Britain

Factional warfare over Brexit dominates Labour Party conference

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 23 September 2019

After one political capitulation after another, Corbyn is left fending off speculation that he may be forced to quit as even his innermost circle comes out against him.

Police surveillance used to report disabled protesters to UK government for alleged benefit fraud

By Dennis Moore, 23 September 2019

The DWP routinely uses information that has been taken from airport footage, gym memberships and surveillance video from public buildings, when building cases against benefit claimants who they claim may be fraudulently claiming benefits.

Corbyn tries to unite Labour Party to solve Brexit crisis for ruling class

By Thomas Scripps, 21 September 2019

The Labour Party conference beginning Saturday will be dominated by the conflict over the party’s Brexit policy.

UK government, police prevent coroner’s inquest into Manchester Arena bombing

By Robert Stevens, 20 September 2019

The coroner admits that the government and police are withholding information that “relates to the issue of whether the attack by Salman Abedi could have been prevented by the authorities.”

British postal workers to hold strike ballot to defend jobs and conditions

By Steve James, 20 September 2019

Some 110,000 postal workers in Britain are balloting on industrial action, with the vote likely to return a large majority to strike.

Attend September 28 demonstration at London’s Belmarsh prison to demand freedom for Julian Assange!

By our reporter, 20 September 2019

The rally has been called by the Julian Assange Defence Committee (JADC) to demand Assange’s freedom from the high-security jail in London.

UK “justice” system tortures Julian Assange, treats fascist Tommy Robinson with kid gloves

By Thomas Scripps, 19 September 2019

The polar opposite treatment of Assange and Robinson by the British state underscores the bogus character of attempts by the far right to equate the two.

What is at stake in the British Supreme Court’s ruling on the proroguing of Parliament?

By Thomas Scripps, 18 September 2019

The Supreme Court has to decide whether the courts can legitimately pass judgement on prorogation and, if so, whether Johnson’s suspension of parliament was legal.

UK lecturers and academic staff ballot to strike against huge pension and pay cuts

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2019

This latest strike ballot comes only 18 months after lecturers and academic staff took 14 days of industrial action that included a rebellion against the union leaders.

UK public meetings

The Socialist answer to Brexit: For the United Socialist States of Europe

18 September 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding a series of meetings outlining the socialist answer to Brexit.

Boris Johnson gets short shrift from European Union leaders in Brexit talks

By Richard Tyler, 17 September 2019

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday in advance of his trip, Johnson had sought to present a tough-guy image, ridiculously invoking the Marvel superhero, the Incredible Hulk.

Blair congratulates Corbyn for “sensible and skillful” opposition to no-deal Brexit

By Thomas Scripps, 17 September 2019

Pressure is being applied on Corbyn to commit Labour to campaigning for Remain in any Brexit referendum and any general election.

Scottish father of two beaten to death in a prison in 2015

Fatal Accident Inquiry finds death was “entirely preventable”

By Steve James, 16 September 2019

Allan Marshall, father of two, was beaten to death in Saughton prison, Edinburgh, in 2015. A Fatal Accident Inquiry has found his death was “ entirely preventable.”

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for the unity and political independence of the working class

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2019

The authoritarian turn represented by Johnson’s prorogation of parliament is the most advanced expression of the breakdown of the traditional mechanisms of parliamentary rule.

British judge jails Assange indefinitely, despite end of prison sentence

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2019

The ruling, which confines Assange to prison indefinitely, is the latest in a series of attacks on his legal and democratic rights by the British judiciary.

Labour Party revokes Electronic Intifada journalist’s press pass in bid to suppress left-wing criticism

By Jean Shaoul, 14 September 2019

Labour’s censorship of Electronic Intifada is bound up with the Labour right’s efforts to silence critics of its slanderous witch-hunt of party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing supporters.

Billionaire Duke of Westminster carrying out social cleansing of working class residents in London

By Charles Hixson, 14 September 2019

Of the 141 people being evicted, eight are disabled, with some having lived in the blocks for as long as 40 years.

UK: “Operation Yellowhammer” details savage austerity and confirms plans for state repression post-Brexit

By Thomas Scripps, 13 September 2019

The document is dated 10 days after Johnson became prime minister, confirming that Yellowhammer is the expected outcome of a no-deal Brexit.

Fire destroys another residential tower block in London

By Thomas Scripps, 13 September 2019

The block of flats destroyed in Worcester Park was completed only in 2010 and built under conditions of the lax regulation regime demanded by the corporations and facilitated by central and local government.

Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of parliament unlawful

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2019

Scotland’s highest court, the Edinburgh Court of Session, ruled on appeal yesterday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proroguing of parliament for five weeks was unlawful.

Two-day strike by 4,000 British Airways pilots concludes

By Will Morrow, 12 September 2019

The strike demonstrated the immense objective power of the working class. It cancelled 1,700 flights over two days, affecting 300,000 passengers.

Corbyn addresses Trades Union Congress in a display of cynicism and hypocrisy

By Richard Tyler, 12 September 2019

Corbyn might believe that the support of the trade unions can be spun as a pro-worker endorsement, but millions know better.

As Brexit deadline nears

UK government intensifies attack on freedom of movement

By Margot Miller, 12 September 2019

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced last week that government policy on movement to and from the EU would be “tougher” after October 31.

The Financial Times lays down the law to Labour’s Corbyn

By Thomas Scripps, 11 September 2019

The Financial Times is acutely aware that a Labour government could come to power, or that Labour could be essential to forming a “government of national unity.”

Strike by thousands of pilots shuts down British Airways

By Richard Tyler, 10 September 2019

British Airways’ main base at Heathrow, Terminal 5, was described as a “ghost town,” as 4,000 BA pilots began a two-day strike on Monday.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prorogues Parliament

By Robert Stevens, 10 September 2019

Johnson’s anti-democratic suspension of Parliament was carried out to prevent opposition MPs from taking control of Parliament’s order paper over the next five weeks and derailing his plans to withdraw the UK from the European Union, without a deal if necessary.

UK government to target “far left” in revised Counter Extremism Strategy

By Laura Tiernan, 10 September 2019

Amid the most acute crisis of capitalist rule since the 1930s, the report is preparation for state repression against the working class and its revolutionary vanguard.

230 "Left-wing extremism" in the UK

9 September 2019

UK: Johnson hails police as “bedrock of society” as Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2019

Johnson’s paean to the police must be understood in the context of the plans by the government, under Operation Yellowhammer, to deploy the full might of the state to contain social unrest post-Brexit.

UK pensioners suffer massive increase in poverty

By Thomas Scripps, 6 September 2019

Almost 18 percent of pensioners—nearly 2 million people—are in relative poverty, receiving less than 60 percent of median household income, up from 13 percent in 2011/2012.

In Brexit crisis, Corbyn lines up with Tories and Blairites

By Chris Marsden, 5 September 2019

In emerging as the leading figure for the anti-Brexit wing of the ruling class, Corbyn is making clear that he has no independent political alternative to offer the working class.

Media blacks out Roger Waters’ performance in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2019

The media silence is an act of political censorship, carried out in order to assist the US and British governments persecute WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

British lawmakers win vote to debate bill authorising Brexit delay

By Robert Stevens, 4 September 2019

MPs voted Tuesday evening to pursue the passage of a cross-party bill to prevent the Conservative government leaving the EU without a trade and customs deal.

Roger Waters and John Pilger make powerful defence of Julian Assange in London

By our reporters, 3 September 2019

Pilger stated: “By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny.”

Roger Waters holds concert on Monday

Take forward the fight to free Julian Assange!

By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2019

Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning are the victims of a monstrous criminal conspiracy, involving the most powerful governments in the world, the intelligence agencies and the corporate media.

UK: Nationwide protests oppose Johnson’s planned suspension of parliament

By Robert Stevens, 2 September 2019

Demonstrations took place in around 80 cities and towns. They were organised by a coalition of forces who are either outright opposed to Brexit, or the no-deal exit threatened by Johnson.

UK: Protesters condemn Johnson’s proroguing of parliament “We’ll wake up one day and all our rights will be gone if we don’t stand up and fight.”

By our reporters, 2 September 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to those in attendance at anti-Johnson protests in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Bristol.

Up to 600,000 children in England either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

By Margot Miller, 31 August 2019

Some councils build no new houses and are fast selling off existing stock. The Shelter charity says 3.1 million new social homes are needed over the next 20 years, including 1.27 million for homeless families.

Panorama documentary exposes human cost of gambling industry profits

By Tom Pearce, 31 August 2019

The reach of the UK gambling industry is staggering. UK gambling firms have a 39 percent world market share of the remote betting, bingo and casino sector.

Johnson’s proroguing of Parliament: The British ruling class declares war on democratic rights

By Chris Marsden, 30 August 2019

The move by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue the “Mother of Parliaments” and govern by executive fiat is part of a turn toward dictatorial forms of rule by the ruling classes throughout the world.

