Britain

War rhetoric dominates UK snap general election

By Robert Stevens, 29 April 2017

This week, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon declared that the UK will not “rule out the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike.”

Ahead of EU Brexit summit, Merkel takes tough stance on UK

By Johannes Stern, 29 April 2017

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the UK “will not have the same rights and cannot expect to be treated better than a member of the European Union.”

Blairites declare UK Labour party unelectable

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 28 April 2017

Tony Blair refused to endorse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in an interview with Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV Thursday, saying that Tory Prime Minister Theresa May would win the election.

British ruling elite regard Macron victory in France as a “mixed blessing”

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2017

Britain’s right-wing media are concerned that Macron will be unable to enforce his agenda under conditions of widespread political alienation and hostility to the ruling elite.

Bournemouth health workers attend NHS FightBack meeting against redundancies and cuts

By our reporters, 27 April 2017

Management has been able to impose the job losses in Bournemouth only due to the treachery of trade unions.

Labour outlines pro-business “soft Brexit” policy for June 8 vote

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2017

Labour's preoccupation is satisfying the concerns expressed by the majority of Britain’s bourgeoisie, which supported Remain and whose interests are tied to the EU.

Attack on UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over nuclear first strike

By Chris Marsden and Paul Mitchell, 25 April 2017

Britain’s ruling elite is set on establishing that the fundamental criteria for leading the country is a readiness to launch World War III.

UK adult social care system on verge of collapse

By Dennis Moore, 25 April 2017

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics found that the suicide rate for care workers is now twice the national average.

Thousands march in London in defence of science

By our reporters, 24 April 2017

One demonstrator said, “I think a discussion of science in terms of socialism is necessary and we need some real debates about what kind of political model fits science best.”

UK Labour right calls for cross-party pro-EU alliances in general election

By Julie Hyland, 24 April 2017

Since the shock Leave vote in last June’s referendum on UK membership of the EU, the Labour right's hostility to Corbyn’s leadership has become entwined with efforts to reverse the result.

Leading ministers outline war agenda behind UK’s snap general election

By Chris Marsden, 22 April 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May’s calling of a general election is an attempt to shape post-Brexit politics based on an agenda of trade and military war.

Fujitsu strikers in the UK speak out in defence of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 22 April 2017

Workers on the picket line at Fujitsu in Manchester discussed support for the victimised Indian workers, their own dispute and Saturday’s international March for Science.

UK nurses in online vote over strike in protest at low pay

By Margot Miller, 22 April 2017

Registered nurses earn an average of just £23,319 per year and had their pay kept up with inflation they would now earn £26,584.

Panorama’s “A Spy in the IRA” reveals British collusion in Irish Republican Army internal discipline murders

By Steve James, 21 April 2017

As many as 50 murders are alleged to have been carried out by the Irish Republican Army’s Internal Security unit, 30 under the alleged British agent “Stakeknife.”

Private ward opened in UK National Health Service in Bournemouth Hospital

By Eric Gauld, 21 April 2017

While boasting about its new private ward, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has, since 2010, shut down several wards in Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals.

UK parliament votes for snap June 8 general election

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2017

In calling the election, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking to expand her government’s majority by exploiting the crisis facing Labour.

“They’re stuffing money into the pockets of the shareholders”

British autoworkers strike BMW to defend pensions

By our reporters, 20 April 2017

The strike is the first by the BMW’s British workforce, who could lose up to £160,000 each if pension cuts are enforced.

Snap UK general election called amid continuing Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 19 April 2017

Events in Britain are unfolding at a time of a build-up to a possible US war against North Korea and unending anti-Russian propaganda.

BMW autoworkers strike in Britain against decimation of pensions

By Robert Stevens, 19 April 2017

The introduction of an inferior pension scheme could see the retirement benefits of workers being slashed by up to £160,000.

Behind the Sun’s diatribe against footballer Ross Barkley

By Tony Robson, 18 April 2017

In the furore surrounding the filthy column by Kelvin MacKenzie, little has been said about the attack on working class men in Liverpool that constitutes the main thrust of his column.

Without evidence, UK parliamentary report accuses Russia of interference in Brexit referendum vote

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 2017

The parliamentary report is the latest episode in British imperialism’s anti-Russian campaign, backed by their media echo chambers.

