Britain

Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018

At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.

“This is a political attack”

Striking UK lecturers speak on struggle against assault on pensions

By our reporters, 23 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK during yesterday’s national strike by lecturers against attacks on their pensions.

BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women

By Laura Tiernan, 22 February 2018

The privileged advocates of identity politics at the BBC are not remotely interested in the problems faced by most women in the workforce.

UK university lecturers and college staff strike against pension cuts and wage cap

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 22 February 2018

The following is being distributed among lecturers and students at today’s national strike in the UK against attacks on lecturers’ pensions.

Deal to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland collapses

By Steve James, 21 February 2018

The dispute between all the parties centres primarily at this stage not on language, but on Brexit and the status of Northern Ireland’s border with the Irish Republic.

Tory-media witch-hunt claims Labour’s Corbyn was a spy

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2018

This latest offensive by the Tory Party and media follows threats by senior military figures that Corbyn must not be allowed to form a government.

Amazon set to open new depot in Sheffield—“low pay capital of the UK”

By Danny Richardson, 20 February 2018

Sheffield and its surrounding area was previously a major steel producing region with Amazon building its “Fulfilment Centres” in the South Yorkshire area on shuttered steel plants.

Questions University College London must answer on eugenics conference

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2018

UCL honorary senior lecturer James Thompson is obsessed almost solely with genetic differences in intelligence across genders, countries and ethnicities.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Failed by the State co-director discusses smear campaign against his documentary

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

After a lively discussion on issues raised by the film, the Grenfell Fire Forum passed a resolution opposing the attack on it by the corporate media.

UK “gig economy” worker’s death tied to no sick pay, no sick leave

By Margot Miller, 17 February 2018

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, five million people are employed, either full or part-time, for courier firms, minicab apps such as Uber or takeaways such as Deliveroo.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

Failed by the State co-writer and presenter Ish: “I wasn’t trying to push agendas, I was just trying to tell the truth about Grenfell.”

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Ish about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Failed by the State co-director Daniel Renwick: “Every day I meet people who have been politicised and have a deeper consciousness”

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Daniel Renwick about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

British judge refuses to overturn Julian Assange’s arrest warrant

By Paul Mitchell, 14 February 2018

Lawyers for Assange argued the warrant should be revoked because Sweden dropped its extradition warrant last year and that arresting him was no longer “proportionate” or “in the public interest.”

What is the connection between Britain First and Conservative leadership contender Jacob Rees-Mogg?

By Steve James, 14 February 2018

Invited to speak at the University of the West of England, Rees-Mogg faced a small protest—the fallout from which has placed the spotlight on his following among fascists.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

Public outcry forces Manchester Art Gallery to restore censored painting

John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) taken down for a week

By Dennis Moore, 13 February 2018

The removal of Hylas and the Nymphs was never about a “conversation,” as gallery official claimed, it was an open act of censorship. Hundreds of visitors left notes expressing concern. The gallery’s website registered 1,000 comments.

UK: Corbyn tries to conceal Labour’s record of social cleansing

By Jean Shaoul, 12 February 2018

London’s Labour-controlled boroughs are a battleground because council estates and social housing exist side by side with some of the most expensive property in the country.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

Sleeping rough in the UK: “I never expected to be on the streets”

By Margot Miller and Dennis Moore, 10 February 2018

WSWS reporters recently spoke to rough sleepers on the streets of Manchester in north west England.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors vote with Blairites against scrapping Haringey Council’s social cleansing project

By Paul Mitchell, 10 February 2018

Labour councillors, backed by Momentum, refused to back a motion that would have brought an end to the UK’s most infamous handover of council assets.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council on verge of bankruptcy

By Robert Stevens, 10 February 2018

The crisis facing councils is an indictment of the austerity, privatisation and outsourcing that has been the policy of successive central governments and local authorities.

Corbyn prostrates himself before council leaders in the name of “Municipal Socialism”

By Chris Marsden, 9 February 2018

Corbyn addressed the audience of Labour councillors imposing cuts that have devastated vital social services as if they were passionate seekers after a new socialist dawn.