UK Home Office set up fake social media network to target young British Muslims

By Tania Kent, 30 August 2019

“This is Woke,” which describes itself as engaging “in critical discussions around Muslim identity, tradition and reform,” was created by a media company on behalf of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism at the Home Office.

Johnson to suspend UK parliament to push through Brexit in a major assault on democratic rule

By Chris Marsden, 29 August 2019

Johnson’s efforts to bypass parliament and govern by executive fiat are part of an international turn toward dictatorial forms of rule throughout the world.

Unison calls off Bradford hospital workers’ strike

By Richard Tyler and Robert Stevens, 28 August 2019

Behind the scenes, the union and management had been meeting in a desperate bid to avert a strike and agree to a negotiated settlement.

UK: Johnson considers suspending parliament to enforce no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 27 August 2019

The fact that the suspension of parliament to thwart opposition to government policy is being considered for the first time in more than 70 years is a testament to the crisis wracking British imperialism.

Demo article just for testing

UK: Johnson considers suspending parliament to enforce no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens and Zweiter Autor, 27 August 2019

The fact that the suspension of parliament to thwart opposition to government policy is being considered for the first time in more than 70 years is a testament to the crisis wracking British imperialism.

Britain sold more than £6 billion in arms for Saudi-led coalition’s deadly war in Yemen

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2019

British-built aircraft, bombs and missiles have been used to target civilians in breach of the UK arms export law that bans the sale of arms or munitions to a state that is at “clear risk” of committing serious violations of international humanitarian law.

UK Prime Minister Johnson fails to secure Brexit concessions from Germany and France

By Robert Stevens, 24 August 2019

Corbyn’s meeting with Remain-supporting parties and MPs is his latest capitulation to the agenda of sections of big business opposed to leaving the EU.

UK: Fire breaks out in tower block near Grenfell Tower

By Steve James, 24 August 2019

The fire in Markham tower in North Kensington, just yards from Grenfell Tower, shows the criminal character of enveloping Grenfell in highly flammable cladding.

UK High Court rules in favour of spy agencies

By Trevor Johnson, 23 August 2019

It is now legal for state agents to hack into large numbers of electronic devices, without any grounds for suspicion, on the say-so of judges.

Germany’s Merkel tells UK government no Brexit concessions—Labour’s Corbyn steps up calls for caretaker government

By Robert Stevens, 22 August 2019

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is seeking concessions based on convincing European Union leaders that Britain crashing out also poses major problems for Europe.

Socialist Equality Party wins support for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning at Manchester Peterloo Massacre commemoration

By our reporters, 22 August 2019

SEP campaigners distributed WSWS’s call for a worldwide campaign to defend Assange and Manning.

UK government prepares for social unrest following no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2019

The crisis wracking the ruling elite over Brexit is the most severe since the Second World War.

Anger among couriers is growing after Deliveroo quits Germany

By Gregor Link, 21 August 2019

Hundreds of couriers working for the online delivery service were informed in a short e-mail last week that they would be unemployed by Friday.

Glasgow: Lock-change evictions of asylum seekers restarted by Serco

By Steve James, 21 August 2019

Transnational service company Serco has restarted efforts to evict 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow.

Julian Assange’s father warns WikiLeaks’ publisher’s health is “declining rapidly” in Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 August 2019

”The government will willingly sacrifice Julian’s well-being to the demands of the US and the UK.”

Blairites and Zionists escalate witch-hunt of Labour MP Chris Williamson

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to issue a single public word in defence of his former shadow cabinet minister.

The fascist attack on Guardian journalist Owen Jones

By Chris Marsden, 20 August 2019

The brutal assault on Guardian journalist Owen Jones must be taken as a grave warning of the dangers to the working class from the far right.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones attacked by fascist thugs in London

By Robert Stevens, 19 August 2019

The attack is the latest on prominent left-wing figures and political organisations.

UK: Record £9.2 billion of NHS budget handed to private firms

By Ben Trent, 17 August 2019

A third of hip replacements carried out in the NHS are now done privately and community health and mental health provision have seen five years of continual gains by the private sector.

Nearly five million people in the UK live in “deep poverty”

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2019

An army of 14.3 million people are in poverty with a third (4.5 million) in “deep poverty” and living on the breadline.

Corbyn makes his pitch to head a “caretaker government” to stop no-deal Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2019

Corbyn’s letter sees him bend over backward to reassure his political opponents, including the Blairites in his own party, as well as big business that he has only the “national interest” at heart.

