Britain

Workers protest East London Labour council budget cuts

By Paul Stuart, 21 October 2014

Already 800 local authority jobs have been lost in Barking and Dagenham under cuts implemented by Labour.

Tens of thousands march in London against low wages

By Paul Mitchell, 20 October 2014

At Saturday’s rally, the trade union leaders spoke as if they have had nothing to do with the onslaught on living standards and declining wages.

University study exposes growing hunger in South London borough of Lambeth

By Allison Smith, 18 October 2014

A study on food insecurity in Lambeth, South London revealed that more than 75 percent of parents had reduced the size of their meals or skipped meals.

Britain: NHS at “breaking point,” say top health professionals

By Ajanta Silva, 13 October 2014

An open letter from the heads of a number of health professional bodies speaks of “signs of a system buckling under the twin crises of rising demand and flat lining budgets.”

Right-wing UK Independence Party benefits from disaffection in British by-elections

By Robert Stevens, 11 October 2014

UKIP makes its core appeal on opposition to the European Union, while peddling anti-immigrant chauvinism.

UK unions begin to demobilise their own pathetic protest strike

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2014

Strikes were called to give undeserved credibility to the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) October 18 “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” march and rally in London.

Dire shortage of affordable housing in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 8 October 2014

The shortage of affordable housing is a consequence of years of not building the houses required to meet demand.

UK terror trial collapses because defendant briefed MI5

By Robert Stevens, 6 October 2014

Moazzam Begg was one of four people arrested in February on suspicion of attending a terrorist training camp in Syria, possessing documents for a purpose connected to terrorism.

Britain begins bombing in Iraq

UK Conservatives pledge further attacks on democratic rights

By Robert Stevens, 2 October 2014

Home Secretary Theresa May announced that if the Conservatives are returned to power in 2015, they will fully implement the “snoopers charter.”

UK pilots union agrees mass layoffs/pay cuts at Monarch

By Robert Stevens, 30 September 2014

Monarch is going through a major restructuring with the stated aim of becoming a “low-cost” airline.

Michael Banda, former leader of the British WRP, dies at age 84

29 September 2014

Until the crisis that erupted in the Workers Revolutionary Party in 1985, Banda was a central leader of the British Trotskyist movement for more than three decades.

Britain’s parliament votes for war in Iraq, and also Syria

By Robert Stevens, 27 September 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament there was “no legal barrier” to Britain extending parliament’s approval for bombing Iraq to cover similar action in Syria.

Britain prepares to join US-led war in Iraq and Syria

By Paul Mitchell, 26 September 2014

Both the Conservatives and Labour Parties back British involvement in the US-led war, which is aimed at reasserting military dominance in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

Unending austerity pledged by UK Conservatives and Labour alike

By Robert Stevens, 25 September 2014

Labour is positioning itself as the most favoured and trusted instrument to impose austerity on behalf of the financial aristocracy.

Britain’s fake-left groups seek permanent nationalist alliance in Scotland

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 22 September 2014

Having embraced nationalism in Scotland, Britain’s fake-left groups are emerging ever more openly as right-wing tendencies.

UK: National Health Service staff ballot for strike action over pay

By Tony Robson, 19 September 2014

The trade unions have opened the door to four separate pay rates for National Health Service staff performing the same job across the UK.

Victorian-era diseases return to Britain

By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2014

Figures from England and Wales indicate that there was a 19 percent increase in the number of people hospitalised for malnutrition in the last year.

The impact on Europe of the Scottish independence referendum

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 16 September 2014

The immense tensions generated by the Scottish referendum point to an unprecedented crisis of rule, whatever the outcome of Thursday’s ballot.

UK prepares for full military action in Syria and Iraq

By Robert Stevens, 16 September 2014

Using aid worker David Haines’ murder by ISIS as the casus belli, British Prime Minister Cameron is preparing to back military strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Workers and youth support Socialist Equality Party campaign in opposition to Scottish nationalism

By our reporters, 16 September 2014

Workers and young people in Scotland have responded positively to the SEP’s call for a “No” vote in Thursday’s referendum on the basis of a rejection of nationalism and the fight for the unity of workers in Britain and internationally.

