Britain

Political crisis deepens over delays to UK Iraq War inquiry report

By Paul Mitchell, 31 August 2015

The continued suppression of the Chilcot report, authorized over six years ago, is a sign of the explosive political fallout that will accompany its publication.

London Underground unions call off strikes

By Michael Barnes, 29 August 2015

All four unions which had threatened to strike are now working out the formula with which to force 24-hour work upon their members.

Is Jeremy Corbyn’s foreign policy socialist?

By Chris Marsden, 29 August 2015

Those looking to Corbyn as a means of opposing war will not find the answers they are seeking.

The British Library’s Magna Carta exhibition: A vital though flawed presentation

By Joe Mount, 28 August 2015

The exhibition features a breathtaking array of documents of world-historical significance, brought together for a public audience for the first time.

NHS hospitals face massive deficits and demands for further cuts

By Ajanta Silva, 27 August 2015

A further £22 billion in “efficiency savings” is being demanded over the next five years.

Scotland: Sheku Bayoh likely died of asphyxiation by police, lawyer says

By Minnie Watson, 26 August 2015

Within 45 seconds, Bayoh was incapacitated, restrained in handcuffs, leg and ankle restraints, and was in a “prone position face down.”

Dismaland, Banksy’s parody theme park: A despairing response to a complex world

By Kelly Taylor, 26 August 2015

Coming through the main gates into Dismaland, the spectator is confronted with a vision of a world that is terribly sick.

UK Tube strike: Conservative transport spokesman calls for scab force

By Michael Barnes, 24 August 2015

Aslef train operators will be used as “battle fodder” by the Conservative government and London Underground management to break their colleagues’ strike.

Britain: Labour leadership beset by talk of splits, coups and legal challenges

By Julie Hyland, 22 August 2015

Reports have revealed the extraordinary efforts by sections of the Labour Party to stop veteran “left” MP Jeremy Corbyn from winning the contest for party leader.

Jeremy Corbyn’s economic plan to rescue British capitalism

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 20 August 2015

The programme advanced by Corbyn in his campaign for Labour Party leadership challenges neither the market economy, nor the major corporations and banks.

Demand grows for closure of UK’s Yarl’s Wood detention centre

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 19 August 2015

The women at Yarl’s Wood are amongst the most vulnerable in society, fleeing from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa.

UK’s Kids Co charity folds after government withdraws backing

By Barry Mason, 18 August 2015

Founder Camilla Batmanghelidjh said the charity had been subject to a trial by media.

UK government to cut number of cancer drugs available on the NHS

By Ross Mitchell, 17 August 2015

The Conservatives plan to reduce the list of 65 funded cancer drugs by 37 items, which will severely impact the survival rates of thousands cancer patients.

What does the “Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon” represent?

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 15 August 2015

While the support for British Labour politician Jeremy Corbyn represents a growth of oppositional sentiment, those looking to a Corbyn victory to provide an alternative to austerity will be cruelly disappointed.

UK Conservative government escalates attacks on asylum seekers

By Jean Shaoul, 14 August 2015

A new Immigration Bill will slash the already miserly level of support given to families seeking asylum.

UK: Manchester City Council bans homeless protesters from city centre

By Dennis Moore, 11 August 2015

The refusal to provide the Manchester protesters with legal aid funding is part of a broader attack on access to justice in the UK.

UK: Kirkby residents lose class action case against Sonae Indústria

By Margot Miller, 10 August 2015

The largest class action of its kind in UK legal history followed a huge fire at the factory in June 2011, with residents complaining of skin irritation and breathing difficulties.

London Tube workers carry out 24-hour strike

By Paul Mitchell, 8 August 2015

Although deliberately limited by the unions, the walkout brought the capital city of 8.63 million people to a virtual standstill.

London Tube worker describes issues in struggle

By our correspondent, 8 August 2015

London Underground worker explains how the introduction of night work would set the precedent for further attacks on conditions.

UK teachers leave profession in record numbers

By Tania Kent, 7 August 2015

Applications for teaching jobs have declined by 27,000 in the last 12 months.

Surge in homelessness among young people across the UK

By Dennis Moore, 6 August 2015

According to a new study, an estimated 1.3 million young people aged 16 to 24 have slept rough during the past year.

UK government rips up restrictions on fracking

By Trevor Johnson, 5 August 2015

The British government is sending a strong signal to the fracking industry that its interests will prevail over all others.

London Underground workers set to hold second 24-hour strike

By Daniel O’Flynn, 4 August 2015

LU workers are involved in a political struggle with the employers and government, which want to reorganise the transport system on behalf of global capital.