Iran tanker released in Gibraltar despite US bid to seize it

By Bill Van Auken, 16 August 2019

The decision to release the tanker, formally declared by Gibraltar, but clearly made in London, exposes rising tensions over Washington’s “maximum pressure” policy.

UK: Asda supermarket workers protest inferior contract

By Robert Stevens, 16 August 2019

Asda’s workers face a devastating situation because the GMB union agreed to the contract being brought in on a “voluntary” basis two years ago and have refused to mount any serious fight since then.

A socialist strategy is needed to defend jobs and conditions

UK: Bradford NHS workers vote to strike against privatisation

By Richard Tyler, 15 August 2019

Hospital workers in Bradford, England, facing the backdoor privatisation of their jobs, have voted to take indefinite strike action from August 26.

UK supermarket workers oppose new wage-cutting contract at Walmart subsidiary Asda

By Barry Mason, 14 August 2019

To fight the plans of global corporations such as Asda, workers must adopt a strategy opposed to the nationalist, pro-capitalist policies of the trade unions.

Over a third of UK’s top earners live in London while workers struggle to get by

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2019

London represents a grotesque concentration of all the social contradictions and inequities of British capitalism.

UK: Johnson government considers post-Brexit snap election, while Labour’s Blairites plot “national unity” government

By Chris Marsden, 12 August 2019

It is thanks to Corbyn that every likely outcome in parliament ends in governments committed to further austerity, militarism and war.

UK growth contraction caps week of economic turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 August 2019

The British GDP data ended a week of deepening uncertainty in financial markets and growing fears of a recession in major areas of the global economy.

More strikes called off by UK airline unions

By Margot Miller, 10 August 2019

Airline staff in many different countries, who are determined to fight to defend their wages, jobs and conditions, face sabotage by trade unions working to isolate and suppress their struggles.

Brexit threatens to destabilise Ireland on both sides of the border

By Steve James, 9 August 2019

Transatlantic tensions and the Brexit crisis are undermining the Good Friday Agreement.

UK: Major flooding narrowly averted after Toddbrook dam collapse

By Harvey Thompson, 9 August 2019

Whaley Bridge’s population and those in the wider area now live in the shadow of a dam in need of extensive repair, with authorities giving no concrete information as to when work will be completed.

Peak District residents speak on Toddbrook dam collapse in UK

“That dam could have gone in the middle of the night and at least 600 people would have died”

By our reporters, 9 August 2019

Those evacuated from Whaley Bridge and other areas after the nearby dam collapse were sent to Chapel High School in the town and were allowed to return home on Wednesday.

Britain to join US naval blockade of Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 7 August 2019

The decision signifies a further intensification of the drive to war against Iran.

Grenfell fire campaigner Amanda Beckles died by suicide

By Barry Mason, 7 August 2019

The coroner’s inquest heard that Amanda, a witness to the Grenfell Tower fire, had sought therapy after showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and was struggling financially.

Leading Pabloite Gilbert Achcar provided counter-insurgency advice to British Army

By Thomas Scripps, 6 August 2019

The pseudo-left groups are enlisting in the service of the military and security apparatus, providing their academic expertise on the nations of Africa and the Middle East targeted by imperialism.

Labour-controlled Tower Hamlets council refused to host Palestinian charity event, citing “anti-Semitism” fears

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2019

The decision is a blatant attack on free speech and confirms that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism provides a mechanism for censoring, silencing and even criminalising individuals and organisations that oppose Israel’s brutal suppression of the Palestinians, while slandering the entire left as “anti-Semitic.”

UK: By-election defeat for Conservatives but Labour almost wiped out

By Robert Stevens, 5 August 2019

The vote for the Labour Party in Brecon and Radnorshire collapsed, with its candidate coming fourth and only just retaining his deposit on a 5.3 percent share of the vote.

UK: Vigil mourns homeless man who “lived” in a Hackney bus shelter

By our reporters, 5 August 2019

Mustafa, believed to have been in his early 60s, was well known in the neighbourhood. As news of his death spread, it provoked an outpouring of anger.

Unions step up sabotage of airline workers’ struggles in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 3 August 2019

The unions across Europe are working in concert to head off any united offensive by airline workers.

UK housing crisis: 630,000 young people face homelessness in retirement

By Alice Summers, 3 August 2019

Hundreds of thousands of UK millennials risk homelessness when they retire due to a lack of social housing and the inability of young people to get onto the property ladder.

