Britain

Labour leads effort to vote down Johnson’s Brexit deal

By Chris Marsden, 19 October 2019

UK members of parliament will vote today on whether or not to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the European Union.

Join the protest to oppose his extradition to the United States!

Julian Assange to appear Monday at Westminster Magistrates Court

By our reporters, 19 October 2019

The World Socialist Web Site urges the widest support for Monday’s demonstration outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London starting at 9 a.m.

Johnson’s Brexit deal faces UK parliamentary vote Saturday

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2019

As news of the deal emerged Thursday morning, the hard Brexit supporting Jacob Rees-Mogg told parliament that on Saturday there would be a 90-minute debate to either approve a deal or to approve a no-deal exit.

Video report: Britain's postal union suppresses overwhelming vote for strike at Royal Mail

By our reporter, 18 October 2019

A 97 percent strike vote by over 110,000 postal workers in Britain was met with an immediate rebuke by the Communication Workers Union, who declined to set any date for a walkout.

Brexit deal agreed after Johnson sidelines Democratic Unionist Party

By Chris Marsden, 17 October 2019

Following the deal, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter to the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, stressing that it was now time for Britain’s parliament to do its part.

Metropolitan Police impose London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion protests as arrests top 1,600

By Chris Marsden, 16 October 2019

The ban was followed by the despatch of hundreds of police to clear tents from Trafalgar Square, the one area where protests have previously been sanctioned.

After overwhelming strike vote at Royal Mail Group rank-and-file postal workers need a socialist strategy

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 16 October 2019

Postal workers are determined to fight the relentless assault that has followed privatisation. But the CWU’s sole aim is to pressure management to resume negotiations.

Communication Workers Union defies strike mandate, pledges to continue talks with Royal Mail

By our reporter, 16 October 2019

Instead of setting a date for strike action, CWU officials announced a plan to lobby individual shareholders.

European Union declares little chance of Brexit deal by Thursday summit

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2019

Johnson has called an emergency session of parliament Saturday. There is rising speculation that he may be able to win support for a deal if he secures one, but parliament will not support a no-deal Brexit.

UK: Factional warfare in Corbyn leadership after McDonnell allies with Blairites over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 15 October 2019

If Corbyn is removed, it will not be as the “victim” of political disloyalty from either the Blairites or his own allies. He is the architect of his own fate.

Homeless deaths rise more than 20 percent in England and Wales

By Dennis Moore, 15 October 2019

The average age of those rough sleepers who died in 2018 is 45 years for males and 43 for females, compared to the average age of death in England and Wales of 76 years for men and 81 for women.

Halt the jobs massacre in the UK auto industry: For a joint struggle at Honda, Nissan, Ford and Vauxhall

By Richard Tyler, 15 October 2019

The trade unions have deliberately isolated and separated the workforce at the Honda production plant and at the logistics facility, rather than seeking to mobilise a joint struggle.

Mass arrests continue in London and other cities in global Extinction Rebellion protests

By Robert Stevens, 14 October 2019

By Sunday afternoon, police had arrested 1,309 protesters in London, more than were arrested in the first wave of demonstrations in April.

M.I.A. visits Julian Assange in prison: “It’s about truth—and that’s something people have to uphold and fight for”

By Laura Tiernan, 14 October 2019

Speaking at a press conference outside Belmarsh late Saturday afternoon, M.I.A.—Sri Lankan-born Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam—condemned Assange’s tormentors, indicting the US and UK governments, the courts and the corporate media.

Six months since the brutal arrest of WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 October 2019

While Assange is subjected to what amounts to torture in a British prison, the war criminals he has done so much to expose walk free.

European Union continues talks with Johnson government over possible Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 12 October 2019

Labour MPs are reported to be “blitzing” party leader Jeremy Corbyn with demands that he support a fresh Brexit referendum being held before a general election.

UK ruling class considers whether to entrust Corbyn with overcoming Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 10 October 2019

There are indications of powerful sections of the ruling class having concluded that it is now necessary to call on the services of Labour leader Corbyn—who has proven again and again to be a pliant political tool—to lead a “national unity” government.

