Britain

Agreement signed on China-backed investment bank

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2015

Tensions over the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank surfaced again this week when Japan announced it would provide $110 billion for infrastructure investment.

UK rail unions call off strike action

By Michael Barnes, 23 May 2015

The unions have betrayed a large strike mandate and disarmed rail-workers in the face of a ferocious assault by the incoming Conservative government.

UK Conservatives plan to scrap Human Rights Act

By Jean Shaoul, 22 May 2015

The act is to go the same way as other key elements of international law over which successive governments in the last 15 years have ridden roughshod.

Britain’s anti-terror law and the global assault on democratic rights

By Jordan Shilton, 21 May 2015

There is no serious opposition within the ruling elite internationally to the abandonment of democratic procedures and implementation of police state measures.

UK rail workers vote for national strike

By Michael Barnes, 19 May 2015

The one-day stoppage has the potential to become a focal point for opposition within the working class.

Crisis envelops UK Labour leadership contest

By Paul Mitchell, 16 May 2015

In the May 7 general election, Labour received 30.4 percent of the vote, resulting in 232 seats—the party’s worst defeat since 1987.

UK: Cameron strikes post-election anti-European pose

By Chris Marsden, 14 May 2015

There are significant differences within the Conservative Party over how far to pursue a possible EU rupture.

The death of British Labourism

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 11 May 2015

Workers have deserted the Labour Party because they view it as a Conservative Party Mark Two, with almost one-third of the electorate seeing no point in voting at all.

General election produces political earthquake in Britain

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 9 May 2015

The general election has claimed the scalps of three party leaders.

General election produces political earthquake in Britain

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 8 May 2015

The general election has claimed the scalp of three party leaders.

Irish bus workers strike for 48 hours

By Dermot Quinn, 8 May 2015

The continued undermining of the pay and conditions of bus workers would not have been possible without the collaboration of the trade unions.

Britain’s general election: The need for a socialist alternative

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 7 May 2015

The Socialist Equality Party and its candidates, Katie Rhodes in Glasgow Central and David O’Sullivan in Holborn & St. Pancras, offer the only genuine alternative for workers and young people.

The British election as seen from Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2015

The European media regard the British general election as a source of economic instability and a step towards the fracturing of the European Union into its national components.

The rotten record of the UK Green Party

By David O’Sullivan, 7 May 2015

Green Party of England and Wales leader Natalie Bennett insists she is not responsible for what the Greens do internationally. What about in Britain?

Russell Brand performs volte face and urges Labour vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 7 May 2015

Brand won popular support for standing out against the very claims he is now making.

Green Party calls for modernisation of British armed forces

By Jordan Shilton, 6 May 2015

Green Party defence spokeswoman Rebecca Johnson recently complained that the British army was no longer equipped to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.

Workers in Britain speak on May Day rally

By our reporters, 6 May 2015

There was an enthusiastic response by workers and young people who took part in the International May Day Online Rally in the UK.

London’s housing crisis demands a socialist solution

By David O’Sullivan, 6 May 2015

Official figures reveal that in the last three years alone more than 50,000 families have been forced to leave London due to welfare cuts and soaring rents.

Glasgow Care Crisis hustings: Pseudo-left make overtures to the Scottish National Party

By Richard Tyler, 4 May 2015

The exclusion of the SEP from the hustings was meant to exclude criticism of the trade union bureaucracy, which is responsible for selling out one dispute after another.

Workers in Britain sign up for International May Day Online Rally

By our reporters, 2 May 2015

“It’s the only genuine celebration of international workers day anywhere in the world.”

SEP UK candidate David O’Sullivan addresses Primrose Hill hustings

By Paul Mitchell, 2 May 2015

O’Sullivan’s insistence that a socialist perspective was necessary to address social problems met with a warm response.

Class issues behind Sun columnist Katie Hopkins’ attacks on migrants

By David O’Sullivan, 1 May 2015

The Hopkins episode demonstrates that the most right-wing forces are being deliberately mobilised, to be used against the working class and the mass opposition that will develop against even deeper austerity.

Britain’s super-rich have doubled their wealth since 2009

By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2015

Britain is more attractive to the super-rich than anywhere except America.

SEP’s David O’Sullivan addresses UK general election meeting on role of unions

By Jean Shaoul, 30 April 2015

O’Sullivan focused his remarks on the key role the unions had played in allowing successive governments to implement austerity measures.

Tommy Sheridan’s “Hope over Fear”: Cheerleaders for the Scottish National Party

By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2015

No one at the rally was in a politically critical frame of mind, least of all the pseudo-lefts in the crowd who have long ago sold their political soul to the SNP and Scottish nationalism.

UK general election reveals crisis of capitalist rule

By Chris Marsden, 27 April 2015

The only predictable outcome of Britain’s May 7 general election is that it will mark a descent into political uncertainty and crisis.

Miliband lays out Labour’s militarist foreign policy for Britain

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2015

The Labour leader’s efforts to reinforce the party's militarist credentials were aimed especially at reassuring US imperialism.

UK General Election: Green Party offers no real alternative to austerity and militarism

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2015

The Green Party is a pro-capitalist organization that, on all fundamental questions, defends the existing social order based on brutal class exploitation, militarism and violence.

SEP candidate tells London hustings:

“Whoever forms the next government makes no fundamental difference”

By Paul Mitchell, 23 April 2015

O’Sullivan addressed questions at the Somali community hustings on issues of housing and homelessness, Islamophobia, youth education, and unemployment.

UK welfare benefit sanctions bring hardship and hunger

By Katie Rhodes, 22 April 2015

Nothing so graphically exposes the destruction of the welfare state established following the Second World War than the return to Victorian social norms.

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.