Britain

Cuts to legal aid in UK will deny thousands the right to a fair trial

By Tony Robson, 15 April 2014

The dismantling of legal aid is bound up with the drive by the British ruling elite to eliminate the last vestiges of the welfare state.

Sinn Fein’s McGuinness joins Irish president in toasting Queen

By Jordan Shilton, 15 April 2014

The state banquet organised by the British monarchy for Irish President Higgins, and attended by Sinn Fein’s McGuinness, is an acknowledgement of the common interests of the ruling class on both sides of the Irish Sea.

UK campaigners against police killings hold demonstration and rally

By our reporters, 12 April 2014

The protest reflected growing anger at police brutality and impunity.

Scotland: Demolition to open Commonwealth Games provokes anger

By Steve James, 12 April 2014

The organising committee for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Glasgow in August, have announced their intention to demolish five of the city's Red Road tower blocks.

BBC debates between Clegg and Farage: A political fraud

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 9 April 2014

The televised debates between the leaders of the Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party demonstrated the chasm that separates the interests of the working class from the entire parliamentary setup.

UK benefits claimants victimised and driven into destitution

By Barry Mason, 31 March 2014

Thousands of people have had their benefits withdrawn, as sanctions on the unemployed increase.

UK National Union of Teachers stage one-day strike

By Margo Miller, 29 March 2014

The strike forced 3,000 schools—12 percent of the total number of schools—to shut their doors completely.

UK Labour Party proposes compulsory cheap-labour scheme

By Danny Richardson, 27 March 2014

Under Labour’s scheme, young people will be compelled to work for a six-month period at the minimum wage.

UK parliament approves assault on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 25 March 2014

Under Clause 119 of the Care Bill passed in parliament last week, the health secretary will be able to close hospitals and cut services.

Endless austerity in UK budget tailored to big business and wealthy

By Julie Hyland, 20 March 2014

The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition is just halfway through an austerity programme that has already seen a £150 billion reduction in public spending.

Veteran Labour “left” Tony Benn dead at 88

15 March 2014

Tony Benn, the former Labour Party MP, died yesterday, aged 88. Benn was the figure most closely associated with the left of the party, particularly in the decades since the 1970s.

Alex Callinicos: An imperialist apologist writes on Ukraine

By Chris Marsden, 14 March 2014

Callinicos happily forgets what he wrote in 2008 because he is intent on defending the putsch carried out by Washington in Kiev and insisting that Russia is the imperialist aggressor.

Top British universities exclude poorer students

By Thomas Scripps, 14 March 2014

Just one in a hundred children who receives free school meals, receives a place at either of the top two British universities, Oxford and Cambridge.

Number of British hospitals in debt doubles in one year

By Ajanta Silva, 12 March 2014

Foundation trusts have delivered “efficiency savings” of £867 million so far this year, but this is 18 percent behind what the government has demanded.

Students sue British government over ban on loans and grants

By Joan Smith and Paul Mitchell, 11 March 2014

Romanian and Bulgarian students are taking the British government to court over its decision to end financial support while they study in the UK.

UK High Court backs government imposition of fees for workers’ claims

By Tony Robson, 8 March 2014

Workers are compelled, for the first time in the history of the Tribunal system, to pay upfront to bring a claim against mistreatment by an employer.

Britain: More health services face privatisation

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 8 March 2014

A recent UK survey found that 71 percent of GPs questioned believed rationing of health provision in their area had increased “significantly” since April 2013.

UK public meetings

Ukraine: The danger of fascism and war

8 March 2014

The International Youth and Students for Social Equality invites you to a meeting on the critical events in the Ukraine where we will outline the socialist perspective in opposition to the dangers of fascism and war.

British government cuts funding for poorest university students

By Ben Trent, 7 March 2014

University application figures in 2013 dropped to their lowest since 2009, with research highlighting the trebling of tuition fees to £9,000 as the main cause.

British Labour Party ends block union membership

By Robert Stevens, 6 March 2014

A succession of trade union general secretaries, including Len McCluskey and Dave Prentis from the two largest unions, Unite and Unison, pledged their ongoing support to Labour at a special weekend conference.

