Britain

Fascist assault on UK union leader Steve Hedley

By Julie Hyland, 19 July 2018

The brutal assault on Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union by fascist thugs on Saturday is an outrage.

UK: May government in meltdown over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2018

May’s attempted compromise over Brexit has blown up, due not simply to events in Britain, but also to the antagonisms between the US and Europe.

Anti-Russia campaign revived in UK with alleged discovery of “novichok” in perfume bottle

By our reporter, 17 July 2018

The narrative being developed by the police is that a “container” of novichok was likely discarded by Russian state-sponsored agents who had attempted to assassinate double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2018

Media reports point to the ongoing conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

Participants in the anti-Trump rallies in the UK speak out

By our reporters, 16 July 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to anti-Trump protesters in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. Meanwhile, protests continued in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday.

Mass protests against Trump’s UK visit

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

Friday’s protests by hundreds of thousands of people in London made clear that masses of workers throughout the world despise Trump and everything he stands for.

UK mass protests against Trump:

“The Labour Party here and Democratic Party in the US have left a void and the right-wing are trying to fill it”

By our reporters, 14 July 2018

The turnout at the UK protests showed the extent of popular opposition to the anti-democratic and fascistic policies of the Trump presidency.

Grenfell Tower Fire inquiry testimony reveals tragic consequences of fire service cuts

By Barry Mason, 14 July 2018

Firefighters put themselves at risk by going into flats to search for people without water and negotiating the lower floors without using their breathing apparatuses to conserve them for higher floors.

UK: The rotten politics of the SWP’s Stand Up to Racism

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

The Socialist Workers Party’s aim is to promote the “progressive” credentials of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and of the Trades Union Congress.

Trump uses UK visit to heighten political turmoil over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 13 July 2018

Trump’s performance at the NATO Summit confirmed that the failure of May’s compromise over Brexit is rooted in the growing antagonisms between the imperialist powers.

What does it really mean to “Stop Trump?” The working class must be mobilised against capitalism and for socialism

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 13 July 2018

This statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) is being distributed today at demonstrations in London and other towns and cities in the UK against US President Donald Trump.

Youth mental health problems and suicides rising sharply in UK

By Alice Summers, 12 July 2018

The consequence of the burdens of stress, debt and lack of prospects, combined with poor access to mental health treatment, is a sharp rise in mental health problems and suicides among young people.

The July 3 Whitstable fire and the Grenfell inferno

Statement by the Grenfell Fire Forum, 12 July 2018

Whitstable House is known as the “tower next door” to Grenfell, which was destroyed on June 14, 2017 in the inferno that claimed 72 lives.

Concerted efforts to save May’s government and the chance of a “soft Brexit”

By Chris Marsden, 11 July 2018

US President Trump has made no secret of his hostility to the EU and desire to weaken what he considers a rival trade bloc, including by supporting Brexit and imposing sanctions.

More inconsistencies in account of second UK novichok poisoning

By Thomas Scripps, 11 July 2018

The theory advanced by the government is that “Russia has committed an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen.”

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2018

Unlike David Davis, who stressed that he remained loyal to Theresa May, Johnson quit in a manner designed to inflict maximum damage to the prime minister.

“Nerve agent” death of Dawn Sturgess raises fresh questions over UK Skripal affair

By Thomas Scripps, 10 July 2018

In marked contrast to the hospitalisation of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, the fatality of Dawn Sturgess—apparently also through “novichok” poisoning—has met with a more muted response.

Resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis prompts talk of leadership contest, British general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 July 2018

Fear of triggering a general election is all that continues to hold the Tory party together, such is the depth of the rift over Europe.

US defense secretary demands UK hike military spending

By Robert Stevens, 7 July 2018

The parliamentary Defence Committee said that military spending must rise by 50 percent—an additional £20 billion per year—to protect Britain’s position within NATO.

UK mounts fresh offensive against Russia following second alleged novichok poisoning

By Chris Marsden, 6 July 2018

The circumstances surrounding the latest accusations are as dubious and baseless as those initially made regarding the March 4 incident involving double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.

British government imposes collective punishment by evicting families from public housing

By Simon Whelan, 5 July 2018

The measures create a two-tier and entirely arbitrary system, whereby families are to be made homeless simply because they live in a council home.

