Britain

MP’s murder exposes role of neo-fascists in British Leave campaign

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2016

The murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox underscores the frenzy of nationalism and xenophobia being whipped up around Thursday’s referendum on EU membership.

Billionaire former BHS boss faces down UK parliamentary committee

By Jean Shaoul, 20 June 2016

Some 11,000 workers are set to lose their jobs and around 22,000 present and future retirees will see their pensions decimated after the collapse of high street retailer BHS.

Leeds bus workers strike over pay

By Barbara Slaughter, 18 June 2016

Earlier this month, 250 workers employed by First Bus Leeds voted unanimously to reject management’s paltry pay offer and begin a campaign of strike action.

The EU referendum and the murder of British MP Jo Cox

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2016

The murder of Cox has starkly revealed the fascistic character of the forces being whipped up around this week’s referendum on British membership in the EU, particularly by the Leave campaign.

The significance of the Brexit referendum for the European working class

By Peter Schwarz, 18 June 2016

Peter Schwarz, secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International, delivered the following speech in London to a June 14 public meeting sponsored by the SEP (UK).

UK Labour MP Jo Cox murdered in midst of Brexit referendum campaign

By Chris Marsden, 17 June 2016

The brutal murder of a Labour parliamentarian by a man who allegedly yelled “Britain first” takes place amid a hysterical campaign of right-wing nationalism and xenophobia.

Fears of UK exit from the EU fuel global panic

By Robert Stevens, 17 June 2016

The release of polls showing a likely “leave” result in the referendum on membership in the EU has fueled a stock sell-off and prompted worried statements by central banks.

ICFI Secretary Peter Schwarz speaks in London on Brexit referendum

By our reporter, 16 June 2016

Schwarz’s remarks, which were live-streamed over the internet, drew online listeners from India, Sri Lanka, America, Poland, Germany and France.

Britain’s Labour Party helps Conservative government pass Snoopers’ Charter

By Trevor Johnson, 15 June 2016

The UK’s security and spying agencies are being rewarded for their criminality with new and almost unlimited powers.

The financial skulduggery behind the collapse of UK retailer BHS

By Jean Shaoul, 14 June 2016

While the press have called the revelations “extraordinary” and “shocking,” implying that the events behind the collapse of BHS are a “one-off,” these corporate practices are the norm.

Debt soars for students in England

By Thomas Scripps, 14 June 2016

With interest, the average graduate will pay back an additional £3,000 more than they were expecting, with the burden falling more heavily on the poor.

Sports Direct and BHS: The real face of British capitalism

By Julie Hyland, 13 June 2016

While lamenting Ashley and Green as the “unacceptable face of capitalism,” the media made clear that much of what had occurred was perfectly legal.

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!

Peter Schwarz, secretary of the ICFI, at June 14 London public meeting to be live streamed

13 June 2016

Peter Schwarz will speak on the historical experience of German workers, who paid a terrible price for the subordination of the Communist Party of Germany to nationalism in the 1930s.

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum: Socialist internationalism versus left nationalism

By Chris Marsden, 13 June 2016

The following is a speech by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), on the party’s campaign for an active boycott of the June 23 referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union.

UK trade union federation calls for Britain to remain in EU

By Robert Stevens, 11 June 2016

The Trades Union Congress is backing the Remain campaign on the cynical basis that it is necessary to protect workers from the attacks of the Conservative government.

UK: Pro-Corbyn Momentum Youth and Students hold founding conference

By Joe Mount, 11 June 2016

The aim of Momentum Youth and Students is to recruit youth into the Labour Party and trade unions.

British rail workers facing state repression

By Michael Barnes, 10 June 2016

Workers have held strikes to protest the elimination of the safety-critical role of the conductor, who operates doors on the busiest routes in the UK.

Cameron/Farage debate on EU dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2016

Tuesday night’s TV debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage centred on who could more aggressively scapegoat migrants.

