Britain

UK: Left Leave campaign lays out its nationalist agenda in Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2016

In speech after speech at a recent Left Leave meeting, the national division of the working class was portrayed as the sole means of opposing imperialism.

Julian Assange challenges anti-democratic “no platform” campaign

By Laura Tiernan, 24 May 2016

The Sheffield meeting was a victory over efforts to silence Assange and close down debate on fundamental issues surrounding the escalation of militarism and war.

George Galloway backs “Left Leave” and urges alliance with UK Independence Party

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2016

”Left Leave” is a mechanism for transmitting the most degraded and right-wing nationalist sentiments into the working class.

Retired British general predicts war with Russia, denounces Cameron government as “semi-pacifist”

By Harvey Thompson, 21 May 2016

Shirreff urges class war at home and public spending cuts to fund massive increases in military spending.

Local campuses disaffiliate from British National Union of Students

By Thomas Scripps, 21 May 2016

The ahistorical, irrational and racialised policies of the pseudo-left have opened the way for an assault on the NUS from the right.

Queen’s Speech 2016: UK Conservatives continue agenda of austerity and repression

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2016

The government’s legislative programme for the next year includes new powers for the state under the guise of tackling “extremism” and the abolition of the Human Rights Act.

UK: Gap in life expectancy between rich and poor widens for first time since 1870

By Trevor Johnson, 18 May 2016

The growing discrepancy in life expectancy between the rich and poor is the result of decades of attacks on jobs, wages and living standards.

Notes on the London housing crisis

One third of London renters sinking into debt

By Allison Smith, 18 May 2016

Last year, one in five families was forced to move home in the capital. Rent has soared 20 percent over the past five years, while average pay has increased only 2 percent.

Jeremy Corbyn appeals to UK Labour’s Blairite wing for unity

By Chris Marsden, 17 May 2016

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s lofty pretence at being above personal insults would carry more weight if it was not routinely employed to justify his latest political capitulation to the right wing.

UK: Manchester United ground evacuated in false terror scare

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2016

No explanation has yet been provided by Manchester United, the police or the company that left a dummy explosive device in a football stadium, of Sunday’s extraordinary events.

IMF warns against British exit from EU

By Julie Hyland, 14 May 2016

IMF head Christine Lagarde warned that in the event of a vote to leave the European Union, the UK could enter into recession.

Hillsborough: A powerful and moving account of Britain’s worst sporting disaster

By Robert Stevens, 14 May 2016

The documentary reconstructs key events and includes harrowing footage of the crush and its aftermath, as well as interviews with family members, survivors and police officers on duty.

UK Brexit referendum campaign dominated by xenophobia and war rhetoric

By Chris Marsden, 12 May 2016

The referendum campaign has exposed the dangers confronting the working class as a result of the growing conflict between the imperialist powers.

UK: Corbyn launches Labour’s effort to cover for right-wing Remain campaign

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2016

With the Conservatives divided, the Labour Party’s ability to deliver its 9 million voters is considered essential for the sections of the ruling class supporting a Remain vote on Brexit.

UK prisoners “potential assets to be harnessed” for profit

By John Newham, 11 May 2016

Deplorable conditions are being used to justify the further privatisation of the prison service.

UK prime minister invokes militarism and war to argue for EU membership

By Julie Hyland, 10 May 2016

Cameron made clear that he was speaking not only on behalf of the UK, but for all the major imperialist powers

UK unions collude in the passing of anti-strike legislation

By Robert Stevens and Harvey Thompson, 9 May 2016

The only concern of the union leaders has been to protect their dues income.

UK elections intensify crisis in Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 7 May 2016

In Thursday’s elections in the UK, large swathes of the parliamentary Labour Party were not only predicting a disastrous defeat for their party, they were actively working for one.

Many UK accident and emergency units closed or downgraded

By Harvey Thompson and Barry Mason, 7 May 2016

The decision to close the Huddersfield A&E unit is related to the terms of the Calderdale Royal Private Finance Initiative agreement, which prohibits its sale or mothballing for another 42 years.

Labour “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt dominates media in run-up to UK polls

By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2016

During Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament Wednesday, David Cameron reiterated the charge that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a supporter of terrorism.

More than a million people living in destitution in UK

By Alice Summers, 5 May 2016

A report released last week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that, in a typical week, there were an estimated 668,000 destitute households in the UK.

UK Labour mounts purge of party based on accusations of anti-Semitism

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2016

As on every other issue of principle, Jeremy Corbyn has surrendered to the right wing in the face of a slanderous attack on the Labour Party’s ranks as a mass of “anti-Semites.”

Poverty grows, health declines among UK children

By Margot Miller, 4 May 2016

Successive Labour and Conservative governments have reduced spending on children and young people by 71 percent.

