Britain

UK: Lecturers and students speak on struggle to fight savage pension cuts

By our reporters, 17 March 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to striking lecturers and students on picket lines and at rallies Thursday and Friday in London and Glasgow.

The UK lecturers strike and the struggle against marketisation

Former student sues university for cost of her education

By Thomas Scripps, 16 March 2018

The collective endeavour of learning is being replaced by a purely financial and adversarial relationship between universities and students and the academic workforce.

As tensions escalate, UK expels 23 Russian diplomats

By Chris Marsden, 15 March 2018

May is leading an international offensive to reinforce demands for action against Russia, up to and including a military response, working in close collaboration with the US.

UK lecturers resume strike following rebellion against UCU sellout agreement

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2018

From the beginning of the dispute, the SEP has insisted that the UCU is not an organisation fighting in the interests of workers. It is a tool of management and, as with all the unions, cannot be reformed through rank and file pressure.

Striking UK lecturers speak out after rejecting union sell-out deal

By our reporters, 15 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking lecturers yesterday in London, Manchester and Sheffield.

The Skripal poisoning: What lies behind UK-US ultimatums against Russia?

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2018

As London and NATO concoct a case for war against Russia based on allegations that Moscow poisoned Sergei Skripal, certain elementary questions must be asked.

UK university lecturers revolt against union sell-out agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

Thousands protested nationally and hundreds of lecturers lobbied outside the union’s headquarters in London Tuesday to demand rejection of a deal reached the previous evening.

“I’m delighted with the voices of solidarity from West Virginia”

Students and lecturers at the University of Aberdeen speak about the issues in the strike

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

Members of the IYSSE spoke to students and striking lecturers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland about the issues in the lecturers’ struggle.

UK seeks international support for anti-Russia measures

By Chris Marsden, 14 March 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is engaged in a high-stakes effort to turn the tide internationally towards stepped-up conflict with Russia, up to and including a military confrontation.

Striking UK lecturers speak out to denounce attempted UCU sell-out: “I’d like to see the membership taking control more as it has done today”

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters interviewed striking lecturers at an all-day protest of several hundred lecturers, students and university workers outside UCU’s headquarters in North London.

“It’s certainly not going to shut me up”

Grenfell fire: Joe Delaney answers right-wing media witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to north Kensington resident Joe Delaney about the recent attack on him by the Sunday Times.

UK prime minister delivers ultimatum to Russia, heightening war danger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 March 2018

May’s speech follows a wave of anti-Russia hysteria unleashed by the media, political and military establishment, including the mobilisation of 180 military personnel in the cathedral city of Salisbury.

Corbyn's Shadow Chancellor says Labour MPs will boycott RT

By Laura Tiernan, 13 March 2018

Once again, the Corbynites have adopted policy positions associated with the pro-war majority that dominates the Parliamentary Labour Party.

UK: More than a million welfare benefit sanctions imposed against disabled people

By Dennis Moore, 13 March 2018

In 2015, the UK government withheld £132 million from claimants in the form of sanctions.

Increase in social deprivation hits tens of thousands of children in UK

By Liz Smith, 12 March 2018

That so many are in poverty is a result of the unions’ refusal to oppose successive governments’ austerity and pay freeze agendas.

Still no facts in UK/Russia double agent poisoning case

By Robert Stevens, 10 March 2018

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are in a critical condition after allegedly being exposed to what has been described only as a “nerve agent.”

Britain: 15,000 jobs in retail and leisure under threat, as jobs go throughout economy

By Richard Tyler, 10 March 2018

The high street retail and leisure sectors have been impacted by uncertainty over the consequences of Brexit and online shopping.

Corbyn opposes Momentum leader Jon Lansman’s bid for Labour’s general secretary post

By Julie Hyland, 9 March 2018

Far from marking a breach in the bureaucratic apparatus, the contest between two supporters of leader Jeremy Corbyn underscores the anti-democratic, right-wing character of Labour.

For a unified socialist movement of lecturers and students!

International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), 8 March 2018

A fight to build solidarity between lecturers and students involves a political struggle against the University and College Union, National Union of Students and other false leaderships.

Anti-Russia campaign follows alleged poisoning of former UK/Russian double agent and daughter

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2018

Sergei Skripal is a former colonel in Russia’s GRU, the military intelligence service. He spent four years in jail in Russia after being found guilty in 2006 of passing secrets to the British MI6.

UK lecturers speak in support of West Virginia teachers

By our reporters, 7 March 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to striking UK lecturers and other university staff during the first two days of this week’s four-day strike in Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester.

Income losses of British millennials second only to those in Greece

By Simon Whelan, 7 March 2018

Research reveals that in 2014 British millennials earned 13 percent less than those born in and around 1970 at the same stage in life.

UK government lies exposed over civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 6 March 2018

Airwars estimated that the number of civilians killed last year by the US-led coalition against IS was between 11,000 and 18,000.

Theresa May’s Brexit speech gets short shrift from European Union

By Chris Marsden, 3 March 2018

Despite her conciliatory tone, May failed to meet EU demands to flesh out what her government means by “ambitious managed diversion.”

UK university lecturers, college staff and students hold joint protest in London

By our reporters, 1 March 2018

The rally followed the previous day’s talks during which the union signalled its intention to capitulate by offering further concessions over pensions.

The UK lecturer’s dispute and the marketisation of higher education

By Thomas Scripps, 1 March 2018

The attack on university lecturers is one element in a far advanced programme aimed at the destruction of higher education as it has been known for decades.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout

By Chris Marsden, 1 March 2018

Corbyn’s speech expresses the role that would be played by any future Labour government, under conditions where a deepening Tory crisis could hasten a general election.

UK lecturers and students speak out during second week of strikes over pensions

By our reporters, 28 February 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to lecturers, other university staff and students at picket lines and rallies around the UK on Monday and Tuesday.

Right-wing media launch witch-hunt against Grenfell activist Joe Delaney

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 28 February 2018

The accusation should be met with contempt by the thousands of residents who know Delaney, and all those in the UK and internationally who have solidarized with the Grenfell victims.

Grenfell Tower combustible cladding was never tested

By Richard Tyler, 27 February 2018

No record of independent testing of the cladding/insulation system has been found by three separate investigations into the Grenfell fire.

UK local authorities escalate anti-homelessness policies

By Barry Mason, 27 February 2018

Living on the streets is a very precarious existence, reducing life expectancy to 47 years compared to 81 years for the average person in the UK.

London tower block leaseholders oppose having to pay cladding repair bill

By our reporters, 26 February 2018

The owners of the Citiscape apartments in south London, Proxima GR Properties, are trying to force leaseholders to pay at least £2 million for replacing unsafe cladding.

“We will not eat until we are free”

UK: Hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre

By Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2018

The mainly women detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, describing “systematic torture” by the Home Office and the private security firm, Serco.

UK lecturers stage second day of national strikes

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2018

In contrast to the stand by lecturers and students, the University and College Union has insisted that the strikes give way as soon as possible to resumed negotiations.

Lecturers and students stage united protests in Sheffield and Southampton

By our reporters, 24 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK.

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.