Cuts plunge UK National Health Service further into deficit

By Ben Trent, 9 June 2016

The deficit highlights the growing disparity between what the government is spending and the resources required for the population to remain in good health.

UK: Tata Steel completes sale of Long Division plant to Greybull

By Danny Richardson, 8 June 2016

Steel workers jobs will be axed and wages, pensions and working conditions undermined with the full compliance of the unions, who will police the shop floor.

UK: Why are the Socialist Workers Party and the Greens debating the merits of the European Union?

By Robert Stevens, 8 June 2016

The stated defence by the Green Party and the Socialist Workers Party of “open borders” and the rights of migrants is a charade.

The case for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2016

The struggle for a socialist Britain within a United Socialist States of Europe is a burning necessity for workers who, in every country, face the same class enemy and the same problems of austerity and war.

UK: The political fraud of the Another Europe is Possible campaign

By Julie Hyland, 7 June 2016

The campaign makes no mention of the Cameron government’s austerity agenda that has seen millions of jobs destroyed, wages cut, welfare slashed to the bone and migrants denied entry to the UK.

UK Labour leader Corbyn stakes his future on vote to remain in EU

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2016

Corbyn is towing the line dictated by the dominant sections of British imperialism, which see membership of the EU as essential for securing Britain’s economic interests.

Scotland’s RISE electoral coalition descends into crisis

By Steve James, 4 June 2016

RISE is led by an aspiring middle class layer of academics and commentators seeking to build their careers through the creation of a new Scottish capitalist state

British pensioners over 75 increasingly likely to live in poverty

By Trevor Johnson, 4 June 2016

Just under a quarter of single pensioners are living in poverty.

Anti-migrant propaganda dominates UK Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 3 June 2016

Both the Remain and Leave campaigns for the June 23 referendum on UK membership of the European Union are pushing anti-migrant measures.

UK population poorer and hungrier

By Dennis Moore, 1 June 2016

The number of people in the UK who struggled to put food on the table in 2014 is equivalent to the entire population of London.

Divisions over Europe tear through UK Conservative Party

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2016

Several leading Tory euro-sceptics made unprecedented attacks on Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend.

The politics and origins of Britain’s Spiked-Online—Part Two

By Zach Reed, 31 May 2016

In the hands of Spiked, invocations of “free speech” are transformed into a justification for attacking broader democratic rights.

National Health Service bosses report calls for a flexible workforce

By Alice Summers, 30 May 2016

The changes would force nurses, paramedics and others to take on increased workloads and do jobs currently carried out by doctors.

The politics and origins of Britain’s Spiked-Online—Part 1

By Zach Reed, 30 May 2016

Spiked’s defence of “free speech” is based on promoting right-wing individuals and groups, often in alliance with Conservative Students societies.

Anti-migrant rhetoric dominates debate on UK membership in the EU

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2016

The Leave campaign is focusing on whipping up hysteria over immigration.

UK university lecturers strike against pay cuts and casualisation

By our reporters, 28 May 2016

University staff have seen their pay fall in real terms by 14.5 percent since 2009.

UK White Paper escalates privatisation of higher education

By Joe Mount, 28 May 2016

The proposals remove any remaining barriers to profit making and facilitate the establishment of private universities.

UK government retreats on including NHS in free trade deal

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2016

An amendment to the Queen’s Speech expressed regret that the government did not include a bill that would protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Military and security figures take opposing sides in UK referendum on European Union

By Chris Marsden, 26 May 2016

The various military officials and spy chiefs backing either side in the Brexit campaign are all committed to defending British and US imperialism, particularly in the conflict with Russia.

UK rich just keep getting richer

By Simon Whelan, 26 May 2016

The fortunes accrued by 120 billionaires account for 60 percent of the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Brexit referendum, socialism and the European working class

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2016

The following is a speech delivered to public meetings by Julie Hyland, assistant national secretary of the SEP, on the Party’s campaign for an active boycott of the referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union.

