Britain

Britain: National Union of Journalists World Press Freedom Day event ignores Julian Assange

By Paul Mitchell, 7 May 2019

At the NUJ’s World Press Freedom Day event, there was not a single mention of Assange by any of the speakers on the platform, all of whom claimed to be champions of press freedom.

Initial Grenfell fire inquiry report to make “withering criticism” of London Fire Brigade

By Tom Pearce, 6 May 2019

The focus on the LFB’s alleged failings conceals the fact that all the main factors that ensured such a horrific loss of life were present long before June 14, 2017.

UK: Defence minister’s sacking escalates Tory crisis amid rising UK/US tensions

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2019

Williamson was sacked after an inquiry into who leaked the deliberations of a National Security Council meeting that approved Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G data network.

French Yellow vest protesters travel to London to defend Julian Assange

4 May 2019

Protesters travelled across the English Channel to demand freedom for the persecuted Wikileaks journalist, who was sentenced Wednesday to spend 50 weeks in Belmarsh Prison while he is threatened with rendition to the United States.

UK rail union calls off strikes against driver-only-operated trains

By Michael Barnes, 3 May 2019

The Conservative government is behind the plot to impose a huge cost-cutting and de-staffing operation on the railways

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for bail violation in vindictive political ruling

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2019

The sentence is part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Assange is extradited to the US, where he faces the savage wrath of the US ruling elite whose war crimes WikiLeaks courageously exposed.

Protester at Assange jail sentencing: “That was a declaration of an outlaw state”

By our reporter, 1 May 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those protesting outside London’s Southwark Crown Court against the jailing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“He should never have been found fit to work in a million years!”

UK advice worker Terry Craven speaks on the terrible death of Stephen Smith

By Margot Miller, 1 May 2019

Smith, from Liverpool, died emaciated on April 15 aged 64, after suffering years of chronic ill health, yet still had been declared fit for work by the Department for Work and Pensions.

US threatens UK over Huawei involvement in 5G network

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2019

After it was leaked that Huawei could help build the British 5G network, the Trump administration is threatening to shut Britain out of “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing.

UK: Liverpool man dies after being declared fit for work and denied benefits

By Barry Mason, 30 April 2019

Photos of Stephen Smith published in the Liverpool Echo at the time he was refused Employment Support Allowance are heart-breaking and caused widespread outrage.

Half of all land in England owned by less than one percent of the population

By Margot Miller, 27 April 2019

The aristocracy and gentry still own 30 percent of the land, while 18 percent is owned by corporations and a staggering 17 percent is in the possession of oligarchs and bankers.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

Protest in London’s Parliament Square demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 25 April 2019

The lively demonstration organised by the Julian Assange Defence Campaign was supported by the Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site.

Grenfell fire survivors forced onto general housing waiting list

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2019

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced the ending of the programme to rehouse Grenfell survivors.

George Galloway declares for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2019

Having spent over three years hailing Corbyn as the left rebirth of Labour, Galloway now parrots the claim that Farage’s politics articulate the views of the working class on what he insists is the main issue of the day—Brexit.

Police arrest over 1,000 climate change protesters in London

By Robert Stevens, 23 April 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued no statement condemning the mass arrest of peaceful protesters.

Privatisation of UK’s National Health Service escalates

By Ben Trent, 23 April 2019

An investigation found that over 1 million patients were forced to seek alternative treatment in the preceding five years due to the closure of nearly 450 GP surgeries.

Young journalist Lyra McKee shot dead in Northern Ireland

By Steve James, 22 April 2019

McKee was killed in the aftermath of a police raid on a house in the Creggan estate.

UK education system breaking apart after decade of cuts

By Tom Pearce, 22 April 2019

Funding per pupil in England continues to fall, with a further 3 percent drop to come in the next period.

UK home secretary demands climate change protesters face “full force of the law”

By Laura Tiernan, 20 April 2019

More than 682 climate change protesters have been arrested since Monday.

UK life expectancy continues to fall

By Dennis Moore, 19 April 2019

The fall in longevity appears to be a trend, with an analysis from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries showing a decrease in life expectancy by two months last year and this year by six months.

