Britain

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.

Tube workers’ strike brings much of London to a halt

By Peter Austin, 9 November 2018

The tube strikes express the anger of workers after a decade of budget cuts, reductions in real wages, longer work weeks and an increase in working weekends as agreed by the unions.

The Fires that Foretold Grenfell—Documentary reveals how UK governments ignored lessons of previous fire tragedies

By Margo Miller, 9 November 2018

The documentary shows that the Grenfell Tower fire was the outcome of decades of deregulation and the ignoring of recommendations on building regulations by Conservative and Labour governments.

Residents oppose official cover-up of Grenfell fire toxic contamination

By Barry Mason, 8 November 2018

Despite evidence of toxicity in soil samples found around the site of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the authorities have failed to act to protect public health.

Increase in self-harm and suicides in UK immigration detention centres

By Simon Whelan, 8 November 2018

Reports show that from 2000 to April, 2018 there have been 35 deaths, 14 of which were self-inflicted.

Royal College of Nursing leadership in UK seeks re-election in defiance of no confidence vote

By Ajanta Silva, 7 November 2018

These are the same people who deliberately sold a rotten pay offer and were the subject of members’ outrage when the real details of the deal came to light.

UK students face rising debts, poor wages and further marketisation of higher education

By Thomas Scripps, 7 November 2018

Graduates’ pay figures are an expression of the declining wages and conditions of the working class.

Homelessness in London: Rough sleeping increases, removal of families from the city doubles

By Paul Bond, 6 November 2018

Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged to build a paltry 10,000 council homes over the next four years while there are around 250,000 Londoners on housing waiting lists.

UK: Police launch investigation into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2018

The pro-Zionist fanatics have only been able to pursue their campaign to remove Labour leader Corbyn because of his refusal to oppose them.

Massive increase in police violence across UK

By Alice Summers, 3 November 2018

Since last year, police firearms operations have risen by nearly 20 percent nationally, with some areas seeing an increase of 53 percent.

100,000 people living in unsafe UK tower blocks

By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018

Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.

UK budget: Labour makes clear big business will dictate Corbyn government policies

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2018

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell met with representatives of the financial elite Wednesday to assure them a Labour government would serve their interests.

UK: NHS subsidiary companies—tools for tax exemption and privatisation

By Ben Trent, 31 October 2018

Large swathes of NHS provision have been sold off to the private sector, driving down the pay, terms and conditions of workers and hugely reducing the quality of services.

The Unexplained Wealth Order legislation and London’s financial aristocracy

By Thomas Scripps, 30 October 2018

The move will not in any way alter London’s status as a playground for the super-rich and haven for illegal wealth.

Tens of thousands of teachers demonstrate in Glasgow for better pay

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2018

The demonstration was far larger than the EIS anticipated and shows the desire of teachers to fight back against pay cuts.

Tamil family fight UK plans to deport their seriously ill father

By Simon Whelan, 27 October 2018

Authorities sought to deport Sangarapillai Balachandran, who had been headhunted by a British company due to a severe shortage of civil engineers with his specific skills.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.

UK: Report reveals widespread soil contamination after Grenfell Tower fire

By Alice Summers, 24 October 2018

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council and government health agencies have downplayed the significance of the report and refused to investigate further.

Europe makes delayed criticism of Saudis over Khashoggi murder

By Jean Shaoul, 23 October 2018

Britain’s quiescence reflects its dependence on the House of Saud for policing the oil-rich Gulf peninsula.

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

“McStrike”: UK unions police anger of young workers

By Alice Summers and Robert Stevens, 20 October 2018

Behind talk of a coordinated struggle, the demand of service workers for better pay and conditions is being misled by the trade unions.

Brexit impasse at European Union summit

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2018

The failure to reach any agreement over Brexit is the product of escalating national antagonisms within Europe and internationally.

UCU recall conference seeks to silence opposition to sell-out of UK lecturers’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2018

Anyone believing that today’s recall will provide an opportunity to discuss the betrayal underestimates the contempt of the union apparatus for democratic debate.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Survivor’s statement reveals disdain for residents by the political and corporate elites

By Paul Bond, 17 October 2018

The statement by Edward Daffarn further demonstrates how residents were kept in the dark about decisions regarding the Tower and their fatal consequences.

Slashing of welfare spending forces millions into poverty in UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 October 2018

Half of the cuts will come from the freezing of working age benefits that has occurred since 2016, and will deliver cuts of nearly £16 billion.

“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018

The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.

Brexit crisis leaves fate of May government in balance

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2018

If the May government fails to secure an EU deal without precipitating a pro-Brexit Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rebellion, a general election might result, bringing a Jeremy Corbyn Labour-led government to power.

Scottish National Party proposes pact with Labour for second Brexit referendum

By Steve James, 15 October 2018

The SNP is proposing support for a Labour government in the UK based on demands for a rerun of the 2016 Brexit vote.