UK: Bootle Royal Mail workers’ strike sold out by Communication Workers Union

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2019

From the start of the dispute, the CWU sought to isolate the Bootle strike—fearing action could spread under conditions in which a national ballot of all postal workers is under way.

US protects NSA spy’s wife wanted in UK over teenager’s death

By Laura Tiernan, 9 October 2019

Anne Sacoolas is wanted by police over the death of the young motorcyclist in Northamptonshire on August 27 but left the UK claiming diplomatic immunity

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in central London

By Steve James, 9 October 2019

Over 500 peaceful climate protestors have been arrested in central London in just two days as part of an escalating response from the British state aimed at outlawing mass environmental protest as a form of terrorism.

European Union set to reject Johnson’s Brexit proposal

By Robert Stevens, 8 October 2019

The government is set on a massive escalation of the constitutional crisis opened up by Brexit.

UK: Inquest adjourned into death of Port Talbot steelworks contractor Justin Day

By Margot Miller, 7 October 2019

The events leading to the tragedy of Justin Day’s death are still unknown, but the circumstances of a machine switching on with an engineer working inside it points to a disastrous breakdown in health and safety protocol.

Disgraced academic Noah Carl spearheads far-right campaign on UK campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 7 October 2019

Eugenicist Carl has raised over $100,000 to begin a legal appeal against the St. Edmund’s College decision to rescind his appointment, on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.

Johnson faces possible legal action as he plots to ensure UK leaves EU on October 31

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2019

Stating last month that he would rather “die in a ditch” than request an extension, Johnson is set on a collision course with the dominant pro-Remain faction of the ruling elite that could end in legal action.

Redundant Thomas Cook workers speak out at Manchester jobs fair

By our reporters, 5 October 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to the company’s former employees attending the fair.

UK Royal Mail workers wildcat strike over racist insult by management

By Laura Tiernan, 4 October 2019

The “unofficial” strike in defence of a Muslim co-worker is a powerful answer to the nationalist climate being stoked by the British ruling class over Brexit.

UK Prime Minister Johnson outlines Brexit proposals and Thatcherite agenda at Tory conference

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2019

Johnson’s speech, framed around his pledge to “Get Brexit Done,” was dedicated to outlining what Sky News described as his “election manifesto.”

Corbyn holds pro-Remain party discussions over leading “caretaker” administration or stepping aside to allow “government of national unity”

By Chris Marsden, 2 October 2019

Corbyn’s refusal to take any position that is not acceptable to Britain’s ruling elite is what keeps Boris Johnson in power today.

Assange judge blocks extradition to Azerbaijan of ‘McMafia’ wife

By Laura Tiernan, 2 October 2019

Arbuthnot ruled against the extradition of Zamira Hajiyeva, finding there was “a real risk” she would suffer a “flagrant denial of justice”.

London: Hundreds rally for Assange outside Belmarsh Prison

By Laura Tiernan, 30 September 2019

SEP National Secretary Chris Marsden emphasised that Assange’s persecution was a product of the drive to war and dictatorial rule by the US, British and world imperialism.

Protesters speak out in defence of Julian Assange

“I think the implications can grow into a stamping out of independent journalism”

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

Protesters outside Belmarsh Prison in London on Saturday spoke in support of jailed WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

The mounting human cost of the Thomas Cook collapse

By Richard Tyler, 28 September 2019

The international scale of the crisis, with devastating economic and social implications, has rapidly become clear.

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

By Chris Marsden, 27 September 2019

The answer to the Brexit crisis is not unity with the EU, but working class unity in a continent-wide struggle against all of Europe’s governments for the United Socialist States of Europe.

UK pilots’ union BALPA shuts down strikes at two airlines

By our reporter, 27 September 2019

From the beginning, BALPA worked to strangle the struggle of the pilots and prevent a unified offensive by pilots across the industry with other airline staff.

British MPs return to Parliament after Supreme Court rules prorogation illegal

By Robert Stevens, 26 September 2019

The House of Commons resumed sitting Wednesday, following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted illegally in proroguing Parliament for five weeks from September 10.

UK Supreme Court rules Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament illegal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 September 2019

British politics entered uncharted waters yesterday as the Supreme Court—the UK’s highest judicial body—declared illegal Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s authoritarian prorogation of parliament.

