Britain

How Royal Bournemouth Hospital management put patient and staff safety in jeopardy: A frontline nurse explains

6 February 2021

Hospital management pretended that they could look after Covid and non-Covid patients along with other elective patients, without adequate staff and resources. This has failed miserably, with severe consequences.

Corbyn seeks readmittance to Labour Party as antisemitism witch-hunt escalates

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2021

The sum total of Corbyn’s position—of the man built up by the pseudo-left for years as a socialist messiah—is “Please Sir Keir! Throw me a bone!”

Local reports of COVID-19 deaths in UK schools confirm concealed impact of pandemic

By Harvey Thompson, 19 January 2021

Prior to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s January 4 lockdown announcement, the government had even threatened legal action against those schools intending to close due to high infection rates.

Surge in COVID-19 on UK’s Isle of Wight overwhelms health care infrastructure

By Paul Bond, 19 January 2021

Stephen Parker, medical director of the island’s National Health Service Trust, warned, “If the NHS is going to be overwhelmed, it is going to be in the next two to four weeks.”

Mute on Washington coup, UK ruling elite turns fire against China

By Julie Hyland, 18 January 2021

The British government has been at pains to downplay the January 6 coup attempt by outgoing US President Donald Trump, sections of the military intelligence complex and their fascist supporters.

Tens of thousands of UK National Health Service workers fall ill with COVID-19

By Rory Woods, 16 January 2021

Nearly 50,000 health care workers have contracted the virus and thousands more are isolating or shielding.

British government rejected visa-free EU touring for musicians to bolster hostile immigration policy

By Paul Bond, 16 January 2021

Musicians and promoters made it clear that the devastating impact of this move will not only be felt by current performers, but also be an obstacle to emerging performers in the future.

UK passes 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

By Robert Stevens, 15 January 2021

The staggering loss of life was underscored, Wednesday with the Office for National Statistics confirming that 2020 saw the largest increase in excess deaths since the Second World War

Britain’s Socialist Workers Party and Counterfire apply political chloroform over Trump’s coup

By Chris Marsden, 14 January 2021

Callinicos and the Socialist Workers Party have spent months minimising the threat from Trump, despite mounting evidence that he was planning a coup.

Poorest UK schoolchildren sent meagre pandemic food parcels, as contractors reap massive profits

By Robert Stevens, 14 January 2021

Many expressed disgust and denounced the profiteering from poverty during the school closures necessitated by the pandemic

Over 600,000 dead from coronavirus in Europe

By Will Morrow, 14 January 2021

Scientists are warning that the pandemic is entering into an even more catastrophic stage than anything that has preceded it.

London Mayor declares “major incident” as UK capital devastated by COVID-19

By Thomas Scripps, 13 January 2021

The Office for National Statistics estimates that one in 30 people are infected with the virus in London, up to one in 20 in the worst-hit areas.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee warns of packed schools amid an escalating pandemic and third lockdown

By Our reporter, 13 January 2021

The first Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee meeting of this year met after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third lockdown, after being faced with the threat of mass walkouts and boycotts by educators and parents that could spread to other sections of workers.

New COVID-19 variant fuels surge in UK and Ireland

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2021

Deaths from COVID-19 as measured by the government have passed the grim milestone of 80,000, but the true number of deaths in Britain from the disease is almost 100,000.

UK government accelerates “hostile environment” against immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers

By Simon Whelan, 12 January 2021

£2.3 million was spent on forcibly removing 225 people to European countries in July, August and September this year—double the amount spent on deportation flights in the previous quarter

UK government figures hide £800 billion hoarded by super-rich

By Margot Miller, 11 January 2021

The wealthiest one percent owns 23 percent, almost one quarter of the country’s aggregate wealth, rather than 18 percent stated by the government.

As UK death toll mounts, Corbyn and teaching unions suppress opposition to Johnson government’s murderous policies

By Julie Hyland, 9 January 2021

National Education Union joint leader Courtney pleaded that his union had done everything to keep schools open. “My union supported the opening of schools in September”, he said.

