Britain

Sabisky eugenics scandal exposes fascist core of UK Tories

By Thomas Scripps, 22 February 2020

Sabisky’s resignation is meaningless and all the questions now being raised in the media about “vetting processes” are irrelevant.

UK: Grenfell fire inquiry finalises moves to grant corporations immunity from prosecution

By Charles Hixson, 22 February 2020

Giannino Gottardi, who lost his son in the blaze, stated, “These companies put profit ahead of everything. They want to save the name of the company and don’t care about anything else.”

New conflict of interest evidence against UK judge in charge of Assange extradition process

By Kevin Reed, 22 February 2020

Fresh evidence has emerged that the chief magistrate overseeing the extradition trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has received financial benefits from organizations connected to the UK Foreign Office.

“This is the Dreyfus case of our age”

UK Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell visits Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 February 2020

McDonnell described the Assange case as “one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation,” but made clear that his party will do nothing to mobilise the immense popular support that exists for the WikiLeaks publisher.

UK Johnson government rolls out restrictive “points-based” immigration system

By Richard Tyler, 21 February 2020

Those in the trade union bureaucracy who advocated for Brexit, including various Stalinists in the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and “Blue Labour” ideologues such as Paul Embery, together with their accomplices such as the Socialist Party, are politically responsible for this outcome.

Lawyers file new motion demanding release of Chelsea Manning

By Kevin Reed, 20 February 2020

Lawyers for Manning, the courageous whistleblower who has been in prison for eleven months for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury in the case of Julian Assange, have filed a new motion in federal court demanding her release.

Labor Party leads Australian attack on British government over Huawei

By Mike Head, 20 February 2020

The line-up behind the US confrontation with China sheds further light on the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Tens of thousands of UK university staff begin 14 days of strikes

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 20 February 2020

A series of rolling actions over the next three weeks will culminate in a week-long strike beginning March 9.

Growing support for Julian Assange on eve of extradition hearings

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 February 2020

The fight for Assange’s freedom requires the mobilisation of the working class, not moral appeals to capitalist politicians.

Assange defence team: “The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 February 2020

A packed press conference was addressed by WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Australian MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen.

Australian MPs visit Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 February 2020

Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen said they agreed with UN official Nils Melzer’s assessment that Assange is the victim of psychological torture.

Claire Mercer speaks on the campaign to abolish UK smart motorways—Part 1

By Robert Stevens, 19 February 2020

Claire Mercer is leading a fight to end the use of “smart motorways” after her husband, Jason, was tragically killed on a smart motorway near Sheffield, on June 7, 2019.

“What we think changes how we act.”

Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill dead at 64

By Erik Schreiber, 19 February 2020

Gill consciously broke with musical convention to develop his own style of guitar playing and to create a distinctive sound for his band. Similarly, he sought to understand the origins of social and political conditions, rather than accepting them as given.

Labour Party leadership candidates profess Zionism at Jewish Labour Movement hustings

By Robert Stevens, 18 February 2020

After Corbyn’s four years in office, the Blairites are on the verge of winning back the leadership amid the threat of mass expulsions of Corbyn supporters.

Student climate change protests across the UK

“Governments are putting profits before people”

By our reporters, 17 February 2020

Manchester protester: “When it comes to politics and elections, you vote for one side and you vote for the other side but there’s the same puppet master pulling the strings.”

White House orders militarized border patrol unit to carry out raids in “sanctuary cities”

By Andre Damon, 15 February 2020

The new policy was announced as Trump gave a fascistic speech to border patrol agents, pledging to fight the “left.”

Sajid Javid removed as UK chancellor as Johnson readies offensive against working class

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2020

Javid’s ignominious exit confirms the essential agenda of the Johnson government is one of escalating the class-war offensive against workers.

John Pilger’s The Dirty War on the National Health Service screening on Australia’s SBS this Sunday

By our reporters, 15 February 2020

The WSWS urges all our readers to watch this powerful documentary on SBS television, at 8.30 p.m. Sunday night, February 16.

UK government spearheads anti-migrant crackdown with deportation of Jamaican nationals

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2020

Under Britain’s deeply reactionary UK Borders Act 2007, any offence can serve as a pretext for deportation.

BBC Panorama exposes rising death toll on UK’s “smart motorways”

By Paul Bond, 14 February 2020

Smart motorways were introduced in a cost-cutting measure, as a means of easing congestion without expanding the existing road network—by turning the hard shoulder of conventional motorways into a live traffic lane.