London Labour councils in league with property developers

By Julie Hyland, 9 February 2018

The Haringey Development Vehicle mass privatisation project epitomises the transformation of the Labour Party into a political adjunct of big business and the corporate elite.

UK High Court rejects Lauri Love’s extradition to US

By Margot Miller, 8 February 2018

The High Court judges agreed with Love’s legal team that, on medical grounds, he should be tried in the UK, not the US.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: The social cleansing agenda of a Blairite “martyr”

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2018

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober has received the support of over 70 leaders of Labour councils nationally who are all enforcing Tory spending cuts.

UK: Convicted fascist Finsbury Park attacker planned to kill Jeremy Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 7 February 2018

Osborne’s radicalisation ended with him establishing connections to fascist groups, but it was prepared by a more general climate of political reaction.

May’s China visit highlights UK’s post-Brexit dilemma

By Jean Shaoul, 6 February 2018

The US tied May’s hands, leading to her refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding officially endorsing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2018

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, the Hackitt report considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks.

As thousands demonstrate in London in defence of health care

UK unions and Labour suppress struggle to defend National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2018

Corbyn and his pseudo-left backers are using the prospect of a Labour government reversing the attacks on the NHS to suppress any mobilisation of the working class.

London protesters speak out in defence of the National Health Service

“The Conservatives don’t care how many people die so long as they line their pockets”

By our reporters, 5 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s demonstration in London to defend the NHS.

UK: Justice4Grenfell meeting endorses May government’s inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 3 February 2018

Several members of the audience demanded that those responsible for “social murder” be arrested and sent to jail.

The human cost of the destruction of the National Health Service

By NHS FightBack, 3 February 2018

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed today at marches and rallies in defence of the National Health Service in London and other towns and cities.

As May faces leadership challenge, Corbyn and Labour make Brexit pitch to employers’ groups

By Chris Marsden, 2 February 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met privately with the leaders of the major employers’ organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry, Institute of Directors and the Federation of Small Business to discuss Brexit.

Social cleansing in Haringey: Labour right reject Corbyn’s pleas for “unity”

By Julie Hyland, 2 February 2018

Haringey’s Labour-run council is mounting one of the largest privatisation and social cleansing operations in London

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

London Conference on Intelligence exposes link between academic promotion of eugenics and Conservative right

By Thomas Scripps, 31 January 2018

Held last May at the prestigious University College London (UCL), the London Conference on Intelligence was organised and hosted by honorary UCL Professor James Thompson.

UK NHS faces further attacks with introduction of “accountable care organisations”

By Jean Shaoul, 30 January 2018

The government’s proposals, introduced at the behest of the private sector, are an import from the American public-private healthcare system.

Netflix: The Crown Season Two—Apologetics for the monarchy as sun sets on British Empire

By Paul Mitchell, 30 January 2018

The season begins with the Suez crisis in 1956 and ends in 1963 with the Soviet spy scare centred on War Minister John Profumo.

UK Labour: Corbyn seeks accommodation with Blairites and big business

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2018

The policy of the Labour right wing is to extract maximum concessions from Corbyn—especially regarding Labour’s stance on Brexit.

UK Defence Secretary accuses Russia of planning to kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of Britons

By Robert Stevens, 27 January 2018

Williamson’s comments come just days after the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Britain must actively prepare for war with Russia.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

UK Independence Party on brink of collapse

By Julie Hyland, 26 January 2018

With UKIP’s collapse likely, former leader Nigel Farage has been in talks with multi-millionaire Arron Banks on the formation of a new movement.

British Armed Forces chief prepares for war with Russia

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2018

The statement by General Sir Nick Carter of the “need” to project land warfare capability up to 2,000 km is a direct threat to Russia with a horrifying historical parallel.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra terminates employment of Charles Dutoit over allegations of sexual misconduct

By Paul Bond, 25 January 2018

The temporary removal of Dutoit from his post was originally justified on the grounds of freeing him up for a legal defence, but the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has now abandoned this pretext.

Hundreds more jobs being cut at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in UK

By Margot Miller, 24 January 2018

The UK redundancies are part of a European-wide offensive against jobs and wages.

