Britain

Pro-Corbyn Momentum group seeks affiliation to Labour Party

By Richard Tyler, 17 January 2017

Any pretence Momentum maintained that it was a radical rank-and-file group, nominally independent of the Labour Party, has been destroyed.

Millions face dire consequences of rundown of Britain’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2017

More than 20 hospitals have raised alerts that they can no longer provide basic services to the public, as the British Red Cross said the NHS faces a “humanitarian crisis.”

UK: Labour-run councils impose Tory cuts under Corbyn’s instruction

By Margot Miller, 16 January 2017

Labour’s role in enforcing savage cuts in Metropolitan borough councils demonstrates it remains a big business party, despite the election of “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn.

UK: May and Corbyn suppress scandal over Israel's role in anti-Corbyn coup

By Jean Shaoul and Chris Marsden, 14 January 2017

In response to proof that the coup against him was sponsored by Israel, Corbyn has not said a single word.

The Guardian uses anti-Russian hacking claims to proselytise for CIA and war

By Julie Hyland, 13 January 2017

The Guardian demands that readers abandon their critical faculties—or what the newspaper would undoubtedly deem their “illegitimate scepticism”—to line up behind the war aims of the CIA and the Democratic Party.

Jeremy Corbyn: The abortive rebranding of a “left muddlehead”

By Paul Mitchell, 12 January 2017

Corbyn’s speech was a signal that he is prepared to make the political shifts demanded of him by the party’s right wing, including the adoption of an anti-immigration agenda.

Protests follow “planned operation” police killing of Yasser Yaqub in UK

By Harvey Thompson, 12 January 2017

The killing of Yaqub was the fifth fatal police shooting in England and Wales in the past nine months.

Subway, train and airline workers strike in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 11 January 2017

The 24-hour strike that paralysed the London subway system Monday was followed by the start of two 48-hour walkouts by drivers on Southern Rail and British Airways cabin crew.

British super-rich pay less tax as workers pay more

By Simon Whelan, 11 January 2017

While the rich are allowed to avoid the taxes necessary to fund vitally-needed services, the government continually devises ways to extract ever more from the working class.

Brexit deepens existential crisis of UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 10 January 2017

The row over what relationship the UK will have with the European Union takes place under conditions where its very survival is threatened.

UK rail union TSSA and pro-Corbyn Momentum stoke up anti-European sentiment

By Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2017

A video posted by the pro-Corbyn Momentum organization seeks to portray the population of Europe as benefitting from the privatization if the UK’s rail network.

Strikes in transport and other sectors to hit the UK

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2017

The series of strikes points to a nascent rebellion by workers against the efforts of the trade unions to suppress opposition to the onslaught on jobs and wages.

Death toll mounts as UK National Health Service deliberately destroyed

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 January 2017

Having set the NHS up to fail, the government and the media will inevitably insist that the NHS must be made more efficient through the closure of “failing” services and privatisations.

British Labour Party moving to support ending free movement of EU workers

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2017

The Tories and Labour are fighting over which party is more stridently opposed to immigration.

Wakefield school cleaning workers sacked after three-month strike in UK

By Barry Mason, 6 January 2017

Unison, with over 1.2 million members and an annual income of more than £200 million, has proved unwilling and incapable of defending the jobs of three embattled cleaners.

UK: Jeremy Corbyn re-launched as populist leader

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2017

Corbyn’s New Year message confirms his role as frontman for a party dedicated to waging war on the working class and against opponents of British imperialism throughout the world.

British workers face pay squeeze in 2017

By Richard Tyler, 3 January 2017

The Institute for Fiscal Studies wrote that British workers faced the “worst decade for pay in 70 years.”

UK: Appalling warehouse working conditions exposed at JD Sports

By Joe Mount, 3 January 2017

A succession of governments have created the conditions for the legal, uninhibited exploitation of workers, removing restrictions on business and cutting spending on welfare benefits.

UK: The Sky takeover deal and the rehabilitation of Rupert Murdoch

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2016

Less than six years after the phone-hacking scandal involving the News of the World, the media oligarch Rupert Murdoch and his Fox corporation are set to take over UK TV company Sky.