Homeless man jailed for picking up London Marathon number and crossing finishing line

By Barry Mason, 4 July 2018

Stanislaw Skupian is a victim of vindictive class justice, punished for his poverty and for problems that spiralled out of his control.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hails Alexis Tsipras of Syriza

By Robert Stevens, 4 July 2018

The Labour leader praised Syriza only days after it enforced the latest round of austerity and pledged further services to the EU’s vicious anti-migrant measures.

London’s Grenfell Tower disaster: The cost of cuts and privatisation in firefighting

By Paul Bond, 3 July 2018

The treatment of firefighter Dowden at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry points again to attempts to shift responsibility for the events of June 14, 2017 onto the very people who faced impossible odds to control the escalating blaze.

UK: Inquest rules Rashan Charles died “accidentally” following attack by Metropolitan Police

By Alice Summers, 3 July 2018

The inquest found that the brutal and unnecessary assault on Charles, who was unarmed and unknown to the police, was a “justified use of force” and that his tragic death was nothing more than an “accident.”

The NHS 70th anniversary rally in London: A vote of no confidence in Labour and the trade unions

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 2 July 2018

Despite their occasional holiday speeches pledging to defend the NHS, neither the Labour Party nor the trade unions have lifted a finger to prevent its evisceration.

“I believe the NHS is the greatest thing about British society”

British workers speak out in defence of public healthcare

By our reporters, 2 July 2018

Socialist Equality Party members and supporters spoke to people attending Saturday’s demonstration marking the 70th anniversary of the creation of the UK’s National Health Service.

Prince William visit seeks to reinforce Britain’s ties with Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 2 July 2018

William’s visit was a very visible signal of Britain’s endorsement of Israel’s brutal suppression of the Palestinians and of the arch-criminal Netanyahu himself.

Europe’s unions pledge unity with big business as trade war escalates

By Robert Stevens, 30 June 2018

While framed around Brexit, the underlying impulse of the joint statement between the union federations and business groups is the developing trade war between the United States and the European Union.

Expert witness on Grenfell Fire: Cladding on Grenfell Tower was “a major hazard”

By Trevor Johnson, 30 June 2018

Fire safety specialist, Dr. Barbara Lane, testifies to Grenfell inquiry that safety systems were either compromised or completely absent.

Stop the NHS sell-off: Build rank-and-file committees

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

30 June 2018

No confidence can be placed in the trade unions or the Labour Party to reverse NHS underfunding and privatisation, much less defend the principle of socialised health care.

UK: Haringey Council tower block residents lived in danger for 30 years

By Paul Bond, 29 June 2018

More than 200 families must leave their homes in Broadwater Farm, north London, as their tower blocks are at risk of collapse in the event of a gas explosion or even a vehicle impact.

UK: Residents lobby Haringey Labour council to oppose plans to demolish residential homes

By our reporters, 29 June 2018

A councillor from the Corbyn-supporting Momentum group was met with hostility from angry residents who shouted her remarks were “rubbish” and called her a “liar.”

Eritrean teenagers commit suicide in UK while awaiting permission to stay

By Thomas Scripps, 28 June 2018

The suicides of three Eritrean teenage refugees in the UK in just six months tragically demonstrates the human cost of Europe’s “border security.”

US Democratic senators demand eviction of Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy

By James Cogan, 28 June 2018

Leading Democratic senators, including Diane Feinstein and Mark Warner, have declared they are “extremely concerned about Ecuador providing asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”

UK: Corporations seek to evade responsibility for role in Grenfell Tower fire

By Trevor Johnson, 27 June 2018

The inquiry is revealing how unsafe Grenfell Tower was for human habitation on the night of June 14, 2017, due to the actions of the local council and corporations.

EU citizens must register, carry ID cards, in post-Brexit Britain

By Steve James, 27 June 2018

As the Home Office scheme currently stands, EU citizens will be required to carry identity cards, which have never been enforced in Britain.

Three months on: Oxford Union refuses to tell truth about why whistleblowing panel debate is censored

By Zach Reed, 26 June 2018

The only explanation for deciding not to publish the video is that ex-CIA operative David Shedd demanded its suppression.

The British UCU Congress and the impossibility of reforming the trade unions

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 26 June 2018

Events at the University and College Union prove that the union bureaucracy is unanswerable for its actions and unaccountable to its members.