UK: The anti-union laws and the trade union bureaucracy

By Robert Stevens, 15 April 2017

It would be more correct to describe the legislation restricting strikes not as anti-union laws, but as “pro-trade union bureaucracy laws.”

Whistleblower uncovers London police hacking of journalists and protestors

By Trevor Johnson, 15 April 2017

The existence of a secretive unit acting illegally within the Metropolitan Police raises fundamental issues of democratic rights that have not been broached by the media.

Britain’s Guardian cynically poses as opponent of war in Syria

By Chris Marsden, 14 April 2017

The Guardian is arguing for continued pressure to be placed on Trump in order to extract the necessary quid pro quo from Washington in return for British and European support for the US war drive in Syria.

BBC documentary exposes Bank of England’s role at centre of Libor-fixing scandal

By Jean Shaoul, 13 April 2017

The Libor scandal revealed not only the criminality of the global financial system centred in London, but the massive web of corruption and complicity involving governments and financial regulators the world over.

Billions of pounds more in welfare cuts are enforced in Britain

By Dennis Moore, 13 April 2017

The latest cuts are on top of a four-year freeze on benefits and tax credits, in place since April 2016.

Workers in UK “gig economy” charged hundreds of pounds for taking sick leave

By Alice Summers, 12 April 2017

Many companies make use of these super-exploitative contracts as a means of slashing labour costs and denying workers their basic rights.

UK CEO pay skyrockets as workers’ wages continue to plummet

By Barry Mason, 12 April 2017

Each CEO in the FTSE top 100 rakes in an average of £5.3 million annually, representing 386 times the earnings of a worker on the national living wage.

Attend NHS FightBack meeting in Bournemouth

UK: Oppose health care cuts, redundancies and privatisation of the National Health Service

Statement by NHS FightBack

11 April 2017

Health workers and all those who want to fight in defence of the NHS must build a new leadership, which fights on the basis of a socialist programme.

Occupational therapist and service user condemn attack on Bournemouth Intermediate Care Team

By Ajanta Silva, 11 April 2017

A resident said, “The loss of this team should be of grave concern to everybody in Bournemouth.”

Under US instruction, UK foreign secretary abandons visit to Russia

By Chris Marsden, 10 April 2017

In line with the Trump administration, the Conservative government is demanding regime change in Syria and preparing a military offensive to that end.

UK: Corbyn issues mealy-mouthed personal protest as Labour Party lines up behind Syria war drive

By Robert Stevens, 10 April 2017

Corbyn’s statement only served to underscore the domination of the pro-war right within the Labour Party.

“What we need is a national stoppage”

Striking conductors in UK denounce attacks on rail network safety

By our reporters, 10 April 2017

Two thousand conductors walked out at three private rail franchises Saturday in a one-day strike against Driver Only Operation (DOO) trains.

UK mounts trade offensive in defiance of European Union

By Jean Shaoul, 8 April 2017

Trade missions to India, the Far East and the Persian Gulf all emphasised financial and business services as Britain’s key export.

UK Labour MPs and media demand expulsion of Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 7 April 2017

The campaign against Ken Livingstone is being stepped up through the organised lobbying by right-wing and Zionist Labourites and their media backers.

Aggressive claims by Spain helped provoke Gibraltar flare-up with Britain

By Alejandro López, 6 April 2017

Sections of the Spanish ruling class have calculated that Brexit offers Spain an opportunity not only to reclaim Gibraltar but also to possibly become Washington’s new strategic ally in Europe.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn joins right-wing campaign against Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 6 April 2017

The action against Livingstone is an outrageous violation of democratic rights, and accusations that he is an anti-Semite are slanderous.

Southern GTR train drivers in UK vote down union sell-out again

Build new organisations of struggle to unify rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 6 April 2017

Rail workers must break the stranglehold of the unions by creating their own rank-and-file organisations of struggle.

UK Prime Minister May silent on war threats against Spain over Gibraltar

By Julie Hyland, 4 April 2017

Sections of the British ruling elite calculate that, in confronting Spain over Gibraltar, the UK would have the support of US President Donald Trump.

Former UK Conservative Party leader Howard threatens war with Spain over Gibraltar

By Julie Hyland, 3 April 2017

Britain’s sabre-rattling over the strategic territory expresses the centrifugal national forces tearing apart the European and global geopolitical order.