Behind the faction fight in the UK’s pro-Corbyn Momentum movement

By Chris Marsden, 31 December 2016

The overarching political concern of the bureaucratic cabal at the heart of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Momentum group is to ensure that it remains a useful adjunct of the Labour Party.

UK: Sheffield’s 82-year-old Central Library under threat due to cuts

By Tony Robson, 30 December 2016

The Labour-run council has reduced spending on services by £300 million since 2011 as the central government grant has been cut by 50 percent.

UK: “Localism” flagship Bristol City Council on verge of bankruptcy

By Mark Blackwood, 29 December 2016

The Labour Party, Greens and Liberal Democrats have collaborated to impose tens of millions of pounds in spending cuts in Bristol.

Britain’s National Health Service being prepared for privatisation

By Barry Mason, 28 December 2016

The Sustainability and Transformation Plans prepared by National Health Service bosses are aimed at ending universal health care.

European Court verdict no obstacle to UK state surveillance

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2016

The Investigatory Powers Act is a staggering and unprecedented attack on the rights and privacy of every UK citizen.

UK: Cambridge “spy” forum splits over alleged “Russian influence”

By Julie Hyland, 23 December 2016

The split comes against the backdrop of US and British imperialism’s debacle in Syria.

UK unions seek to head off further strikes

By Chris Marsden, 22 December 2016

This week, a strike by conductors on Southern Rail was joined by a walkout of Crown Post Office workers, while further action was scheduled to take place at Swissport and British Airways.

Funding cuts across almost all UK schools

By Tom Pearce, 22 December 2016

According to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, government spending proposals for schools will mean that “around 90 percent of schools" would see funding cuts.

UK: Inmates riot at Birmingham prison as conditions deteriorate

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 21 December 2016

The ruling elite’s only response is law and order and the continuation of social policies that increase the prison population.

UK government denounces strike wave

By Robert Stevens, 20 December 2016

The strikes are indicative of growing opposition to years of attacks by successive British governments and are part of a growing movement of the working class throughout Europe.

David North speaks in London on Donald Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 19 December 2016

Approximately 100 workers, students and youth attended a lecture in London on Saturday delivered by North, the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS and national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party of the US.

Workers, youth at London meeting respond to David North’s analysis of Trump’s victory

By our reporters, 19 December 2016

The Socialist Equality Party spoke to some of those attending the lecture by WSWS Chairman David North on “The causes and consequences of Trump’s election: Where is America going?”

UK: Labour says free movement in Europe must be curtailed post-Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 17 December 2016

Labour’s Keir Starmer called for a “national consensus on Brexit,” with freedom of movement restrictions central to negotiations with the European Union.

Huge increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition in Britain

By Jean Gibney, 17 December 2016

Three million people are at risk of malnutrition, with 7,366 of these admitted to hospital with the condition between August 2014 and July 2015.

Significant rise in UK homelessness

By Joe Mount, 16 December 2016

London, with a population of 8.6 million, is worst affected with 2 percent of people facing housing insecurity.

UK Southern Rail strike continues as British Airways cabin crew vote to strike

By Richard Tyler, 16 December 2016

The Conservative government is planning to pass legislation against strikes on the rail network in response to the determined struggle by Southern Rail workers.

British Labour MPs lead demands for UK action in Syria

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 15 December 2016

Britain’s parliament held an “emergency” debate on Syria against the backdrop of a major debacle for US imperialism and its British ally.

Unions back pension attacks at Tata Steel UK

By Danny Richardson, 15 December 2016

Tata and the unions are working to abolish the British Steel Pension Scheme that Tata had been seeking to eliminate ever since it bought its UK steel plants in 2007.

UK-Poland summit reveals growing national antagonisms in Europe

By Clara Weiss, 14 December 2016

Theresa May’s government hosted a summit November 28 between Great Britain and Poland aimed at fostering a strategic political and military alliance between the two countries.

Rail strike halts services throughout southern England

By Richard Tyler, 14 December 2016

The ability of railworkers to prosecute a successful fight to defend their pay, conditions and the safety of the travelling public, is undermined by the unions and Labour Party.