Hundreds of peaceful climate change protesters arrested in UK

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2019

There have been no serious incidents of public disorder except when the police arrived in large numbers and swooped in to arrest people.

Britain’s Socialist Workers Party renews “rape allegations” witch-hunt of Julian Assange

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2019

The SWP have joined in the efforts to railroad Assange and blacken his name, justifying a course of action that would end with the WikiLeaks editor facing a show trial in the US.

Thin layer of the UK population earn more than £150,000 per year

By Barry Mason, 17 April 2019

Over the last decade, the income and wealth of the affluent upper middle class has skyrocketed at the expense of the working class.

Over half of councils in England lose all government funding

By Margot Miller, 17 April 2019

Almost half of all local authorities will receive no central grant this year—10 times more than in 2017/2018 and three times more than last year.

Youth at climate rally in Leeds, England speak out to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 April 2019

WSWS reporters spoke about the arrest and imprisoning of Julian Assange with young people who attended last Friday’s rally against climate change in Leeds, England.

Largest UK department store chain, Debenhams, goes into administration

By Barry Mason, 16 April 2019

Last year saw the loss of nearly 150,000 retail jobs with the closure of 20,000 shops and restaurants.

UK Labour leads “rape” smears against Julian Assange demanding Swedish extradition

By Laura Tiernan, 15 April 2019

This is the Blairites’ answer to global public outrage over Assange’s brutal seizure from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday.

Protest outside London’s Belmarsh prison demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder has been held at the maximum-security prison since his forcible seizure and arrest last Thursday.

Supporters protesting outside Belmarsh prison speak out in defense of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 April 2019

Protesters at Saturday’s demonstration to demand the release of Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison spoke to the World Socialist Web Site.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) member Robert Stevens speaks at rally to demand release of Assange from Belmarsh prison

By our reporter, 15 April 2019

Stevens said, “Join the fight to defend Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Workers and youth internationally must mobilise immediately to defend these class war prisoners.”

“The fight starts now to prevent his extradition to the United States!”

Supporters to rally in defence of Assange outside Belmarsh Prison, London

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

The protests organised by the Julian Assange Defence Committee and supported by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the WSWS will be held from 4pm today.

Six-month Brexit extension resolves nothing for UK

By Robert Stevens, 12 April 2019

At best the European Union have kicked the can down the road, with no guarantees of a resolution.

Westminster Magistrates Court

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray denounces arrest and conviction of Julian Assange

By our reporter, 12 April 2019

“There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing. It is clear the judge was extremely prejudiced,” Murray said.

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

EU summit considers extension of Brexit deadline

By Robert Stevens, 10 April 2019

In another public humiliation, UK Prime Minister Theresa May met separately with the German Chancellor and French President, hoping to secure the backing of the EU’s two heavyweight powers.

UK cancer patients’ lives imperilled, suffering deepened by treatment delays

By Ajanta Silva, 10 April 2019

In England alone, more than 127,000 cancer patients have been left waiting more than two months to start their treatment over the last five years.

In leaked court testimony, Assange denounces his illegal detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 April 2019

The WikiLeaks founder declared: “No journalist, no citizen, should accept that what they speak about can be defined from day to day by reasons of political expediency.”

UK: Jury fails to reach verdict against top police officer over Hillsborough football disaster

By Barry Mason, 9 April 2019

Former Yorkshire police chief superintendent David Duckenfield was charged with the criminal offence of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 of the supporters.

Weekend vigils in London demand freedom for Assange

By our reporters, 8 April 2019

Alongside longstanding members of the Defend Assange Campaign, the London vigil was attended by members of the Socialist Equality Party and attracted support from far and wide.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, and its co-conspirators in the British and US governments, are engaged in a sordid and illegal conspiracy to terminate the political asylum of the WikiLeaks founder.

Supporters oppose eviction of Julian Assange outside London’s Ecuadorian embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 6 April 2019

Defenders of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London yesterday, after a warning that he faces eviction from the building where he sought political asylum in 2012 “within hours to days.”

Surrounding land left highly toxic after Grenfell Tower inferno

By Thomas Scripps, 6 April 2019

The publication of Professor Anna Stec’s full study details “significant environmental contamination” in the densely populated area around Grenfell Tower.