Cross party campaign holds pro-EU march in London

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2018

The pro-European Union march was presented as a “grassroots” movement to conceal its main agenda of facilitating the interests of powerful sections of big business.

UK: Education unions sabotage struggle against academisation and low pay

By Tom Pearce, 23 June 2018

Despite the rhetoric from union representatives, no fight is being waged against the ongoing privatisation of education.

UK: Lush workers oppose attempt to gag campaign against police undercover operations

By Margot Miller, 23 June 2018

The campaign aimed to highlight the decades-long infiltration by undercover police into political, environmental and animal rights groups.

Grenfell fire: Local resident Joe Delaney speaks out against attack by Andrew O’Hagan on those seeking justice

By Alice Summers, 23 June 2018

In this interview, Joe Delaney replies to O’Hagen’s essay that demonizes local activists, residents and firefighters, and offers hymns of praise to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council, who played a critical role in turning Grenfell Tower into a death trap.

UK Conservative government proposes tax increases on workers to fund National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 22 June 2018

Millions of workers will face large tax increases to pay for any increased funding for the NHS.

Britain’s Tory government offers concession to pro-EU MPs to advance Brexit bill

By Robert Stevens, 21 June 2018

With the May government beholden to its pro-Brexit wing, there is a stepped-up effort to use Labour as the political vehicle for preventing Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Rolls-Royce to shed nearly 5,000 jobs in the UK

By Barry Mason, 21 June 2018

Instead of a campaign to mobilise its 22,000 members employed by Rolls-Royce to fight the cuts, Unite will facilitate whatever restructuring the company demands.

Protesters at Ecuador embassy vigil in London demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 21 June 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to some of those attending Tuesday evening’s vigil in London for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Labour and unions seek to corral social anger over Grenfell fire behind official inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2018

Workers and youth nationally suffer the same devastating austerity, cost-cutting, and deregulation policies, including cuts to local fire services, as those who lived in Grenfell.

UK: Protesters speak at demonstration to mark first anniversary of Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 20 June 2018

Some of those attending the rally marking the first anniversary of the deadly Grenfell Tower fire spoke to reporters from the World Socialist Web Site to express their outrage over the continuing cover-up of the tragedy.

Belhaj case lifts the veil on Britain’s dirty wars for regime change: Part two

By Jean Shaoul, 20 June 2018

The deal between the UK government and Belhaj was aimed at preventing any further embarrassing disclosures about the government’s collusion with Islamist forces.

Socialist Equality Party leader Julie Hyland speaks at London vigil to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 June 2018

Around 200 people, including workers, youth and retirees, attended a vigil outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London Tuesday evening to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Belhaj case lifts the veil on Britain’s dirty wars for regime change: Part one

By Jean Shaoul, 19 June 2018

The purpose of the deal between the UK government and Belhaj was to prevent any further embarrassing disclosures about the government’s collusion with Islamist forces at home and abroad.

UK residents demand release of Julian Assange, support international vigils

By our reporters, 19 June 2018

Leading up to today’s vigil at the Ecuador Embassy in London, the SEP in Britain has been contacted with messages of support, demanding freedom for WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Grenfell Fire Forum endorses vigils to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 June 2018

The Grenfell Fire Forum met just three days after commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the inferno.

SEP (UK) meetings on war and censorship: “War preparations are powered by lies”

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2018

Socialist Equality Party (UK) Assistant National Secretary Julie Hyland addressed recent public meetings in England, Scotland and Ireland titled “War, lies and censorship: For the building of a socialist anti-war movement.”

Thousands gather to mark first anniversary of Grenfell Tower inferno

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2018

SEP campaigners won a warm response to the WSWS Perspective on the anniversary of the fire, distributed along with a statement calling for attendance at the June 19 vigil to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

Grenfell Silent Marchers speak

“I have woken up to the fact that class war still exists, it’s alive and kicking”

By our reporters, 16 June 2018

Attendees at the Silent March on June 14 in commemoration of Grenfell fire victims spoke to the WSWS.

British government extends censorship of online activity

By Simon Whelan, 16 June 2018

The personal information held by MI5 on 20,000 British “suspected” citizens is to be declassified and shared with local authorities, police “and others.”

