Britain

UK Labour competes with Conservatives over most business-friendly pro-austerity manifesto

By Robert Stevens, 21 April 2015

“Our manifesto begins with the Budget Responsibility Lock,” Labour states.

SEP speaker at London election meeting: Only socialism can bring about genuine equality

By our reporter, 21 April 2015

Paul Stickley, the election agent for the Socialist Equality Party candidate in the May 7 General Election, David O’Sullivan, took part in a hustings last Thursday.

IMF head Christine Lagarde praises UK for austerity measures

By Richard Tyler, 20 April 2015

Warnings by the IMF undermine claims by the Labour Party that it would achieve a balanced budget by 2020, should it win power on May 7.

UK welfare benefit sanctions hit the homeless

By Dennis Moore, 20 April 2015

Sanctions affect one-third of homeless people claiming Job Seekers Allowance.

BBC’s election challengers’ debate

Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and Green Party offer “progressive alliance” with Labour

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2015

Sturgeon’s pleas helped cover for Miliband’s right-wing austerity agenda, as Labour issued its manifesto beginning with a “Budget Responsibility Lock.”

SEP candidate at Kentish Town Community Centre hustings

“We are fighting for a massive movement of the working class to oppose austerity and war”

By Ajanta Silva, 18 April 2015

David O’Sullivan placed the questions of poverty, the housing crisis and the slashing of social services in a broader international context.

The political fraud of Britain’s Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

By Chris Marsden, 17 April 2015

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition offers no answer for anyone seeking a left alternative to the Labour Party.

Latest UK pension reforms will lead to a yet deeper crisis

By Katie Rhodes—SEP candidate for Glasgow Central, 15 April 2015

The move by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition and the major parties is another step in dismantling the pension system.

Congressional briefing paper highlights US/UK tensions

By Richard Tyler, 14 April 2015

A report prepared by the Congressional Research Service concludes, “The UK may not be viewed as centrally relevant to the United States in all of the issues... on the US agenda.”

Holborn and St. Pancras: A long association with the revolutionary workers movement

By Paul Stuart, 14 April 2015

The Holborn and St. Pancras district in London is deeply associated with the struggle for the political independence of the working class.

Holborn and St. Pancras: London’s great social divide

By Paul Stuart, 13 April 2015

A quarter of households in the constituency have incomes of £20,000 or less, while in St. Pancras and Somers Town this figure rises to 44 percent.

Socialist Equality Party overturns election hustings exclusion in Camden

By Paul Mitchell, 11 April 2015

The exclusion of SEP general election candidate David O’Sullivan was overturned after the chair was forced to call a vote.

Tata ends British Steel pension scheme

By Danny Richardson, 10 April 2015

The Indian steel giant stands to save around £1 billion by ending the defined benefit pensions it inherited from the once state-owned British steelmaker

SEP candidate for Glasgow Central addresses Caledonian University hustings

By Julie Hyland, 10 April 2015

Not only was SEP candidate Katie Rhodes the only socialist speaking, she was the only one speaking for a party that did not define itself as “Scottish”.

London: The Kingsway pavement fire and the need for socialism

By David O’Sullivan, 8 April 2015

Thousands of workers had to be evacuated from the Holborn area.

UK party leaders’ debate: Pro-business parties discuss how best to impose austerity

By Chris Marsden, 4 April 2015

The debate underscored the vast chasm that exists between Britain’s ruling elite and the concerns of the broad mass of working people.

Underground gas fire shuts down central London

By Paul Mitchell, 3 April 2015

Thousands of workers had to be evacuated from the areas around Kingsway, one of London’s busiest office and shopping districts.

Tommy Sheridan’s call for a Scottish National Party vote: An exposure of Britain’s pseudo-left

By Steve James, 3 April 2015

The decision is a devastating indictment, not just of Sheridan and his Solidarity fan club, but of the entire pseudo-left fraternity in Britain.