Meeting in Sheffield on June 7

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!—Socialism versus left nationalism

26 May 2016

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a series of public meetings in cities across the UK in May and June as part of its campaign for an active boycott of the June 23 referendum.

UK: Left Leave campaign lays out its nationalist agenda in Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2016

In speech after speech at a recent Left Leave meeting, the national division of the working class was portrayed as the sole means of opposing imperialism.

Julian Assange challenges anti-democratic “no platform” campaign

By Laura Tiernan, 24 May 2016

The Sheffield meeting was a victory over efforts to silence Assange and close down debate on fundamental issues surrounding the escalation of militarism and war.

George Galloway backs “Left Leave” and urges alliance with UK Independence Party

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2016

”Left Leave” is a mechanism for transmitting the most degraded and right-wing nationalist sentiments into the working class.

Retired British general predicts war with Russia, denounces Cameron government as “semi-pacifist”

By Harvey Thompson, 21 May 2016

Shirreff urges class war at home and public spending cuts to fund massive increases in military spending.

Local campuses disaffiliate from British National Union of Students

By Thomas Scripps, 21 May 2016

The ahistorical, irrational and racialised policies of the pseudo-left have opened the way for an assault on the NUS from the right.

Queen’s Speech 2016: UK Conservatives continue agenda of austerity and repression

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2016

The government’s legislative programme for the next year includes new powers for the state under the guise of tackling “extremism” and the abolition of the Human Rights Act.

UK: Gap in life expectancy between rich and poor widens for first time since 1870

By Trevor Johnson, 18 May 2016

The growing discrepancy in life expectancy between the rich and poor is the result of decades of attacks on jobs, wages and living standards.

Notes on the London housing crisis

One third of London renters sinking into debt

By Allison Smith, 18 May 2016

Last year, one in five families was forced to move home in the capital. Rent has soared 20 percent over the past five years, while average pay has increased only 2 percent.

Jeremy Corbyn appeals to UK Labour’s Blairite wing for unity

By Chris Marsden, 17 May 2016

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s lofty pretence at being above personal insults would carry more weight if it was not routinely employed to justify his latest political capitulation to the right wing.

UK: Manchester United ground evacuated in false terror scare

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2016

No explanation has yet been provided by Manchester United, the police or the company that left a dummy explosive device in a football stadium, of Sunday’s extraordinary events.

IMF warns against British exit from EU

By Julie Hyland, 14 May 2016

IMF head Christine Lagarde warned that in the event of a vote to leave the European Union, the UK could enter into recession.

Hillsborough: A powerful and moving account of Britain’s worst sporting disaster

By Robert Stevens, 14 May 2016

The documentary reconstructs key events and includes harrowing footage of the crush and its aftermath, as well as interviews with family members, survivors and police officers on duty.

UK Brexit referendum campaign dominated by xenophobia and war rhetoric

By Chris Marsden, 12 May 2016

The referendum campaign has exposed the dangers confronting the working class as a result of the growing conflict between the imperialist powers.

UK: Corbyn launches Labour’s effort to cover for right-wing Remain campaign

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2016

With the Conservatives divided, the Labour Party’s ability to deliver its 9 million voters is considered essential for the sections of the ruling class supporting a Remain vote on Brexit.

UK prisoners “potential assets to be harnessed” for profit

By John Newham, 11 May 2016

Deplorable conditions are being used to justify the further privatisation of the prison service.

UK prime minister invokes militarism and war to argue for EU membership

By Julie Hyland, 10 May 2016

Cameron made clear that he was speaking not only on behalf of the UK, but for all the major imperialist powers

UK unions collude in the passing of anti-strike legislation

By Robert Stevens and Harvey Thompson, 9 May 2016

The only concern of the union leaders has been to protect their dues income.