Brexit crisis intensifies as “Remain” Tories reject bogus compromise on parliament having “meaningful vote”

By Chris Marsden, 15 June 2018

Divisions within the Tories were matched by those in Labour, as 90 Labour MPs rebelled against leader Jeremy Corbyn.

London Review of Books publishes scurrilous account of Grenfell Tower fire

By Alice Summers, 15 June 2018

The Tower was written by Andrew O’Hagan, the same individual who did a hatchet job on Julian Assange’s life in 2011.

One year since the Grenfell inferno

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 June 2018

The refusal of the ruling elite to pursue the real criminals guilty of the Grenfell atrocity is in stark contrast to their determination to silence anyone fighting to establish the truth about events.

Professor Piers Robinson demands freedom for Julian Assange

14 June 2018

A leading member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media and of the Media on Trial organisation, Robinson has opposed regime change wars in the Balkans and the Middle East

Thousands of jobs to go as UK retail chains rationalise operations

By Barry Mason, 13 June 2018

The latest threats to retail jobs come on top of mounting closures and retrenchments in the retail and food industry.

The Guardian mounts defence of British government lies over Skripals

By Jean Shaoul, 12 June 2018

The Guardian is acutely aware of the widespread and entirely healthy scepticism towards anything the government says on the Skripal case.

Sheila Coombes, Professor Tim Hayward and journalist Vanessa Beeley demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 11 June 2018

Three prominent individuals associated with the Media on Trial group have sent statements to the World Socialist Web Site supporting the campaign to free Julian Assange.

Brexit constitutional stand-off reaches UK Supreme Court

By Steve James, 9 June 2018

The escalation of tensions risks becoming a conflict not only between England, Scotland and Wales, but between London and Brussels.

Police to investigate London Fire Brigade over Grenfell fire: The real criminals remain at large

By Paul Bond, 9 June 2018

The announcement is part of a cover-up by the authorities, aimed at shifting responsibility away from those responsible for the disaster onto those who attempted to stop the blaze—the firefighters.

Grenfell Tower inferno: Experts’ reports highlight “culture of non-compliance” on fire safety

By Paul Bond, 8 June 2018

Manufacturer Arconic, which produced the Reynobond PE panels used at Grenfell Tower, accepted that the cladding “was not of limited combustibility,” and that this “should have been obvious to any construction professional.”

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

UK: Students protest cuts to mental health services and increase in youth suicide rate

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2018

As of 2017, one in four adults in the UK each year could expect to suffer some form of mental illness; three quarters of these begin before a person reaches his or her 18th birthday.

“My mum and my sister were murdered and cremated on 14 June last year”

UK: Final tributes to victims of Grenfell fire denounce corporate and political elite

By Robert Stevens, 5 June 2018

Testimony has repeatedly included denunciations of the ruling elite for the social murder that claimed at least 72 lives last June 14.

Lift the ban on communications! Free Julian Assange!

By James Cogan, 4 June 2018

The American state and its allies are seeking to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in order to intimidate every critical and independent media organisation.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

Far right promotes UK fascist Tommy Robinson as free-speech “martyr”

By Laura Tiernan, 2 June 2018

Robinson’s media stunt is an attempt on his part to stake a leading role in an ongoing recruitment of Britain’s far-right.

YouTube removes “drill” music videos at request of London’s Metropolitan Police

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2018

On the basis of a few isolated cases, an entire musical genre is being targeted on the basis that it is responsible for what is described as a “surge” in knife crime in London.

“Government propaganda and the war on terror from 9/11 to Syria”

Journalists and academics expose UK’s criminal actions in the Middle East

By Julie Hyland, 31 May 2018

Despite media smears and government censorship, Media on Trial held an important and successful event exposing the connection between press propaganda and government warmongering.

The working class must mobilize to free Julian Assange!

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2018

The demand for the freedom of Julian Assange must be connected to the developing international movement of workers against inequality, oppression and exploitation.

Oxford Union panel speaker Heather Marsh confirms debate was censored to protect CIA

By Zach Reed, 30 May 2018

It appears that reference to the CIA as an “organized crime syndicate,” and listing a portion of its crimes, were grounds for censorship.

“I don’t think Assange will be forgiven by our rulers because he educated the world”

Join the June 19 London vigil demanding freedom for Julian Assange!

