Britain

UK: May forced to call public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2017

With many people still to be accounted for from a building that was home to between 500 and 600 people, London’s Metropolitan Police announced that the death toll from Wednesday’s fire had reached 17.

London’s Grenfell Tower inferno: A crime against the working class

By Laura Tiernan, 15 June 2017

The catastrophic fire broke out shortly after midnight Wednesday, on the second floor of 24-storey council flats in Kensington, West London that were home to an estimated 500 people.

Grenfell Tower residents warn: “People have had enough”

By our reporters, 15 June 2017

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to residents about the fire that gutted Grenfell Tower Wednesday morning.

In Paris talks with British prime minister May

French President Macron holds out prospect of canceling Brexit

By Alex Lantier, 15 June 2017

A bitter struggle over influence and alliances is unfolding between the imperialist powers, amid growing hostility to Washington on the part of Paris and Berlin.

After election setback, UK Conservatives close to agreement with Democratic Unionist Party

By Robert Stevens, 14 June 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May only remains in place largely because the Tories believe removing her would cause further political instability, prompting a general election which they would almost certainly lose to Labour.

UK food bank usage at record high

By Alice Summers, 14 June 2017

While a record 1.2 million food parcels were handed out this year by the Trussell Trust, research reveals that true food bank usage is much higher.

The Guardian’s Paul Mason advises Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn on how to prepare for government

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 13 June 2017

Mason’s pro-war advice to Corbyn includes beginning a “strategic defence and security review” that takes particular account of “Russian diplomatic brinkmanship.”

UK Prime Minister May seeks alliance with Democratic Unionist Party to forestall a second general election

By Robert Stevens, 12 June 2017

May called last week’s election to secure a substantial increase to the Tories’ slim 17-seat majority, but lost 13 seats and ended with a hung parliament.

UK: Blairite challenges Unite union leadership election result

By Robert Stevens, 12 June 2017

The aim of the Blairites is to take control of the union and remove substantial financial backing from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Britain’s general election: A new stage in the class struggle

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 10 June 2017

To those now inclined to accept the portrayal of Corbyn by pseudo-left groups in Britain as the natural leader of the working class, we say: Remember Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.

British general election delivers seismic political shock

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 9 June 2017

Though the election result in part reflected concern over May’s hard Brexit strategy, the overwhelming issue was hostility to Tory austerity measures.

UK election dominated by growing threat of state repression

By Chris Marsden, 8 June 2017

The Tories have used the terrorist outrages in Manchester and London to shift the general election narrative onto charges that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a threat to national security.

Bernie Sanders declares his support for Jeremy Corbyn

By Thomas Scripps, 8 June 2017

Sanders, who in the 2016 US election sought to channel popular opposition to capitalism back into the Democratic Party, hopes Corbyn will play a similar role for the Labour Party.

Britain’s crisis election and the tasks facing the working class

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2017

Britain is being destabilised economically, politically and socially as world capitalism descends into its deepest crisis since the end of World War II.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

UK unions suppress strikes for duration of general election campaign

By Margot Miller, 6 June 2017

The unions have performed this service on behalf of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who wants no association with actual struggles of the working class.

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

UK security services knew of Manchester suicide bomber’s ISIS connections

By Robert Stevens, 5 June 2017

Salman Abedi was in contact with a Libyan Islamic State (IS) battalion whose members were involved in planning the 2015 Bataclan nightclub attack.

UK: Attack on NHS would continue under Labour government

By Jean Shaoul, 3 June 2017

Labour has made no commitment to reversing £20 billion in NHS cuts imposed by Conservative-led governments so far, or ending them.

The issues of political principle in the UK general election

By the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 2 June 2017

With its call for a vote for Labour in the General Election, Britain’s pseudo-left wants the working class to forget the historical experiences it has made with this party.

Police claim Manchester suicide bomber was a “lone wolf” after all

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2017

Salman Abedi was allowed to “slip through the net” because he was a protected asset of the security services.

As Tories slip in the polls, British media goes on the offensive against Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2017

The televised questioning of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was an exercise in opinion-forming on behalf of Britain’s ruling elite.

