Britain

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

“McStrike”: UK unions police anger of young workers

By Alice Summers and Robert Stevens, 20 October 2018

Behind talk of a coordinated struggle, the demand of service workers for better pay and conditions is being misled by the trade unions.

Brexit impasse at European Union summit

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2018

The failure to reach any agreement over Brexit is the product of escalating national antagonisms within Europe and internationally.

UCU recall conference seeks to silence opposition to sell-out of UK lecturers’ strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2018

Anyone believing that today’s recall will provide an opportunity to discuss the betrayal underestimates the contempt of the union apparatus for democratic debate.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry: Survivor’s statement reveals disdain for residents by the political and corporate elites

By Paul Bond, 17 October 2018

The statement by Edward Daffarn further demonstrates how residents were kept in the dark about decisions regarding the Tower and their fatal consequences.

Slashing of welfare spending forces millions into poverty in UK

By Dennis Moore, 16 October 2018

Half of the cuts will come from the freezing of working age benefits that has occurred since 2016, and will deliver cuts of nearly £16 billion.

“National crisis” facing UK National Health Service as deficits grow

By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018

The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.

Brexit crisis leaves fate of May government in balance

By Robert Stevens, 15 October 2018

If the May government fails to secure an EU deal without precipitating a pro-Brexit Conservatives and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) rebellion, a general election might result, bringing a Jeremy Corbyn Labour-led government to power.

Scottish National Party proposes pact with Labour for second Brexit referendum

By Steve James, 15 October 2018

The SNP is proposing support for a Labour government in the UK based on demands for a rerun of the 2016 Brexit vote.

Bonus removal cancels out Amazon’s UK pay rise

By Alice Summers, 13 October 2018

Workers are effectively paying for their own wage increase through the slashing of employee benefits, share and incentive schemes, with some possibly seeing a net loss.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry:

Survivors and bereaved give evidence—“We will not be silenced anymore”

By Paul Bond, 13 October 2018

The evidence reveals a devastating picture of official negligence before and after the fire.

Britain’s pseudo-left oppose worker rebellion against Royal College of Nurses leadership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 October 2018

The no-confidence motion against the executive of the Royal College of Nurses is only one example of growing opposition to the decades of betrayals by the trade union bureaucracy.

Kilometres from the ashes of Grenfell Tower

British royals spend millions on palace improvements

By Laura Tiernan, 11 October 2018

More than £1.4 million will be spent to make Kensington Palace more comfortable for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Trial of “Stansted 15” anti-deportation protesters begins in UK

By Margot Miller, 10 October 2018

The activists locked themselves around a government-chartered Boeing 767 on the night of March 28, 2017, to prevent take-off.

Labour Party-run councils escalate austerity in UK

By Alice Summers, 8 October 2018

Far from standing up to Tory-led austerity measures, Labour councils are blazing the trail when it comes to attacks on public services.

UK: No to Driver Only Trains in any form, mobilise against rail union sellout

By Michael Barnes, 6 October 2018

The struggle by rail workers in defense of jobs is in danger, due to the systematic sabotage of their fight by the unions.

US, UK and NATO allies ramp up anti-Russia offensive over “cyber spying” and Skripals

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2018

To frame the demand for the seven arrests, the US utilised all the material gathered by its NATO allies against Russia over the Skripal/novichok affair.

Risk of no-deal Brexit staggers European companies and economy

By Alex Lantier, 5 October 2018

With mass layoffs prepared in auto firms, plans in ruling circles are well advanced to place the cost of any Brexit crisis firmly on the backs of workers internationally.

Brexit and growing social divide dominate crisis-ridden Tory conference

By Robert Stevens, 4 October 2018

Both wings of the Tories are concerned that Prime Minister May’s downfall could lead to a Corbyn-led Labour government that would be unable to keep the working class in check.

UK nurses vote to remove Royal College of Nursing leadership after pay deal sellout

By Ajanta Silva, 3 October 2018

There is growing opposition among nurses and health care workers to a deal that includes an effective cut in real wages following years of attacks on wages and conditions.

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Meghan Markle’s Grenfell cookbook: The royal family in damage control mode

By Laura Tiernan, 29 September 2018

Markle’s “first solo project” is an attempt to restore public faith in the monarchy, present a caring and “culturally diverse” image and prevent the working class from challenging the wealth, privilege and power of the British ruling class.

