Britain

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.

The way forward in the fight against Trump and May

By Chris Marsden, 18 February 2017

The two rival groups organising overlapping rallies on February 20 offer no means to wage a struggle against Trump’s cabinet of billionaires and social reactionaries and May’s pack of baying Thatcherites.

Patient at Britain’s Newham Acute Day Hospital launches campaign to fight closure

By our reporters, 18 February 2017

The hospital, opened in 2000, has been the lifeline for thousands of people who suffer from mental health problems.

UK think tank warns of fall in economic growth and rising inequality

By Margot Miller, 16 February 2017

Planned changes to the tax and benefit system mean that the poorest 10 percent in society will be 3.1 percent worse off, which translates into a loss of £314 a year.

Britain: Pseudo-left TUSC reaffirms support for Labour

By Julie Hyland, 16 February 2017

The Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party fear nothing more than the collapse of the Labour Party and will do all in their power to prop it up.

UK schools decimated by funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 15 February 2017

Seventy-one percent of school head teachers polled were able to balance their budgets only by making cuts or dipping into reserves.

British court hears appeal of conviction of war criminal Alexander Blackman

By Harvey Thompson, 14 February 2017

The appeal is the outcome of a media-orchestrated campaign by right-wing forces, allied with sections of the military, who were never reconciled to Blackman’s jailing.

Scotland: Thousands protest in Edinburgh against Trump’s attacks on migrants

By Steve James, 13 February 2017

Scotland Against Trump put forward no perspective to mobilise the working class against the most right-wing, anti-democratic government ever elected in US history.

UK: Privatisation and cuts agenda exacerbates NHS staffing crisis

By Ajanta Silva, 13 February 2017

Junior doctors repeatedly stressed the implications of understaffing in hospitals during their industrial action last year.

UK government proposes raising fees for two-year degree courses

By Alice Summers, 13 February 2017

The claim that raising fees is intended to improve educational standards and options for students is a barefaced lie aimed at covering over the continued attack on education.

Report co-authored by murdered British MP Jo Cox advocates for war

By Richard Tyler, 11 February 2017

Cox’s brutal murder shocked millions, but her death has been used in the most cynical fashion by the most right-wing forces within the Labour Party.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) public meetings

Trump and Brexit: For a socialist opposition to economic nationalism

11 February 2017

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) is holding a series of meetings on the significance of Trump’s election and the necessity to oppose all forms of economic nationalism on the basis of the fight for socialism.

UK: Family wins case against anti-democratic Prevent legislation

By Tania Kent, 10 February 2017

Bedfordshire Local Education Authority admitted breaching the rights of two school children to a private and family life, freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Socialism and defence of the free movement of labour: Part two

By Julie Hyland, 10 February 2017

The support of the pseudo-left for immigration controls is the outcome of their perspective of national economic regulation under capitalism.

Alberto Cavalcanti and postwar British cinema

By Joanne Laurier, 10 February 2017

In the course of a lengthy filmmaking career, Brazilian-born Alberto Cavalcanti created several of the most poetically realistic and socially poignant films of the twentieth century.

UK House of Commons approves Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 9 February 2017

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to support the government’s bill whether his party’s amendments were accepted or not.

British Airways cabin crew strike at Heathrow Airport

By Ross Mitchell, 9 February 2017

This week’s strikes went ahead despite the best efforts of the Unite trade union bureaucracy to sabotage the struggle.

UK: Spending cuts deepen crisis in NHS mental health services

By Jean Gibney, 9 February 2017

Government cuts to mental health services in Britain have produced a situation where there is enormous demand with little capacity to meet the need.

UK: A conductor’s appeal to Southern GTR drivers

Vote “no” in the “referendum” on Driver Only trains

8 February 2017

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) has received the following letter from a train conductor.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones denounces the Russian Revolution and its art

By Chris Marsden and Paul Mitchell, 8 February 2017

Jones paints a lying picture of gratuitous violence by the Bolsheviks, but fails to mention the intervention of the imperialist powers, or to detail the White terror they helped sustain.

UK Trotskyist Barbara Slaughter speaks at Leeds anti-Trump demonstration

By Harvey Thompson, 7 February 2017

Slaughter’s comments were met with cheering and applause.

Netanyahu in London for talks with British prime minister

By Jean Shaoul, 7 February 2017

Netanyahu is seeking to extract every last ounce out of Trump’s hostility to Iran and his support for Israel, and Theresa May’s utter dependency on Washington.