Union calls off District line action prior to London Underground strike

By Ross Mitchell, 3 August 2015

Seven drivers, members of ASLEF, were suspended by LUL management for refusing to take out trains as part of union-initiated industrial action.

Royal Dutch Shell to slash 6,500 jobs

By Josh Varlin, 31 July 2015

Energy companies have announced nearly 50,000 layoffs in the last three months amid a slump in oil prices and a slowdown in the global economy.

Fourth body recovered from UK factory explosion

By Margot Miller, 31 July 2015

Just two weeks before the explosion decimated the factory, local council enforcement officers ordered a clean-up of the facility.

UK government whips up anti-immigrant hysteria over Eurotunnel security at Calais

By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2015

The desperate efforts of migrants to enter Britain led to the death Tuesday night of a Sudanese man who was hit by a truck leaving a cross Channel ferry.

UK Labour Party descends into crisis over leadership contest

By Julie Hyland, 29 July 2015

The Labour Party leadership contest in the UK has descended into farce, with calls for it to be suspended and even threats of a coup should the “wrong” candidate win.

UK Conservatives plan war and domestic repression

By Chris Marsden, 29 July 2015

The Tories are fashioning an increasingly aggressive military policy and undertaking measures that represent a grave threat to democratic rights.

UK: Green Party presides over homeless crisis in Bristol

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 28 July 2015

There are around 15,000 people on the council waiting list for affordable homes in Bristol, the most expensive city for housing after London.

UK government uses demand for weekend work to attack National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 25 July 2015

NHS managers are supposed to introduce additional services, while the government is demanding a further £22 billion in cuts to the health budget.

Tony Blair warns against “radical leftism” in Labour leadership race

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 24 July 2015

Labour’s leadership lives, works and plays in “the Westminster bubble”—a social circle made up of the super-rich and their hangers-on.

UK announces “anti-extremism” plan sanctioning domestic repression and war

By Chris Marsden, 23 July 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron’s five year plan to address “extremism” will target Muslims and encourage anti-Islamic sentiment.

UK: Labour capitulates on Conservative welfare cuts bill

By Paul Mitchell, 22 July 2015

The bill’s measures will plunge millions of workers and youth further into economic insecurity and poverty.

The Queen’s Nazi salute: Historical revisionism in the service of state censorship

By Julie Hyland, 22 July 2015

According to the media, there was barely a family in Britain that wasn’t goose-stepping around their lawns in the early 1930s.

UK defence secretary admits flouting parliamentary ban on military involvement in Syrian war

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 2015

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon used the parliamentary debate to propagandize for war.

Buckingham Palace orders inquiry, threatens legal action over Nazi salute film

By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2015

The publication of a video showing members of the British royal family, including a young Queen Elizabeth, giving the Hitler salute has ignited a political firestorm in Great Britain.

Conservative government concealed UK participation in Syria air strikes

By Julie Hyland, 18 July 2015

British pilots have carried out attacks in flagrant disregard for the August 2013 parliamentary vote against British military involvement in Syria.

Scottish National Party’s anti-austerity hypocrisy exposed

By Stephen Alexander, 18 July 2015

The progressive pretensions of the SNP are a cover for core neo-liberal policies.

UK Conservative government curtails right to strike

By Paul Mitchell, 17 July 2015

Conservative business secretary Sajid Javid has presented a new Trade Union Bill to Parliament that represents a massive attack on the working class.

As party leadership contest unfolds

British Labour backs Conservatives’ welfare cuts

By Julie Hyland, 15 July 2015

The leadership contest is the outcome of the massive losses sustained by Labour in the May 7 General Election.

UK Socialist Workers Party and Left Platform debate: Joint apologists for Syriza

By Paul Stuart and Paul Mitchell, 15 July 2015

Stathis Kouvelakis, the leader of the Left Platform within Syriza, said at a rally in London that it is impermissible to describe the government’s endorsement of savage austerity as a betrayal.

Manchester protesters face eviction as UK rough sleeping rises

By Dennis Moore, 13 July 2015

A group of homeless protesters who have been camped out on the streets of central Manchester for the last few months could face jail if an injunction goes ahead.

UK: Poorest children lag behind on language skills

By Tom Pearse and Sascha Woods, 11 July 2015

A fifth of children in England leave primary school unable to read well, including over a third of the poorest children.

Scottish National Party’s Nicola Sturgeon in talks over fracking

By Steve James, 11 July 2015

Fracking is notorious for the threat it poses to ground water supplies, which can be contaminated with chemicals and by methane released from cracked wells.