Jeremy Corbyn calls for unity with Labour’s right-wing and the “business world”

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2018

Addressing those who have spent years slandering him and his supporters, Corbyn pleaded that it was necessary “to focus on what unites us. We are on a journey together and can only complete it together.”

Vote “yes” on resolution to force out Royal College of Nursing leadership! Build rank-and-file committees!

By NHS FightBack, 28 September 2018

The resolution gives voice to the growing rebellion among nurses and health workers against the RCN executive’s collusion with the Conservative government.

Toronto International Film Festival 2018

An interview with Mike Leigh, director of Peterloo: “You don’t run out of steam if what you do … is to literally hold the mirror up to nature”

By David Walsh, 28 September 2018

The WSWS spoke to British filmmaker Mike Leigh in Toronto.

Auto manufacturers in UK cut production, threaten jobs as Brexit crisis deepens

By Margot Miller, 27 September 2018

The UK car industry faces massive disruption if the government fails to agree unfettered access to the EU single market, with the loss of tens of thousands of jobs threatened.

UK Labour conference passes Brexit motion with option for “people’s vote”

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

Labour Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, speaking for the Blairites and dominant sections of British business, sees the latest compromise as a step toward committing Labour to retaining membership of the EU.

UK military step up marches and parades on streets of Britain

By Thomas Scripps, 26 September 2018

The show of force in Inverness, Scotland is one particularly extreme example of a succession of military parades that have taken place across Britain in the last few months.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

Manchester “anti-Semitism” protest

Blairites and Tories share platform calling for Corbyn’s removal

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2018

Tory MP Chris Green not only called for Corbyn’s removal, but suggested how the Blairites could defy the democratic will of their own party’s members.

UK government attempt to gag teachers as cuts deepen

By Tania Kent, 21 September 2018

The government reaction must be seen as a warning: not only will school cuts continue unabated but that they will move forcefully against any attempts to block their austerity agenda.

UK: Corbyn’s media policies leave corporate domination unchanged, silent on censorship

By Joe Mount and Julie Hyland, 20 September 2018

There was not a single proposal by the Labour Party leader challenging the corporate oligarchy’s domination of the media.

UK: Fresh novichok allegations used to escalate anti-Russia offensive

By Thomas Scripps, 19 September 2018

The crucial question is not to uncover every aspect of the dealings between spies of capitalist states, but to understand to what ends the British narrative of the Skripal affair is being pursued.

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

Economist magazine calls for soldier MPs to lead UK

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2018

The Bagehot column celebrates that the tradition of soldier-statesman is “now being renewed, after a succession of wars in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.”

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

UN special rapporteur to examine extreme poverty in the UK

By Barry Mason, 17 September 2018

That the UK now requires such a visit demonstrates the impact of more than £110 billion in austerity cuts and the destruction of one million public sector jobs.

UK Food Foundation: Four million children have poor diets

By Liz Smith, 17 September 2018

The situation worsened during the summer school holidays, with an estimated 3 million children nationwide at risk of going hungry.

Tory faction fight over Brexit escalates as leadership challenge to May threatened

By Robert Stevens, 15 September 2018

The “hard Brexit” wing of the ruling Tories is facing a backlash due to concerns in business circles over the economic consequences.

Mehring Books UK publishes The Heritage We Defend 30th anniversary edition

15 September 2018

The new edition of the foundational 1988 work by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site, is now available for order in the UK and Ireland.

Grenfell Fire: Fire Brigades Union warned of cladding dangers 19 years ago

By Paul Bond, 14 September 2018

The FBU report proves that every aspect of fire safety had failed at Grenfell Tower, due to decades of deregulation and cuts, long before the fire broke out.

British nationalist Nigel Farage addresses co-thinkers in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 September 2018

Farage was sponsored by corporate interests and welcomed by prominent powerbrokers within the governing Liberal Party.

UK: Rival Socialist Party members vie for position as deputy leader of civil servants union

By Robert Stevens, 13 September 2018

The sordid episode demonstrates that the pseudo-left organisations have no independence from the trade union bureaucracy.