Possible “yes” vote in Scotland referendum provokes split in UK Conservative Party

By Julie Hyland, 9 September 2014

There is a gathering political crisis in the Conservative Party over the September 18 referendum on Scotland's independence from the UK.

Report exposes impact of tax hikes on London poor

By James Hatton and Paul Bond, 8 September 2014

Last year’s elimination of the council tax benefit has raised local taxes for over 300,000 poor residents of London.

Third televised debate in Scottish referendum: No one speaks for working people

By Jordan Shilton, 8 September 2014

As with the two previous debates on the September 18 referendum on Scottish independence, none of the genuine concerns facing working people were seriously addressed.

Scottish National Party arms police in preparation for rising social opposition

By Jordan Shilton, 4 September 2014

Talk of the “Americanisation” of the police in Scotland must be taken seriously, particularly in light of recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.

Britain outlines new “anti-terror” laws

By Robert Stevens, 3 September 2014

Fundamental democratic norms are being obliterated in a manufactured atmosphere of fear.

UK: The Rotherham child sex abuse scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 September 2014

A recent report details how, from the early 2000s, social services in Rotherham were collapsing under the impact of budget cuts and growing caseload numbers.

The class issues in the Scottish referendum

By Chris Marsden, 2 September 2014

The following is an edited version of a speech given by Socialist Equality Party National Secretary Chris Marsden at a public meeting in Partick Burgh Hall, Glasgow on August 27.

Poorest in the UK less healthy and dying younger

By Dennis Moore, 2 September 2014

The UK has one of the worst rates for early neonatal deaths in Western Europe.

UK announces new NATO military force, declares terror alert

By Robert Stevens, 1 September 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron recently stated that the UK’s “military prowess” is available for use in the Middle East.

Tony Blair offered advice to Kazakhstan dictator

By Robert Stevens, 30 August 2014

Former prime minister and Labour Party leader Tony Blair is the go-to man for advice to all manner of blood-soaked dictators.

Income inequality rises sharply in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 28 August 2014

The country is sharply polarised between a tiny minority who control much of the country’s wealth and monopolise political life, and the vast majority who have little control over either.

How Scotland’s Radical Independence Campaign sells nationalism to the working class

By Jordan Shilton, 26 August 2014

The so-called Radical Independence Campaign shares all of the Scottish National Party’s core positions.

UK undercover police escape prosecution for abusing women

By Julie Hyland, 26 August 2014

More than 10 women are taking legal action against the Metropolitan Police, after finding out that their former partners were part of an undercover police unit.

Foley execution used to call for UK military action in Iraq

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2014

Following each act of terrorism committed by Islamic fundamentalists in the UK, it has soon emerged that the intelligence services knew the perpetrators in advance.

Scottish Socialist Party seeks to divide the working class

By Steve James, 25 August 2014

Scottish nationalists and the ex-left tendencies have thrown all their resources into meetings, canvasses, stunts and leaflet drops to support a campaign, the central purpose of which is the division of the working class in Britain.

UK minister signals further welfare cuts ahead of 2015 general election

By Tony Robson, 23 August 2014

In a keynote address, the top British official for Work and Pensions signaled the further intensification of his government’s assault on social spending.

UK joins US military offensive in Iraq

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 20 August 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise that “Britain is not going to get involved in another war in Iraq” is worthless.

Still no evidence of Russia’s alleged military incursion into Ukraine

By Chris Marsden, 19 August 2014

If reports from the Guardian and the Telegraph are to be believed, experienced journalists stood by and watched Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine without taking a photograph to record the event.

Rising British self-employment used to obscure worsening job situation

By John Farmer, 19 August 2014

The rise in self-employment is driven not by an “entrepreneurial spirit,” but the lack of full-time employment offering an adequate income and pension.

Dozens of immigrants discovered trapped, one dead, in British shipping container

By Chris Marsden, 18 August 2014

As soon as the survivors were released from hospital, they were sent directly to an immigration reception centre.