Germany’s Angela Merkel feted by the UK to little effect

By Julie Hyland, 4 March 2014

The German chancellor allotted just six hours to her visit, stopping off on the way back to Berlin from Israel, where she had spent two days with her entire cabinet.

UK: Families of Hillsborough disaster victims placed under police surveillance

By Barry Mason, 4 March 2014

Hillsborough family campaigners strongly believed their phone calls were being monitored in the aftermath of the football stadium disaster.

UK facing housing costs time bomb

By Dennis Moore, 3 March 2014

The number of UK families currently spending more than half their disposable income on mortgage repayments could treble by 2018.

Scottish independence referendum campaign dominated by currency dispute

By Steve James, 1 March 2014

That the most explosive dispute of the Scottish referendum campaign to date should be over currency and public debt speaks to the class character of both the “Yes” and “No” camps.

Snowden documents show US, UK spy agencies infiltrate online groups

By Nick Barrickman, 27 February 2014

The NSA and GCHQ are employing deceptive tactics to monitor, manipulate and subvert online activities.

The David Miranda ruling and the attack on press freedom

By Julie Hyland, 26 February 2014

The subordination of fundamental democratic rights to an omnipotent state runs as a constant thread through the ruling that deems David Miranda’s detention lawful.

Communication Workers Union becomes official tool of management at Royal Mail in Britain

By Zach Reed, 26 February 2014

In return for seats at the top table the CWU are seeking to impose the terms of the agreement made as part of privatisation.

Tony Blair offered aid to Murdoch in phone-hacking scandal

By Julie Hyland, 24 February 2014

Tony Blair offered to help the Murdoch media empire just a week after the News of the World was forced to close for being involved in criminality on an “industrial scale.”

UK teachers union refuses to back one-day strike

By Margot Miller, 21 February 2014

The aim of the NUT in calling for a day’s strike is not to fight for the interests of its members but to secure a place at the negotiating table.

Serious concerns persist over helicopter safety in North Sea

By Jordan Shilton, 21 February 2014

A long delayed fatal accident inquiry into the crash of a Super Puma into the sea off the coast of Peterhead in 2009, killing all 16 on board, has finally begun.

Partner of Glenn Greenwald was held at London airport

UK ruling against David Miranda escalates assault on democratic rights

By Robert Stevens, 20 February 2014

The High Court judgement against David Miranda gives legal sanction to the police state apparatus built up by successive British governments on the pretext of the “war on terror.”

Leaked documents detail NSA surveillance operations against WikiLeaks

By Thomas Gaist, 19 February 2014

Files from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the US has waged an international campaign against WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange and its supporters.

Cameron appeals to “quiet patriots” to save the United Kingdom

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 19 February 2014

Central to the campaign for Scottish independence is the endlessly repeated lie that the brutal austerity being imposed by Westminster can only be alleviated by separation from England.

Alzheimer’s sufferer died in handcuffs at UK immigrant detention centre

By Ajay Prakash, 18 February 2014

Every year, around 30,000 asylum-seekers are detained in Britain, nearly one-third of them women and children.

Widespread abstention in UK’s Wythenshawe by-election

By Julie Hyland, 17 February 2014

With a turnout of just 28.5 percent, there is no disguising the widespread alienation of the overwhelming majority of the population from the existing setup.

British government attempts to stamp out student protests

By Zach Reed, 14 February 2014

Students protesting against the attacks on education have been met with police assaults, arrests and suspension.

National schools inspectorate to be overhauled by UK government

By Jo March, 14 February 2014

A brutal inspection regime has been used by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition to force schools to become academies as a step towards privatisation.

As Detroit water department faces threats

Water privatization in England: 25 years on

By Jean Shaoul, 14 February 2014

The history of the privatization of the water system in Britain 25 years ago exposes the claims that “free enterprise” can improve the functioning of a publicly owned and operated water system.

Former NSA chief Hayden praises Obama for “doubling down” on Bush-era spying

By Gabriel Black, 13 February 2014

Michael Hayden gave a lecture Monday in which he described Obama’s “reform” of the NSA as largely cosmetic.