London Fire Brigade interviewed under caution by police over Grenfell Tower fire

By Alice Summers, 24 September 2019

The aim is to shift the blame for the catastrophic fire away from the criminal negligence of the council, its Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, and the various corporations that turned a safe building into a death trap.

Factional warfare over Brexit dominates Labour Party conference

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 23 September 2019

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

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

By Dennis Moore, 23 September 2019

Many disabled activists have raised concerns that police have passed on information about disabled protesters who participate in demonstrations against welfare cuts and anti-austerity movements.

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

By Thomas Scripps, 21 September 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 20 September 2019

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

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

By Steve James, 20 September 2019

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

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

By our reporter, 20 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 19 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 18 September 2019

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

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

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2019

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

UK public meetings—The Socialist answer to Brexit: For the United Socialist States of Europe

18 September 2019

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

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

By Richard Tyler, 17 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 17 September 2019

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

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

Fatal Accident Inquiry finds death was “entirely preventable”

By Steve James, 16 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2019

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

British judge jails Assange indefinitely, despite end of prison sentence

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 September 2019

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

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

By Jean Shaoul, 14 September 2019

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

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

By Charles Hixson, 14 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 13 September 2019

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

Fire destroys another residential tower block in London

By Thomas Scripps, 13 September 2019

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

Scottish court rules Johnson’s suspension of parliament unlawful

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2019

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

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

By Will Morrow, 12 September 2019

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

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

By Richard Tyler, 12 September 2019

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

As Brexit deadline nears

UK government intensifies attack on freedom of movement

By Margot Miller, 12 September 2019

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

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

By Thomas Scripps, 11 September 2019

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

Strike by thousands of pilots shuts down British Airways

By Richard Tyler, 10 September 2019

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

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson prorogues Parliament

By Robert Stevens, 10 September 2019

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

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

By Laura Tiernan, 10 September 2019

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

230 "Left-wing extremism" in the UK

9 September 2019

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

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2019

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

UK pensioners suffer massive increase in poverty

By Thomas Scripps, 6 September 2019

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

In Brexit crisis, Corbyn lines up with Tories and Blairites

By Chris Marsden, 5 September 2019

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

Media blacks out Roger Waters’ performance in defence of Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 September 2019

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

British lawmakers win vote to debate bill authorising Brexit delay

By Robert Stevens, 4 September 2019

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

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

By our reporters, 3 September 2019

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

Roger Waters holds concert on Monday

Take forward the fight to free Julian Assange!

By Joseph Kishore, 2 September 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 2 September 2019

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

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

By our reporters, 2 September 2019

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

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

By Margot Miller, 31 August 2019

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

Panorama documentary exposes human cost of gambling industry profits

By Tom Pearce, 31 August 2019

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

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

By Chris Marsden, 30 August 2019

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

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

By Tania Kent, 30 August 2019

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

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

By Chris Marsden, 29 August 2019

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

Unison calls off Bradford hospital workers’ strike

By Richard Tyler and Robert Stevens, 28 August 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 27 August 2019

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

Demo article just for testing

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

By Robert Stevens and Zweiter Autor, 27 August 2019

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

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

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 24 August 2019

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

UK: Fire breaks out in tower block near Grenfell Tower

By Steve James, 24 August 2019

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

UK High Court rules in favour of spy agencies

By Trevor Johnson, 23 August 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 22 August 2019

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

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

By our reporters, 22 August 2019

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

UK government prepares for social unrest following no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2019

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

Anger among couriers is growing after Deliveroo quits Germany

By Gregor Link, 21 August 2019

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

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

By Steve James, 21 August 2019

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

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

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 August 2019

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

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

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2019

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

The fascist attack on Guardian journalist Owen Jones

By Chris Marsden, 20 August 2019

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

Guardian columnist Owen Jones attacked by fascist thugs in London

By Robert Stevens, 19 August 2019

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

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

By Ben Trent, 17 August 2019

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

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

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2019

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

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

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2019

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

Iran tanker released in Gibraltar despite US bid to seize it

By Bill Van Auken, 16 August 2019

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

UK: Asda supermarket workers protest inferior contract

By Robert Stevens, 16 August 2019

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