UK local councils sell off billions of pounds in public assets due to austerity

By Joe Mount, 5 April 2019

Since 2014, over 12,000 publicly-owned assets with a total value of over £9.1 billion have been sold off, including libraries, health clinics, youth centres and public spaces.

The political implications of the Corbyn/May Brexit talks

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2019

The talks on an alternative Brexit deal between UK Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn decisively refute all claims that his election as leader of the Labour Party offered a way forward for working people.

UK elite Parachute Regiment use Corbyn poster for target practice

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 4 April 2019

For the last three years, senior military figures have repeatedly warned that a Corbyn government would be unacceptable because of Corbyn’s previous opposition to war, NATO and the use of nuclear weapons.

Neo-Nazi planned assassination of second UK Labour MP

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2019

The plot to kill Rosie Cooper was hatched just one year after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by the fascist Thomas Mair.

May offers Corbyn “national unity” Brexit agreement talks

By Chris Marsden, 3 April 2019

After accepting talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would hold “in reserve” a no-confidence vote in her government.

UK “knife crime” hysteria used to push repressive police measures

By Thomas Scripps, 3 April 2019

The right-wing media is using highly emotive events to construct a false narrative with reactionary political objectives.

British MPs again fail to reach agreement on alternative Brexit motions

By Robert Stevens, 2 April 2019

None of the four non-binding “indicative votes” on an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated withdrawal agreement for Brexit secured a majority vote by MPs Monday night.

Class struggle and socialism are the only answer to the Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 1 April 2019

The answer to the Brexit crisis is a united mobilization of the millions of workers coming into struggle against Europe’s governments.

At UK demonstration over factory closing, unions plea to Tory government and Honda

By Paul Mitchell, 1 April 2019

To defeat this immense assault, car workers in Swindon and every factory must break from the trade unions and create new, independent, fighting organisations to take up the struggle that the unions abandoned long ago.

Swindon Honda workers speak out

“The working class needs to be organised against global capitalism”

By our reporters, 1 April 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending last Saturday’s demonstration in Swindon, England, against the threatened closure of Honda’s car plant.

Teachers at school in Sheffield, England, strike against job losses and threat to eliminate sixth form

By our reporters, 1 April 2019

Parents, teachers and school staff oppose the Bradfield School Board of Governors and the headteacher, who justify the closure of the school's sixth form on the basis that demand is lower than expected.

“No deal” Brexit threatened after May’s EU withdrawal agreement rejected for third time

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2019

Labour’s nominally “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn is working to ensure that the gravest peacetime crisis in the history of British imperialism is resolved through the worm-eaten parliamentary system, with the working class left as spectators.

Build rank-and-file factory committees to fight Honda job losses!

By Steve James, 30 March 2019

Today’s demonstration shows workers are ready to fight and there is widespread support for such a struggle in the car industry in the rest of the UK and internationally.

US journalist exposes Julian Assange’s prison-like conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2019

Prevented from holding a meeting with the journalist, Assange defiantly protested and condemned Ecuadorian officials for operating as “agents of the US government.”

UK Conservatives’ rampant Islamophobia and racism covered up by party tops, downplayed by media

By Margot Miller, 29 March 2019

The Conservative Party has a long history of whipping up racism in a divide-and-conquer strategy to legitimise its policies of austerity, militarism and war.

Parliament rejects all alternatives as May’s offer to resign fails to stem Brexit crisis

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2019

May’s pledge to resign is her last card in the attempt to convince the Tories’ hard-Brexit wing and the Democratic Unionist Party to back her European Union withdrawal agreement.

Left-wing students barred from King’s College London during royal visit

By Thomas Scripps, 28 March 2019

UK students are being labeled as security threats, reported directly to the police and denied access to their own university.

British parliament to make “indicative votes” in an attempt to overcome Brexit impasse

By Robert Stevens, 27 March 2019

MPs may indeed have formally taken control of the next stage of the Brexit crisis, but any positions arrived at in today’s votes are not legally binding on the government.

Corbyn assailant jailed, but significance of his attack still minimised

By Chris Marsden, 27 March 2019

The SEP reiterates the necessity for heightened political vigilance and security regarding fascist provocateurs, along with a political counteroffensive for socialism against all those giving succour to the far-right.