London: SEP candidate exposes false housing promises of Labour and Greens

By Paul Mitchell, 1 April 2015

O’Sullivan explained that decades of government promises to address the problems of high rents, tenants’ rights and inadequate housing have never been honoured.

Labour offers itself to business backers to kick off UK election campaign

By Julie Hyland, 31 March 2015

Labour took out a full-page advert in the Financial Times featuring quotes from the heads of six of the largest corporations in Britain over the dangers of leaving the EU.

Further welfare cuts being considered by UK Conservatives

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2015

All three major parties in Britain are committed to huge cuts in welfare spending.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) 2015 General Election manifesto: No to war and austerity! Fight for socialism!

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 March 2015

The Socialist Equality Party in Britain is seeking to mobilise working people in a political struggle against austerity and war through the fight for a workers’ government based on socialist policies.

UK police watchdog justifies killing of Mark Duggan

By Robert Stevens, 26 March 2015

Duggan, a 29-year-old father of six, was unarmed when he was shot twice in Tottenham, north London by an armed police officer on August 4, 2011.

Whistleblower from UK covert police unit reveals spying on workers

By Harvey Thompson, 25 March 2015

The covert Special Demonstration Squad monitored hundreds of political groups between 1968 and 2008.

UK National Gallery staff face privatisation

By Margot Miller, 25 March 2015

Government funding to the arts in the UK has been cut by 36 percent in the last four years.

UK: Police commander at 1989 Hillsborough disaster admits causing 96 deaths

By Barry Mason, 23 March 2015

An inquest heard how the lies and cover-up by the authorities began within minutes of the tragedy.

UK: Private sector given largest ever National Health Service contract

By Ajanta Silva, 23 March 2015

The deal, worth £780 million over four years, is the latest in the ongoing privatisation process of the publicly run health service.

UK: Greater Manchester devolution agreement sets agenda for private sector bonanza

By Robert Stevens, 19 March 2015

Private corporations are being primed to win up to £5 billion in contracts as Trafford council prepares to sell contracts to run vital services.

Prison officers’ union signs no strike deal with the Scottish government

By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden, 18 March 2015

The Prison Officers Association was one of the first trade unions to join the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, formed by the Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party.

Divisions emerge between Britain and US over China bank

By Nick Beams, 16 March 2015

The British decision to participate in the Chinese-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank was taken largely behind the back of the United States.

Sri Lanka-China tensions rise over suspended port project

By Manusha Fernando, 16 March 2015

Suspension of the Chinese investment project is bound up with the shift of Sri Lankan foreign policy under the new government away from Beijing and towards Washington.

UK government pledges further spying powers and to “move on” from Snowden

By Chris Marsden, 14 March 2015

Hammond’s speech was meant to reassure Britain’s spies that they will be protected from any possible fall-out, and that their criminal actions can continue.

UK parliamentary committee justifies mass spying on e-communications

By Paul Mitchell, 14 March 2015

The Intelligence and Security Committee report is a whitewash, aimed at legitimising the spy apparatus exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013.

UK general election: Labour tries to deflect from its commitment to continued austerity

By Paul Mitchell, 11 March 2015

Labour is committed to further spending cuts, which is why it voted overwhelmingly with the Tory-led government in January to rush the Budgetary Responsibility Bill through parliament.

Devolution for Greater Manchester spells the end of the National Health Service

By Margot Miller, 7 March 2015

There has been no debate on the biggest overhaul in the provision of health care and welfare since the foundation of the welfare state, either nationally or in Manchester.

US Army Chief of Staff urges increase in British military spending

By Julie Hyland, 4 March 2015

The interview promoted by the Telegraph is part of a concerted campaign to intimidate widespread anti-war sentiment in the face of a significant expansion of militarism.

Sell-off: The abolition of your NHS

A revealing exposure of the destruction of health care in the UK

By Joan Smith, 28 February 2015

The documentary exposes the extent to which Britain’s National Health Service has been privatised.