Rail unions betray London Underground strike

By Robert Stevens, 13 February 2014

The unions ended the dispute just a week after a strike on February 4/5 brought the capital to a standstill.

London Underground workers outraged at unions’ suspension of strike

By our reporters, 13 February 2014

Workers on the London Underground were angry and concerned upon hearing that Tuesday’s scheduled 48 hour strike was called off by the trade unions.

Scottish government passes final pre-referendum budget

By Stephen Alexander, 12 February 2014

Government spending in Scotland will have fallen by 24 percent in real terms between 2008 and 2015, only marginally behind the figure of 30 percent for England.

Record youth homelessness in UK

By Joe Mount, 12 February 2014

There is minimal provision for homeless youth, who bear the brunt of the dismantling of the welfare state.

Support the London Underground strikers!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

11 February 2014

All those workers who have seen their jobs and living standards decimated must come to the defence of the London Underground workers.

UK Conservatives face crisis over referendum on European Union

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron is threatening to invoke the Parliament Act to force through EU referendum legislation.

Rich lap up the cream of Britain’s top state schools

By Thomas Scripps, 8 February 2014

The richest in the UK are able to pick and choose the 30 best state schools to educate their children.

Tony Blair whitewashes imperialism’s role in the Middle East

By Jordan Shilton, 7 February 2014

The former Labour prime minister’s pronouncement that the roots of war lie in extremist religion is an attempt to obscure his own responsibility for sectarian tensions in the Middle East.

London Underground strike shuts down capital

By Michael Barnes, 6 February 2014

A two-day strike beginning Tuesday evening by London Underground workers brought the capital to a standstill.

Democratic rights under attack in Scotland

By Steve James, 6 February 2014

Last year there were 700,000 police stops and searches in Scotland.

UK “bedroom tax” leads to record requests for emergency assistance

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 5 February 2014

As a result of the coalition government’s tax on unoccupied bedrooms, many are faced with eviction, forced to downsize or seek emergency assistance.

Guardian reveals threats of imprisonment and closure over Snowden leaks

By Robert Stevens, 4 February 2014

On July 20 last year, the British government sent two security service agents to the Guardian’s London office to oversee the destruction of hard drives and memory cards containing encrypted files from Edward Snowden.

UK police marksman will not be charged for killing Anthony Grainger

By Trevor Johnson, 1 February 2014

Anthony Grainger was killed by a Greater Manchester Police officer on March 3, 2012. The CPS has ruled that the police marksman who pulled the trigger will not face any charges.

New chief executive calls for “opening up” of Britain’s National Health Service

By Ben Trent, 31 January 2014

Incoming National Health Service chief executive Simon Stevens has called for the “opening up” of healthcare and “reshaping our care system”.

Pseudo-left offer their services to rail unions before London Underground strikes

By Michael Barnes, 31 January 2014

In response to a massive vote for strikes by London Underground workers, the Rail Maritime Transport workers union formed an organisation called Hands off London Transport.

UK Labour pledges itself to legally binding savage cuts

By Julie Hyland, 30 January 2014

The British Labour Party has announced it will impose legally binding massive spending cuts, such as those being carried out in Greece by the European Union.

RMT rail union calls off London Docklands Light Railway strikes

By Tom Pearse, 30 January 2014

Providing no details, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said planned industrial action was suspended “following the receipt of improved offers on pay and across a range of other issues.”

UK Liberal Democrats wracked by sex scandal

By Julie Hyland, 27 January 2014

The extraordinary degree to which contested and trivial incidents have exercised the Liberal Democrats underscores the alienation and contempt for the mass of working people within ruling circles.

Britain: Labour’s plan for licences another attempt to vilify teachers

By Margot Miller, 23 January 2014

Under the Labour Party’s new proposals, regular re-licensing will make it easier to sack teachers.

Charges for migrants and visitors set precedent for wider assault on Britain’s NHS

By Tony Robson, 23 January 2014

Behind the charging of migrants to use the National Health Service is the objective of ending universal health care in favour of a means-tested approach.