Only one UK soldier to be prosecuted for Bloody Sunday 47 years on

By Steve James, 26 March 2019

Bloody Sunday is one of the most notorious crimes of British imperialism. The massacre took place three years into the deployment of tens of thousands of British troops to Northern Ireland.

School funding crisis in England threatens children’s basic education

By Tom Pearce, 26 March 2019

Twenty five schools nationally have taken the drastic measure of shortening the school week due to funding constraints.

Anti-Brexit “Put it to the People” march mobilises hundreds of thousands

By Robert Stevens, 25 March 2019

The Socialist Equality Party was the only political party at the rally advancing a perspective for the political independence of the working class.

“Brexit is a shambles—it will affect so many people in many ways”

By our reporters, 25 March 2019

Reporters for the World Socialist Web Site spoke to demonstrators at Saturday’s anti-Brexit protest in London.

Answer Brexit with the struggle for socialism throughout Europe!

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 23 March 2019

Far from trusting their fate to Merkel, Macron, Juncker and Tusk, those protesting today must ally themselves with the European working class now waging political and social battles against the EU and its member state governments.

Don McCullin at Tate Britain in London

Veteran photographer calls on young people to chronicle today’s “social wars”

By Paul Mitchell, 23 March 2019

“There isn’t a city in England you can’t go to and find some poverty and unhappiness and tragedies.”—Don McCullin

European Union leaders grant May extra time to pass Brexit deal in UK parliament

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2019

The EU has agreed a plan allowing a delay of Brexit to May 22 on condition that UK MPs approve the deal the EU agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May by the previous official exit date of March 29.

UK police colluded in blacklisting of workers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 March 2019

Big businesses used the Consulting Association blacklisting agency and the secret police to spy on workers and hired and fired them based on the information collected—often lies and distortions.

May asks Brussels for Brexit extension amid worsening political crisis

By Chris Marsden, 20 March 2019

If May’s extension is rejected by Brussels at a summit on Thursday, Brexit is set for March 29, in just nine days.

London’s Foyles Bookshop: Attendees discuss UK launch of Why Are They Back?

By our reporters, 20 March 2019

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to attendees at the launch of the English-language edition of  Why Are They Back? Historical Falsification, Political Conspiracy and the Return of Fascism in Germany at London’s Foyles bookshop.

Mehring Books launches English-language edition of Why Are They Back? in London

By our reporter, 19 March 2019

Why Are They Back? by Christoph Vandreier documents the promotion of the extreme right in Germany and the ICFI’s struggle against it.

Voices from UK climate change protests

“Climate change is a class question—we need socialism”

By our reporters, 18 March 2019

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the demonstrators attending last Friday’s climate change protests in Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Bournemouth.

Protesters speak out at UN Anti-Racist Day rally in London

By our reporters, 18 March 2019

The United Nations Anti-Racism Day march was held just hours after fascist terrorists murdered 50 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

English-language edition of Why are they Back? launched in London

By our reporter, 18 March 2019

Around 150 people, including workers, students and professionals, heard speeches from Christoph Vandreier, deputy chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (Germany), and David North, chairperson of the World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board.

Millions of students and youth march against climate change

By Bryan Dyne, 16 March 2019

The internationally coordinated protests, the largest in sixteen years, were organized in response to the failure of world governments and the ruling class to do anything to halt global warming.

Youth at global climate protests speak out on capitalism, socialism and scientific planning

By our reporters, 16 March 2019

Reporting teams from the World Socialist Web Site interviewed students who protested in countries around the world for action on climate change.

Corbyn props up May government after more Brexit vote defeats

By Robert Stevens, 16 March 2019

Ever since May took office as a minority dependent on the DUP, she has headed a government of permanent crisis, with her survival dependent on Labour leader Corbyn’s suppression of the class struggle amid a rising tide of anti-Tory sentiment.

Mehring Books exhibits at London Book Fair

By our reporters, 16 March 2019

The Mehring Books stand attracted a great deal of attention and interest, and the association of Mehring Books with the heritage of Trotskyism and its concern with fundamental historical questions was apparent.

The political issues raised by the media ban on UK far-right leader Tommy Robinson

By Thomas Scripps, 15 March 2019

The censorship measures being deployed ineffectually against Tommy Robinson are being prepared for use against the left.