Behind the Guardian’s “Laundromat” money laundering exposure

By Jean Shaoul, 3 April 2017

Last week, the Guardian newspaper carried a feature story claiming to expose a “vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB.”

UK: Demonstration in Leeds opposes attacks on the National Health Service

By our reporters, 3 April 2017

Those organising the Leeds protest offered a political amnesty to the unions and Labour.

UK: Protesters at Leeds demonstration denounce attacks on National Health Service

By our reporters, 3 April 2017

The WSWS and the NHS FightBack campaign interviewed some of those protesting in defence of the National Health Service in Leeds Saturday.

The UK’s Great Repeal Bill: A bonfire of workers’ rights

By Julie Hyland, 1 April 2017

The bill is framed to meet the demands of banks and big business to end all regulation of their predatory activities.

UK: Health workers denounce attacks on Bournemouth Intermediate Care Service

By our reporters, 1 April 2017

Many workers in BICS, Bournemouth Council and at Bournemouth and Poole hospitals responded enthusiastically to an article by the NHS FightBack campaign, calling for a struggle against redundancies.

UK: Southern GTR train drivers speak in opposition to rail union sell-out deal

By Daniel O'Flynn and Paul Mitchell, 1 April 2017

Many rail workers oppose the government-backed attacks on their jobs and conditions being carried out by Southern GTR and the divisive policies of the various rail trade unions.

UK teaching assistants march in Durham to oppose pay cuts and attacks on conditions

By Liz Smith, 30 March 2017

Labour Party-led Durham council propose to fire and then rehire teaching assistants on a contract that will result in a 23 percent pay cut.

UK officially begins process of exiting the European Union

By Chris Marsden, 30 March 2017

The centrifugal forces tearing apart the EU reveal the failure of any attempt to overcome, within the framework of the capitalist system, the national antagonisms that gave rise to two world wars.

Washington protests proposal for nuclear disarmament

By Andre Damon, 29 March 2017

After having killed millions of people in the name of preventing the proliferation of “weapons of mass destruction,” the US and its allies denounced a UN proposal to ban nuclear arms.

Protests underway in UK against school education funding cuts

By John Vassilopoulos, 29 March 2017

In the inner London borough of Lambeth, £25 million is to be slashed from school funding by 2020. For some schools this means up to 25 percent in cuts to their budget.

UK: Strikers at Fujitsu support release of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 29 March 2017

The pickets expressed their support for the campaign to release the Maruti Suzuki workers by applauding a Socialist Equality Party member who had appealed to them for support.

London attack perpetrator was monitored by British intelligence six years ago

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2017

In each terrorist attack in the UK over the last decade and a half it has been soon established that the perpetrators were known to the British state beforehand.

UK: Labour leader Corbyn kowtows yet again to the party’s right wing

By Julie Hyland, 27 March 2017

Corbyn has acquiesced to the latest right-wing smear campaign against Momentum, an organization founded largely to support his leadership.

No to British nationalism and the European Union!

A socialist response to Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 25 March 2017

Brexit, Trump and the ongoing fracturing of the EU along national lines are all rooted in the irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism that twice in the 20th century plunged Europe and the world into war.

Fujitsu strikers at UK sites speak about their dispute

By our reporters, 25 March 2017

WSWS reporters told pickets about the case of the 13 framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India, who have been sentenced to life in prison.

Westminster attacker was known to British intelligence

By Julie Hyland, 24 March 2017

Much remains unclear about the terror attack on Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament in London that left five people dead and at least 40 others injured.

Fujitsu UK workers strike to protest job losses, attacks on pay and pensions

By Robert Stevens, 24 March 2017

The job losses in the UK and Ireland—to be staggered over the next 12 to 18 months—are part of 3,300 redundancies planned throughout Europe in a restructuring operation.

The real legacy of Martin McGuiness: Sectarianism and austerity

By Paul Mitchell, 24 March 2017

McGuinness’s evolution from gunman to bourgeois politician was not a break from his republican principles, but the outcome of the petty-bourgeois nationalist perspective of republicanism.

Five confirmed dead, 40 injured in terror attack in London

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2017

The ruling elite in Britain and internationally were quick to make political capital from the appalling event.

UK judges overturn murder conviction of war criminal Alexander Blackman

By Alice Summers, 23 March 2017

The ruling comes after campaigns by the media and sections of the army to exonerate Blackman in order to cultivate a climate justifying further imperialist wars.