UK: Green Party stands aside for pro-European Union candidates

By Steve James, 31 May 2017

The Green manifesto exposes their role as an instrument of the most pro-European Union factions of the British ruling class.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

What did the UK government know?

British intelligence received warnings that Manchester bomber was plotting attacks

By Laura Tiernan, 29 May 2017

The suicide bomber was allowed to move around the globe without hindrance, despite British intelligence receiving information that he was planning to assassinate a political figure.

As Labour rises in UK polls, Blairite breakaway party plans gather pace

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2017

Ahead of the June 8 snap general election, former Labour Party leader Tony Blair and his supporters are brazenly advancing plans to establish a new right-wing political formation.

Corbyn makes his appeal to become Britain’s next prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2017

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gave his response to the Manchester suicide bombing yesterday, amid the further unravelling of the government’s narrative of the attack.

Royal Bank of Scotland seeks to avoid High Court action by shareholders

By Jean Shaoul, 27 May 2017

Former senior RBS executives have never had to make a public account of the events leading up to the bank’s collapse in 2008, when it was rescued by then Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Manchester’s dead: Victims of British regime-change operations in the Middle East

By Robert Stevens, 26 May 2017

There is no innocent explanation for the fact that the Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi was able to travel to Libya, Syria, Turkey and the UK without interference.

Progressive Alliance rally in London calls for support for “globalist” elite

By Jean Shaoul, 25 May 2017

The new alliance seeks a political realignment around opposition to Britain leaving the European Union.

Official account of Manchester suicide bombing unravels

By Julie Hyland, 25 May 2017

It took less than 24 hours for Prime Minister May’s claim that Manchester suicide bomber Salman Ramadan Abedi was known to British intelligence only “up to a point” to be exposed as a lie.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May forced to backpedal on “dementia tax”

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2017

The backlash came as a huge shock, not only for the Tories but for the media as well.

UK government deploys military following Manchester suicide bombing

By Chris Marsden, 24 May 2017

It has already been confirmed that the suicide bomber, Salman Ramadan Abedi, was known to security services but supposedly not considered a threat.

Explosion kills, wounds dozens at pop concert in Manchester

By our reporters, 23 May 2017

The carnage and terror occurred barely 17 days before Britain votes in the snap June 8 national election.

UK wage performance “worst in over 200 years”

By Margot Miller, 23 May 2017

Wages for British workers are lower than before the 2008 financial crash and are expected to be almost £1,000 a year lower in 2017 in real terms than previous forecasts.

UK Conservative manifesto outlines stepped up austerity and militarism

By Robert Stevens, 22 May 2017

The commitment to Britain’s exit from the European Union is a pledge to proceed with intensified attacks on the working class.

The class issues in the UK snap election

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain)

22 May 2017

The following is a statement by the Socialist Equality Party in Britain on the central issues facing the working class in the June 8 general election.

UK government seeks additional surveillance powers, including overriding encryption

By Barry Mason, 20 May 2017

The UK government is seeking to implement policies that would, as one commentator put it, “effectively make strong and unbreakable encryption illegal.”

UK: Labour’s manifesto amended to stress commitment to militarism and war

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s infinite malleability is essential to the Labour “left” in providing the necessary window dressing to sell to the working class a party of big business, militarism and war.

“It’s sheer slavery”

Amazon warehouse worker in Manchester UK “enterprise zone” speaks of intolerable working conditions

By our reporters, 19 May 2017

Amazon’s warehousing operations have become a byword for ultra-high levels of exploitation of a largely minimum wage workforce, who carry out highly demanding physical work.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) public meetings

The class issues in Britain’s snap election: Austerity, dictatorship and war

19 May 2017

The Socialist Equality Party in Britain is holding a series of public meetings on the essential issues facing the working class and young people in the June 8 General Election.

UK: Labour’s shadow foreign secretary spells out Corbyn’s pro-war “journey”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 May 2017

The Labour shadow foreign secretary used her appearance Sunday on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” to declare that party leader Jeremy Corbyn had repudiated his previous opposition to NATO.

UK National Union of Teachers sabotages struggle against funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 16 May 2017

While the NUT continues to oppose action, other education unions, including the NASUWT, are equally concerned about preventing strikes.