Rise in UK opioid prescriptions contributes to surge in overdose fatalities

By Margot Miller, 14 March 2019

Nine out of 10 of the areas of England recording the highest number of prescriptions for opioids are in the largely de-industrialised and poverty-stricken north.

Extinction Rebellion: “Green” capitalism versus world socialism

By Steve James, 14 March 2019

The global environmental crisis is a powerful argument for the socialist reorganisation of society.

UK: May’s Brexit deal rejected by parliament again

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2019

With just 16 days to go before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, no deal has been agreed on trading relations after Brexit.

Cambridge University’s planned involvement with military propaganda programme exposed

By Emanuele Saccarelli and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 13 March 2019

The Varsity student newspaper has exposed the proposed involvement of Cambridge University in England in a Ministry of Defence propaganda programme.

Voices at the London Solidarity Vigil in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

“We owe so much to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks”

By our reporters, 13 March 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s Solidarity Vigil outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London to demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

The “Museum of Communist Terror”: Institute of historical falsification planned for London

By Thomas Scripps, 12 March 2019

The proponents of the museum hope to bury the popular appeal of socialism under a mountain of lies, to legitimate the far right and provide a spur to a devastating programme of social counterrevolution.

Chris Marsden at Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange

“Britain now plays the key role in the conspiracy to silence Julian Assange once and for all”

By Chris Marsden, 12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Socialist Equality Party (UK) National Secretary Chris Marsden at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on March 10.

Emmy Butlin at London rally to defend Assange

“We need international solidarity to bring about a positive outcome in this struggle for freedom for Julian Assange”

12 March 2019

This speech was delivered by Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee at the Solidarity Vigil for Julian Assange held outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, on March 10.

London Metropolitan Police cite Grenfell Inquiry to justify not pressing criminal charges

End collaboration with the inquiry now!

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 March 2019

What is confirmed by the Met’s announcement is that the Grenfell Tower Inquiry is a filthy manoeuvre by the Conservative government, convened with the sole purpose of protecting the guilty from legal retribution.

Six million UK workers on low pay

By Barry Mason, 9 March 2019

Despite the Tory government’s perpetual rhetoric that “work pays,” reality shows being in work is no guarantee of escaping poverty.

Labour Party investigated for anti-Semitism by UK government human rights commission

By Chris Marsden, 8 March 2019

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has extraordinary legal powers, granted under the 2006 Equalities Act, and could open a full inquiry under section 20 of the Act within two weeks.

UK Labour Party members rebel against suspension of Chris Williamson MP for bogus claims of anti-Semitism

By Robert Stevens, 7 March 2019

Thousands of Corbyn supporters are demanding a full-scale confrontation with the Blairites and for them to be deselected and booted out, not Williamson.

Britain rejects International Court of Justice order to return Chagos Islands to Mauritius

By Jean Shaoul, 6 March 2019

The British government has rejected both the ICJ’s order and its unanimous ruling that its jurisdiction relates to a UN process of decolonization, not a dispute between two states.

The assault on Jeremy Corbyn is a warning that must be heeded

By Chris Marsden, 6 March 2019

The March 3 attack on the Labour Party leader is the latest in a series of far-right provocations in Britain, pointing to the clear and present danger posed by the growth of far-right and fascist parties throughout Europe.

Germany: Socialist Equality Party submits candidates for the European elections

By our reporters, 6 March 2019

On Monday, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) submitted the final signatures for its participation in the European elections.

The political lessons of the March 3 Free Assange rally

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Political Committee, 5 March 2019

The demonstration in Sydney won broad support on the basis of mobilising the working class to defend democratic rights and class war prisoners such as Julian Assange.

UK councils and Tory government play down homeless numbers

By Tom Pearce, 5 March 2019

The number of people sleeping rough has grown 169 percent over the decade, with experts warning the death toll is set to rise.

One year since the Skripal poisoning

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2019

Even now there is no concrete evidence linking the regime of President Vladimir Putin with the Skripal poisoning—or even proof that novichok was involved.

UK: The human cost of the right-to-buy housing crisis

By Charles Hixson, 4 March 2019

Local authorities now pay private landlords to house homeless families.