UK: Private landlords refusing to remedy Grenfell-style flammable cladding

By Barry Mason, 23 January 2018

Proxima GR Properties are refusing to meet the costs of replacing the flammable cladding—in violation of Landlord and Tenant Law—or even the costs of providing the fire safety warden service.

Carillion collapse in UK leaves pension scheme deficit of £2.6 billion

By Robert Stevens, 22 January 2018

A Sky News investigation revealed that Carillion’s debts and pension liabilities were almost double the amount initially cited.

UK, France boost military, intelligence ties at Sandhurst summit

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2018

The summit aimed to boost UK-French cooperation despite the crisis in NATO caused by the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union.

UK: Office for Students spearheads privatisation and policing of universities

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2018

Accompanied by lifting the cap on tuition fees and selling off of student debt to private holders, the Office for Students is set to complete the basic framework for the wholesale privatisation of higher education.

UK: Labour’s John McDonnell pledges to buy out PFI contracts after Carillion collapse

By Jean Shaoul, 19 January 2018

In the wake of Carillion’s collapse, 14 hospital trusts have had to trigger emergency plans, with six deploying additional staff to maintain essential services.

UK: Southwark Labour Council’s gentrification plans meet widespread opposition

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2018

The gentrification plans involve the construction of around 1,000 new luxury homes that are unaffordable to the local working class population.

”You cannot disperse communities and expect people to be fine with that”

Protesters denounce social cleansing by Southwark Labour council

By our reporters, 19 January 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those protesting the gentrification plans being carried out in the Elephant and Castle area of south London.

Carillion’s collapse in UK and the East Coast bailout: What would ending the “Private Financial Initiative rip-off” entail?

By Jean Shaoul, 18 January 2018

In the wake of the collapse of construction giant Carillion, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demagogically declared it was time “to end the rip-off privatisation policies.”

Another bonanza year for highest paid UK CEOs

By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018

The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.

Families and survivors hold seven-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 17 January 2018

Some 1,500 people, including survivors and the families of those who died in last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, staged their monthly Silent March on January 14.

UK: The political lessons of Carillion’s collapse

By Julie Hyland, 17 January 2018

When CEOs, accountants, regulators and governments are all implicated in such events, it is not the corruption of a single corporate entity that is at issue, but the capitalist profit system itself.

UK: Election of pro-Corbyn slate to Labour’s National Executive Committee underscores left shift in working class

By Chris Marsden, 16 January 2018

Corbyn is now in control of his cabinet and, following various reshuffles, has a majority of the party membership and now the NEC.

UK: Carillion collapse threatens jobs and pensions, exposing plunder of social assets

By Julie Hyland, 16 January 2018

There are reports of banks shifting Carillion off their balance sheets over the last months in anticipation of its inevitable folding.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.

Fraud of official inquiry into Grenfell fire exposed by forced withdrawal of project management adviser

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

The scandal over KPMG serves once again to dispel any illusions that the official Grenfell inquiry has anything to do with establishing the truth or holding the guilty to account.

UK government refuses to pay for essential safety improvements six months after Grenfell fire

By Margot Miller, 12 January 2018

While 36 councils have applied for help with funding, housing minister Alok Sharma recently conceded that no money has been handed over to date.

New publication by Mehring Books (UK)

The falsification of David King’s work

12 January 2018

Mehring Books has produced a new pamphlet to memorialise David King, who devoted his extraordinary artistic gifts to salvaging the historical truth of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath.

UK: Cabinet reshuffle leaves May’s government impotent and divided

By Chris Marsden, 11 January 2018

The crisis in the Tory party over Britain’s exit from the European Union is behind a renewed offensive to shape the Labour Party as the leadership of a pro-Remain government.

Freedom for Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2018

The “untenable” conditions under which the WikiLeaks founder remains confined are the product of an unrelenting drive by the US and British governments to punish him for exposing the crimes of imperialism.

“Sexual misconduct” witch-hunt targets conductor Charles Dutoit, director Max Stafford-Clarke and actor Ed Westwick

By Paul Bond, 11 January 2018

Just before Christmas, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that it had cancelled appearances by its artistic director, 81-year-old conductor Charles Dutoit.