After 10 months’ silence, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warns against extradition of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell and Chris Marsden, 13 February 2020

For the past year, Corbyn has led the suppression of any discussion over Assange’s imprisonment in Britain and the country’s participation in the US-led attempt to destroy him.

UK postal union calls national strike ballot after collapse of phoney talks

By Laura Tiernan, 13 February 2020

The CWU is seeking to dissipate anger among the workforce and stem opposition over the union’s refusal to honour last year’s strike mandate.

UK steel unions smooth way for job losses and givebacks ahead of British Steel buyout

By Barry Mason, 13 February 2020

The Community, Unite and GMB unions at British Steel are operating as the corporation’s partners in pushing though job cuts, speed-ups and rationalisation.

Ten million workers in Britain toil in “low-quality” jobs

By Margot Miller, 12 February 2020

The Health Foundation report confirms what most workers have long suspected—poor conditions at work make you ill.

Woman who killed UK teenager Harry Dunn was a CIA spy

By Thomas Scripps, 11 February 2020

The Dunn family’s legal spokesman, Radd Seiger, explained it is “high time that the nation can see with full transparency whether or not the government prioritised protecting the identity of the Sacoolas family over the welfare and rights of Harry’s family.”

“I fear for the future of democracy in Britain”

Protesters speak out at demonstration against Tory government deportation plans

By our reporters, 11 February 2020

WSWS reporters spoke with those attending Monday night’s demonstration outside Downing Street in London demanding an immediate halt to all deportation flights.

UK government carries out deportation of around 20 Jamaican nationals

By Robert Stevens, 11 February 2020

The men on board were among 700 immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers being held at two immigration detention removal centres near Heathrow Airport—Colnbrook and Harmondsworth.

UK: Vigil remembers Errol Graham, pays tribute to family’s fight for justice

By our reporters, 10 February 2020

At the vigil, friends, family and local community members held placards bearing Errol’s photograph and condemning the Department for Work and Pensions welfare sanctions that have claimed hundreds of lives.

UK: Johnson uses Trump’s playbook in attack on media

By Robert Stevens, 8 February 2020

The events on Monday were more reminiscent of a tin pot dictatorship than that of an elected government.

UK: Tory health secretary signals ditching Accident and Emergency targets as crisis in NHS worsens

By Ajanta Silva, 7 February 2020

Research by the Patient Association found that 5,500 NHS patients died over the past three years due to spending so long on a trolley in overcrowded hospital A&E units.

Interview with international model Andreja Pejic: “I think standing behind Assange and Manning is where we should all be”

By Sue Phillips and Will Marshall, 7 February 2020

The WSWS spoke with Andreja Pejic about the campaign to free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and broader political issues.

Emergency legislation for terror law offenders in UK sets anti-democratic precedent

By Thomas Scripps, 6 February 2020

Whatever measures are used initially against terrorists will be deployed more widely against workers and youth who defy the class war offensive of the ruling elite.

Don’t Extradite Assange meeting in London: The political issues

By Laura Tiernan and Chris Marsden, 6 February 2020

The aim of the Don’t Extradite Assange group is to rehabilitate the Labour Party and the trade unions, its “left” representatives in particular, and to corral the movement in defence of Assange under their control.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer exposes British government attempts to obstruct his defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 February 2020

That the British government is simultaneously stonewalling Melzer’s inquiries, and apparently conducting a behind-the-scenes campaign against him, underscores the flagrant illegality of the entire US-led vendetta against Assange.

UK: Errol Graham starved to death after withdrawal of benefit payments

By Laura Tiernan, 5 February 2020

Errol weighed just 30kg, or 66 pounds, when his body was found by bailiffs after they broke down his front door to evict him for rent arrears.

Boris Johnson’s government uses London terror attack to call for indefinite detention

By Thomas Scripps, 4 February 2020

For all the cries of “apologist!” in the corporate media, the roots of terrorist groups in the predatory intrigues of the major powers are widely known.

Johnson’s real Brexit agenda is trade war, militarism and class war

By Robert Stevens, 3 February 2020

UK prime minister Johnson is on a collision course with Europe that threatens to end in outright trade war and economic dislocation.

Michael Apted’s 63 Up: The ninth film in the remarkable series

By Kevin Martinez, 3 February 2020

The British documentary “Up” series has followed the lives of a group of Britons from age seven up to the present, when they are now all 63. The latest film provides insights into not only their lives, but the nature of the postwar period.