British Gas workers begin five-day strike

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2021

Gas workers face a terrible decline in living standards if these conditions are imposed throughout British Gas. They are not just fighting the company but face staunch opponents in the union bureaucracy.

5,000 deaths and 400,000 COVID infections in UK in first week of 2021

By Robert Stevens, 8 January 2021

Scientists advising the government warned this week that the death toll will reach 100,000 before the end of the month.

Vaccine distribution mired in delays across Europe

By Will Morrow, 8 January 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread out of control throughout the European continent, the program of vaccination organized by the European Union is already widely recognized to be a debacle.

COVID-19 infections out of control at Cricklewood Bus Garage! For a walkout to save lives!

Emergency statement by the London Bus Rank-and-File Committee, 8 January 2021

At least 12 staff have been diagnosed with COVID in recent days, including up to ten bus drivers, a manager and the garage’s full time Unite Health and Safety Rep

Assange denied bail after extradition blocked, will appeal to UK High Court

By Thomas Scripps, 7 January 2021

Judge Baraitser said in her decision Wednesday, “As far as Mr Assange is concerned, this case has not yet been won.”

UK government refuses to publish list of airstrikes in Yemen involving civilian casualties

By Jean Shaoul, 7 January 2021

While the UK’s Ministry of Defence has listed a staggering 516 potential International Humanitarian Law violations by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the real number is far higher.

Unorthodox rapper and beatmaker MF Doom dead at age 49

By Nick Barrickman, 7 January 2021

Daniel Dumile was most respected and admired for the series of albums he released as the masked rap artist MF Doom.

Hundreds of thousands in UK spend Christmas and New Year homeless as pandemic worsens

By Barry Mason, 7 January 2021

A third lockdown is now underway and the Conservative government has committed no more funding to deal with the homeless crisis and consigned its Everyone In scheme to the scrapheap.

COVID-19 deaths surge amid record new cases as Britain enters lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2021

At a Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to acknowledge that more than 1.1 million people now had the virus in England.

Medical doctors respond to Assange extradition ruling: “He must be released without delay”

By our reporters, 6 January 2021

“We demand that all legal proceedings be dropped and that he be released from prison, and only then will his psychological torture finally end.”

UK in third national lockdown as coronavirus surges out of control

By Robert Stevens, 5 January 2021

The lockdown is not as stringent as that imposed last March, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that people should go to work if they cannot work at home to keep profits rolling in for the major corporations.

“Every journalist should be concerned about what was said today in court. Because the political arguments provided by the United States were upheld by the British judicial system”

By Our reporters, 5 January 2021

Assange’s closest associates hailed the court’s decision as a victory but warned that the fight to secure his freedom was far from over.

UK judge rules against US extradition: Release Julian Assange now!

By Thomas Scripps, 4 January 2021

A political decision has been reached that upholds the threat to democratic rights represented by the prosecution’s case, leaves Assange in danger of continued persecution, and demands the intensification of the campaign to secure his freedom.

With 4,500 deaths in just eight days and nearly 400,000 new Covid cases

UK teaching unions call for no work in “unsafe schools” as opposition among educators mounts

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2021

Schools have been a major vector for the spread of COVID-19, worsened by a new and more contagious variant of the disease.

Daily deaths near 1,000 as UK Parliament spends day ratifying Brexit treaty

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2020

In a world far removed from this death and suffering, the parties of the ruling class were engaged in a day long ratification of the Brexit treaty agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government with the European Union.

Freedom of Information request reveals surge of COVID-19 infections among London bus, rail and tube workers

By Laura Tiernan, 31 December 2020

Transport for London’s response has revealed the extent of COVID-19 exposure across the capital’s transport network.

Assange extradition decision due January 4: Mobilise the working class to secure his freedom!