Bonus removal cancels out Amazon’s UK pay rise

By Alice Summers, 13 October 2018

Workers are effectively paying for their own wage increase through the slashing of employee benefits, share and incentive schemes, with some possibly seeing a net loss.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Survivors and bereaved give evidence—“We will not be silenced anymore”

By Paul Bond, 13 October 2018

The evidence reveals a devastating picture of official negligence before and after the fire.

Britain’s pseudo-left oppose worker rebellion against Royal College of Nurses leadership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 October 2018

The no-confidence motion against the executive of the Royal College of Nurses is only one example of growing opposition to the decades of betrayals by the trade union bureaucracy.

Kilometres from the ashes of Grenfell Tower

British royals spend millions on palace improvements

By Laura Tiernan, 11 October 2018

More than £1.4 million will be spent to make Kensington Palace more comfortable for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Trial of “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters begins in UK

By Margot Miller, 10 October 2018

The activists locked themselves around a government-chartered Boeing 767 on the night of March 28, 2017, to prevent take-off.

Labour Party-run councils escalate austerity in UK

By Alice Summers, 8 October 2018

Far from standing up to Tory-led austerity measures, Labour councils are blazing the trail when it comes to attacks on public services.

UK: No to Driver Only Trains in any form, mobilise against rail union sellout

By Michael Barnes, 6 October 2018

The struggle by rail workers in defense of jobs is in danger, due to the systematic sabotage of their fight by the unions.

US, UK and NATO allies ramp up anti-Russia offensive over “cyber spying” and Skripals

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2018

To frame the demand for the seven arrests, the US utilised all the material gathered by its NATO allies against Russia over the Skripal/novichok affair.

Risk of no-deal Brexit staggers European companies and economy

By Alex Lantier, 5 October 2018

With mass layoffs prepared in auto firms, plans in ruling circles are well advanced to place the cost of any Brexit crisis firmly on the backs of workers internationally.

Brexit and growing social divide dominate crisis-ridden Tory conference

By Robert Stevens, 4 October 2018

Both wings of the Tories are concerned that Prime Minister May’s downfall could lead to a Corbyn-led Labour government that would be unable to keep the working class in check.

UK nurses vote to remove Royal College of Nursing leadership after pay deal sellout

By Ajanta Silva, 3 October 2018

There is growing opposition among nurses and health care workers to a deal that includes an effective cut in real wages following years of attacks on wages and conditions.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Meghan Markle’s Grenfell cookbook: The royal family in damage control mode

By Laura Tiernan, 29 September 2018

Markle’s “first solo project” is an attempt to restore public faith in the monarchy, present a caring and “culturally diverse” image and prevent the working class from challenging the wealth, privilege and power of the British ruling class.

Jeremy Corbyn calls for unity with Labour’s right-wing and the “business world”

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2018

Addressing those who have spent years slandering him and his supporters, Corbyn pleaded that it was necessary “to focus on what unites us. We are on a journey together and can only complete it together.”

Vote “yes” on resolution to force out Royal College of Nursing leadership! Build rank-and-file committees!

By NHS FightBack, 28 September 2018

The resolution gives voice to the growing rebellion among nurses and health workers against the RCN executive’s collusion with the Conservative government.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

An interview with Mike Leigh, director of Peterloo: “You don’t run out of steam if what you do … is to literally hold the mirror up to nature”

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The WSWS spoke to British filmmaker Mike Leigh in Toronto.

Auto manufacturers in UK cut production, threaten jobs as Brexit crisis deepens

By Margot Miller, 27 September 2018

The UK car industry faces massive disruption if the government fails to agree unfettered access to the EU single market, with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs threatened.

UK Labour conference passes Brexit motion with option for “people’s vote”

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, speaking for the Blairites and dominant sections of British business, sees the latest compromise as a step toward committing Labour to retaining membership of the EU.

UK military step up marches and parades on streets of Britain

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

The show of force in Inverness, Scotland is one particularly extreme example of a succession of military parades that have taken place across Britain in the last few months.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

Manchester “anti-Semitism” protest

Blairites and Tories share platform calling for Corbyn’s removal

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2018

Tory MP Chris Green not only called for Corbyn’s removal, but suggested how the Blairites could defy the democratic will of their own party’s members.

UK government attempt to gag teachers as cuts deepen

By Tania Kent, 21 September 2018

The government reaction must be seen as a warning: not only will school cuts continue unabated but that they will move forcefully against any attempts to block their austerity agenda.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

UK: Fresh novichok allegations used to escalate anti-Russia offensive

By Thomas Scripps, 19 September 2018

The crucial question is not to uncover every aspect of the dealings between spies of capitalist states, but to understand to what ends the British narrative of the Skripal affair is being pursued.

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

UN special rapporteur to examine extreme poverty in the UK

By Barry Mason, 17 September 2018

That the UK now requires such a visit demonstrates the impact of more than £110 billion in austerity cuts and the destruction of one million public sector jobs.