Firms responsible for covering Grenfell in flammable cladding demand immunity from prosecution

By Charles Hixson and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2020

Evidence revealed as the second phase of the inquiry began demonstrates that the 72 people who were killed in the Grenfell fire inferno were victims of the heinous crime of social murder.

Jaguar Land Rover announces 500 job cuts at Halewood in northwest England

By Margot Miller, 1 February 2020

The response of Unite to JLR’s announcement was to pledge to ensure redundancies are implemented smoothly.

Britain leaves the European Union: Against nationalism, For the United Socialist States of Europe!

By Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 31 January 2020

Workers and young people in the UK must orient themselves not to British nationalism or the EU, but to the growing global upsurge of working class struggle.

Thousands of companies in Britain flout national minimum wage laws

By Joe Mount, 30 January 2020

In 2018, more than 11,000 companies underpaid their workers, while one-in-four workers over the age of 25 on the minimum wage were underpaid in 2019.

“This ain’t a nice place to be: This ain’t Belmarsh, it’s Hellmarsh”

ITV documentary reveals conditions in prison holding WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Paul Bond, 30 January 2020

Despite going unmentioned, Assange’s deteriorating health and the concerns of independent medical professionals about his effective solitary confinement in the health care unit hung silently over the programme.

Edward Snowden warns that Assange and Greenwald prosecutions mark new stage in assault on press freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 January 2020

The NSA whistleblower wrote: “The most essential journalism of every era is precisely that which a government attempts to silence. These prosecutions demonstrate that they are ready to stop the presses—if they can.”

How Canada’s corporate media smeared WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange

By Roger Jordan, 30 January 2020

Canada’s leading media outlets have vilified Assange, while bemoaning the impact of WikiLeaks’ exposures on the global interests of American and Canadian imperialism.

Trump ramps up tensions with UK after Huawei 5G decision

By Thomas Scripps, 29 January 2020

The fudge decision is a desperate attempt to placate the Trump administration and avoid a collision over basic issues of economy and security.

US refuses to extradite spy’s wife to UK over death of Harry Dunn

By Barry Mason, 29 January 2020

The UK government have gone into full damage-limitation mode over the explosive conflict, but US Secretary of State Pompeo will not be fooled by such theatrics and will dismiss any appeals regarding Sacoolas, knowing they are made purely for the record.

Royal Family deal over Harry and Meghan only exacerbates crisis of rule

By Robert Stevens, 28 January 2020

For all the talk about the response of an “astute” Queen, what is taking place is a desperate rescue operation that is doomed to failure.

Socialist Equality Party Public Meeting in London:

Free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning! No US extradition!

28 January 2020

The SEP (UK) urges all readers of the World Socialist Web Site to attend our public meeting in London on Sunday February 23, in defence of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

28 January 2020

French “Yellow Vests” rally for Julian Assange outside London’s Belmarsh Prison

By our reporters, 27 January 2020

The protest testified to the global scope of the support for Assange, despite the relentless lies and slanders that have been directed against him by the corporate media.

“People are waking up and if we ‘yellow vests’ succeed, and if Julian Assange gets out, something huge will have happened which could prevent many wars”

An interview with a “yellow vest” protester on the fight to free Julian Assange

By Alice Summer, 27 January 2020

Corinne was one of around 100 protesters who came from France to take part in Saturday’s rally in support of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange outside Belmarsh prison.

Official inquiry cover-up of Grenfell Fire begins “second phase”

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2020

Benita Mehra’s removal from the panel will not alter the fact that the fundamental purpose of the inquiry is to protect, rather than punish, the guilty.

“We hope this protest will inspire others”

French “yellow vests” protest for Assange outside Belmarsh prison in London

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

The protests point to the deeply-rooted opposition among workers internationally to US and European governments’ relentless campaign to destroy Assange.

Two and a half years after Grenfell fire:

Tens of thousands of UK households live in buildings covered in flammable cladding

By Charles Hixson, 25 January 2020

Next to nothing has been done by the Conservative government to remove dangerous cladding from hundreds of mainly residential buildings that are enveloped in deadly flammable material.

As extradition hearing dates are set, US Department of Justice argues Assange has no First Amendment rights

By Laura Tiernan, 24 January 2020

The latest evidence submitted by the US government underscores the fundamental democratic issues at stake in the decade-long illegal persecution and witch-hunting of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Corbyn nominates arch Blairite Tom Watson for British House of Lords

By Robert Stevens, 23 January 2020

Corbyn’s final outreach to Watson is a fitting end to his fraudulent claim to represent an alternative to the Blairites.