Britain's Guardian newspaper registers concern at collapse of high-profile rape cases

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 9 January 2018

Events that confirm the fundamental importance of the presumption of innocence have been met with undisguised antipathy from those sections of the media most closely involved with the #MeToo campaign.

UK: Social media giants face sanctions if they fail to provide “proof” of Russian interference

By Julie Hyland, 9 January 2018

The select committee’s aim is to manufacture a pretext for imperialist intrigues against Russia while censoring alternative media sources.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

British National Health Service faces escalating crisis due to chronic underfunding

By Dennis Moore, 5 January 2018

The head of the Kings College hospital trust, one of the largest in the UK, resigned citing the inability of hospitals to provide adequate care amidst soaring demand.

More Britons than ever forced into homelessness due to rent increases

By Tom Pearce, 4 January 2018

The horror stories featured in this year’s report by the local government and social care ombudsman reveal a situation comparable to Victorian slum housing.

Head of Britain’s NHS demands national roll-out of drunk tanks

By Julie Hyland, 3 January 2018

There is a direct relationship between this orgy of financial parasitism and the explosion of self-medication.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Profiteering by insulation industry central to Grenfell Tower fire in London

By Tom Pearce, 28 December 2017

One UK government department was peddling combustible plastic products even as another was being warned of the risks of using plastic insulation in residential buildings.

UK: Thousands to see in the New Year sleeping rough on the streets

By Margot Miller, 28 December 2017

More than 9,000 people are rough sleepers and 78,000 families are living in temporary accommodation in England alone, including 120,000 children.

UK steps up provocations against Russia

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 27 December 2017

The effort to play up the passage of a Russian warship through the North Sea on Christmas Day is only the latest example of the UK’s escalating propaganda campaign against Russia.

UK Conservatives seek closer economic ties with China

By Jean Shaoul, 27 December 2017

The announcement points to the divergence between Britain’s commercial interests and those of its foremost ally, the United States.

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2017

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.

Engineering workers occupy three BiFab yards in Scotland

By Darren Paxton and Sandy Campbell, 23 December 2017

Although workers effectively took control of the yards, the GMB and Unite trade unions were at pains to insist the action was a “work-in.”

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

UK report singles out schools with “high levels of disadvantage” for attack

By Tania Kent, 21 December 2017

Schools nationally will see a funding cut of 1.5 to 3 percent this year.

Report finds steady increase in UK child and pensioner poverty

By Margot Miller, 21 December 2017

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1,252,000 people—including 312,000 children—were destitute at some point in 2015.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Oppose media witch-hunt against “the left” over Grenfell fire

By Robert Stevens, 18 December 2017

The aim is to conceal the fact that, half a year on, no one has been questioned about, let alone arrested for, the inferno that killed more than 70 people.

EU summit agrees talks will move forward, but Brexit crisis continues

By Chris Marsden, 16 December 2017

Guidelines issued for the UK on Brexit stipulate that it must adopt all new European Union laws created during the transition period, while being excluded from any decision-making role.

Brexit crisis deepens after Tory revolt on eve of EU summit

By Chris Marsden, 15 December 2017

The parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May has been hailed as proof of a majority for a “soft Brexit”—preserving at all costs full access to the Single European Market.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

Grenfell fire inquiry opens: No one faces police questioning until autumn 2018

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2017

In the week prior to the procedural hearings, survivors launched a petition to demand that the blatantly undemocratic nature of the inquiry be changed.

Millions of the poorest in the UK eat an unhealthy diet

By Thomas Scripps, 13 December 2017

Under the impact of cuts to social services, falling wages and rising food prices, many working people are unable to provide themselves, and particularly their children, with a healthy diet.

“We need to talk about Jeremy”: The City of London discusses its attitude to a Labour government

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership team has spent months persuading ruling circles that Labour can be trusted to take the reins of state.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

UK “Magnitsky bill” escalates US-led anti-Russia offensive

By Julie Hyland, 11 December 2017

The move by right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin is part of a cross-party effort to build pressure for a far more aggressive stance against Moscow.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.