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2020

Building the necessary campaign in the working class requires a political reckoning with the forces that have worked to isolate Assange—the media and civil rights organisations of the petty-bourgeois “liberal” fraternity, the pseudo-left and the trade union and Labour bureaucracy.

Catastrophe worsens as UK records nearly 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in 48 hours

By Robert Stevens, 30 December 2020

Hospitals are being overwhelmed with a number having to declare emergencies. Moreover, the surge in infections threatens to overwhelm a vaccine rollout taking place at a snail’s pace.

Open letter from London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee

Workers demand answers over COVID-19 infections at Cricklewood garage

Miles Driver, 29 December 2020

Despite the preventable deaths of 35 London bus workers, a new wave of infections has struck, with information about garage outbreaks deliberately concealed in the interests of “operational efficiency”, i.e., profits.

Brexit deal paves way for further conflicts

By Robert Stevens, 29 December 2020

Ultimately, the deal does nothing other than set the short-term parameters for the ongoing conflict between the UK and the European Union.

Coronavirus accelerates as new strain detected across Europe

By Will Morrow, 29 December 2020

The spread of the new strain of the virus intersects with the European governments’ criminal refusal of measures to stop the pandemic that would cut corporate profits.

Britain descends into chaos as coronavirus crisis mounts

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2020

On Tuesday, 691 more people were announced dead from the virus. Yesterday this was topped with 744 deaths reported, the highest total since April 29.

Student rent strikers speak out at UK universities

By Ioan Petrescu, 24 December 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with representatives of the rent strikes that began at the University of London and Goldsmiths University earlier this month.

Build action committees to oppose a return to UK schools and campuses in January!

By Statement of the UK Educator’s Rank-and-File Safety Committee:, 24 December 2020

The protection of children and educators can only develop as part of an independent movement of the working class in a struggle against the capitalist profit system, which sacrifices the safety and basic needs of workers to the profit drive of the ruling elite.

The new UK variant of coronavirus raises urgent questions about pandemic policy

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 December 2020

The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the UK highlights the importance of bringing the pandemic under strict control.

The UK’s COVID-19 mutation: The deadly result of a “herd immunity” policy

By Robert Stevens, 23 December 2020

As at every other stage in this pandemic, the Johnson government had ample time to take the necessary measures required to save lives and avoid a catastrophic situation. Yet they did nothing.

As support grows among London bus drivers: Unite sabotages fight for Judith Katera’s reinstatement

By Laura Tiernan, 23 December 2020

The groundswell of support for Judith Katera across the garages must now be organised in direct opposition to Unite and the transport companies. She must not be left to fight alone!

UK: Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital staff respond to frontline nurse’s exposure of dangerous working conditions

By Ben Trent and Rory Woods, 23 December 2020

Posted on the NHS FightBack Facebook group page, the letter was read by hundreds of people and widely shared. It was also shared to various NHS based campaign groups across Facebook.

Still no deal in Brexit talks as working class faces disaster

By Thomas Scripps, 22 December 2020

Amid a deadly catastrophe unparalleled in Europe since the end of the Second World War, the UK and the EU governments are locked in an intractable struggle for economic and political advantage.

Countries impose UK travel restrictions as more infectious COVID-19 strain threatens to spread worldwide

By Chris Marsden, 22 December 2020

Even if the spread of the mutation is limited, it is already active on the continent and is only one of thousands of mutations worldwide—some of which have similar characteristics.

John le Carré (1931–2020): Spy novelist and “inside-outside” man

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 December 2020

In the course of his career, le Carré was able to draw from his experiences during and after the Cold War to attract millions of readers with his carefully researched spy novels.

Britain’s dangerous new COVID-19 strain: A warning to take urgent action now!

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2020

With hospitals already overwhelmed throughout the world, scientists are sounding the alarm about a new, more transmissible variant of COVID-19 that has emerged in Britain and is leading to a major surge in infections.

Corbyn launches “Peace and Justice” project to block fight against Labour right-wing

By Julie Hyland, 21 December 2020

The former Labour Party leader made clear to Jacobin, “This isn’t a new political party, but a space in which people can come together.”