Witnesses testify that CIA spied on Assange and his lawyers

By Mike Head, 22 January 2020

This evidence alone requires the US extradition case to be thrown out of court on the grounds of illegality.

Scottish National Party clashes with Johnson government over second independence referendum

By Chris Marsden and Steve James, 22 January 2020

The invocations of democracy by both sides seek to conceal a row between rival bourgeois factions whose interests, aims and nationalist agendas are hostile to the working class on both sides of the border.

UK: Johnson government plans draconian new anti-terror laws

By Thomas Scripps, 22 January 2020

Patel’s announcement comes after it was revealed that dozens of left-wing and environmental protest groups are included in a counter-terrorism “guidance document.”

UK: Highest-paid CEOs take home 117 times that of an average paid worker

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2020

In 2018, the average FTSE 100 CEO earned £3.46 million, equivalent to £901.30 an hour.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing document seeks to outlaw political dissent

By Thomas Scripps, 21 January 2020

The “guidance document” lists prominent left-wing, anti-war and environmental groups alongside far-right, fascist and white supremacist organisations.

Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour leadership campaign marks end of “project Corbyn”

By Robert Stevens, 20 January 2020

Unity with the Blairite right was the leitmotif of Long-Bailey’s campaign rally.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

UK home secretary defends naming Extinction Rebellion as extremist

By Paul Bond, 17 January 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel told a radio interviewer that although XR was not a terrorist organisation, the government had to look at “a range of security risks.”

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter remove accounts and content opposing the illegal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani

By Kevin Reed, 16 January 2020

The social media companies YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are following the orders of the Trump administration in the aftermath of the criminal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani on January 3.

UK energy costs soar, leaving millions of households in fuel poverty

By Alice Summers, 16 January 2020

Rapidly increasing energy costs and low income have forced many working class households to choose between eating and heating.

All UK Labour leadership candidates sign up to stepped up pro-Zionist witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 15 January 2020

The most enthusiastic signatory to a document that means a stepped up witch-hunt of anti-Zionist party members is Rebecca Long-Bailey, the candidate favoured by the pro-Corbyn “left.”

UK Flybe airline reaches bailout deal with government

By Thomas Scripps, 15 January 2020

Emergency discussions with the government followed a decade of deep financial trouble for Flybe, which has suffered under the pressure of intensifying competition in the airline industry.

Julian Assange attends procedural hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court

By Thomas Scripps, 14 January 2020

Since his last hearing on December 19, the WikiLeaks founder has had just two hours total to review evidence relating to the US extradition request with his legal team.

Britain’s royal family torn by factional conflict

By Chris Marsden, 14 January 2020

The decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to “step back” takes place amid a more general crisis of every major institution of the British state apparatus.

Stop the War rally tries to restore Corbyn’s tattered anti-war credentials

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2020

The more dangerous the world situation becomes, the less the STWC, which orients to the rightward-lurching Labour and trade union apparatus, is able to mobilise popular support.

“We’ve seen this all happen before, with the Iraq war. We saw how that went. It was a complete tragedy”

UK protesters speak out against war on Iran

By our reporters, 13 January 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to attendees at Saturday’s demonstrations in the UK against the danger of war in Iran.

UK: Corbyn offers no fight against war with Iran

By Thomas Scripps, 11 January 2020

Corbyn articulates the concerns within ruling circles, including Johnson’s Tories and the armed forces, that Trump’s recklessness can endanger the UK’s world position.

UK police fire stun guns 2,500 times as deployment of weapon escalates

By Dennis Moore, 11 January 2020

The use of stun guns has sparked controversy since their introduction, following the growing numbers of deaths they have caused when deployed.

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer condemns Britain’s criminal role in the torture of Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 January 2020

Melzer demanded the abandonment of the extradition proceedings, Assange’s freedom and a criminal investigation into those responsible for his persecution.

UK retailers report “worst year on record” as 140,000 job are shed

By Margot Miller, 10 January 2020

Last year, many high street chains folded unable to compete with out of town stores and online shopping conglomerates such as Amazon.

After four years of Corbyn, Blairite Sir Keir Starmer frontrunner in UK Labour leadership contest

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2020

Such is Corbyn’s political legacy in preserving the Blairites domination of the PLP that Starmer was the first candidate to secure the necessary nominations to go forward, including the backing of a major union, Unison.

