Britain

British PM May to reveal “Plan B” as Brexit infighting continues

By Robert Stevens, 21 January 2019

The various options being debated are solely concerned with securing the strategic interests of British imperialism.

Ford workers at Bridgend in Wales facing 1,000 job losses

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2019

The trade unions act as management partners and are doing nothing to oppose the job losses.

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

UK: Blairites spearhead campaign to commit Labour to remaining in the European Union

By Thomas Scripps, 18 January 2019

The Blairites are opposed to a general election and aim to block Brexit without letting what is nominally their own party under Corbyn anywhere near power.

Theresa May’s Conservative government survives no-confidence vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 17 January 2019

What should have been a day of reckoning for May turned out to be a humiliating verdict on every capitulation made by Labour leader Corbyn to his party’s right wing since he became leader in September 2015.

UK: Trial begins of police commander in 1989 Hillsborough football disaster

By Thomas Scripps, 17 January 2019

The trial at Preston Crown Court highlights the immense scale of the state cover-up carried out in regard to the Hillsborough tragedy, in which 96 people died, the worst disaster in British sporting history.

UK parliament votes down Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 16 January 2019

In response to the resounding rejection of May’s proposal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence for Wednesday.

Grenfell Tower: Class action lawsuit in US against flammable cladding manufacturer

By Paul Bond, 16 January 2019

The suit claims Arconic “knowingly or recklessly supplied its highly flammable Reynobond polyethylene (PE) cladding panels for use in high-rise buildings.”

UK parliament to vote on Brexit deal today

By Chris Marsden, 15 January 2019

The fight over Brexit revolves around the best means of advancing the interests of British imperialism for control of global markets.

Top UK executives earn average worker pay within three days

By Alice Summers, 15 January 2019

While the vast majority of British workers have suffered a decline in wages unsurpassed for over a century, top bosses have seen their pay grow rapidly year on year.

UK People’s Assembly protest shows Corbyn’s role in demobilising the working class

By Steve James, 14 January 2019

The deeper the crisis, the more openly the Labour Party and the trade unions reveal their function as a political and industrial police force for big business over the working class.

Jaguar Land Rover announces nearly 5,000 UK job losses in global restructuring

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2019

Last October, JLR posted losses of £90 million and has seen a collapse in sales by nearly 50 percent in its main and most profitable market, China.

The struggle against austerity and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 12 January 2019

The SEP insists that the answer to austerity in the UK is not the election of a pro-capitalist Labour government, but the unification of the working class across the continent in the struggle for socialism.

Corporate media smears WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 January 2019

A host of articles attacking Julian Assange this week are representative of what the world-renowned investigative journalist John Pilger aptly described as “Vichy journalism.”

Nearly 600 homeless died on UK streets in 2017

“We’re living in the Dark Ages—how can there be so much wealth and so much misery?”

By our reporters, 11 January 2019

Over the holiday period, WSWS reporters spoke to homeless people, charities and volunteers dealing with the escalating homeless crisis in the UK.

British prime minister suffers second defeat at hands of pro-European Union MPs

By Robert Stevens, 10 January 2019

The vote was the second defeat of the government in less than 24 hours as a result of pro-Remain Tories blocking with the opposition parties.

Fascists surround rail workers’ picket line in Manchester, England

By Margot Miller, 10 January 2019

The Manchester attack is the second on RMT members in the last six months.

Debate begins in British parliament over May’s Brexit deal with EU

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2019

May is using the growing possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit, with its unforetold economic and social consequences, to pressure Brussels for more and to force MPs to back her deal.

Military prepare for post-Brexit civil war in Britain and Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 8 January 2019

Preparations involve 50,000 troops in mainland Britain and 1,000 more police in Northern Ireland—close to half the current size of the British Army and more than the force sent by the government to invade Iraq.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

British government dispatches Royal Navy to stop cross-Channel refugee boats

By Paul Mitchell, 4 January 2019

A right-wing anti-immigration campaign is being manufactured around the minuscule number of desperate souls—539 in total—who tried to cross the Channel in 2018.

Scotland: 300 laid off at Kaiam plant on Christmas Eve

By Steve James, 3 January 2019

Workers at optical electronics firm Kaiam in Livingston, Scotland, were laid off following the company’s collapse.

Hundreds die on UK streets as homelessness reaches record levels

By Margot Miller, 3 January 2019

Over the last five years, an estimated 2,627 homeless people have perished on the streets.