UK Food Foundation: Four million children have poor diets

By Liz Smith, 17 September 2018

The situation worsened during the summer school holidays, with an estimated 3 million children nationwide at risk of going hungry.

Tory faction fight over Brexit escalates as leadership challenge to May threatened

By Robert Stevens, 15 September 2018

The “hard Brexit” wing of the ruling Tories is facing a backlash due to concerns in business circles over the economic consequences.

Mehring Books UK publishes The Heritage We Defend 30th anniversary edition

15 September 2018

The new edition of the foundational 1988 work by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, is now available for order in the UK and Ireland.

Grenfell Fire: Fire Brigades Union warned of cladding dangers 19 years ago

By Paul Bond, 14 September 2018

The FBU report proves that every aspect of fire safety had failed at Grenfell Tower, due to decades of deregulation and cuts, long before the fire broke out.

British nationalist Nigel Farage addresses co-thinkers in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 September 2018

Farage was sponsored by corporate interests and welcomed by prominent powerbrokers within the governing Liberal Party.

UK: Rival Socialist Party members vie for position as deputy leader of civil servants union

By Robert Stevens, 13 September 2018

The sordid episode demonstrates that the pseudo-left organisations have no independence from the trade union bureaucracy.

Trades Union Congress in Britain silent on anti-Corbyn coup plot

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2018

The TUC crowed that this year’s congress marked the 150th anniversary of its founding, but not one platform speaker even referred to the attack on the leader of the Labour party established by the unions.

Huge rise in deaths of homeless people in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Across Britain, it is common to see tents and encampments set up in cleared wooded areas, underneath bridges, underpasses, or the less noisy areas of city centres.

Wonga payday loans collapse shows extent of UK poverty

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Under conditions of deeper austerity and growing financial insecurity, the collapse of Wonga will not bring an end to the payday lending crisis for millions of people.

Britain: No-confidence motions passed against leading Blairite MPs

By Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2018

The Blairites have no compunction about defying Labour members and will only go if they are forced out.

British media blacks out self-immolation of woman at Barnet council office

By Tom Pearce, 8 September 2018

The Conservative-run Barnet council has long been known for its cost-cutting and privatisation of services.

UK “identifies” Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2018

The government’s narrative, supplied by the same security services that faked “evidence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” cannot be taken at face value.

May stakes out Britain’s imperialist ambitions in Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 7 September 2018

While aid has always been about Britain’s geo-strategic interests, in future it will be used not to alleviate poverty, but to boost Britain’s business interests.

Retreat by Corbynites on anti-Semitism definition emboldens UK right wing

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 6 September 2018

Once again, Corbyn and his immediate coterie have capitulated in the hope of appeasing their critics and maintaining party unity.

Report by Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media undermines claims of chemical attack in Douma

By Paul Bond, 6 September 2018

In the face of the orchestrated attack on the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media as “Apologists for Assad,” the careful work by Paul McKeigue, Jake Mason, David Miller and Piers Robinson is all the more noteworthy.

The Socialist Equality Party and the anti-Corbyn coup plot: A reply to a reader

By Chris Marsden, 5 September 2018

The SEP does not cede leadership to Corbyn, nor stand aside from a political fight that is pitching tens of thousands of workers and youth against a rightist cabal of pro-austerity and pro-war criminals.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

Further evidence of official criminality surfaces as Grenfell fire inquiry resumes

By Robert Stevens, 1 September 2018

The inquiry will not bring justice as it is the creature of the Conservative government and, under the provisions of the 2005 Inquires Act, has no powers to prosecute anyone.

Royal College of Nursing union chief resigns amid mounting anger over NHS pay deal

By our reporters, 1 September 2018

National Health Service workers have spoken to NHS FightBack reporting teams about the pay deal, with many angered at the unions for accepting it.

Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2018

The lying campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite aims to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and war.

French, British boats clash over English Channel scallops amid Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 31 August 2018

The clash highlighted how unexpected conflicts could erupt over Britain’s exit from the EU amid the relentless stoking of nationalism on both sides of the Channel.

The “spice” drug crisis in Britain

By Anna Mayer, 29 August 2018

The prevalence of the drug “spice” among the homeless highlights that the roots of the pandemic are social, not individual.

UK Court of Appeal reinstates Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba

By Ajanta Silva, 29 August 2018

Despite only being a trainee paediatrician at the time of Jack Adcock's death, the responsibilities heaped on Bawa-Garba as a junior doctor that day were extraordinary.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council and the obliteration of local authority services provision

By Paul Bond, 28 August 2018

The council is “reviewing” how to reduce the number of children who are taken into care , cut support for those with learning disabilities and introduce fees or charges for services.

UK foreign secretary uses US visit to support Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2018

For the hard Brexit faction, the future of May’s premiership is understood in terms of days and weeks—with Johnson’s leadership challenge gathering pace.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

Amazon Prime Day produces 209 percent increase in UK health and safety complaints

By Steve James, 24 August 2018

Prime Day saw strikes at Amazon warehouses in Germany and Spain and a work to rule in Poland.