Britain

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.

Cuts lead to closure of youth centres across UK

By Alice Summers, 18 February 2016

Local government spending on youth services has been slashed by more than a third since 2011.

Housing legislation to escalate “social cleansing” of UK cities

By Barry Mason, 15 February 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government has announced plans to impose market-level rents on council tenants deemed to be high earning.

UK: Second undercover police officer exposed infiltrating Socialist Party

By Trevor Johnson and Chris Marsden, 13 February 2016

The Socialist Party’s response to further revelations of undercover police penetration of its organisation is characterised by light-minded indifference.

Shankill revelations expose British state informants’ role in mass killings in Ireland

By Steve James, 13 February 2016

Mass murders were carried out by British agents, or were allowed to happen to protect British agents.

Government to impose contract on junior doctors after second England-wide strike

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2016

The government’s unprecedented and authoritarian move signifies a new stage in the efforts of the ruling elite to dismantle the National Health Service.

British junior doctors speak from the picket lines

By our reporters, 12 February 2016

Striking junior doctors and their supporters say that the government’s attacks on them are part of a broader assault on the National Health Service.

NATO to send thousands of troops to forward bases in the Baltics and Eastern Europe

By Thomas Gaist, 11 February 2016

NATO leaders agreed on Wednesday to expand the alliance’s military infrastructure and troop deployments all along Russia’s western frontier

Tens of thousands of steel, energy, retail, government jobs cut in the UK

By Harvey Thompson, 11 February 2016

Jobs are being destroyed in every sector, amid growing global economic turmoil.

The Guardian defends continued persecution of Julian Assange by UK and Sweden

By Robert Stevens, 11 February 2016

In seeking to undermine the UN’s opinion, the Guardian simply parrots the line of the British and Swedish governments.

The origins of the Oxford University “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign

By Joan Smith and G. T. Maqhubela, 10 February 2016

The Rhodes Must Fall campaign’s focus on the removal of a statue is bound up with a political agenda that utilizes racial rather than socialist politics to conceal the pro-capitalist orientation of its leading figures.

UK: Junior doctors demonstrate in run-up to Wednesday strike

By Thomas Scripps and Ajanta Silva, 8 February 2016

The British Medical Association used the event to bolster their ongoing fruitless negotiations with Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Junior doctors to take second strike in England

By Tony Robson, 6 February 2016

The British Medical Association has reluctantly proceeded with the strike but has scaled back the action.

Reject the Rail Maritime and Transport Union’s call to accept latest London Underground sell-out contract!

By Michael Barnes, 6 February 2016

Rail workers have seen the trade unions sabotage every struggle against the Conservative government since 2010.

UN panel condemns detention of WikiLeaks founder

Stop the persecution of Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2016

Despite a ruling that Assange has been subjected to “arbitrary detention,” both the UK and Sweden vow to continue his persecution.

UK Prime Minister Cameron signals early referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden, 4 February 2016

The proposed agreement between Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk is a refutation of those who depict the EU as the guardian of a more progressive agenda.

Many UK children go to school hungry

By Tom Pearce, 3 February 2016

Nearly 50 percent of teachers in the UK said some pupils arrived at school hungry at least three or four times a week.

Former British Prime Minister Blair joins call for a European army

By Jordan Shilton, 2 February 2016

In calling for the creation of a European military force, Blair wrote that the European powers had to be capable of projecting their interests on the global stage.

Cameron continues EU negotiations amid deepening inner-party divisions

By Simon Whelan, 30 January 2016

Forty Conservative MPs wrote to the prime minister calling for a meeting to discuss concerns that he is not asking for sufficiently radical changes in return for the UK’s continued EU membership.

Google’s UK tax deal leaves major corporations with nothing to fear

By Simon Whelan, 29 January 2016

Technology giant Google’s pathetically small British tax payment confirms once again that major corporations operate virtually unhindered by national governments.

Over a thousand jobs to go at Welsh steel plants

By Danny Richardson, 28 January 2016

There is no suggestion of opposition from either the trade unions or the Labour Party.

Notes on London’s housing crisis

Londoners spend majority of their income on housing

By Allison Smith, 27 January 2016

A new report released this week by the House of Commons shows that private sector rent makes up 62 percent of pre-tax income, up from 49 percent just five years ago.

Victorian-era diseases making a comeback in the UK

By Alice Summers, 26 January 2016

Hospital admissions for cholera have quadrupled over the last four years

UK: British Medical Association and Labour isolate junior doctors’ strike

By Tony Robson, 25 January 2016

Taking advantage of BMA's decision to call off a strike by doctors, the Conservative government has revived the threat to impose new contracts unilaterally.

UK parliament debates banning Donald Trump—but what about David Cameron?

By Chris Marsden, 22 January 2016

The parliamentary debate on whether to ban Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump from entering the UK took place on the same day that Prime Minister David Cameron launched his own campaign to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.

UK: Corbyn offers Labour’s right an olive branch over Trident

By Chris Marsden, 21 January 2016

Whatever his mildly left rhetoric, Corbyn is wedded to the party on which British imperialism has relied for more than a century to police the working class and preserve its rule.