Tommy Sheridan’s nationalist diatribe in service of Scottish big business

By Jordan Shilton, 16 August 2014

Tommy Sheridan, former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, addressed a meeting in support of Scottish separatism flanked by a representative of Business for Scotland and numerous Saltaires.

London mayor Boris Johnson to return as Tory MP on anti-European Union platform

By Robert Stevens, 13 August 2014

As London mayor, Johnson speaks for the financial aristocracy, whom he describes as the “zillionaires” and “hedge fund kings.”

UK rail union’s “Listen to London” conference a fiasco

By Michael Barnes, 12 August 2014

Workers stayed away from the RMT’s conference called to justify the sellout of rail strikes.

150,000 protest in London against Israel’s siege of Gaza

By Paul Bond, 11 August 2014

The size of the action demonstrated the outrage felt by broad sections of the population at the horrific violence unleashed on the Palestinian people in Gaza.

London: Protesters denounce mass murder in Gaza and biased BBC media coverage

By our reporters, 11 August 2014

Some of those attending Saturday’s protest in London spoke to the WSWS.

UK government attempts to conceal its involvement in rendition and torture

By Robert Stevens, 9 August 2014

The British government has approached the US in an attempt to censor information regarding Britain’s involvement in rendition and torture.

London mayor threatens to dock pay of striking firefighters

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 8 August 2014

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously imposed cuts to fire services, including the closure of fire stations.

Anti-Gaza war demo in Manchester, UK

By Tony Robson, 5 August 2014

Protestors in central Manchester speak out against Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.

Lloyds Bank admits fixing repo rate

By Jean Shaoul, 5 August 2014

Lloyds, in which the British Treasury has a 24 percent stake following the bank’s collapse in 2008, admitted that four of its staff had defrauded the Treasury.

Protesters denounce UK and US support for Israeli military massacres

By Daniel O’Flynn, 4 August 2014

Thousands of protestors gathered outside the Israeli embassy in London, Friday, to express their opposition to Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip

Video blog on Gaza devastation by British Channel 4 News presenter attracts wide audience

By Julie Hyland, 2 August 2014

News presenter Jon Snow: “If you decide to throw missiles, shells ... then you will undoubtedly kill children. And that is what [the Israeli government] are doing.”

British court to hear bulk of terrorism trial in secret

By Jordan Shilton, 30 July 2014

Britain’s ruling elite are working to put a system in place that would permit people to be locked up for life without anyone knowing about it.

Action “unlikely” against police officers involved in UK secret spying operation

By Julie Hyland, 29 July 2014

Special Demonstration Squad operatives infiltrated hundreds of organisations, concentrating on “extreme left-wing/extreme right-wing” groups and “animal rights/environmental” activists.

British university system faces collapse

By Joe Mount, 29 July 2014

Britain’s universities increasingly rely on private philanthropists for their funding.

Britain’s “Healthier Together” sets agenda for health cuts in Manchester

By Tony Robson, 28 July 2014

The Conservative Liberal Democrat government has taken major steps towards dismantling Britain’s National Health Service.

UK tribunal hears evidence of mass surveillance

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2014

A hearing on the operations of Britain’s GCHQ revealed that state interception of electronic communications can relate to political opposition to US foreign policy.

Northampton sale of Egyptian statue: Major assault on art and cultural provision in the UK

By Paul Bond, 25 July 2014

Northampton, like other Conservative councils, is enthusiastic about selling off the contents of its public museums and art galleries. Labour accepts the argument that artefacts can and should be sold to make up funding shortfalls.

British unions open door to charges for doctor visits

By Ajanta Silva, 25 July 2014

Advocates of charging for doctors’ services argue that a system of free health care for all is no longer sustainable due to the economic crisis.

UK: Leeds protest against Gaza war condemns BBC blackout

By our reporters, 22 July 2014

Demonstrators on the protest in Leeds, West Yorkshire carried placards saying “BBC=British Brainwashing Channel” and shouted “We are all Palestinians now.”