UK elections intensify crisis in Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 7 May 2016

In Thursday’s elections in the UK, large swathes of the parliamentary Labour Party were not only predicting a disastrous defeat for their party, they were actively working for one.

Many UK accident and emergency units closed or downgraded

By Harvey Thompson and Barry Mason, 7 May 2016

The decision to close the Huddersfield A&E unit is related to the terms of the Calderdale Royal Private Finance Initiative agreement, which prohibits its sale or mothballing for another 42 years.

Labour “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt dominates media in run-up to UK polls

By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2016

During Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament Wednesday, David Cameron reiterated the charge that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a supporter of terrorism.

More than a million people living in destitution in UK

By Alice Summers, 5 May 2016

A report released last week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that, in a typical week, there were an estimated 668,000 destitute households in the UK.

UK Labour mounts purge of party based on accusations of anti-Semitism

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2016

As on every other issue of principle, Jeremy Corbyn has surrendered to the right wing in the face of a slanderous attack on the Labour Party’s ranks as a mass of “anti-Semites.”

Poverty grows, health declines among UK children

By Margot Miller, 4 May 2016

Successive Labour and Conservative governments have reduced spending on children and young people by 71 percent.

British government refuses asylum for refugee children

By Jean Shaoul, 3 May 2016

The government’s refusal to accept even a few hundred children follows its attempts to prevent unaccompanied minors trapped in France from being re-united with their families.

Scandal deepens over Hillsborough disaster cover-up

By Paul Mitchell, 3 May 2016

The verdict that 96 Liverpool Football Club supporters were unlawfully killed in 1989 is a vindication of the campaign waged by their families, friends and supporters to uncover the truth.

Oppose the witch-hunt of Ken Livingstone!

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 2 May 2016

Ken Livingstone, accused of anti-Semitism, is the target of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting all criticism of Israel and shifting the Labour Party still further to the right.

London mayoral elections: A contest between two right-wing candidates

By Michael Barnes, 2 May 2016

Under Tory Mayor Boris Johnson, London has cemented its position as the playground of a corrupt financial oligarchy and one of the most socially polarised cities on the planet.

UK Labour leadership, bowing to right-wing campaign, suspends Ken Livingstone

By Robert Stevens, 30 April 2016

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has capitulated to a scurrilous campaign to portray Livingstone as an anti-Semite.

UK junior doctors denounce attack on wages, working conditions

By our reporters, 29 April 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines and at rallies during this week’s two one-day strikes without emergency cover.

Vast increase in “zero-hours” labor contracts in the UK

By Edwin Wills, 28 April 2016

Under zero-hours contracts, workers must be ready to work whenever required.

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the campaign by the families and supporters of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed 27 years ago.

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The death of 96 Liverpool football supporters on April 15, 1989 was followed by a 27-year cover-up.

Public support for UK junior doctors strike grows as government insists they must be “defeated”

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2016

The strike by 45,000 junior doctors in England is the first stoppage in the history of the National Health Service to be held without emergency care being provided.

The Socialist Party’s pro-capitalist call to nationalise the UK steel industry

By Jean Shaoul, 27 April 2016

The Socialist Party frames its call for the nationalisation of Tata steel explicitly in terms of defending Britain’s “national interest” and “heritage”.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

Eleven thousand jobs threatened at British Home Stores

By Jean Shaoul, 26 April 2016

Pension obligations will be transferred to the taxpayer, while the corporate heads’ own tax obligations are wiped out, courtesy of debt-financed transactions and off-shore tax havens.

UK: Millions of low income families will be poorer under welfare reforms

By Thomas Scripps, 25 April 2016

Many working families will lose up to £200 a month as a result of the Universal Credit welfare reform introduced by the Conservative government.

UK Chancellor touts Treasury analysis to promote European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2016

The claim by Chancellor George Osborne that the European Union will guarantee prosperity for British families is absurd.