British government refuses asylum for refugee children

By Jean Shaoul, 3 May 2016

The government’s refusal to accept even a few hundred children follows its attempts to prevent unaccompanied minors trapped in France from being re-united with their families.

Oppose the witch-hunt of Ken Livingstone!

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 2 May 2016

Ken Livingstone, accused of anti-Semitism, is the target of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting all criticism of Israel and shifting the Labour Party still further to the right.

London mayoral elections: A contest between two right-wing candidates

By Michael Barnes, 2 May 2016

Under Tory Mayor Boris Johnson, London has cemented its position as the playground of a corrupt financial oligarchy and one of the most socially polarised cities on the planet.

UK Labour leadership, bowing to right-wing campaign, suspends Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2016

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has capitulated to a scurrilous campaign to portray Livingstone as an anti-Semite.

UK junior doctors denounce attack on wages, working conditions

By our reporters, 29 April 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines and at rallies during this week’s two one-day strikes without emergency cover.

Vast increase in “zero-hours” labor contracts in the UK

By Edwin Wills, 28 April 2016

Under zero-hours contracts, workers must be ready to work whenever required.

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the campaign by the families and supporters of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed 27 years ago.

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The death of 96 Liverpool football supporters on April 15, 1989 was followed by a 27-year cover-up.

Public support for UK junior doctors strike grows as government insists they must be “defeated”

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2016

The strike by 45,000 junior doctors in England is the first stoppage in the history of the National Health Service to be held without emergency care being provided.

The Socialist Party’s pro-capitalist call to nationalise the UK steel industry

By Jean Shaoul, 27 April 2016

The Socialist Party frames its call for the nationalisation of Tata steel explicitly in terms of defending Britain’s “national interest” and “heritage”.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

Eleven thousand jobs threatened at British Home Stores

By Jean Shaoul, 26 April 2016

Pension obligations will be transferred to the taxpayer, while the corporate heads’ own tax obligations are wiped out, courtesy of debt-financed transactions and off-shore tax havens.

UK: Millions of low income families will be poorer under welfare reforms

By Thomas Scripps, 25 April 2016

Many working families will lose up to £200 a month as a result of the Universal Credit welfare reform introduced by the Conservative government.

UK Chancellor touts Treasury analysis to promote European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2016

The claim by Chancellor George Osborne that the European Union will guarantee prosperity for British families is absurd.

UK Leave and Remain campaigns seek to exploit fears over future of National Health Service

By Tony Robson, 21 April 2016

The Remain and Leave campaigns are led by parties that have cut NHS and opened up public health care for privatisation.

UK: Thousands march in Leeds to oppose attacks on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens and our reporters, 21 April 2016

The role of Keep Our NHS Public is to ensure that any fight back remains within the stranglehold of the Labour Party and the trade unions.

UK unions agree to implement pay cuts for NHS workers

By Ajanta Silva, 20 April 2016

After paving the way for years of pay freezes and erosion of conditions, the unions have colluded with the government and accepted the 1 percent cap on pay this year and until 2020.

Rail unions declare support for UK exit from the EU

By Michael Barnes and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2016

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the train drivers union ASLEF claim EU membership is “bad for Britain in general and bad for the railway in particular.”

People’s Assembly demonstration promotes Corbyn’s anti-austerity fraud

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2016

Large numbers of junior doctors currently involved in industrial action took part in the protest, which also included student nurses and steelworkers.

The political significance of the campaign for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2016

The SEP urges a rejection of both the defenders of the European Union and the advocates of a British exit from the EU in the official Remain and Leave campaigns.

Cost of elderly care increasing throughout the UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 April 2016

In the period from 2004 to 2014, state funding for care of the elderly plunged by a third.

Labour’s Corbyn pledges to lead pro-EU referendum campaign in UK

By Chris Marsden, 15 April 2016

The intervention by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in favour of Britain remaining in the EU is vital for the ruling elite amid growing popular hatred of the Cameron government.

UK: Unions work with asset stripper to impose cuts at Tata Steel

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2016

Plants will be taken over only on condition that wages, conditions and pension rights are decimated.

Panama Papers destabilise Cameron government in UK

By Chris Marsden, 11 April 2016

Britain stands at the epicentre of an international web of corruption serving the interests of a financial oligarchy that rules the entire planet.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

Socialist Party’s TUSC electoral front seeks official “Leave” status in UK Brexit Referendum

By Julie Hyland, 9 April 2016

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and the Socialist Party are promoting “left nationalism” in the service of a faction of the British bourgeoisie.

Panama Papers revelations intensify crisis of Cameron government in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 9 April 2016

In his fifth version of events in four days, Prime Minister David Cameron admitted to owning shares in his father’s offshore company and profiting from them.