UK government, media demand punitive action against Moscow over MH17 crash

By Julie Hyland, 21 July 2014

David Cameron has seized on Thursday’s tragic crash in eastern Ukraine to demand a “reset of European-Russia relations.”

London rally draws tens of thousands to protest Gaza invasion

By our reporters, 21 July 2014

The London protest, called under the banner of “justice and freedom” for Palestine, chanted slogans including “Stop Israel’s war crimes” and “End Israeli Apartheid”.

UK schools required to actively promote “British values”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 July 2014

Behind all the talk of democratic values, the British bourgeoisie—like its counterparts the world over—are developing more and more repressive measures to police working people.

Cut in funding for English National Opera

By Margot Miller, 19 July 2014

As a proportion of total UK public spending, a miniscule 0.5 percent now goes to the arts.

Britain’s parliament rubber stamps police state surveillance law

By Robert Stevens, 19 July 2014

The vote to fast track into legislation the Data Retention and Investigative Powers Act by Britain’s Parliament shows the extent to which the structures for police states are being prepared in Europe.

United Nations report: US, UK surveillance programs violate international law

By Thomas Gaist, 18 July 2014

The UN has declared that bulk metadata collection, use of secret courts, and surveillance-guided drone strikes violate basic principles of international law.

Cabinet reshuffle takes UK closer to exit from European Union

By Julie Hyland, 17 July 2014

The resignation of UK Foreign Secretary William Hague signifies a further shift to the right.

Keolis to operate London’s Docklands Light Railway for seven years

By Paul Bond, 17 July 2014

The Docklands Light Railway, established to serve London’s financial district, has long been the testing ground for a more generalised assault on workers’ conditions.

George Galloway defends British capitalism in Scottish referendum campaign

By Jordan Shilton, 16 July 2014

For all his complaints against the supporters of Scottish nationalism, Galloway is no less hostile to the independent political mobilisation of the working class than the pro-independence camp.

Edward Snowden condemns UK surveillance legislation

By Robert Stevens, 15 July 2014

The emergency surveillance powers now being railroaded through parliament will establish in law key elements of the “Snoopers Charter” from which the government had been previously forced to backtrack.

British government rushes through emergency surveillance legislation

By Richard Tyler, 14 July 2014

Once again, the so-called “war on terror” is being employed to abrogate civil liberties and strengthen the repressive powers of the state.

UK public sector workers explain their decision to strike

By our reporters, 14 July 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers in a number of town and cities in England who participated in last Thursday’s national public sector strike and protests.

Cameron government steps up drive to sell UK public assets

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 12 July 2014

The National Health Service will be one of the hardest hit social services in a public land selloff.

London teachers speak on the public-sector strike

By our reporters, 12 July 2014

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to striking teachers on the demonstration in London during Thursday’s nationwide public-sector strike.

UK public sector workers hold one-day strike

By Julie Hyland, 11 July 2014

Thursday’s action was the minimum necessary for the trade union bureaucrats to persuade the government that it needs their assistance in policing the working class.

New disability payments system responsible for deaths in Britain

By Dennis Moore, 10 July 2014

Under the new eligibility system, thousands have died after being deemed fit for work, with thousands more denied benefit payments.

Britain’s National Health Service “fraying at the edges”

By Paul Mitchell, 9 July 2014

The government’s slashing of National Health Service funding is the cause of the crisis.

Tony Blair to advise Egyptian dictator al-Sisi

By Paul Mitchell, 7 July 2014

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is to advise Egyptian president and military dictator, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

British government planned a 100,000-strong Syrian proxy force

By Steve James, 7 July 2014

BBC’s “Newsnight” has revealed 2012 plans for the creation of a huge “rebel” army to overthrow Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

UK police make one million stop and searches of young people

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2014

Only 10 percent of searches lead to an arrest and black people are six times more likely to be stopped than whites.

Former Scottish Socialist Party leader promotes nationalism in referendum campaign

By Steve James and Jordan Shilton, 5 July 2014

On a recent tour, Tommy Sheridan did not issue a word of criticism of the Scottish National Party, Scotland’s main capitalist party.