Third worker dies of COVID-19 at a Bakkavor food plant in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 19 December 2020

No details were made public about the workers who died at the Tilmanstone plant.

Stop the UK’s winter of death! For emergency action to save lives!

Socialist Equality Party (UK), 18 December 2020

It is the responsibility of the working class, organised on its own independent political programme, to put an end to the pandemic.

The ICC refuses to prosecute UK war crimes in Iraq despite “reasonable” evidence

By Jean Shaoul, 18 December 2020

The imperialist powers that orchestrated criminal wars are determined that they should never be brought to account for their war crimes.

Over 800,000 workers fall off payrolls, as poverty rockets in Britain

By Julia Callaghan, 18 December 2020

Several recent reports have exposed the shocking scale of poverty in the UK, as years of austerity and attacks on workers’ living standards are being compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

999 ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” that UK committed war crimes

17 December 2020

Reinstate London bus driver Judith Katera! For united strike action to fight victimisations!

the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 December 2020

According to workers at the Battersea depot, the former Health and Safety rep was sacked last week by Abellio after she exposed alleged fraud by a former Unite convenor who was reportedly close to management.

UK: Pandemic hits working class hardest due to deep social inequality

By Robert Stevens, 17 December 2020

The “COVID-19 Marmot Review” substantiates a growing body of analysis that the disease impacts most severely on the working class.

As pandemic rages

Johnson government forces London schools to remain open

By Thomas Scripps, 16 December 2020

The dangers posed by keeping schools open worsen daily. London has been leading a renewed national surge of infections since the partial November national lockdown was ended.

London becomes epicentre of pandemic in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 15 December 2020

Every one of London’s 32 boroughs is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer demands Assange’s immediate release after ten years’ arbitrary detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2020

Melzer’s statement was issued amid a major coronavirus outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, that threatens the WikiLeaks publisher’s life, and in the lead-up to a ruling on his extradition to the United States.

This week in history: December 14-20

14 December 2020

On December 14, 1970, Polish workers in the port city of Gdansk walked off the job protesting the announcement by the Stalinist government, led by Władysław Gomułka, that there would be a major increase in food and fuel prices.

More brinksmanship in Brexit talks as deadline extended again

By Robert Stevens, 14 December 2020

The decision was made after hours of talks over the weekend in Brussels.

Johnson and Macron governments step up collaboration in persecution of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

By Simon Whelan, 12 December 2020

These extremely vulnerable people are fleeing from the wars, fratricidal conflicts, and economic and ecological destruction created and exacerbated by the world’s imperialist powers, foremost in Europe by Britain and France.

Frontline nurse at UK’s Poole Hospital Trust speaks out about unsafe working conditions amid surge of COVID-19

By our reporter, 12 December 2020

“Many staff have contracted the virus in our hospital because we don’t have enough protection.”

Student rent strikes spread across UK universities

By Henry Lee, 11 December 2020

Thousands of students have joined rent strikes at Sussex, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and universities across London.

UK government forces schools to stay open as infections continue to surge

By Tom Pearce, 11 December 2020

Using the Coronavirus Act, the education secretary can “give temporary continuity directions requiring schools to take certain actions, including staying open”.

Fraught talks between Britain and European Union agree Sunday deadline for Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2020

The main areas of disagreement are over trade issues and ensuring a level playing field (LPF).

Senior executive of firm supplying combustible insulation for Grenfell Tower told builders they were mistaking him for “someone who gives a damn”

By Charles Hixson, 10 December 2020

Three directors of Kingspan sold their share options before November 5 testimony at the Grenfell Inquiry concerning their knowledge of creating hazardous products and subsequent dishonest marketing.

UK National Education Union calls off strike over Covid safety at primary school in Merseyside

By Margot Miller, 10 December 2020

The strike called off by the NEU would have been the first official Covid-related strike in the UK since the spring, as pressure from educators and parents mounts to close unsafe schools.