London trains shut down in rail worker strike

By our reporters, 10 July 2015

Strike action by rail workers brought the London Underground network to a standstill for the first time since 2002, while services to the west of England were suspended on many lines.

UK Conservative budget heralds ever deeper austerity

By Julie Hyland, 9 July 2015

Chancellor George Osborne delivered a budget that seeks to replicate the situation in Greece.

UK government slashes non-EU migrant worker numbers

By Joan Smith and Paul Mitchell, 9 July 2015

The most vicious measure is the deportation of 30,000 or more non-European Union workers who fail to earn more than £35,000 per annum after being in Britain for six years.

UK child poverty rising as government seeks cuts to tax credits

By Margot Miller, 4 July 2015

A staggering two thirds of children growing up in poor households have at least one family member in work.

UK seeks leading role in military campaign against Russia

By Julie Hyland, 3 July 2015

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon’s remarks are a significant escalation of British provocations against Russia.

UK: Another £22 billion in “savings efficiencies” in National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 30 June 2015

The government’s claim that the second round of “efficiency savings” will be accomplished through better procurement and efficient rostering of staff is fraudulent.

Three national strikes called off by UK trade unions

By Tony Robson, 30 June 2015

Planned national strikes by rail workers, probation officers, and steel workers have been called off in succession by Britain’s major trade unions.

UK unions abandon strike threat at Tata Steel

By Danny Richardson, 29 June 2015

A spokesman for Tata Steel indicated that the company believes it has made gains at workers’ expense.

UK Prime Minister Cameron sets out demands for EU treaty reform

By Chris Marsden, 27 June 2015

Cameron avoided any detailed presentation to the EU summit because he knew that this would only confirm the UK’s isolation.

Thousands of jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 27 June 2015

Following the loss of 90,000 public-sector jobs in the last parliament, a further 100,000 jobs are set to go over the next five years.

Scottish National Party’s Nicola Sturgeon goes warmongering in Washington

By Steve James, 23 June 2015

Sturgeon’s comments make clear that the SNP leadership fully supports British participation in the US-led military escalation that has brought the world closer to global war.

250,000 demonstrate against austerity in London

By our reporters, 22 June 2015

The mass demonstration is a reflection of widespread opposition to the Conservative government’s plans to ramp up austerity, following decades of cuts under both Tory and Labour Party governments.

Participants in UK marches denounce austerity

By our reporters, 22 June 2015

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed anti-austerity demonstrators in London and Glasgow.

Only socialism and class struggle can end austerity

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 22 June 2015

The following statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) was distributed at Saturday’s demonstrations against austerity in London and Glasgow.

UK: Labour saves Conservative government from defeat on EU referendum bill

By Jordan Shilton, 19 June 2015

The Labour Party demonstrated its readiness to form an alliance with the Cameron government over British European Union membership.

Three quarters of a million private tenants in England living in rundown homes

By Dennis Moore, 18 June 2015

There are 120,000 households in England considered to be living in an unsafe privately rented home.

Unions at Tata Steel in UK move to ignore strike vote

By Danny Richardson, 15 June 2015

The first thing the unions announced after the strike vote was a caveat that any scheduled action would be called off should Tata return for more negotiations.

UK: Rabina Khan is no alternative in Tower Hamlets mayoral contest

By Paul Mitchell, 10 June 2015

The same praise previously heaped on former mayor Lutfur Rahman by the pseudo-left groups is now being lavished on Khan.

UK rail unions call off national strike for second time

By Michael Barnes, 3 June 2015

The union sought to justify its action by pointing to a minor pay increase, which will be more than paid for by a cost-cutting drive being worked out behind the backs of workers.

Cost of living unbearable for millions of Londoners

By Allison Smith, 1 June 2015

Just over one third of Londoners do not have enough money for a minimum standard of living.

UK Prime Minister Cameron tours Europe lobbying for EU reforms

By Chris Marsden, 30 May 2015

Cameron received a fairly hostile reception in France, a country occupying a special position of enmity for the Tory right and the UK Independence Party.

Meetings on UK general elections: “We were alone in telling workers and young people the truth”

By David O’Sullivan and Katie Rhodes, 30 May 2015

The Socialist Equality Party in the UK held two successful meetings, in London and Glasgow, on the lessons of the May 7 British General Election.

Queen’s Speech 2015: UK Conservatives lay out agenda of austerity and repression

By Chris Marsden, 28 May 2015

Existing anti-democratic legislation built up under successive Labour and Tory administrations will be supplemented by a new Counter-Extremism Bill.

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.