Rising food and fuel prices driving millions more Britons into poverty

By Dennis Moore, 22 March 2017

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that between 2008 and 2015, those classed as living below the Minimum Income Standard had risen by 4 million.

UK: Bournemouth Intermediate Care Services axes staff

By Ajanta Silva, 22 March 2017

The discharging of staff in Bournemouth is a sign that further decimation of services are on the horizon in 44 areas throughout England.

For a unified struggle of drivers and conductors

Vote “no” to the ASLEF sell-out deal at UK’s Southern GTR rail!

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 22 March 2017

Another “no” vote in opposition to the ASLEF/Southern deal would represent a powerful blow against the plans by the train companies and government to impose DOO.

UK budget steps up attacks on education

By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2017

On budget day, Conservative Education Secretary Justine Greening was heckled by head teachers as she spoke at an Association of School and College Leaders meeting.

Europe-wide demonstrations in defence of migrants and refugees

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2017

Speakers at the London demonstration, including Trades Union Congress leader Frances O’Grady, declared token opposition to the treatment of refugees by May and Trump, which commits them to doing absolutely nothing.

UK: Labour-led Lewisham council attempt land-grab involving football ground

By Simon Whelan, 18 March 2017

The plan by Labour-run Lewisham borough council to seize Millwall’s football ground and sell it on to an offshore-registered developer has only been put on hold.

Not guilty verdict for Merseyrail guard Martin Zee deals blow to state witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2017

Dragging Zee into court was a politically motivated move, taken as rail companies seek to impose Driver Only Operated trains.

Top British state schools exclude working-class children

By Alice Summers, 16 March 2017

Studies show that social class is the defining factor in a child’s educational achievement.

Notes on London housing crisis

Inflated prices and a dire shortage of new housing in London

By Allison Smith, 16 March 2017

In Westminster, 7,794 residents live in temporary accommodation and one in 25 residents is homeless.

UK train conductors strike three rail companies

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2017

The strike by 2,000 conductors proves the willingness of transport workers to fight the destruction of their working conditions and livelihoods.

UK striking rail conductors explain: “This is about the public and their safety”

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to striking rail conductors during Monday’s strikes.

UK rail conductors strike at three companies to defend jobs and safety conditions

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2017

Claims by the government and rail companies that removing conductors and eventually drivers will have no impact on public safety have been proven false by several recent incidents.

Defend Martin Zee!

Merseyrail conductor scapegoated over passenger safety in UK

By Margot Miller and Dennis Moore, 13 March 2017

The Crown Prosecution Service decided to pursue Martin Zee despite Merseyrail’s own inquiry having exonerated him of all blame.

UK Chancellor Hammond commits to further years of austerity

By Robert Stevens, 10 March 2017

While poverty now affects at least a third of the population, with health, education and housing being destroyed, the demands of the ruling elite for further enrichment were met by Hammond.

UK Labour leader Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor McDonnell offer unity talks with right-wingers Blair and Mandelson

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 March 2017

Mandelson told an event organised by the Jewish Chronicle that he “works every single day to bring an end to (Corbyn’s) tenure in office.”

UK household incomes to plummet for years to come, new reports find

By Barry Mason, 9 March 2017

The Institute for Fiscal Studies expects the income of an average household to be 18 percent lower in 2021-22 than it would have been if the 2007-08 global financial crisis had not occurred.

UK: Commander in charge of police killing of Jean Charles de Menezes given top job

By Alice Summers, 8 March 2017

The appointment of Cressida Dick as Met commissioner underscores the moves towards even more authoritarian and repressive forms of rule.

UK: Up to 250,000 protest attacks on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 6 March 2017

Speakers on the main stage, including trade union officials and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, offered no strategy to fight the onslaught against the NHS.

NHS protesters ask: “Why have we got money for war? Where is the money for our NHS and schools?”

By our reporters, 6 March 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to a number of those attending Saturday’s protest in defence of the National Health Service.

Secret Affairs: Britain’s collusion with radical Islam

A revealing insight into political criminality and warmongering—Part 2

By Jean Shaoul, 6 March 2017

Britain’s collusion with Islamist fundamentalist forces prepared to use atrocities to achieve their objectives is in sharp contrast to the official line that Britain is conducting a “war on terror.”

