Britain

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.

UK: Bed shortages cause increasing reliance on emergency beds in NHS hospitals

By Ben Trent, 18 July 2019

Over the past 30 years, NHS bed capacity has been halved by Labour and Conservative governments.

Hundreds protest over drowning of refugee schoolgirl in UK

By Liz Smith, 17 July 2019

In the area surrounding the school just outside Manchester, one-third of all children live in poverty, that is in families whose income is less than 60 percent of the national median income.

The Assange precedent: Journalists in Britain threatened with Official Secrets Act

By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 16 July 2019

What the Metropolitan Police proposed was the de facto criminalisation of journalism so that it could be bracketed within terrorist activity.

UK: SEP wins support for Julian Assange at Durham Miners’ Gala

By our reporters, 15 July 2019

The gala is an annual labour movement event. Held for the first time in 1871, it attracts an estimated 200,000 attendees in celebration of the town’s coal mining heritage.

BBC Panorama witch-hunts Corbyn and Labour Party on bogus anti-Semitism charges

By Richard Tyler, 13 July 2019

The programme was trial by media, providing a platform for politically hostile former Labour Party staff members to air their allegations against the Labour leader.

Fascist Tommy Robinson jailed for jeopardising rape trial in Leeds

By Laura Tiernan, 12 July 2019

Robinson’s contempt case has been seized on by an international network of fascist and far-right politicians who have boosted him as a “free speech martyr.”

Judge Emma Arbuthnot refuses to recuse herself in show trial of Julian Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 11 July 2019

Assange’s scalp must be taken at all costs to further imperialism’s colonial-style wars of conquest and global war on the social and democratic rights of the working class

Court orders UK to suspend Saudi Arabia arms sales over Yemen war

By Jean Shaoul, 11 July 2019

The case confirmed that the British government sought to evade international law by selling arms knowing they would be used in war crimes.

US-British relations hit bottom following ambassador’s leaked Trump criticism

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2019

Trump’s attack on May over Brexit is the latest broadside supportive of her likely successor Boris Johnson and of the breakup of the European Union.

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

Royal Marines seize Iranian tanker under orders from US

By Chris Marsden, 6 July 2019

Britain’s seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil is an act of piracy and a major escalation in tensions that threaten to spiral out of control.

UK’s GCHQ spy centre seeks new powers to circumvent encryption

By Thomas Scripps, 6 July 2019

The new surveillance measures, known as a “ghost protocol,” would allow a government agent to “sit in” on ostensibly secure private conversations without other participants knowing.

Bank of England chief issues warnings on global economy

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2019

In a major speech, Mark Carney pointed to a “sea change,” defined as a “profound transformation,” in the global economy, with “worrying” portents.

UK National Education Union and #SchoolCuts hold Together for Education rally

By Tom Pearce, 4 July 2019

The “turning point” in the campaign involves waiting for the autumn budget statement and the local elections in 2020 to put pressure on politicians to change their minds on increasing school funding.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Assange at SEP rally

By our reporters, 3 July 2019

“No other political party, none of the human rights groups are acting. Amnesty is doing nothing! Getup is doing nothing!”

UK: GCHQ/MI5 admit illegally spying on millions

By Trevor Johnson, 2 July 2019

Their admissions were the result of a court case brought by the civil rights group Liberty.

Labour MP Chris Williamson suspended as Corbyn again appeases his right wing

By Chris Marsden, 1 July 2019

Williamson was first suspended on February 27 at the behest of right-wing and Zionist groups and individuals, based on baseless accusations of anti-Semitism.

UK dominated by the privately educated and Oxbridge graduates

By Thomas Scripps, 29 June 2019

Elitist Britain, based on a survey of 5,000 individuals, details the stranglehold on the commanding heights of British society maintained by a tiny ruling elite.

Petition against UK “drill” music ban defends freedom of speech

By Paul Bond, 29 June 2019

Rap artists Krept and Konan’s petition points to the moral bankruptcy of state attempts to blame drill music for violence and crime.

Royal Marines from anti-Russia exercise daubed swastikas on chest

By Thomas Scripps, 28 June 2019

The marines were part of the Future Commando Force (FCF) taking part in Exercise Baltic Protector, described in the UK media as designed “to strike fear” into Putin.

More than 300 asylum seekers in Glasgow, Scotland to be evicted

By Steve James, 28 June 2019

Services giant Serco is targeting tenants who have fled war and poverty in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) public meeting

For a global campaign to prevent Julian Assange’s rendition to the US!

27 June 2019

On June 20 the WSWS issued a call for the formation of a Global Defence Committee to secure freedom for Wikileaks founder and class-war prisoner Julian Assange.

Watch: Chris Marsden’s speech to Paris meeting to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By Chris Marsden, 27 June 2019

The speech was delivered by Socialist Equality Party (UK) National Secretary Chris Marsden to a meeting hosted by the Parti de l’égalité socialiste on June 23.

UK: Department of Work and Pensions “followed policy” denying benefits to dying Liverpool man

By Dennis Moore, 26 June 2019

Stephen Smith was acutely emaciated when he was found to be fit for work.

Interview with advice worker Terry Craven on the DWP review

“The DWP, Amber Rudd and the officers that trawled through the information regarding Stephen have got blood on their hands”

By our reporter, 26 June 2019

Craven represented Stephen Smith during his struggle against the Department of Work and Pensions.

UK: Domestic row seized on in effort to block Boris Johnson premiership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 June 2019

Reports indicate that up to 12 Tory MPs are contemplating voting against a government led by Johnson if a no-confidence motion is brought by the Labour Party.

Britain at centre of international “corporate tax haven network”

By Simon Whelan, 24 June 2019

The Tax Justice Network reports that tax haven territories linked to Britain are responsible for approximately a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance.

After Bridgend strike vote in opposition to plant closure

Ford workers in Wales must adopt an international strategy

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2019

In a vote last week, over 80 percent of Unite trade union members at the Bridgend plant voted to oppose closure.

The Guardian’s direct collusion with media censorship by secret services exposed

By Thomas Scripps, 22 June 2019

The facts provide damning proof of the Guardian’s total integration into the propaganda wing of the Ministry of Defence following its involvement in the WikiLeaks and Snowden files releases.

Conservative Party leadership contest

Boris Johnson poised to replace May as UK prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 21 June 2019

The contest between Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will now be decided by the Tories’ 160,000 members, who will vote in a postal ballot, with the winner to be announced the week of July 22.

London: Julian Assange Defence Committee lobbies Jeremy Corbyn’s Constituency Labour Party

“This is not a time for fence-sitting”

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The Julian Assange Defence Committee urged rank-and-file Labour Party members in leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency to oppose US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.