UK junior doctors speak out during latest strike

By our reporters, 8 April 2016

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines around the country.

Panama Papers revelation triggers political crises around the globe

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

As pressure builds on Britain’s Conservative government over the tax arrangements of Prime Minister David Cameron, it is becoming clear that the Panama Papers are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Junior doctors face political fight to save National Health Service

By Paul Mitchell, 7 April 2016

Junior doctors have demanded more effective action after Health Secretary Hunt announced he would impose a new contract by August 1.

The class issues in the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 April 2016

The following is an amended version of a report delivered March 26 by Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), to a party aggregate in Sheffield.

UK central to global tax avoidance

Cameron government implicated in Panama Papers revelations

By Chris Marsden, 6 April 2016

The leaked Panama Papers detailing widespread global tax avoidance place the UK at the centre of this operation.

UK Tata Steel operation at centre of escalating trade war

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

The Labour Party and the trade unions have responded to the planned closure of Tata Steel’s UK plants with demands for protectionism and trade war.

Cuts lead to closure of hundreds of public libraries across UK

By Alice Summers, 2 April 2016

Since 2010, about a quarter of library workers have lost their jobs.

Labour Party and unions mount nationalist campaign over UK steel industry

By Robert Stevens, 1 April 2016

The position of Labour and the unions is based on developing protectionist measures to defend what they view as an industry critical to the interests of British imperialism.

Forty thousand jobs threatened as Tata Steel announces end of UK operations

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2016

Neither Labour leader Corbyn nor the trade union bureaucracy proposes any struggle by steel workers in defence of their jobs.

European Court rubber-stamps police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

By Chris Marsden, 31 March 2016

Judges ruled that the UK had not violated article two of the European Convention of Human Rights protecting the right to life.

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

Tube drivers shut down London Piccadilly Line

By Ross Mitchell, 26 March 2016

Prior to the stoppage, the RMT union sought to get the strike off the agenda.

UK dockers strike suspended by Unite union

By Steve James, 25 March 2016

From the start, Unite made clear that it sought nothing more than good relations with Forth Ports to carry forward their shared interests.

Corbyn’s six months as UK Labour leader: A record of capitulation and betrayal

By Robert Stevens, 24 March 2016

There is a stark symmetry between the treacherous and cowardly course of Corbyn’s tenure and the betrayal carried out by the Syriza government in Greece.

Resignation of UK work and pensions secretary divides Conservative government

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2016

Under conditions of escalating economic crisis, the rifts in the Tory party are an expression of political realignments underway within bourgeois politics internationally.

UK super-rich seize 26 percent of all new wealth since 2000

By Barry Mason, 22 March 2016

According to a new report by Oxfam, just seven percent of the increase in wealth over the past 15 years went to the poorest 50 percent, or 30 million people.

UK teacher shortages on the rise

By Tom Pearce, 19 March 2016

The failure of the UK government to achieve its target for teacher recruitment is symptomatic of the crisis arising from dictatorial conditions and extreme governmental pressure.

The pseudo-left’s nationalist Leave campaign in the UK Brexit referendum

Part Two

By Chris Marsden, 19 March 2016

Against the pseudo-left, the Socialist Equality Party intervenes in the referendum campaign in order to clarify the fundamental historical and programmatic issues raised by the struggle against austerity, militarism and war.

The pseudo-left’s nationalist “Leave” campaign in the UK Brexit referendum

Part one

By Chris Marsden, 18 March 2016

The Socialist Party has played the central role in glossing over the nationalist opposition to immigration on the part of Trade Unionists Against the European Union and its predecessors.

UK Budget: Austerity for workers pays for tax breaks for corporations and the rich

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2016

Conservative Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, announced Wednesday, dramatically slashes the tax rate on corporate profits and capital gains.

Glasgow City Council workers strike against cuts and poverty wages

By Steve James and Minnie Watson, 17 March 2016

Another round of spending cuts imposed by the Scottish National Party government on behalf of the Conservative central government is likely to cost as many as 15,000 job losses.

UK: Families of missing demolition workers campaign for their rescue

By Danny Richardson, 16 March 2016

A campaign has been set up by the families of two Rotherham men after rescue attempts were called off within a couple of days of a power station’s collapse.

Rough-sleeping on the rise in England

By Alice Summers, 16 March 2016

London is particularly affected, with rough-sleepers in the capital constituting 26 percent of the country’s total.

Shadow Chancellor McDonnell pledges UK Labour Party to austerity

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2016

McDonnell said ensuring Labour’s credibility on the economy to big business was “the struggle of a generation.”

English National Opera chorus to strike

By Margot Miller, 15 March 2016

The action was announced on the steps of the headquarters of Arts Council England.