UK: The fight to defend the NHS means building a new socialist party

Statement by NHS FightBack

4 March 2017

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed at today’s London demonstration in defence of the National Health Service.

Secret Affairs: Britain’s collusion with radical Islam

A revealing insight into political criminality and warmongering—Part 1

By Jean Shaoul, 4 March 2017

In Secret Affairs, author Mark Curtis investigates how Britain worked with radical Islamic groups in the post-World War II period in pursuit of its geopolitical interests.

UK: Rising mortality rates and rationing across the National Health Service

By Jean Gibney, 3 March 2017

Many seriously ill patients in the UK are being denied drugs and treatments due to increased drives for cost efficiency.

UK Supreme Court upholds minimum income immigration rule

By Richard Tyler, 2 March 2017

Under the rule, a British citizen must have a minimum annual income of at least £18,600 if they want a spouse or civil partner born outside the EU to come and live with them in Britain.

Unions in UK oppose struggle against massive school spending cuts

By Tom Pearce, 1 March 2017

In the southern English county of Hampshire, 1,700 teachers’ jobs could go by 2019-20 as part of a £62 million package of government cuts.

The Torch Light protest in Manchester: A cynical cover by Labour for complicity in austerity cuts

By Dennis Moore and Robert Stevens, 1 March 2017

In Manchester, the Labour council has enforced £340 million of cuts since 2010, resulting in a 40 percent reduction of the workforce and the gutting of public services.

Southern railway workers in UK strike in the face of union sabotage

By Michael Barnes, 28 February 2017

Southern Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) conductors and drivers carried out a 24-hour strike to oppose job-cutting demands that endanger passengers.

UK: New legislation proposes to jail whistleblowers for up to 14 years

By Trevor Johnson, 28 February 2017

The UK government legal adviser, the Law Commission, has issued a “Consultation Paper” revealing plans to replace the Official Secrets Act with much more draconian powers.

Border issues and Brexit dominate Northern Ireland elections

By Steve James, 27 February 2017

The British and Irish governments have insisted that, post-Brexit, no border checks will be imposed, but no one has yet come up with a means to explain how this can be done.

UK Labour Party by-election defeat prompts new moves against Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2017

In the face of a renewed offensive against him by the Labour Party right wing, Corbyn and his key supporters again called for unity with his opponents.

Behind the UK government attack on “health tourism”

By Richard Tyler, 24 February 2017

The government announced it is seeking to recover £500 million a year from overseas visitors for health treatment.

The racialist agenda of the “Decolonise Education” movement

By Joe Mount, 24 February 2017

The classification of philosophers based on their skin colour, rather than their place in the historical development of human thought, is combined with an attack on the entire progressive tradition of the Enlightenment.

Meeting on UK undercover policing highlights need for an independent inquiry

By Paul Mitchell, 23 February 2017

The ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, is aimed at whitewashing, not exposing, widespread illegal infiltration of state intelligence agencies into left-wing movements.

BT Italia engulfed in “accounting irregularities” scandal

By Simon Whelan, 23 February 2017

One after another, household names from the blue chip FTSE100 have come under investigation for alleged criminal business practices.

Organizers of London anti-Trump protests push pro-EU agenda

By Robert Stevens, 22 February 2017

Numbers at the London protest were around a tenth of the size of that which converged on Downing Street on January 30, after Trump’s anti-Muslim ban was ordered.

May government ends limited scheme allowing lone child refugees into Britain

By Margot Miller, 22 February 2017

A total of just 350 children will be accepted, meaning another 150 by March when the scheme will close, as 200 are already in the UK.

MPs debate Trump state visit to Britain as tens of thousands protest

By Julie Hyland, 21 February 2017

Some 1.85 million people signed a petition urging the government not to make the visit by US President Donald Trump an official state affair.

State of Child Health report in UK reveals devastating impact of austerity

By Liz Smith, 21 February 2017

The UK ranks 15 out of 19 Western European countries for infant mortality, with only Denmark, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia having higher death rates.

Proposed Trump state visit provokes crisis in British ruling circles

By Robert Stevens, 20 February 2017

Trump’s proposed state visit to the UK at the invitation of the May government has become a battleground for rival factions within ruling circles.

UK: Southern GTR drivers vote against union-backed sellout deal

By Michael Barnes, 18 February 2017

This principled stand by a majority of drivers comes despite immense pressure from management and the union to accept the deal.