UK: Cross-party moves escalate to prevent Brexit and secure second referendum

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2018

Amid an unprecedented crisis of rule, Corbyn’s major concern is to preserve the unity of the Labour Party on the basis that only a Labour government can rescue British imperialism.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2018

This is the second and concluding part of a series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

UK: Investigation into Grenfell fire will “take years, not months,” police say

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 29 December 2018

With the police investigation now to take years, there is plenty of scope for the criminals responsible for Grenfell to kick things even further into the long grass.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 1

By Thomas Scripps, 29 December 2018

This is the first of a two-part series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

UK: Denial of access to justice following Legal Aid cuts

By Dennis Moore, 27 December 2018

The lack of Legal Aid and access to representation in the courts has resulted in a fivefold increase of people representing themselves.

Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to demolish 8,000 council homes

By Charles Hixson, 27 December 2018

Khan’s policies mean that 31,000 residents in at least 8,000 homes will face demolition on 118 estates in the coming decade.

Autoworkers at JLR and Vauxhalls UK face thousands of job losses

By Margot Miller, 24 December 2018

JLR’s decision to shed jobs highlights the increasing anxiety of the majority faction of the UK bourgeoisie opposed to a hard Brexit.

A tale of two cities: Grenfell Tower and the “ultra-luxury” lives of the super-rich

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2018

Just 18 months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, the RBKC has given permission for the building of two “ultra-luxury” residential retirement homes just a few miles away.

RMT union cancels three strikes on London Underground

By Angela Austin, 24 December 2018

Underground rail workers have been involved in a series of disputes and strikes over worsening working conditions, staff shortages and victimisations.

UK: Half of Royal College of Nursing leadership re-elected after being forced out

By Ajanta Silva, 22 December 2018

The re-elected union functionaries played a crucial role in selling a rotten pay deal to their members earlier this year, after conspiring with other unions and the government.

UK government announces draconian Brexit immigration policy and deployment of troops

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2018

With the working class unable to articulate its own independent interests, a crisis-ridden Tory government is moving to rapidly enact its reactionary Brexit agenda.

UK workers’ wages slashed by as much as a third in last decade

By Barry Mason, 20 December 2018

After a decade of relentless austerity, Britain is one of only two advanced economies—the other being Italy—where real wages are still lower than a decade ago.

Troops to be deployed in case of no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 19 December 2018

May’s Conservative government has announced that 3,500 soldiers are on standby to deal with economic disruption and confront social unrest in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

General practitioners abandoning Britain’s National Health Service

By Ben Trent, 19 December 2018

A poll by the General Medical Council’s regulating body concluded there was a high risk of doctors leaving the profession “in unprecedented numbers.”

Massive collapse of UK housing built for “social rent” in last decade

By Simon Whelan, 18 December 2018

The number of council homes in Britain has halved over recent decades and is now at its lowest level since the late 1960s.

UK: “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters found guilty of terrorism charges

By Margot Miller, 17 December 2018

The defendants, who are preparing to appeal the verdict, potentially face life in prison for preventing the departure of an immigration removal flight.

Grenfell fire: Local resident and Grenfell Action Group member, Joe Delaney, gives harrowing account to inquiry of night of fire

By Barry Mason, 17 December 2018

Delaney has a long record of fighting for decent and safe housing in the area and seeking justice for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell inferno, which has earned him the respect of the entire local community.

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

Number of UK households in energy debt increases by 300,000, owing nearly £400 million

By Dennis Moore, 15 December 2018

Up to 3,000 people die each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Bodyguard: A political thriller in six episodes from the UK

By David Walsh, 15 December 2018

The series centers on a British Army veteran, David Budd, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Budd now serves as an officer with a branch of the police in charge of security for politicians.

Julian Assange denounces his illegal detention in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2018

The WikiLeaks publisher, whose health appears to be deteriorating, made the comments at a hearing against the Ecuadorian government’s “Special Protocol,” aimed at forcing him into British and US custody.

Second phase of Grenfell inquiry delayed for a year

By Alice Summers, 14 December 2018

The delay leaves the corporations and governmental bodies that are responsible for the fire able to continue to evade justice.

Britain's NHS denies life-saving treatment to migrants

By Kelly Taylor, 14 December 2018

A 71-year-old Jamaican woman, Elfreda Spencer, died of sepsis this year after being denied chemotherapy because she could not afford to pay the upfront cost of her treatment.

UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2018

The vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May’s days are numbered.

Hundreds of residential tower blocks around UK still clad in flammable material

By Margot Miller, 13 December 2018

In Salford, flammable cladding has been partially removed from some of the nine local authority-owned blocks—up to the fourth floor, and only completely from one block.

UK: May faces possible leadership contest after seeking concessions from EU on Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 December 2018

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday once again insisted that he would not call a vote of no confidence—allowing the crisis ridden Conservative government to stagger on.

UK unions call off strikes against redundancies at Cammell Laird shipyard

By Barry Mason, 12 December 2018

The unions have already made clear they accept the need to reduce costs, urging only that there should be no compulsory redundancies.