UK bill hands vast surveillance powers to police and intelligence agencies

By Barry Mason, 14 March 2016

ISPs will have to keep records of the browsing history of everyone who accesses the Internet for 12 months, with this data freely available to the police and the GCHQ.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deletes criticisms of EU from his web site

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2016

There is nothing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once proclaimed as an issue of political principle that he will not jettison.

Junior doctors in England mount 48-hour strike

By Robert Stevens, 12 March 2016

Despite the government's direct intervention last month to impose an inferior contract, the British Medical Association has insisted that doctors are not involved in a political struggle.

Brexit referendum: Remain camp backs European Union of austerity and militarism

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 10 March 2016

The support of the dominant sections of Britain’s financial and business elite for remaining in the European Union is based on maintaining trade links within the world’s largest single market.

Poor mental health care in England is “ruining lives,” report finds

By Dennis Moore, 9 March 2016

Mental health services for children and young people in England were cut by £35 million last year alone.

UK energy firms rake in profits as “fuel poverty” escalates

By Emily Wilson and Robert Stevens, 9 March 2016

In recent years, the annual profits of British Gas averaged £584 million.

Campaign for UK exit from the EU dominated by nationalism and big business interests

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2016

The “Leave” campaign speaks for a layer of the British ruling elite that regards the EU as a constraint on the pursuit of Britain’s national interests.

UK: Metropolitan Police demand Pitchford Inquiry take evidence in secret

By Trevor Johnson, 8 March 2016

The MPS uses arguments on the need for secrecy and hiding identities that were previously exercised in the run-up to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry.

Tensions rise at Franco-British and Franco-German summits

By Francis Dubois, 7 March 2016

The Amiens and Paris summits lay bare rising tensions inside Europe in the run-up to today's EU-Turkey summit on the escalating refugee and war crisis in Syria.

Brexit vote sparks crisis for Scottish National Party

By Steve James, 7 March 2016

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has come forward as the most craven booster of the political bona-fides of the European Union.

Cameron and Hollande beat anti-immigrant drum to oppose Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2016

French officials threatened that a British exit from the European Union could lead France to stop blocking refugees from traveling via Calais to Britain.

UK immigration policy inflicts more damage on National Health Service

By Sascha Woods, 4 March 2016

The NHS has lost out on the hiring of over 1,000 trained nurses due to restrictions on migration.

Notes on London’s housing crisis

By Allison Smith, 3 March 2016

The high cost of housing has pushed London to the bottom of the league table for living standards in the UK

An exchange on the SEP’s call for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 2 March 2016

We are posting here replies to two comments from readers on the statement published this week by the Socialist Equality Party.

The way forward for UK junior doctors

By Tony Robson, 2 March 2016

The central risk to the junior doctors is the continued isolation of their struggle by the trade unions.

Tens of thousands attend London protest against nuclear weapons

By Robert Stevens, 29 February 2016

In his speech to the rally, Labour party leader Corbyn made no mention of the advanced preparation for war being made by the imperialist powers, including Britain.

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party, British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International

29 February 2016

UK generals intervene to oppose Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2016

The letter by 13 military officials is testament to the role of the European Union in the militarist agenda of the main European powers.

Strike at 200 Further Education colleges in England

By Margot Miller, 27 February 2016

Some Further Education staff have suffered a reduction in pay by as much as 17 percent after years on lower than inflation pay rises.

UK: Tottenham residents speak on plans to demolish Broadwater Farm estate

By our reporters, 26 February 2016

Many residents will be uprooted and unable to find a new affordable accommodation, as the deposit required to acquire a mortgage stands at £80,000.

UK government proposes to set up Muslim-only jail

By Barry Mason, 25 February 2016

The precedent for grouping prisoners based on shared ideological beliefs is the infamous “H blocks” in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland in the 1980s.

UK schools privatisation programme continues despite failures

By Tom Pearce, 24 February 2016

The Academy programme privatisation scheme has led to a substandard level of education for children and large chains controlling schools across wide geographical areas.

Nationalism and “Brexit”

By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2016

The first responsibility of a socialist in the referendum on “Brexit” is to reject all appeals for working people to fall in behind one or another faction of the bourgeoisie fighting over which strategy best upholds the interests of British imperialism.

Right-wing “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns begin for UK referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 22 February 2016

What is on offer in the June 23rd referendum is a choice between supporting one of two reactionary camps that articulate opposed strategies for the British bourgeoisie.

Brexit referendum to go ahead after UK secures deal with European Union

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 20 February 2016

Despite disputes over financial regulation, there was broad agreement among EU heads of state for Prime Minister Cameron’s proposed cuts to social benefits for refugees.