Pseudo-left covers for Corbyn’s capitulation to Blair over Iraq war

By Laura Tiernan, 14 December 2016

The pseudo-left’s support for Corbyn gives Labour a blank cheque to facilitate British military aggression.

Nearly 4 million children living in poverty in the UK

By Barry Mason, 13 December 2016

In the constituency of Birmingham Ladywood, in the UK’s second largest city, the child poverty rate is 47.3 percent.

UK: Government sponsored “integration” report an agenda for division

By Julie Hyland, 12 December 2016

The centrepiece of Louise Casey’s report is her call for the promotion of “British values” and for immigrants to swear an “integration oath.”

Bank of England governor warns of the “spectre of communism”

By Richard Tyler, 12 December 2016

Mark Carney compared the crisis today with the period of revolutionary upheavals that swept across Europe in 1848.

UK Supreme Court completes hearing on Brexit procedure

By Robert Stevens, 10 December 2016

Whatever verdict on whether Prime Minister Theresa May has the power to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will only deepen the schism in ruling circles.

UK: Voter turnout collapses by half in “Brexit” by-election

By Julie Hyland, 10 December 2016

The Sleaford by-election was dominated by bitter conflicts within ruling circles over British exit from the European Union.

Notes on London’s housing crisis

London borough council housing has 50-year waiting list

By Allison Smith, 9 December 2016

London’s Barking and Dagenham borough, which has 50 times more people on the waiting list than available properties, has a 50-year waiting list for council housing.

UK parliament passes Labour motion calling for government to publish “Brexit plan”

By Robert Stevens, 8 December 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May originally opposed the motion, but was forced to accept it as between 20 and 40 pro-EU Tory rebels were pledged to back Labour.

UK Supreme Court hears opposed arguments on whether Parliament must vote to trigger Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 7 December 2016

The Supreme Court hearing takes place amid an escalating political crisis over Britain’s exiting the European Union, as the EU itself descends ever deeper into chaos.

Supreme Court Brexit hearing begins amid growing divisions in UK ruling circles

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2016

The case stems from the major constitutional and political crisis sparked by the narrow June 23 referendum vote to exit the EU.

Immigrants protest ill treatment in UK detention centres

By Richard Tyler, 6 December 2016

Hunger strikes, attempted suicides and incidents of self-harm are common in the centres.

UK by-election deepens divisions in ruling class over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2016

The deepening economic crisis post-Brexit, fuelled by the political uncertainty resulting from Trump’s victory in the US, is reshaping political loyalties in ways that cross party lines.

UK: Veolia sacks binmen for helping elderly man

By Paul Mitchell, 3 December 2016

Veolia’s vindictive actions will come as no surprise to millions of workers.

UK Independence Party selects new leader as post-Brexit crisis deepens

By Julie Hyland, 2 December 2016

New leader Paul Nuttall’s promotion of anti-immigrant and law-and-order rhetoric is a right-wing populist veneer for the defence of British capital against the working class.

UK: Corbyn protects Tony Blair from a demand that he account for his Iraq war lies

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 1 December 2016

Corbyn has capitulated to the warmongers in the Parliamentary Labour Party at every juncture.

Dire situation in UK social care for the elderly

By Dennis Moore, 1 December 2016

Local authorities agreed to help just under half of the 6.6 million people who approached them for help.

British government steps up attacks on state pensions

By Danny Richardson and Robert Stevens, 29 November 2016

The implications for pensioners of the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Select Committee are disastrous.

Huge growth in “precarious employment” in the UK

By Thomas Scripps, 28 November 2016

The total number of workers in self-employment, temporary work and zero-hours contracts has increased by nearly 2 million over the past decade.

“Buried alive by the National Coal Board”

The Aberfan disaster in Wales 50 years on

By Margot Miller, 28 November 2016

A total of 116 children perished in the avalanche of coal waste—almost half of those at Pantglas Junior School—along with 28 adults, including five teachers.

Tony Blair heads new pro-European Union movement

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2016

Support for a second referendum on the UK’s European Union membership has only minority support in Parliament but cuts across existing party divisions.