UK Leave and Remain campaigns seek to exploit fears over future of National Health Service

By Tony Robson, 21 April 2016

The Remain and Leave campaigns are led by parties that have cut NHS and opened up public health care for privatisation.

UK: Thousands march in Leeds to oppose attacks on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens and our reporters, 21 April 2016

The role of Keep Our NHS Public is to ensure that any fight back remains within the stranglehold of the Labour Party and the trade unions.

UK unions agree to implement pay cuts for NHS workers

By Ajanta Silva, 20 April 2016

After paving the way for years of pay freezes and erosion of conditions, the unions have colluded with the government and accepted the 1 percent cap on pay this year and until 2020.

Rail unions declare support for UK exit from the EU

By Michael Barnes and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2016

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the train drivers union ASLEF claim EU membership is “bad for Britain in general and bad for the railway in particular.”

People’s Assembly demonstration promotes Corbyn’s anti-austerity fraud

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2016

Large numbers of junior doctors currently involved in industrial action took part in the protest, which also included student nurses and steelworkers.

The political significance of the campaign for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2016

The SEP urges a rejection of both the defenders of the European Union and the advocates of a British exit from the EU in the official Remain and Leave campaigns.

Cost of elderly care increasing throughout the UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 April 2016

In the period from 2004 to 2014, state funding for care of the elderly plunged by a third.

Labour’s Corbyn pledges to lead pro-EU referendum campaign in UK

By Chris Marsden, 15 April 2016

The intervention by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in favour of Britain remaining in the EU is vital for the ruling elite amid growing popular hatred of the Cameron government.

UK: Unions work with asset stripper to impose cuts at Tata Steel

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2016

Plants will be taken over only on condition that wages, conditions and pension rights are decimated.

Panama Papers destabilise Cameron government in UK

By Chris Marsden, 11 April 2016

Britain stands at the epicentre of an international web of corruption serving the interests of a financial oligarchy that rules the entire planet.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

Socialist Party’s TUSC electoral front seeks official “Leave” status in UK Brexit Referendum

By Julie Hyland, 9 April 2016

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and the Socialist Party are promoting “left nationalism” in the service of a faction of the British bourgeoisie.

Panama Papers revelations intensify crisis of Cameron government in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 9 April 2016

In his fifth version of events in four days, Prime Minister David Cameron admitted to owning shares in his father’s offshore company and profiting from them.

UK junior doctors speak out during latest strike

By our reporters, 8 April 2016

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines around the country.

Panama Papers revelation triggers political crises around the globe

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

As pressure builds on Britain’s Conservative government over the tax arrangements of Prime Minister David Cameron, it is becoming clear that the Panama Papers are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Junior doctors face political fight to save National Health Service

By Paul Mitchell, 7 April 2016

Junior doctors have demanded more effective action after Health Secretary Hunt announced he would impose a new contract by August 1.

The class issues in the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 April 2016

The following is an amended version of a report delivered March 26 by Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), to a party aggregate in Sheffield.

UK central to global tax avoidance

Cameron government implicated in Panama Papers revelations

By Chris Marsden, 6 April 2016

The leaked Panama Papers detailing widespread global tax avoidance place the UK at the centre of this operation.

UK Tata Steel operation at centre of escalating trade war

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

The Labour Party and the trade unions have responded to the planned closure of Tata Steel’s UK plants with demands for protectionism and trade war.

Cuts lead to closure of hundreds of public libraries across UK

By Alice Summers, 2 April 2016

Since 2010, about a quarter of library workers have lost their jobs.

Labour Party and unions mount nationalist campaign over UK steel industry

By Robert Stevens, 1 April 2016

The position of Labour and the unions is based on developing protectionist measures to defend what they view as an industry critical to the interests of British imperialism.

Forty thousand jobs threatened as Tata Steel announces end of UK operations

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2016

Neither Labour leader Corbyn nor the trade union bureaucracy proposes any struggle by steel workers in defence of their jobs.