UK workers, young people defend Yellow Vest protests in France: “I only wish that we could do it here as well!”

By our reporters, 11 December 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Britain who support the Yellow Vest protests in France.

May delays Brexit vote while Corbyn refuses to move no confidence motion

By Chris Marsden, 11 December 2018

May called off today’s scheduled vote because she knew her proposed agreement with the EU would be heavily defeated.

UK government’s role in anti-Corbyn campaign exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2018

The Integrity Initiative (II), funded by the UK, US governments and NATO, has played a central role in the campaign against the Labour Party leader.

Huffington Post renews smear campaign against UK Professor Piers Robinson

By Julie Hyland, 10 December 2018

Robinson is being attacked for his research on Syria, including probing questions regarding the predatory imperialist aims of the “war on terror,” which is verboten for the official state propagandists in Britain and the US.

Still no justice as phase one of Grenfell Tower fire inquiry closes

By Paul Bond, 8 December 2018

The inquiry was never intended to bring the guilty to justice and is being overseen and directed by the very capitalist state apparatus and its political representatives that are responsible for turning Grenfell Tower into a death trap.

UK: University and College Union seeks to demobilise pay dispute

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 8 December 2018

The UCU, past masters at isolating and demobilising struggles over pay and job losses, finally authorised a token pay strike at the end of November—at just six institutions.

Ecuadorian president hints again at moves to renege on Julian Assange’s asylum

By James Cogan, 7 December 2018

The fight for the freedom of Assange is a matter of fundamental political principle.

UK: Labour Students leadership and Zionists extend witch-hunt of Chris Williamson MP

By Thomas Scripps, 7 December 2018

The cancellation of the Sheffield meeting, at which Williamson was due to speak, became a launch pad for a nationwide offensive wherever the Blairites and Zionists have influence within student groups.

National Health Service workers among increasing users of food banks in Britain

By Ben Trent, 7 December 2018

A survey of 21,000 health workers found that 49 percent had to seek financial help from friends and family the previous year.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

Socialist Equality Party opposes RMT rail union sellout at Liverpool meeting

By our reporters, 6 December 2018

For over two years, RMT and the drivers’ union ASLEF in the UK have sabotaged the fight by thousands of guards in defence of their jobs and the safety of railway users.

Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2018

Last year, Denise Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part Three

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 5 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the final part.

Bank of England warns “no-deal” Brexit would be worse than 2008 crash

Labour pledges to rescue British capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2018

The "worst case" scenario presumes there would be custom checks on the UK’s border for goods, with the UK unable to reach new trade deals with the EU or other countries until 2023.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part One

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 3 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the first part.

I object—Ian Hislop’s search for dissent: An exhibition that eradicates socialist ideas and revolutionary action

At the British Museum, London

By Paul Mitchell, 1 December 2018

Would-be satirist Ian Hislop had access to one of the world’s most magnificent collections, in the British Museum, but ends up producing an exercise in political, social and artistic emptiness.

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

By Thomas Scripps, 30 November 2018

The evidence points to Abedi having been viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism.

Combustible cladding doomed Grenfell Tower within 10 minutes of initial fire

By Barry Mason, 29 November 2018

Even a crown placed at the top of Grenfell Tower, designed to enhance its appearance, contained combustible material.

New “Corbyn council” in Haringey, London demands more cuts

By Paul Bond, 29 November 2018

The self-styled “Corbyn council” is imposing the cuts on top of 40 percent reductions imposed by their Blairite predecessors.

Guardian newspaper spearheads new accusations against Assange and WikiLeaks

By James Cogan, 28 November 2018

The newspaper has the nerve to declare that it serves to “give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful, and hold them to account.”

British PM May attacked from all sides ahead of parliament Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 28 November 2018

As it stands there is no parliamentary arithmetic under which May can get the Brexit deal passed.

Falling building debris causes injuries and deaths while profits mount for UK developers

By Charles Hixson, 27 November 2018

Rather than being random tragedies, such accidents are the direct result of deliberate government policies.

EU summit backs Brexit withdrawal declaration

By Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2018

The 26-page political declaration, which has no legal force, outlines future relations in trade, fisheries, travel, security and financial services.

UK: Vauxhall and Cammell Laird workers strike against mass job cuts

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2018

Both strikes have developed in a rebellion against the collaboration, by the Unite and GMB trade unions, with the employers’ job cuts.

UAE pardons British PhD student Matthew Hedges on spying charges

By Paula Smith, 26 November 2018

The United Arab Emirates’ rulers granted British PhD student Matthew Hedges “gracious clemency.” Just days earlier a court in Abu Dhabi sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Black Friday strikes hit Amazon in Europe

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Amazon workers launched strikes and protests in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and the UK.