Brexit negotiations: Johnson in eleventh-hour discussion with von der Leyen

By Thomas Scripps, 9 December 2020

In attempting to avoid a “no deal”, both the UK and the European Union are balancing their predatory interests against volatile domestic and international situations.

London bus petition to sack Unite official John Murphy withdrawn in abject capitulation

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 9 December 2020

Rossi’s claim that Unite can be made accountable has burst like a soap bubble, but all they can offer is more of the same, promoting the chimera that the trade unions can be reformed.

Optare UK bus manufacturing workers strike for pay increase

By Barry Mason, 9 December 2020

The 100 Unite union members at the plant voted by a 73 percent majority for action, following months of fruitless negotiations.

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme will not halt pandemic deaths due to end of lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 December 2020

Despite the immense significance for mankind of the availability of the drug—and promising developments with other vaccines coming on stream—its ability to save lives given its 90 to 95 percent effectivity rate against COVID-19, is being undermined by Britain’s ruling elite in their drive to keep the economy open and make profits.

UK’s “spycops” inquiry continues coverup of Stephen Lawrence murder

By Paul Mitchell, 8 December 2020

Undercover officers were told to undermine the campaign for “a better investigation” into the murder of Stephen Lawrence by digging up “dirt” and “disinformation”.

UK deploys troops to Mali

By Jean Shaoul, 8 December 2020

Earlier this year, Mali witnessed months of protests against the French occupation, launched in 2013, and the ethnic massacres between rival militias that Paris tolerates, and uses to divide and rule the country.

UK People's Assembly talk “Zero Covid” while doing nothing

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2020

Silence on the criminal role of the Labour and trade union bureaucracy is fundamental to the purpose of the People's Assembly. Though it presents itself as a “grassroots” movement, it is the construct of pro-capitalist tendencies, hostile to socialism and the working class

Thirteen thousand jobs threatened at UK’s Arcadia Group

By Jean Shaoul, 7 December 2020

Twenty-five thousand jobs are threatened with the collapse of Arcadia, which operates 500 retail chain stores and Debenhams which runs 124 stores.

UK Tory government manipulated statistics to play down COVID-19 danger to educators

By Henry Lee, 5 December 2020

Boris Johnson’s government is attempting to rubbish any conclusion that teaching is a high-risk occupation, using a combination of manipulated statistics and outright lies.

UK healthcare workers: “The ending of lockdown will see a massive increase in infections”

By Margot Miller, 5 December 2020

Doctors, nurses and health care assistants in the UK say hospitals are at breaking point and warn that the Conservative government’s ending of the national lockdown will fuel a new wave of infections and hospital admissions.

Four workers killed in explosion at UK water treatment plant

By Richard Tyler, 5 December 2020

The force of the blast, at a Geneco water recycling centre in Avonmouth, was so great that one of the bodies was recovered from a lake 150 metres away.

Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan agrees to austerity package for Transport for London

By Tony Robson, 4 December 2020

The British ruling elite is exploiting an economic crisis of their own making to restructure economic and social relations, funnelling more wealth to the oligarchy. The Labour Mayor and trade unions are fully complicit in this criminal enterprise.

UK schools facing bankruptcy during pandemic

By Margot Miller, 4 December 2020

Half the schools in Stockport anticipate going into deficit budgets this year as they struggle with the extra costs incurred by the pandemic.

Wife of UK chancellor richer than the Queen: Rishi Sunak and the rule of the oligarchy

By Jean Shaoul, 4 December 2020

Sunak occupies, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself, the most important position in UK politics in determining public policy choices to favour the super-rich, at the expense of the vast majority

Letter to Boycott Return to Unsafe Schools (BRTUS)/Parents United Against Unsafe Schools

Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 3 December 2020

Workers and parents must have the right to decide which political programme and perspective they wish to adopt or discuss and debate. Blocking access to this through censorship is a reactionary tool to silence opposition.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee meets as Johnson ends one-month national lockdown

By Harvey Singh, 3 December 2020

“Workers overwhelmingly oppose this calculated endangering of human life, but Labour and the trade unions are working systematically to prevent this opposition gaining a political voice and leadership.”