Corbyn grovels to Privy Council, seeking to block mass anti-war movement

By Laura Tiernan, 8 January 2020

Corbyn’s letter to Johnson was framed as a defence of British national security interests and exhibited Corbyn’s trademark deference to the state.

NHS London crisis deepens due to cuts, understaffing and privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 7 January 2020

Overall, NHS trusts in the United Kingdom’s capital and largest city are expected to post a combined deficit of over £150 million.

Britain backs US war drive against Iran

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2020

Whatever the qualms in British ruling circles about the grave implications of war in the Middle East, the UK is already involved—as America's closest ally—in a potential war against Iran.

UK refusal to accept Scotland’s supply of haemophilia drugs resulted in thousands of deaths

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2020

Blood supplied from contaminated sources led to thousands of people being infected with diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the UK.

British fascists join Johnson’s Conservative Party

By Thomas Scripps, 3 January 2020

The Johnson government is an expression of the global rise of authoritarian and far right forces, sponsored by the ruling class as a necessary bulwark to confront social unrest and growing socialist sentiment.

Australian teachers’ defence of Julian Assange welcomed by WikiLeaks supporters

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 December 2019

US comedian Jimmy Dore discussed the initiative on the December 19 edition of his “Jimmy Dore Show Podcast.”

Collapse of UK National Health Service threatened as Johnson government readies further onslaught

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2019

Figures compiled by NHS England found that in November the health service missed all targets for Accident and Emergency (A&E) care, operations and cancer treatment.

Homeless woman gives birth to twins outside the University of Cambridge’s Trinity College

By Margot Miller, 31 December 2019

Had it not been for the prompt assistance of the public, the mother and children may have died on the steps of one of the world’s richest universities.

UK Muslims demand investigation of Conservative Party’s Islamophobia

By Jean Shaoul, 30 December 2019

Johnson put racism and Islamophobia at the heart of his election campaign, pitting Indian Hindu voters against Pakistani Muslim voters.

Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison

By Mike Head, 28 December 2019

Assange’s phone call highlights the danger that he could die in jail, effectively at the hands of the British, US and Australian governments.

UK Johnson government launches anti-Gypsy/Traveller/Roma measures

By Paul Bond, 28 December 2019

Without enough authorised encampments, the proposal to allow police to seize Travellers’ caravans—their homes—and destroy their property would effectively criminalise the existence of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.

UK Public Meetings:

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

28 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) is holding public meetings on the Labour Party’s general election debacle and the way forward for the working class based on the fight to build a new, genuinely socialist party.

Desperate to stem protests, dozens of governments shut down internet access in 2019

By Andre Damon, 27 December 2019

Amid a global upsurge of political protests and strikes, governments all over the world are shutting down the internet in desperate bids to stem the tide of popular opposition.

UK Whirlpool recall highlights threat to millions from defective domestic appliances

By Margot Miller, 27 December 2019

Faulty washing machines, tumble dryers, cookers, fridges, freezers—everyday household items we take for granted—are turning the homes of millions into death traps.

BALPA trade union sells out British Airways pilots struggle

By Barry Mason, 24 December 2019

BALPA have forced through an agreement over pay that workers previously threw out.

BBC accused of pro-Tory propaganda during UK general election

By Thomas Scripps, 23 December 2019

According to a recent YouGov poll, just 44 percent of Britons trust BBC news journalists to tell the truth.

UK to leave European Union at end of January after Johnson passes Withdrawal Agreement

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

A total of 38 Labour MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn’s instruction to oppose the bill.

UK Labour Party leadership contest begins after general election meltdown

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

The bogus character of all claims that this is a leadership contest between “left” and “right” is epitomised by the fact that the two most prominent Blairite challengers are Corbyn’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer and his Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry.

Judge says Assange extradition hearing will take “three to four weeks” as political opposition mounts

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Assange appeared physically unwell, but followed the proceedings carefully via videolink from Belmarsh maximum security prison.

“He is a political prisoner, not a criminal”

Medical observers blocked from attending Assange hearing

By Laura Tiernan, 20 December 2019

Dr. David Morgan and Dr. Marco Chiesa are among the more than 100 doctors from around the world who have issued three open letters to the UK and Australian governments protesting Assange’s brutal persecution.

Queen’s Speech features Johnson government’s anti-strike legislation

By Robert Stevens, 20 December 2019

The Queen’s Speech confirms that the mantra of “Getting Brexit Done” is intimately bound up with escalating the offensive against the working class.