Top British politicians caught in cash for access sting

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2015

Former ministers Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind were caught on camera in a Channel 4 television broadcast attempting to peddle their political influence to business contacts.

UK retail giant Tesco announces thousands of job losses

By John Farmer, 25 February 2015

The UK’s largest retailer is cutting jobs in the face of growing competition from low-cost supermarket chains.

Defence establishment complains of Britain’s “irrelevance” in world affairs

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 18 February 2015

There is growing criticism of the government of Prime Minister David Cameron for not playing a more aggressive role in military operations worldwide.

British unions recommend health service workers accept another pay cut

By Ajanta Silva, 14 February 2015

Health care workers have already suffered from four years of pay freezes, cuts, worsening job conditions and an increase in pension contributions.

Britain’s GCHQ given free rein to continue mass surveillance

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2015

GCHQ and the UK government welcomed the Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruling as it allows them to continue the mass surveillance of the population.

UK Police Federation votes for all police to be given access to Taser guns

By Margot Miller, 11 February 2015

The vote by the Police Federation is part of the move to authoritarian forms of rule in Britain.

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen addresses Oxford Union

By Chris Marsden, 7 February 2015

The invitation of the neo-fascist leader is of a piece with both contemporary political requirements within ruling circles and the recent political pedigree of the Oxford Union.

UK Conservatives set out “English Votes for English Laws”

By Julie Hyland, 6 February 2015

Greater devolution, whether in its Scottish or English guise, is directed towards a layer of the upper middle class hostile to any semblance of redistributive economic measures.

Further evidence of deaths due to UK welfare benefits sanctions

By Dennis Moore, 5 February 2015

Those sanctioned are often the most poor and vulnerable, who will face having to live on little or no money.

UK’s first privatised hospital fails

By Ajanta Silva, 31 January 2015

The NHS now has to step in and clear up the financial and patient care disaster created by the private health care operator at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

UK Iraq war inquiry report delayed yet again

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2015

Among the records that will reportedly not be published is a minute of a conversation between Tony Blair and George W. Bush six weeks before the Iraq invasion.

UK puts military on standby after Charlie Hebdo attack

By Julie Hyland, 15 January 2015

The attacks in Paris are being utilised to push through authoritarian measures long in gestation.

Oil prices and bond yields continue their decline

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2015

Oil prices on Tuesday sank further toward their levels of 2009, while bond yields hit zero in Japan.

UK uses Charlie Hebdo attack to justify repressive powers

By Chris Marsden, 13 January 2015

In the aftermath of the attack in Paris, Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to give the security services more powers to intercept the private communications of individuals.

SEP (UK) public meetings: Socialism and the fight against austerity and war

13 January 2015

The SEP (UK) will be holding a series of meetings in March 2015.

Millions in Britain cannot afford to eat properly

By Dennis Moore, 12 January 2015

The figures from a government report are corroborated by the increase in the numbers of people using food banks.

Thousands of UK apprentices paid below minimum wage

By Joe Mount, 9 January 2015

A significant number of young apprentices receive below the minimum wage, work unpaid overtime and have no written contract of employment.

BBC attacks Russell Brand to defend a discredited political setup

By Julie Hyland, 8 January 2015

The BBC’s Nick Robinson denied that his comments breached his professional obligation to political impartiality.

UK: Oppose rationing of vital health services!

By Ajanta Silva, 7 January 2015

What is happening to public health provision in Devon is a warning to the entire working class.

New agreement opens assault on welfare and public sector in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 5 January 2015

The latest pact seeks to deliver full implementation of the austerity measures demanded by the British government in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

British nurse in critical condition with Ebola

By Barry Mason, 5 January 2015

So far more than 7,800 people have been killed by the Ebola virus.

UK: Thousands of City Link delivery workers sacked on New Year’s Eve

By Julie Hyland, 3 January 2015

City Link is the latest in a number of private equity-backed companies that have gone bankrupt over the last few years.