UK housing benefit changes threaten mass evictions

By Eileen Rose, 22 January 2014

The New Year saw one of the largest landlords in Kent, Fergus Wilson, announce he will no longer rent his houses to benefit recipients and plans to evict 200 tenants.

Care workers strike against Glasgow, Scotland City Council

By Stephen Alexander, 22 January 2014

The council’s introduction of a new 12.5-hour shift pattern will result in a pay cut of around 7 percent for 182 workers.

Bournemouth hospital review confirms warning by NHS FightBack campaign

By Ajanta Silva, 20 January 2014

The CQC findings prove that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition’s funding cuts and privatisation policies have created a significant shortage of staff, beds and resources.

UK police demand Channel 4 hand over whistle-blower’s footage

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2014

The moves against Britain’s Channel 4 are part of an unprecedented campaign by the UK government to silence disclosures about state surveillance operations.

London Underground workers to strike against ticket office closures

By Michael Barnes, 18 January 2014

Budget cuts of 12.5 percent have been imposed on Transport for London (TfL) by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

UK chancellor demands pro-business reform of European Union

By Julie Hyland, 17 January 2014

Osborne’s speech was broadly interpreted as a response to growing divisions within the Conservative Party over EU membership.

London: Fire station closures endanger lives

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 16 January 2014

This month has seen the closure of 10 fire stations across London, with the loss of 552 firefighters and 14 fire engines.

UK Environment Agency warns of job cuts

By Paul Mitchell, 16 January 2014

Severe flooding across Britain has led to the loss of seven lives and massive damage to property.

Britain: Rail unions betray London Overground conductors

By Michael Barnes, 15 January 2014

In December rail unions facilitated the elimination of 130 safety-critical conductor jobs on London Overground Rail Operations Limited (LOROL). The biggest union involved, the Rail Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT), is now threatening a dispute over agreements made, in an attempt to justify that betrayal to its members.

Thatcher planned to use army against 1984-1985 British miners’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 11 January 2014

The documents reveal that the government, in alliance with the National Coal Board, had a secret “hit list” to close many more coal mines than the 20 originally announced.

Inhuman treatment of UK woman in privately-run prison

By Dennis Moore, 11 January 2014

After receiving no medical attention during her miscarriage in the cell, Nadine Wright was allegedly ordered to clean up the blood by prison guards.

UK police get away with killing of Mark Duggan

By Julie Hyland, 10 January 2014

Duggan’s killing in north London was the spark for riots that quickly spread across the country in 2011.

Surveys of British youth find growing anger and despair

By Julie Hyland, 8 January 2014

Widespread discontent and alienation amongst the young in the UK is the ultimate source of the August 2011 riots and the repression meted out by the authorities.

Anti-immigrant campaign intensifies in Britain

By Jordan Shilton, 7 January 2014

The scapegoating of immigrant workers is taking place across the continent alongside further attacks on the welfare system, public services and wages.

Hampshire council in England closes more care homes

By Joan Smith and Ajanta Silva, 6 January 2014

Hampshire County Council in England plans to reduce demand for services, including social care of the elderly and disabled, which accounts for more than one-third of council’s budget.

Report reveals the new face of UK poverty

By Tom Pearse, 4 January 2014

Figures for 2011-2012 show 13 million people in the UK are in poverty.

Britain: Mental health services reach breaking point

By Mark Blackwood, 4 January 2014

The UK’s Mental Health Foundation reports that every two hours one death is recorded as a result of suicide.

Treatment of political activist Trenton Oldfield shows criminalization of protest in UK

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 3 January 2014

There was an outpouring of sympathy for Australian immigrant and political campaigner Trenton Oldfield during his trial and deportation ordeal.

Women threatened with deportation after exposing sexual harassment at UK detention centre

By Trevor Johnson, 31 December 2013

Serco, the private company that runs the deportation centre has consistently attempted to cover up incidents of sexual abuse in the facility they manage.

Half a million in the UK deprived of social care over the last five years

By Robert Stevens, 27 December 2013

A new study shows that since 2008, nearly half a million elderly and disabled people have either lost support or are no longer eligible for care.