European Jewish Association slanders left and urges dialogue with far-right

By Jean Shaoul, 24 November 2018

Central place at the two-day event in Brussels, November 6-7, was given to a session slandering UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as an “existential threat” to Jews.

No to driver only operated services at West Midland Trains! For a national mobilisation of rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 24 November 2018

Drivers at West Midlands Trains are resisting a coordinated effort by the private train operator Abellio and rail unions to impose Driver Only trains in 2020.

Corbyn auditions for government before big business and intelligence agencies

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2018

Corbyn appeared before the Confederation of British Industry on Monday to deliver what was billed as his main policy speech on Brexit.

Tens of thousands of retail jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 23 November 2018

The list of closures in the retail industry reads like a cull, with 85,000 jobs already lost this year.

UN says millions in Britain deliberately plunged into “great misery”

By Robert Stevens, 21 November 2018

UN special rapporteur: “We are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the postwar British welfare state.”

City of London Corporation reneges on its social housing pledge

By Charles Hixson, 21 November 2018

Only 900 units, less than a quarter of the City’s council home building project, are set to be completed by 2025.

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

By Alice Summers, 20 November 2018

The long-term police operations against left-wing organisations are an anti-democratic and morally degraded attack and reveal a serious and present threat to the entire working class.

Thousands attend anti-fascist protest in London

By Robert Stevens, 19 November 2018

The nationalist and pro-capitalist programme of rally organisers provided no basis for workers and youth to fight fascism and the far right.

“Capitalism is causing the problem with refugees and making them the scapegoat”

London demonstrators speak out against racism and fascism

By our reporters, 19 November 2018

A number of those interviewed spoke of the parallels with the 1930s and the need to oppose the scapegoating of migrants and refugees.

The only answer to Brexit is the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2018

Every faction of Britain’s ruling elite—whether pro- or anti-EU membership or urging some form of continued relations—is viciously opposed to the interests of the working class.

Britain: Reading University flags article on “ethics of revolution” under anti-terror policy

By Tom Scripps, 17 November 2018

The banning of Norman Geras’ essay under anti-terrorism legislation is a police state measure that has, for the first time, targeted an article discussing socialism and revolution.

Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs

Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back

By Steve James, 17 November 2018

French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee tyre manufacturing plant poses workers with the challenge of creating new organisations of struggle.

Some of the main provisions of the draft EU-UK proposed Brexit deal

By our reporter, 16 November 2018

The 585-page document includes a legal guarantee to ensure the Irish border remains open after Brexit, with the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU until a broader EU-UK trade deal can be finalised.

Brexit deal threatens survival of May government

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2018

Prime Minister May has been brought face to face with the full implications of the growing antagonisms between the US and Europe.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry hears harrowing witness statements

By Paul Bond, 15 November 2018

Grenfell Tower residents confirm that cost-cutting on cladding and the authorities’ refusal to consult with them on refurbishment were key factors in the fire.

British prime minister tries to minimise cabinet rebellion against draft Brexit agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 November 2018

So acute is the crisis facing May’s government that sections of the ruling class and the state apparatus are factoring in the possibility that a general election might be unavoidable, and that a Corbyn government is becoming a distinct possibility.

David Hare’s political thriller Collateral: “War has entered the blood”

By David Walsh, 14 November 2018

The series begins with the shooting death of a south London pizza delivery man. The murderer, we soon learn, is a female British army captain, who believes she has killed an Iraqi “terrorist.”

“It’s about safety but the train operating companies want to save money”

UK rail worker speaks to the WSWS about dispute over Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 13 November 2018

Rail workers in the UK have been fighting for over two years against the plans by the private rail franchises to introduce Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains.

Australian Socialist Equality Party National Secretary James Cogan addresses Grenfell Fire Forum

By our reporter, 13 November 2018

Cogan explained that a fire engulfing an entire apartment building could happen in hundreds of cities around the world.

UK: SNP-led Glasgow City Council uses gender politics and threats of blacklisting to isolate equal pay struggle

By Stephen Alexander, 12 November 2018

To obscure the class issues, the major parties, together with the unions and the media, have presented the Glasgow equal pay dispute in terms of “institutionalized” gender discrimination.

Sheffield Labour Students cancels anti-war meeting, citing police investigation of anti-Semitism allegations

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2018

The broader political purpose of the banning of Chris Williamson is aimed at silencing anti-war sentiment among students, young people and the entire working class.

UK: SEP assistant national secretary Julie Hyland addresses social sciences conference on fake news, censorship and war

By our reporters, 10 November 2018

The conference examined ways in which the media has historically been used to condition public opinion in favour of war.

UK government’s crocodile tears over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy backfire

By Robert Stevens, 10 November 2018

Social consciousness has changed as a result of the Grenfell fire. After the callous treatment of the survivors, many saw through the sympathetic posturing of the ruling elite.