Further militarisation of UK schools

By Joe Mount, 29 December 2014

The British elite responded to the 2011 inner-city youth riots by demanding the militarisation of the education system.

UK mental health services in crisis

By Dennis Moore, 27 December 2014

Cuts to mental health services have led to enormous demand with little capacity to meet it.

Britain: Hospital patients face eviction for “bed blocking”

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2014

To meet government demands for efficiency savings, the trust has reduced beds and cut down staffing levels.

Britain: Perverse verdict clears security guards of Jimmy Mubenga killing

By Julie Hyland, 20 December 2014

The racism evidenced by the guards’ text messages is one deliberately cultivated by the ruling class to scapegoat foreign workers for the social crisis created by capitalism.

British troops returning to Iraq

By Mark Blackwood, 17 December 2014

Iraq is once again at the center of the imperialist scramble for domination of the Middle East and Eurasia.

Mass surveillance ruled legal in UK

By Robert Stevens, 17 December 2014

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal has sanctioned the Tempora program, which captures the data from all fibre optic cables entering or leaving the UK.

Mass arrests at Eric Garner protest in London

By Paul Mitchell, 16 December 2014

The mass arrests at the Westfield demonstration reflect the nervousness of the ruling elite in the face of any form of dissent.

British Labour Party strikes a pose against NHS privatisation

By Tony Robson, 16 December 2014

The bill brought by Labour MP Clive Efford leaves intact the framework to outsource services to the private sector.

UK faces a return to 1930s levels of poverty

By Robert Stevens, 15 December 2014

The ruling elite in Britain intend to carry out an offensive against the working class equal to that in Greece.

US Senate committee agreed to conceal UK complicity in CIA torture

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2014

Home Secretary Theresa May, among other senior UK government officials, met with members of the US Senate committee working on the CIA report.

Leaked photos show UK nuclear plant poses public safety threat

By Trevor Johnson, 10 December 2014

Spent fuel rods abandoned in neglected storage ponds are in danger of being exposed to the air, which could set off a nuclear explosion.

UK: Police use tear gas to repress student sit-in at Warwick University

By Joe Mount, 8 December 2014

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, police brutality against young people has become ever more ferocious.

London’s New Era housing estate residents take protest to Downing Street

By Allison Smith, 5 December 2014

The housing residents are demanding a halt to rent increases and the threat of eviction.

UK and China clash over Hong Kong

By Julie Hyland, 4 December 2014

A significant section of the ruling elite in Washington and London are using the dispute over Hong Kong’s status to encourage the dismemberment of China.

Revolution: The witch-hunting of Russell Brand continues

By Chris Marsden, 3 December 2014

Brand is attacked because his message, however confused, is closer to political reality and the sentiments of broad layers of the young people who are his main audience than the thousands of column inches produced by the innumerable media hacks assembled against him.

Scottish student debt skyrockets

By Joe Mount, 2 December 2014

Although tuition is free in Scotland, miserly levels of student support mean that students must turn to loans to cover their living costs.

UK Prime Minister Cameron launches fresh attack on European Union migrants

By Robert Stevens, 1 December 2014

Cameron has previously proposed a cap on the number of European Union migrants allowed to enter the UK.

Report of Russian warship manoeuvres in English Channel highlights growing war danger

By Chris Marsden, 29 November 2014

The largest military manoeuvres presently being staged are by NATO, in Poland, under the Readiness Action Plan agreed at the NATO summit in Wales.

Housing rights campaigners speak out on UK government’s social cleansing

By our reporters, 29 November 2014

WSWS reporters spoke to Isabel Counihan-Sanchez and her daughter Sarah about their experiences with eviction and their involvement in the Housing 4 All campaign.

UK workers see six years of falling wages

By Robert Stevens, 29 November 2014

Young workers have borne the brunt of the post-2008 assault on pay, with the real wages level of those under 25 falling back to below levels last seen in 1988.