UK: More deaths of those ruled “fit to work”

By Paul Bond, 7 February 2017

The deaths of Lawrence Bond and James Harrison are added to a list of sick or disabled people who have died after losing their entitlement to sickness benefit and being declared fit for work.

Tens of thousands rally in London in second round of anti-Trump protests

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2017

The protest organisers sought to divert opposition to Trump into appeals to May to end the “special relationship” with the US.

UK protesters speak out against Trump

By our reporters, 6 February 2017

Protesters opposed to Trump’s travel ban spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at Saturday’s demonstrations in London, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester.

Theresa May’s White Paper offers no plan for post-Brexit Britain

By Robert Stevens, 4 February 2017

The government promises the best of all possible worlds for British imperialism, with no means of achieving this ambitious goal.

London’s Haringey Labour council launches £2 billion privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 4 February 2017

Most residents of Haringey’s Council housing estates slated for destruction under the HDV are entirely unaware of what is being planned.

British government secures vote to proceed with Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 2 February 2017

Following the vote, the UK will enter a period of intense political crisis.

Tens of thousands in UK protest Trump Muslim ban

By Robert Stevens, 1 February 2017

There was a stark contrast between the genuine response of protesters and pro-imperialist critique of Trump from the protest organisers.

UK protesters speak out against Trump and May

By our reporters, 1 February 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to anti-Donald Trump protesters at Monday evening’s demonstrations across Britain.

UK Labour Party split threatened over Brexit

By Paul Mitchell, 31 January 2017

Political divisions have been brought to the peak of intensity by Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to cultivate relations with the US administration of Donald Trump.

UK Prime Minister May under attack over meeting with Trump

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 30 January 2017

With protests taking place in the US and throughout the world, May was forced into an abrupt U-turn after initially refusing to comment on Trump’s edict banning Muslims from entering the US.

Rolls-Royce board escape serious punishment for “truly vast” bribery and corruption

By Simon Whelan, 30 January 2017

Rolls-Royce ultimately got the exceptionally lenient treatment from the British state that they had lobbied long and hard to gain.

Trump uses press conference with UK Prime Minister May to restate anti-EU agenda

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 28 January 2017

For the Trump administration, “post-Brexit” Britain’s main value is not as a trading partner, but as a political weapon against the EU and, above all, Germany.

The reality of Prime Minister May’s pledge to make Britain “fairer”

By Robert Stevens, 28 January 2017

May echoed Trump when she made clear that her own plan to put “British workers first” was based on a clampdown on migration from Europe.

Trump’s meeting with the UK’s Theresa May and the US/European conflict

By Chris Marsden, 27 January 2017

It is a measure of the deterioration in relations between the US and the rest of the world that May’s visit has prompted bitter recriminations from leading voices representing British imperialism.

Average household debt in UK reaches more than £13,000

By Thomas Scripps, 26 January 2017

Reports of record levels of UK household debt follow warnings that credit card lending is at an unprecedented level, with unsecured debt rising at its fastest rate in 11 years.

New legislation gives private sector further access to higher education in Britain

By Alice Summers and Thomas Scripps, 26 January 2017

Student “choice” is in fact a euphemism for the introduction of measures designed to lower the requirements that educational institutions must satisfy in order to attain university status.

British Supreme Court rules only Parliament can trigger Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2017

While the Supreme Court came down in favour of Parliament, nothing has been resolved politically by its verdict.

UK government crisis erupts over Trident nuclear missile failure

By Paul Mitchell, 24 January 2017

The Conservative government imposed a news blackout after a missile was fired from a newly refurbished nuclear submarine from its position off the Florida coast.

Striking British Airways cabin crew explain appalling work contract

By Ross Mitchell, 24 January 2017

The WSWS spoke to striking British Airways cabin crew at their picket at Hatton Cross Metro station last week during a 72-hour strike.

Divisions in UK ruling elite widen over post-Brexit orientation to Trump

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made Trump’s election the cornerstone of her post-Brexit strategy, adapting to a yet-more open embrace of Trump by the anti-EU right-wing of her party.

British Supreme Court rules claimants can pursue action against UK for torture

By Jean Shaoul, 21 January 2017

The court’s decision is a blow for the British political establishment, which has fought for years to keep secret the use of torture by Britain’s spy agencies and Special Forces.

Additional 37 Crown Post Offices to close in Britain

By Richard Tyler, 21 January 2017

Workers remaining in the Post Office face a situation in which the government is systematically removing its functions and starving it of investment as a prelude to its ultimate closure.