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2018

Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee said: “Individual contributions are great, but we change society as a group, acting together.”

Relatives’ tributes at Grenfell Tower Inquiry blame government for deaths

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2018

Family members frequently broke down as they remembered their loved ones in moving and emotional scenes.

For international action to defend Julian Assange!

By The ICFI and WSWS international editorial board, 28 May 2018

The June 17 demonstration in Sydney will demand that the Australian government immediately act to secure Assange’s unconditional freedom and return to Australia.

UK plans deployment of hundreds more troops as part of US-led Afghan build-up

By Barry Mason, 26 May 2018

The US-led war, now in its seventeenth year, has resulted in catastrophe. It has cost at least £40 billion, with 450 UK armed forces personnel killed and tens of thousands left wounded, ill or psychologically damaged.

UK: Nearly half a million young people not in receipt of minimal state support

By Joe Mount, 26 May 2018

Many youth struggle to access Job Centre services due to lack of proper documentation or other bureaucratic hurdles. Others lack a bank account, internet access or sufficient literacy. Others are carers for older relatives.

War, propaganda and smears: An interview with Professor Piers Robinson

Part three

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2018

The following is the third part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.

Julian Assange “in jeopardy” of being forced into UK and US detention

By Mike Head, 25 May 2018

Reports allege that the WikiLeaks founder could be removed from Ecuador’s London embassy “any day now.”

A curious incident involving the Oxford Union’s Whistleblowing Panel

By Zach Reed, 25 May 2018

According to an anonymous submission to the World Socialist Web Site, a “Whistleblowing Panel” event at the Oxford Union has been censored, with no account of the meeting made available and no transcripts or a video published of it as is standard.

War, propaganda and smears: An interview with Professor Piers Robinson

Part two

By Julie Hyland, 25 May 2018

The following is the second part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. Part one was posted on May 24.

Testimony to Grenfell Fire inquiry paints devastating picture of social murder

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2018

The inquiry heard from Hisam Choucair, who lost six members of his family in the inferno and Karim Mussilhy, who lost his uncle, Hesham Rahman.

Grenfell Tower fire: BBC Panorama reveals corporate criminality

By Paul Bond, 24 May 2018

Investigator Richard Bilton says, “We have been advised that the company’s behaviour could amount to corporate manslaughter.”

War, propaganda and smears: An interview with Professor Piers Robinson

Part one

By Julie Hyland, 24 May 2018

The following is the first part of a three-part interview with Professor Piers Robinson, an academic at the University of Sheffield and a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.

Ken Livingstone forced out of British Labour Party

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 23 May 2018

The witch-hunt and expulsions within Labour will be held up as an example to follow by right-wing forces all over the world, above all in Israel and the United States.

Members of Windrush generation speak out against UK government persecution

By Margot Miller, 23 May 2018

Governments of all persuasions have deliberately cultivated a climate of fear and intimidation against immigrants.

Sunday Times Rich List: Wealth of Britain’s richest grew 10 percent

By Simon Whelan, 22 May 2018

In the same year that 72 people were killed in London’s Grenfell Tower inferno due to cost-cutting, the city’s wealthiest residents became even richer.

Two Britains: The Grenfell inquiry and the royal wedding

By Thomas Scripps, 22 May 2018

Not a single national newspaper deemed the opening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry worthy of a position on their front page. Instead, they continued to obsess over the minutiae of the weekend’s royal wedding.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 21 May 2018

The entire narrative concocted by the British government has fallen apart, seam by seam.

Report exposes UK role in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen

By Barry Mason, 21 May 2018

The US, UK and other western countries have supported the Saudi intervention. Like Saudi Arabia, they regard the war against the Houthis as a proxy conflict with Iran.

Wealth-X report shows billionaires gained $1.8 trillion in 2017

By Eric London, 21 May 2018

The social needs of the working class can be met and its democratic rights defended only by expropriating the wealth of the super-rich.

Britain’s royal wedding: Recasting the monarchy in the age of identity politics

By Paul Mitchell, 19 May 2018

Markle’s feminism and racial identity provide the basis for the ultimate post-modernist makeover of the monarchy.

Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung fuels the campaign against Julian Assange

By Peter Schwarz, 18 May 2018

The German daily has joined the campaign to justify handing over the WikiLeaks founder to British and American authorities.