywhere near power.

Theresa May’s Conservative government survives no-confidence vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 17 January 2019

What should have been a day of reckoning for May turned out to be a humiliating verdict on every capitulation made by Labour leader Corbyn to his party’s right wing since he became leader in September 2015.

UK: Trial begins of police commander in 1989 Hillsborough football disaster

By Thomas Scripps, 17 January 2019

The trial at Preston Crown Court highlights the immense scale of the state cover-up carried out in regard to the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 people died, the worst disaster in British sporting history.

UK parliament votes down Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 16 January 2019

In response to the resounding rejection of May’s proposal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence for Wednesday.

Grenfell Tower: Class action lawsuit in US against flammable cladding manufacturer

By Paul Bond, 16 January 2019

The suit claims Arconic “knowingly or recklessly supplied its highly flammable Reynobond polyethylene (PE) cladding panels for use in high-rise buildings.”

UK parliament to vote on Brexit deal today

By Chris Marsden, 15 January 2019

The fight over Brexit revolves around the best means of advancing the interests of British imperialism for control of global markets.

Top UK executives earn average worker pay within three days

By Alice Summers, 15 January 2019

While the vast majority of British workers have suffered a decline in wages unsurpassed for over a century, top bosses have seen their pay grow rapidly year on year.

UK People’s Assembly protest shows Corbyn’s role in demobilising the working class

By Steve James, 14 January 2019

The deeper the crisis, the more openly the Labour Party and the trade unions reveal their function as a political and industrial police force for big business over the working class.

Jaguar Land Rover announces nearly 5,000 UK job losses in global restructuring

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2019

Last October, JLR posted losses of £90 million and has seen a collapse in sales by nearly 50 percent in its main and most profitable market, China.

The struggle against austerity and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 12 January 2019

The SEP insists that the answer to austerity in the UK is not the election of a pro-capitalist Labour government, but the unification of the working class across the continent in the struggle for socialism.

Corporate media smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 January 2019

A host of articles attacking Julian Assange this week are representative of what the world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger aptly described as “Vichy journalism.”

Nearly 600 homeless died on UK streets in 2017

“We’re living in the Dark Ages—how can there be so much wealth and so much misery?”

By our reporters, 11 January 2019

Over the holiday period, WSWS reporters spoke to homeless people, charities and volunteers dealing with the escalating homeless crisis in the UK.

British prime minister suffers second defeat at hands of pro-European Union MPs

By Robert Stevens, 10 January 2019

The vote was the second defeat of the government in less than 24 hours as a result of pro-Remain Tories blocking with the opposition parties.

Fascists surround rail workers’ picket line in Manchester, England

By Margot Miller, 10 January 2019

The Manchester attack is the second on RMT members in the last six months.

Debate begins in British parliament over May’s Brexit deal with EU

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2019

May is using the growing possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit, with its unforetold economic and social consequences, to pressure Brussels for more and to force MPs to back her deal.

Military prepare for post-Brexit civil war in Britain and Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 8 January 2019

Preparations involve 50,000 troops in mainland Britain and 1,000 more police in Northern Ireland—close to half the current size of the British Army and more than the force sent by the government to invade Iraq.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

British government dispatches Royal Navy to stop cross-Channel refugee boats

By Paul Mitchell, 4 January 2019

A right-wing anti-immigration campaign is being manufactured around the minuscule number of desperate souls—539 in total—who tried to cross the Channel in 2018.

Scotland: 300 laid off at Kaiam plant on Christmas Eve

By Steve James, 3 January 2019

Workers at optical electronics firm Kaiam in Livingston, Scotland, were laid off following the company’s collapse.

Hundreds die on UK streets as homelessness reaches record levels

By Margot Miller, 3 January 2019

Over the last five years, an estimated 2,627 homeless people have perished on the streets.

UK: Cross-party moves escalate to prevent Brexit and secure second referendum

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2018

Amid an unprecedented crisis of rule, Corbyn’s major concern is to preserve the unity of the Labour Party on the basis that only a Labour government can rescue British imperialism.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2018

This is the second and concluding part of a series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

UK: Investigation into Grenfell fire will “take years, not months,” police say

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 29 December 2018

With the police investigation now to take years, there is plenty of scope for the criminals responsible for Grenfell to kick things even further into the long grass.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 1

By Thomas Scripps, 29 December 2018

This is the first of a two-part series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

UK: Denial of access to justice following Legal Aid cuts

By Dennis Moore, 27 December 2018

The lack of Legal Aid and access to representation in the courts has resulted in a fivefold increase of people representing themselves.

Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to demolish 8,000 council homes

By Charles Hixson, 27 December 2018

Khan’s policies mean that 31,000 residents in at least 8,000 homes will face demolition on 118 estates in the coming decade.

Autoworkers at JLR and Vauxhalls UK face thousands of job losses

By Margot Miller, 24 December 2018

JLR’s decision to shed jobs highlights the increasing anxiety of the majority faction of the UK bourgeoisie opposed to a hard Brexit.

A tale of two cities: Grenfell Tower and the “ultra-luxury” lives of the super-rich

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2018

Just 18 months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, the RBKC has given permission for the building of two “ultra-luxury” residential retirement homes just a few miles away.

RMT union cancels three strikes on London Underground

By Angela Austin, 24 December 2018

Underground rail workers have been involved in a series of disputes and strikes over worsening working conditions, staff shortages and victimisations.

UK: Half of Royal College of Nursing leadership re-elected after being forced out

By Ajanta Silva, 22 December 2018

The re-elected union functionaries played a crucial role in selling a rotten pay deal to their members earlier this year, after conspiring with other unions and the government.

UK government announces draconian Brexit immigration policy and deployment of troops

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2018

With the working class unable to articulate its own independent interests, a crisis-ridden Tory government is moving to rapidly enact its reactionary Brexit agenda.

UK workers’ wages slashed by as much as a third in last decade

By Barry Mason, 20 December 2018

After a decade of relentless austerity, Britain is one of only two advanced economies—the other being Italy—where real wages are still lower than a decade ago.

Troops to be deployed in case of no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 19 December 2018

May’s Conservative government has announced that 3,500 soldiers are on standby to deal with economic disruption and confront social unrest in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

General practitioners abandoning Britain’s National Health Service

By Ben Trent, 19 December 2018

A poll by the General Medical Council’s regulating body concluded there was a high risk of doctors leaving the profession “in unprecedented numbers.”

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.