Fascist Thomas Mair convicted of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox

By Robert Stevens, 25 November 2016

Cox was killed just one week prior to the referendum vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

UK government Autumn Statement: Economic crisis accelerates after Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 24 November 2016

Workers whose living standards have already been devastated face more years of brutal austerity.

Queen to be given £370 million to refurbish Buckingham Palace

By Richard Tyler, 24 November 2016

News of the proposed payment led to an online petition demanding that “the Crown and its estates should be made to fund its own renovations.”

UK: Chilcot Iraq War inquiry cover-up confirmed

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2016

That the Chilcot inquiry was wholly a creature of the government and had no real independence is confirmed in declassified documents.

Over 120,000 British children will be homeless this winter

By Alice Summers, 23 November 2016

Nearly 4 million children live in poverty in Britain.

UK: Labour’s Corbyn competes with Prime Minister May for alliance with big business

By Chris Marsden, 22 November 2016

Corbyn is presenting Labour as the best means to secure the interests of big business in a post-Brexit Britain, as against a divided Tory government.

British parliament passes “Snoopers’ Charter,” expanding spying powers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 November 2016

The new laws are an unprecedented attack on democratic rights, giving the state the power to gather information on millions, and to process, profile and store the results.

UK students and lecturers protest education cuts

By a reporting team, 21 November 2016

Young people brought their own homemade banners such as “No fees, no cuts, no debt”, “Drop Fees, Not Bombs” and “Education, not Deportation.”

Guardian columnist Will Hutton rants against the Brexit “mob”

By Paul Mitchell, 21 November 2016

Hutton’s defence of a political and economic system that is committed to austerity only legitimises UKIP’s demagogic posturing as the voice of the “people” against “the elites.”

Report by Julie Hyland to the Third National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

By Julie Hyland, 21 November 2016

SEP Assistant National Secretary Julie Hyland moved the second resolution to the SEP (UK) Third National Congress, “Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party: The strategic lessons.”

Trial of fascist accused of murdering UK Labour MP Jo Cox begins

By Richard Tyler, 19 November 2016

Cox was shot and stabbed multiple times in broad daylight on the way to her MPs surgery.

Uber UK verdict highlights super-exploitation through “self-employment”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 November 2016

Since its founding seven years ago, Uber has extended its reach to 66 countries and 507 cities worldwide, with over 1 million drivers.

Report to the Third National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

By Chris Marsden, 18 November 2016

We are publishing here the opening report to the Socialist Equality Party (UK) Third National Congress, given October 28, 2012, by SEP National Chairman Chris Marsden.

UK government accelerates privatisation of National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 17 November 2016

Since the Health and Social Care Act was introduced in 2013, private firms have won National Health Service clinical contracts worth £5.5 billion.

UK: May government pins its hopes on Trump presidency

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2016

Placing its fortunes in the hands of a reviled and unstable figure such as Trump is a measure of the May government’s political desperation.

Trump’s victory, Brexit and Paul Mason’s call for a new “progressive alliance”

By Chris Marsden, 16 November 2016

Mason and others within Britain’s pseudo-left and liberal commentariat seek to dress up a strategic reorientation of imperialist policy in a progressive cloak.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) 2016 Congress resolutions

For a new socialist movement against militarism, austerity and war

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 November 2016

Presented here is an edited version of the first resolution adopted by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) Third National Congress, held October 28-31 in Sheffield.

UK: Working-class families in record levels of debt

By Joe Mount, 12 November 2016

Economic stagnation and government austerity measures are eviscerating incomes and pushing thousands more into unemployment.

British Medical Association officially winds up junior doctors dispute

By Robert Stevens, 12 November 2016

Everything was done by the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee to limit the doctors’ struggle and isolate their strike, even as it had widespread popular support.

Seven die and many injured after tram derailment in London

By Robert Stevens, 11 November 2016

More than 100 emergency workers attended the scene and worked for six hours to free injured commuters.

Auto maker Nissan given “support and assurances” by UK government

By Jean Shaoul, 10 November 2016

Post-Brexit, the major corporations are lobbying Downing Street, demanding promises and policies to ensure their continued and increased profitability.