As workers’ wages stagnated, UK super-rich “carried on making billions”

By Simon Whelan, 15 May 2017

The UK’s richest 1,000 residents had their collective wealth increase by a staggering 14 percent over the past year, to a record £658 billion.

UK: Tate workers asked to “put money towards a sailing boat” for museum director

By Jean Shaoul, 15 May 2017

The Tate’s workforce earns on average £24,000, significantly less than the national median of £27,600, which means poverty wages in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

UK Labour Party adopts pro-business, militarist election manifesto

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2017

Labour’s manifesto has been agreed by the party’s leading figures, including the nominally left Corbyn and his right-wing critics, because it contains all the main demands of the Blairites.

What is in the UK Labour Party’s manifesto?

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2017

Labour proposes to fund its spending by an increase in Corporation Tax, asking “large corporations to pay a little more while still keeping UK corporation tax among the lowest of the major economies.”

British ruling elite celebrates falling life expectancy as boon for pension fund deficits

By Jean Shaoul, 13 May 2017

A sharp reduction in life expectancy is boosting the “financial health” of UK companies involved in “defined benefit” pension schemes.

Guardian journalist Paul Mason calls for a “left” alliance with “free market elite”

By Robert Stevens, 12 May 2017

Mason claims that the former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron has given “French democracy, Europeanism and globalism another chance.”

NATO requests UK troops for US-led surge in Afghanistan

By Paul Mitchell, 11 May 2017

The Stoltenberg-May talks confirm that behind the official reasons given for the calling of a snap general election, one of its central aims is to further the UK’s war agenda in alliance with US imperialism.

Living standards plunge in UK

By Alice Summers, 10 May 2017

Since the Brexit referendum, economic growth has declined more than expected, inflation is rising and real wages are falling.

Young “gig economy” worker hounded to his death over debt repayment

By Barry Mason, 9 May 2017

According to the Debt Support Trust charity, nearly half of people struggling with debt in the UK have considered suicide to resolve their situation.

The destruction of the National Health Service and the role of NHS FightBack

By Jean Shaoul, 8 May 2017

World Socialist Web Site writer Jean Shaoul responds to a series of questions posed by a student journalist regarding the Socialist Equality Party’s NHS FightBack campaign.

Conservatives win UK local elections, as Labour and UKIP vote declines

By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2017

The ruling Conservatives were the main beneficiaries from the low turnout, making significant gains at the expense of Labour and the far-right UK Independence Party.

Woman jailed in Britain for six months for begging for 50 pence

By Paul Armstrong, 5 May 2017

Marie Baker was denied any legal representation, a direct consequence of the brutal assault against the democratic rights of the working class.

May Day 2017

The class issues in the British election

By Chris Marsden, 5 May 2017

With trade and military war comes the attack on wages, working conditions and the destruction of essential services.

Prime Minister May accuses EU of meddling in UK election

By Chris Marsden, 4 May 2017

May’s accusation that the EU is interfering in the UK election in language hitherto reserved for Vladimir Putin testifies to an escalation of hostilities with Europe.

UK: Behind the release of former soldier and war criminal Alexander Blackman

By Margot Miller, 4 May 2017

Blackman, jailed in 2013 for the murder of an injured Afghan Taliban prisoner of war, emerged from prison last Friday having served just three-and-a-half years of a 10-year sentence.

Call by Labour right for a “progressive alliance” in UK election falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 3 May 2017

Declaring that Britain’s exit from the EU is the “dominant… issue” in the upcoming election, Tony Blair called for a more “open position on Brexit across the party divide.”

UK: Fujitsu workers must reject Unite’s nationalist strategy

By Steve James, 2 May 2017

The only viable basis on which to combat Fujitsu’s assault is through a global socialist strategy based on the class struggle.

European Union issues hard-line Brexit negotiating strategy

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2017

Under the guidelines, discussions on trade between the EU and the UK can only proceed after the divorce payment and agreement on other terms of Britain’s EU exit.

Health workers and residents in Bournemouth speak out against health service cuts

By Ajanta Silva, 1 May 2017

The following are interviews from some of those who have spoken to NHS FightBack during its campaign to oppose redundancies and the slashing of services in Bournemouth and the county of Dorset.

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.