Joint Russian, Turkish bombing campaign in Syria deepens NATO crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2017

The joint Russian-Turkish action came on the eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump, who is reportedly preparing a major escalation of US intervention in the region.

UK: ASLEF drivers’ union calls off Southern Rail strikes

By Robert Stevens, 20 January 2017

The planned action was over the company’s plans to widen the use of driver only operated trains.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn allies himself with Fabian Society’s right-wing agenda

By Julie Hyland, 20 January 2017

No less than 15 shadow secretaries of state and nine shadow ministers, who resigned from Corbyn’s cabinet in a bid to force him out, were associated with the Fabian Society.

UK: Spying powers used more than 55,000 times by local government agencies

By Trevor Johnson, 19 January 2017

Under the RIPA spying apparatus, local councils in Britain launched 2,800 separate surveillance operations lasting up to 90 days each.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledges hard Brexit, threatens trade war

By Chris Marsden, 18 January 2017

May’s aggressive posture is bound up with efforts to forge an economic and political alliance with the incoming administration of Donald Trump in the United States.

Pro-Corbyn Momentum group seeks affiliation to Labour Party

By Richard Tyler, 17 January 2017

Any pretence Momentum maintained that it was a radical rank-and-file group, nominally independent of the Labour Party, has been destroyed.

Millions face dire consequences of rundown of Britain’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2017

More than 20 hospitals have raised alerts that they can no longer provide basic services to the public, as the British Red Cross said the NHS faces a “humanitarian crisis.”

UK: Labour-run councils impose Tory cuts under Corbyn’s instruction

By Margot Miller, 16 January 2017

Labour’s role in enforcing savage cuts in Metropolitan borough councils demonstrates it remains a big business party, despite the election of “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn.

UK: May and Corbyn suppress scandal over Israel's role in anti-Corbyn coup

By Jean Shaoul and Chris Marsden, 14 January 2017

In response to proof that the coup against him was sponsored by Israel, Corbyn has not said a single word.

The Guardian uses anti-Russian hacking claims to proselytise for CIA and war

By Julie Hyland, 13 January 2017

The Guardian demands that readers abandon their critical faculties—or what the newspaper would undoubtedly deem their “illegitimate scepticism”—to line up behind the war aims of the CIA and the Democratic Party.

Jeremy Corbyn: The abortive rebranding of a “left muddlehead”

By Paul Mitchell, 12 January 2017

Corbyn’s speech was a signal that he is prepared to make the political shifts demanded of him by the party’s right wing, including the adoption of an anti-immigration agenda.

Protests follow “planned operation” police killing of Yasser Yaqub in UK

By Harvey Thompson, 12 January 2017

The killing of Yaqub was the fifth fatal police shooting in England and Wales in the past nine months.

Subway, train and airline workers strike in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 11 January 2017

The 24-hour strike that paralysed the London subway system Monday was followed by the start of two 48-hour walkouts by drivers on Southern Rail and British Airways cabin crew.

British super-rich pay less tax as workers pay more

By Simon Whelan, 11 January 2017

While the rich are allowed to avoid the taxes necessary to fund vitally-needed services, the government continually devises ways to extract ever more from the working class.

Brexit deepens existential crisis of UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 10 January 2017

The row over what relationship the UK will have with the European Union takes place under conditions where its very survival is threatened.

UK rail union TSSA and pro-Corbyn Momentum stoke up anti-European sentiment

By Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2017

A video posted by the pro-Corbyn Momentum organization seeks to portray the population of Europe as benefitting from the privatization if the UK’s rail network.

Strikes in transport and other sectors to hit the UK

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2017

The series of strikes points to a nascent rebellion by workers against the efforts of the trade unions to suppress opposition to the onslaught on jobs and wages.

Death toll mounts as UK National Health Service deliberately destroyed

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 January 2017

Having set the NHS up to fail, the government and the media will inevitably insist that the NHS must be made more efficient through the closure of “failing” services and privatisations.

British Labour Party moving to support ending free movement of EU workers

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2017

The Tories and Labour are fighting over which party is more stridently opposed to immigration.

Wakefield school cleaning workers sacked after three-month strike in UK

By Barry Mason, 6 January 2017

Unison, with over 1.2 million members and an annual income of more than £200 million, has proved unwilling and incapable of defending the jobs of three embattled cleaners.