Crackdown on UK student protests

By Joe Mount, 24 December 2013

The ramping up of state repression is part of an effort to stamp out political opposition amongst youth.

Scotland: Jimmy Reid Foundation advocates suppression of the class struggle

By Steve James, 24 December 2013

The Jimmy Reid Foundation’s primary concern is to suppress workers' struggles by deepening the integration of the trade unions into corporate management.

British NHS director promotes restructuring of accident and emergency departments

By Ajanta Silva, 24 December 2013

A report on A&E departments by Bruce Keogh calls for the health care system to be “redesigned.”

UK reneges on promised independent inquiry on rendition, torture

By Paul Mitchell, 21 December 2013

Instead of an independent inquiry, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee will hold its own inquiry.

UK faces most severe youth unemployment crisis in decades

By Joe Mount, 21 December 2013

The number of under-25s in work fell 13 percent since 2008 to 3.5 million during the last quarter, the lowest figure since records began in 1992.

UK local government spending will have fallen by a third by 2015

By Barry Mason, 18 December 2013

By 2017-2018, the per capita loss of funding, including welfare cuts, in 45 local government authorities in the UK will be £685.

UK’s Croydon Council sells artworks

By Paul Bond, 17 December 2013

Croydon Council’s determination to sell part of its art collection signals an escalation of the assault on culture and art.

People in UK going blind due to lack of eye care

By Dennis Moore, 16 December 2013

Some 37 percent of eye clinic staff respondents to a Royal National Institute of the Blind survey said that their patients were losing their sight due to treatment being delayed.

Revised UK welfare sanctions mean more punishment for the poor

By Emily Wilson, 13 December 2013

Many of those hit by welfare sanctions are cutting back on food, heating, and travel.

Britain: Disabled widow commits suicide after benefits withdrawn

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 11 December 2013

Following an assessment that deemed her fit for work, 53-year-old Jacqueline Harris was stripped of her incapacity benefit of £99.15 per week.

Skyrocketing energy prices increase Britain’s winter death rate

By Zach Reed, 10 December 2013

An estimated 31,100 “excess” deaths occurred in Britain last winter—a rise of almost a third.

What is Britain’s newly founded Left Unity party?

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2013

The founding conference of Left Unity had nothing to do with an attempt to build a socialist party.

Food bank use surges as hunger spreads across Britain

By Tom Pearse, 9 December 2013

One in five recipients of Trussell Trust food parcels were referred to its food banks as a direct result of government attacks on welfare benefits.

Osborne’s Autumn statement: Recovery for UK business means poverty for the working class

By Robert Stevens, 7 December 2013

Labour made immediate moves to go further than the Tories in pledging its commitment to austerity measures.

Britain’s Co-op Bank teeters on the brink

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2013

The Conservative-led UK government has sought to extract every ounce of political capital out of the Co-op Bank affair at Labour’s expense.

Scotland: Unions call off strike at Stirling City Council

By Steve James, 5 December 2013

After months of negotiations, the unions have conceded to all of the councils’ demands and are advising workers to accept the deal in separate ballots.

Facing threat of prosecution, Guardian editor testifies before UK parliament

By Chris Marsden, 4 December 2013

British officials are threatening the Guardian over its decision to publish exposures of intelligence agencies’ electronic spying against the people.

Scottish National Party issues independence blueprint

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 4 December 2013

The 670-page white paper makes clear that the primary function of an independent state would be to establish closer relations with the major banks, corporations and speculators.

Nine confirmed dead in Glasgow helicopter crash

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2013

Three of the Eurocopter EC135 crew died in the incident, along with at least six people inside Clutha Vaults pub.

British local councils cut home care visits for elderly and disabled

By Joan Smith, 3 December 2013

The crisis in home care visits in the UK is a direct result of drastic cuts to local government budgets.

Britain’s poorest summonsed to court to pay council tax arrears

By Allison Smith, 2 December 2013

In scenes repeated across Britain, poor residents queue up outside court buildings waiting to appear before local magistrates for being in arrears on newly imposed council taxes.