Bedford riot highlights appalling conditions in UK prisons

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 9 November 2016

Conditions in prisons in England and Wales have deteriorated rapidly as a result of spending cuts, while inmate numbers—including those held awaiting trial—have surged.

Divisions mount in UK military over US presidential race

By Robert Stevens, 8 November 2016

Among Britain’s ruling elite there is grave concern for the future of Europe over the outcome of an election being contested by the two most unpopular candidates in US history.

UK: Corbyn threatens to block Brexit and trigger general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 7 November 2016

In portraying the European Single Market as progressive, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is siding with finance capital and big business interests against the working class.

Speculation mounts over snap general election as UK Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2016

The High Court ruling that only parliament may trigger Britain’s exit from the EU has spurred collaboration between pro-remain forces committed to overturning the referendum vote to leave.

High Court verdict on EU Brexit plunges UK deeper into crisis

By Julie Hyland, 4 November 2016

The High Court ruled that Parliament alone has the right to trigger Britain’s exit from the European Union.

UK: South Yorkshire cleaning workers continue strike

By Barry Mason, 4 November 2016

The three cleaning workers’ strike is being isolated by the trade unions.

Chair of UK Iraq War Inquiry: Tony Blair went “beyond the facts” to justify invasion

By Paul Mitchell, 3 November 2016

The British parliament, led by the Labour government, voted for an illegal war because it agreed with Blair that supporting the US was a strategic imperative.

Defence Minister Fallon declares UK ready for war with Russia

By Robert Stevens, 3 November 2016

Fallon told Parliament’s Defence Committee that Britain’s armed forces were central to the ongoing NATO encirclement of Russia.

Britain’s pseudo-left and the party of war

By Robert Stevens, 2 November 2016

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader one year ago has not changed Labour’s pro-war agenda one iota.

UK: Dorset NHS management pushes health cuts amid growing opposition

By Ajanta Silva, 1 November 2016

Dorset’s NHS management aims to downsize two major A&E departments, children units, maternity units and more than a half a dozen community hospitals delivering inpatient care.

UK: Man who appeared on reality TV show “Benefits Street” dies in poverty

By Alice Summers, 31 October 2016

Lee Nutley is just one of countless people who have been driven to food banks, substance abuse and, in the worst cases, ultimately to their deaths after sanctions to their benefit claims.

Report finds that more than 40 percent of British housing is substandard

By Barry Mason, 27 October 2016

In London, nearly three quarters of residents classified their homes as failing to meet the Living Home Standard established by the housing charity Shelter.

UK: Durham teaching assistants vote to strike

By Tania Kent, 26 October 2016

The cuts to education budgets mean thousands of teaching assistants losing their jobs or facing a major reduction in their hours.

Scottish National Party pushes for second independence referendum

By Steve James, 25 October 2016

For Sturgeon and the SNP leadership, the threat of a new independence poll is a tool to extract concessions from London—primarily over the terms of Brexit.

Nick Hedges’s photographs reveal what Britain’s slums were like in the 1960s and 1970s

By Margot Miller, 25 October 2016

In Hedges’s words: “Adequate housing is the basis of a civilised urban society. … The photographs should allow us to celebrate progress, yet all they can do is haunt us with a sense of failure.”

Legal challenge to Brexit threatens constitutional crisis in UK

By Robert Stevens, 24 October 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will activate Article 50 by the end of next March.

UK: NHS official suggests GP surgeries “be allowed to fail and wither”

By Ajanta Silva, 22 October 2016

In September, 2,000 patients were left without a doctor after a surgery was closed in Nottingham following an “inadequate” regulatory rating.

Former British special forces soldier investigated for possible war crimes committed in Iraq

By Simon Whelan, 21 October 2016

The executions of wounded soldiers as described in Colin Maclachlan’s book, even if excused as “mercy killings,” are illegal under international law.

British press witch-hunt refugee children from Calais

By Robert Stevens, 20 October 2016

A xenophobic campaign by British politicians and media is being waged against children arriving in the UK from the Calais migrant camp.

UK education funding cuts bring schools to breaking point

By Tom Pearce, 19 October 2016

An Institute for Fiscal Studies report notes that school spending per pupil is likely to fall by around 8 percent in real terms by 2020.