UK: Over 1,300 homeless people penalised last year under the 1824 Vagrancy Act

By Joe Mount, 2 August 2019

The Act was used to prosecute 1,320 people during 2018 and is most commonly employed by police as a threat to force rough sleepers to relocate.

Blair’s number two, Alastair Campbell, reveals how Corbyn tried to keep him in the Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 1 August 2019

An unindicted war criminal alongside former prime minister Tony Blair, Campbell was a key architect in concocting the lies about Iraq’s possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction.

UK: Penniless father of three commits suicide while waiting for welfare payment

By Margot Miller, 31 July 2019

Threatened with eviction, Phillip Herron owed £20,000 in debt to the banks, utility firms and pay day lenders that were charging him 1,000 percent interest.

UK: Far-right rampage in central Manchester, as police stand aside

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2019

Once inside the privately-owned Arndale shopping centre, the far-right mob turned one of its central atriums, Exchange Court, into the venue for a political rally.

Jeremy Corbyn and the coming to power of Boris Johnson

By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2019

Corbyn has acted as political midwife to a Johnson government, thanks to his suppression of all attempts by workers to wage a struggle against big business and its political defenders.

Public transport workers’ meeting Thursday to demand WikiLeaks founder’s freedom

London bus drivers show support for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 30 July 2019

Many London bus drivers, drawn from every corner of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, have first-hand experience of the US war crimes and government corruption exposed by WikiLeaks since 2006.

Johnson plans for a no deal exit from the European Union

By Robert Stevens, 29 July 2019

The Conservative government of Boris Johnson announced over the weekend that it is “working on the assumption” that it will leave the European Union (EU) without a trade and customs deal on October 31.

US, Sweden and Britain dismiss UN finding that they tortured Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 July 2019

The responses to the detailed indictment issued by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer are the latest demonstration of the illegal character of the campaign against the WikiLeaks founder.

UK: First Bus drivers to vote on revised pay-offer after Unite calls off strikes

By Simon Whelan, 29 July 2019

An “improved” offer reportedly involves a miserly 17 pence an hour increase and a one-off payment of just £320, which the union is selling as an extra week’s wages.

Tory councillor calls for Jeremy Corbyn to be hanged as bogus anti-Semitism campaign intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2019

The campaign led by Labour’s right wing and various Zionist groups accusing Corbyn and the “left” of anti-Semitism has played a central role in encouraging political violence.

UK: Boris Johnson selects extreme right cabinet

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 26 July 2019

Johnson’s is a class war government, with all the main positions filled by representatives of the extreme right of a very right-wing party.

Chelsea Manning’s lawyer refutes conspiracy allegation against Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 25 July 2019

“I don’t think Chelsea was played at all,” Nancy Hollander told Australian television.

Boris Johnson premiership deepens Brexit crisis and heralds bitter class conflict

By Robert Stevens, 24 July 2019

Despite Johnson’s boast that he will “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn,” his position is precarious.

Bradford NHS workers to strike against “backdoor privatisation”

By Barry Mason, 24 July 2019

The Bradford hospital trust’s plans are aimed at enforcing government-imposed efficiency cuts of 4 percent each year, around £16 million in the current financial year.

UK: Strong support for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning at Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

By our reporters, 23 July 2019

One section of marchers cheered when they saw the SEP’s stall with posters of Assange and Manning, and many others stopped to voice their support.

War danger in Middle East exacerbates political crisis in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 22 July 2019

As Britain moves closer to war, the Iran crisis is being seized on by those advocating a drastic increase in the UK’s military budget.

Wild Rose and Yesterday: A Scottish singer seeks country music fame and a world without the Beatles

By Joanne Laurier, 22 July 2019

Two recent British-made films delve into the field of popular music. Works about such a subject can be a means of getting at social life from an unusual and unorthodox point of view.

Iran seizes UK tanker in Strait of Hormuz as danger of Middle East war mounts

By Jordan Shilton, 20 July 2019

Chief responsibility for the growing war danger in the Persian Gulf rests squarely with US imperialism, which has relentlessly escalated its provocations against Iran.

UK intelligence agencies exonerated of responsibility in London Bridge terror attack

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 20 July 2019

The families of the victims presented evidence before the inquest showing that the attacks could and should have been prevented.

Scottish National Party supports the witch-hunting of Julian Assange

By Steve James, 20 July 2019

The statements of Scottish National Party representatives on the hounding and torture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange make clear the party supports his jailing and extradition.