The fight against war and the political tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain)

28 November 2014

This statement was adopted unanimously by the Second National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) on October 28.

Britain joins campaign to revoke passports

Political dissidents to be rendered stateless

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2014

Once again, under the guise of the “war against terror”, the state is accruing authoritarian powers, including the ability to effectively render a British citizen stateless.

UK report on murder of soldier drives calls for deeper state repression

By Robert Stevens, 27 November 2014

The report into the murder of soldier Lee Rigby is being used to introduce new draconian "anti-terror" legislation.

British health unions carrying out fraudulent “fair pay fight”

By Ajanta Silva, 24 November 2014

It was the Labour Party’s Private Finance Initiatives that began the privatisation of health care.

UK Independence Party wins Rochester by-election

By Julie Hyland, 22 November 2014

The result is another blow to the Conservative Party, which lost its Clacton seat to UKIP only last month.

Tories and Labour compete to scapegoat migrants for British social crisis

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 21 November 2014

The anti-immigrant stance being taken by all the bourgeois parties is aimed at further curtailing the democratic and social rights of working people as a whole.

UK faces further round of austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 19 November 2014

The new cuts to be inflicted by whichever government emerges from the next election will be even deeper and more widespread.

New UK study finds 300,000 more people living in poverty

By Dennis Moore, 19 November 2014

Since 2008, soaring food and fuel costs have had a severe impact on the poorest 20 percent.

Scottish National Party budget delivers another round of cuts

By Steve James, 18 November 2014

The SNP government has imposed spending levels set by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition in Westminster.

European Court rules governments can refuse migrants social welfare

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 15 November 2014

The German ruling class welcomes workers from poorer EU states as a source of cheap labour, but they are effectively second class citizens with no democratic or social rights.

UK government assumes control of Tower Hamlets local authority

By Jordan Shilton, 15 November 2014

The fact that only minor examples of wrongdoing were identified in a nearly 200-page report points to the political character of the decision to send in commissioners.

Still The Enemy Within: The 1984-85 British miners’ strike according to the pseudo-left

By Paul Mitchell, 15 November 2014

The central problem with the documentary is its promotion of the state capitalist Socialist Workers Party’s perspective, which lets the Labour Party and the unions entirely off the hook for the betrayal of the miners.

UK parliament backs anti-democratic European Arrest Warrant

By Julie Hyland, 13 November 2014

It was Labour that effectively shut down any discussion on the EAW and ensured its passage.

New head of Britain’s GCHQ demands Internet companies act as state informers

By Robert Stevens, 12 November 2014

Within hours of Robert Hannigan becoming the new director of Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters spy centre, he demanded it be allotted greater powers.

Local government unions push acceptance of poverty pay in the UK

By Tony Robson, 12 November 2014

Britain’s public sector unions are attempting to push through a deal that is little more than a repackaging of the government’s pay restraint.

UK postal workers take unofficial strike action

By Zach Reed, 10 November 2014

The walkouts are a result of work speedups and job cuts at Royal Mail.

UK teenage killer named publicly and sentenced to 20 years

By Julie Hyland, 8 November 2014

Having successfully petitioned for the overturning of his anonymity, much of the media have used Cornick’s case as an occasion for prurient coverage and demands for retribution.

UK Tories in conflict with Merkel government over limiting EU immigration

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2014

High level sources within the German government have indicated they are prepared to see Britain leave the European Union.

Research confirms harshness of sentences handed out to youth following the 2011 UK riots

By Barry Mason, 4 November 2014

The denial of basic rights to those arrested showed there was no constituency within the British ruling class prepared to defend basic democratic norms.

Popular opposition grows to London Newham council’s social cleansing policies

By our reporters, 3 November 2014

An occupation by 29 young mothers of an empty block of former social housing flats in London has highlighted the social cleansing policies of Labour Party-controlled Newham council.

UK Tories intensify anti-EU, anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Chris Marsden, 24 October 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to make immigration reform the centrepiece of a renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the European Union.