Britain

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.

UK general election result confirms protracted death of the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 19 December 2019

Labour haemorrhaged support across the UK and among all sections of workers, young and old, from the north and south, those in favour of leaving the European Union and those for remaining.

Nurses and health workers strike in Northern Ireland

By our reporters, 19 December 2019

Over 15,000 nurses and other health workers struck December 18 in Northern Ireland over pay and staffing.

999 The demographics of the UK general election vote

19 December 2019

18 December 2019

Over 100 doctors demand Australian government act to save the life of Julian Assange “before it is too late”

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

Addressing Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the doctors write: “Should Mr Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

Doctors issue open letter to the Australian government: Julian Assange at risk of death in prison

17 December 2019

The following open letter has been issued to the Australian government by Doctors4Assange on behalf of more than 100 signatories.

Powerful response to call for stepped-up fight to free Assange and Manning at SEP (Australia) meeting

By our reporters, 17 December 2019

The speakers stressed that the upsurge of support for Assange and Manning was inseparable from the growth of the class struggle internationally.

Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Assange’s threatened extradition, but declares he is “not a journalist”

By Oscar Grenfell and Kevin Reed, 16 December 2019

The blog post justifying the decision to exclude Julian Assange from a list of imprisoned journalists is shot through with contradictions and double-speak.

Socialist Equality Party used UK general election to put forward a socialist perspective

By our reporter, 16 December 2019

The SEP's candidates reached thousands of workers and youth and was followed across Britain and internationally.

Julian Assange denied access to lawyers and vital evidence in US extradition case

By Thomas Scripps, 14 December 2019

It is clear that the fundamental legal rights of the WikiLeaks founder and world-famous investigative journalist are being trampled in what amounts to an extraordinary rendition.

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

By Statement of the WSWS Editorial Board, 14 December 2019

The electoral debacle suffered by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn in the UK general election is yet another example of the political bankruptcy of what passes for the left and labour organisations.

Johnson wins majority in UK election after collapse of Labour vote

By Chris Marsden, 13 December 2019

Johnson’s return consolidates the most right-wing government in post-war British history, with devastating consequences for the working class.

BBC reporter accused of breaking law by revealing postal vote and commenting negatively on Labour

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2019

Laura Kuenssberg should have been immediately suspended pending an investigation. Instead the BBC issued a terse statement that it “does not believe it, or its political editor, has breached electoral law.”

The anti-Semitism accusations against Corbyn: A witch-hunt in the service of imperialism

By Jean Shaoul, 13 December 2019

The witch-hunt centres on a concerted attempt to equate opposition to Zionism and the colonial policies of the Israeli state with hatred of the Jewish people in general and the infamous and reactionary anti-Semitism of the Nazis in particular.

The Sun forced to delete article promoting fascist propaganda against UK left

By Paul Bond, 12 December 2019

The publication by the Sun of an article charging that Corbyn is the centre of a “hard-left extremist network” is part of an authoritarian turn by the ruling class.

Britain’s general election and the coming struggle of the working class for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2019

Underlying the intensity of political conflicts is an historically unprecedented social polarisation between the classes that is now beginning to find expression in a global eruption of the class struggle.

Labour’s pose as defender of the National Health Service exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2019

Labour’s claim to be the only party that will defend the NHS is the main reason many support the party. But like most of its main pledges, this too is without genuine substance.

London: Attendees at Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally speak

“The Socialist Equality Party has one goal and that’s what I feel most inclined toward, the class struggle”

By our reporters, 11 December 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those who attended the Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally in London on Sunday.

SEP (UK) candidate Dennis Leech speaks at hustings in Manchester

By our reporter, 11 December 2019

Leech emphasised the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prevent his extradition to the US.

SEP holds final UK election meeting in London

“Our fight is for workers to base themselves on a socialist and internationalist perspective, one rooted in a profound concern for history and informed by its lessons”

By our reporters, 10 December 2019

Opening the rally, Thomas Scripps explained that one of the central pillars of the SEP’s election campaign is the fight to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The Dirty War on the National Health Service: John Pilger documentary “goes to the heart of the struggle for democracy today”

By Jean Shaoul, 10 December 2019

Pilger’s work is a deeply passionate appeal to working people in the UK to oppose the decades-long, covert assault on the NHS by all three major parties.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) holds final general election rally in London

By our reporter, 9 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) held a successful rally Sunday at the conclusion of its 2019 general election campaign.

SEP (UK) candidate Chris Marsden speaks on Kashmir and Palestine at Sheffield mosque hustings

By our reporter, 7 December 2019

Marsden told the attentive audience, “Kashmir has been a terrible victim of the partition of India on religious and communal lines.”

Labour’s election pledges no answer to UK’s housing crisis

By Paul Bond, 6 December 2019

Labour’s proposed social housing construction programme is based on the same capitalist market that makes the lives of millions impossible.

Attend Socialist Equality Party election rally in London!

6 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) invites all workers and young people to attend our final election rally being held in London this Sunday December 8 at 2 p.m.

Doctors condemn failure of British government to answer letter demanding medical care for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The doctors state that “the UK government’s refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears...unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible medical risks.”

SEP candidate Thomas Scripps addresses UK Somali community hustings

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The November 30 meeting was attended by representatives of voluntary and campaigning organisations. The Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties and Plaid Cymru also sent representatives.

Protesters against London NATO summit speak in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 December 2019

At the Socialist Equality Party’s stall in Trafalgar Square, many were attracted by posters calling for Assange’s freedom.

UK: South West Rail workers begin month-long strike to defend jobs and conditions.

By Robert Stevens, 4 December 2019

The strike is the longest called by the RMT union in a bitter four-year fight by rail workers to stop DOO and is the longest rail strike in British history.

Harry Dunn’s parents take legal action against UK Foreign Office

By Barry Mason, 4 December 2019

Harry Dunn died near Croughton, Northamptonshire August 27 after his motorbike collided head-on with a car driven on the wrong side of the road by Anne Sacoolas, the wife of a National Security Agency spy.

NATO bitterly divided as London summit begins

By Alex Lantier, 3 December 2019

NATO heads of state arrived yesterday in London for a two-day summit beginning today, 70 years after NATO’s foundation in the aftermath of World War II in 1949.

Halt the extradition of Julian Assange!

CIA spying on Assange’s lawyers exposes criminal operation against WikiLeaks founder

By Eric London, 3 December 2019

The surveillance violates the centuries-old right to attorney-client privilege and exposes the prosecution and extradition effort as an illegal frame-up.

Opposing NATO and Trump means fighting to free Julian Assange!

By Chris Marsden, 3 December 2019

The aim of Trump and Boris Johnson is to either send Assange to the US, lock him up and throw away the key, or subject him to such psychological and physical cruelty that he dies in prison.

WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson: “If Julian is taken to that Devil’s Island across the Atlantic, his life is lost”

By Oscar Grenfell and Richard Phillips, 3 December 2019

In an interview with the WSWS, Hrafnsson stated: “The case of Julian Assange is, in all senses, the turning point. It is the biggest and the most serious attack on journalism and the free press in decades, if not 100 years.”

Many unanswered questions as Tories exploit London terror attack

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2019

The brutal murder of the two young students was seized on by Boris Johnson and the pro-Tory media, with the Sunday Times leading on a promise from the prime minister to “lock terrorists up and throw away the key.”

Greater Manchester Unite community branch hears report on fight to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 2 December 2019

The branch listened attentively as an SEP member reported the growing public concern over the plight of Assange and his declining health.