£40 billion in UK local authority cuts by 2020

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 3 July 2014

By the end of the current parliament (2015), core funding for councils will have been reduced by 40 percent.

Green Party hypocrisy over protests by refugees in Berlin

By Berndt Reinhardt, 2 July 2014

Refugees in Berlin are demanding the democratic right to be free to choose where they live, work and raise a family.

UK unions propose one-day protest strike over pay

By Tony Robson, 2 July 2014

Since coming to power in May 2010, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has been able to mount a one-sided assault on the working class thanks to the unions.

UK: Labour Party targets unemployed youth for benefit withdrawal

By Joe Mount, 1 July 2014

The punitive policy means that youth without A-levels or equivalent qualifications would lose their income unless they enroll in vocational training courses.

UK journalist threatened with arrest under Terrorism Act for filming protest

By Harvey Thompson, 30 June 2014

Alex Evans from the Sheffield Star was at the city’s train station filming a pensioners’ protest when he was ordered to delete his footage.

Jobs losses at Kellogg’s UK part of global profit drive

By Danny Richardson, 25 June 2014

Job cuts form part of the firm’s Global Business Services (GBS) restructuring plans.

Every Internet user in the UK can be spied on without a warrant

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2014

Tempora operates on a similarly massive scale to that of Prism and is able to record 600 million “telephone events” per day.

Poll spotlights British economic insecurity

By Julie Hyland, 21 June 2014

Official statistics confirm that the UK’s economic “recovery” is benefiting only the super-rich, to the detriment of working people.

Low-income UK residents pay higher tax rates than the wealthy

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2014

A new report by the Equality Trust exposes the regressive character of Britain’s tax system.

UK: Hillsborough disaster inquest reveals safety violations by stadium operator

By Barry Mason, 20 June 2014

Testimony in ongoing inquiry into the 1989 stadium disaster, in which 96 people lost their lives, showed that the venue had an out-of-date safety certificate.

Iraq’s civil war provokes UK political crisis

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2014

The British bourgeoisie are concerned at the reawakening of anti-war opposition.

Bank of England governor warns of threat to capitalism

By Jordan Shilton, 16 June 2014

Coming in the context of a series of reports on the astronomical levels of social inequality in Britain and internationally, Carney’s comments are a warning to ruling circles over the instability of their social order and the inevitability of mass social opposition.

Luxury apartment complex in London uses spikes to deter homeless

By Paul Stuart, 14 June 2014

The brutal measure was exposed by a member of the public who passed the entrance each day on his way to work.

UK schools witchhunted by government to foster anti-Muslim sentiment

By Robert Stevens, 12 June 2014

The witchhunt began in November when an anonymous letter, now widely accepted to have been a hoax, was sent to the media.

British NHS patients left without medications by private contractor

By Tony Robson, 12 June 2014

The recent Healthcare at Home debacle underscores the danger to public health resulting from the privatisation of the UK’s National Health Service.

Budget cuts threaten scientific and cultural projects at London’s Kew Gardens

By Dennis Moore, 11 June 2014

Due to years of budget cuts, Kew Gardens has a £5 million shortfall, leaving it ever more dependent on philanthropic and commercially generated funding.

Austerity forces British children into record levels of poverty

By Joe Mount, 10 June 2014

This will be the first decade since records began in 1961 that has not seen a fall in absolute child poverty in the UK.

Closure of UK colliery exposes role of miners’ union

By Simon Whelan, 9 June 2014

The NUM is promoting a buyout of the pit in which the workforce will have to invest their own money in a venture that has no guarantee of success.

Labour embraces UK Independence Party’s right-wing nationalism

By Jordan Shilton, 7 June 2014

In the wake of the European elections, leading figures within the British Labour Party have stepped up their calls to embrace the policies of UKIP.

British care home scandal deepens

By Mark Blackwood and Ajanta Silva, 7 June 2014

Despite the widespread abuse of the severely disabled people in their care, none of Winterbourne View’s executives were ever questioned, let alone charged or jailed.