UK Labour leadership tells Zionist meeting that thousands of party members face expulsion

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 3 December 2020

As the leadership prepares mass expulsions, in the face of these outrages, Corbyn is again refusing to fight and allowing those who try to do so on his behalf to be persecuted.

Letter from a Bournemouth Hospital frontline nurse sparks broader discussion on conditions facing NHS workers in UK

By our reporter, 3 December 2020

The letter was publicised by NHS FightBack, an initiative of the Socialist Equality Party, and then shared widely on social media, including on a number of National Health Service Facebook campaign groups.

British government to deport Jamaican “foreign nationals” after fascistic campaign

By Thomas Scripps, 2 December 2020

The Labour MPs led by Jeremy Corbyn signing the letter of protest are only attempting to distance themselves from their party’s own anti-democratic agenda without making any real challenge to it

UK Labour Party backs Johnson government ending lockdown in “national interest”

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2020

Johnson was ultimately able to win the vote by a large majority thanks to most of Labour’s 200 MPs abstaining, with Starmer abiding by his cynical pledge to only “constructive” opposition to the government.

UK Conservative government moves to end national lockdown with Labour Party backing

By Robert Stevens, 1 December 2020

The government is to end a lockdown that, despite its partial character and schools and workplaces remaining open, has cut coronavirus infections cases by a third.

Private sector and Conservative Party cronies reap over £17 billion in government contracts during pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 30 November 2020

At least 15 companies handed contracts without tendering or oversight had connections to the Conservative government in what is being described as a “chumocracy”.

UK government pandemic policies lead to several suicides among students

By Danny Knightley, 28 November 2020

As if the stress and fear of living away from family and support networks, many for the first time in their lives, in the middle of a deadly pandemic was not bad enough, students and young people have been targeted by the right-wing media and government as being one of the primary reasons for the spread of COVID-19.

Labour-run Croydon council declares bankruptcy due to rampant property speculation

By Robert Stevens, 27 November 2020

The council has outlined spending cuts demanding hundreds of job losses and will “stop delivering some services that we know our communities find valuable.”

“Any return to ‘normality’ is a long way off”: Musicians and technicians speak to the WSWS

By John Newham, 27 November 2020

Several British artists and performance technicians spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the impact of the pandemic on them and their work.

British government’s pandemic response threatens art and culture

By Paul Bond, 27 November 2020

The initial wage furlough scheme made no provision for self-employed and freelance workers, who make up the bulk of arts workers. When the government did eventually introduce its Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, many artists did not benefit.

Amid COVID-19 disaster on university campuses, students must build campus safety committees!

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK), 27 November 2020

Students are being treated as little more than cash cows for a marketised higher education system and scapegoats for a programme of “herd immunity”.

UK Chancellor launches austerity offensive: “Our economic emergency has only just begun.”

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2020

The cost of this unprecedented economic collapse will be paid in its entirety by the working class.

“I think school should be closed until the virus is brought under control”

UK student nurse and her daughter speak out on impact of pandemic

By our reporter, 26 November 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Elizabeth, a student nurse in her final year in Manchester, and her daughter Claire, aged 15, about their experiences during the pandemic.

Assange’s life in danger as major COVID-19 outbreak hits Belmarsh Prison

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 November 2020

Assange’s partner Stella Moris has reported a mass outbreak in the house block where the WikiLeaks founder is imprisoned, with 56 prisoners and staff testing positive to the coronavirus.

UK mother whose children all contracted COVID-19 speaks out to demand school closures: “I agree you must close schools and universities to save lives”

By our reporters, 25 November 2020

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Linda, a parent of three school children, who all tested positive for coronavirus at the end of October.