Trades Union Congress in Britain silent on anti-Corbyn coup plot

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2018

The TUC crowed that this year’s congress marked the 150th anniversary of its founding, but not one platform speaker even referred to the attack on the leader of the Labour party established by the unions.

Huge rise in deaths of homeless people in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Across Britain, it is common to see tents and encampments set up in cleared wooded areas, underneath bridges, underpasses, or the less noisy areas of city centres.

Wonga payday loans collapse shows extent of UK poverty

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Under conditions of deeper austerity and growing financial insecurity, the collapse of Wonga will not bring an end to the payday lending crisis for millions of people.

Britain: No-confidence motions passed against leading Blairite MPs

By Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2018

The Blairites have no compunction about defying Labour members and will only go if they are forced out.

British media blacks out self-immolation of woman at Barnet council office

By Tom Pearce, 8 September 2018

The Conservative-run Barnet council has long been known for its cost-cutting and privatisation of services.

UK “identifies” Russian agents in attempted Skripal assassination

By Robert Stevens, 7 September 2018

The government’s narrative, supplied by the same security services that faked “evidence” of Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” cannot be taken at face value.

May stakes out Britain’s imperialist ambitions in Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 7 September 2018

While aid has always been about Britain’s geo-strategic interests, in future it will be used not to alleviate poverty, but to boost Britain’s business interests.

Retreat by Corbynites on anti-Semitism definition emboldens UK right wing

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 6 September 2018

Once again, Corbyn and his immediate coterie have capitulated in the hope of appeasing their critics and maintaining party unity.

Report by Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media undermines claims of chemical attack in Douma

By Paul Bond, 6 September 2018

In the face of the orchestrated attack on the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media as “Apologists for Assad,” the careful work by Paul McKeigue, Jake Mason, David Miller and Piers Robinson is all the more noteworthy.

The Socialist Equality Party and the anti-Corbyn coup plot: A reply to a reader

By Chris Marsden, 5 September 2018

The SEP does not cede leadership to Corbyn, nor stand aside from a political fight that is pitching tens of thousands of workers and youth against a rightist cabal of pro-austerity and pro-war criminals.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

Further evidence of official criminality surfaces as Grenfell fire inquiry resumes

By Robert Stevens, 1 September 2018

The inquiry will not bring justice as it is the creature of the Conservative government and, under the provisions of the 2005 Inquires Act, has no powers to prosecute anyone.

Royal College of Nursing union chief resigns amid mounting anger over NHS pay deal

By our reporters, 1 September 2018

National Health Service workers have spoken to NHS FightBack reporting teams about the pay deal, with many angered at the unions for accepting it.

Reject the anti-Semitism slurs against Jeremy Corbyn! Drive out the Labour Party right wing!

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2018

The lying campaign to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite aims to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and war.

French, British boats clash over English Channel scallops amid Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 31 August 2018

The clash highlighted how unexpected conflicts could erupt over Britain’s exit from the EU amid the relentless stoking of nationalism on both sides of the Channel.

The “spice” drug crisis in Britain

By Anna Mayer, 29 August 2018

The prevalence of the drug “spice” among the homeless highlights that the roots of the pandemic are social, not individual.

UK Court of Appeal reinstates Dr. Hadiza Bawa-Garba

By Ajanta Silva, 29 August 2018

Despite only being a trainee paediatrician at the time of Jack Adcock's death, the responsibilities heaped on Bawa-Garba as a junior doctor that day were extraordinary.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council and the obliteration of local authority services provision

By Paul Bond, 28 August 2018

The council is “reviewing” how to reduce the number of children who are taken into care , cut support for those with learning disabilities and introduce fees or charges for services.

UK foreign secretary uses US visit to support Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2018

For the hard Brexit faction, the future of May’s premiership is understood in terms of days and weeks—with Johnson’s leadership challenge gathering pace.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

Amazon Prime Day produces 209 percent increase in UK health and safety complaints

By Steve James, 24 August 2018

Prime Day saw strikes at Amazon warehouses in Germany and Spain and a work to rule in Poland.

UK Labour leader Corbyn silent on Afghanistan troop deployment

By Paul Mitchell, 23 August 2018

May’s announcement is a servile response to the demands of Trump, who has reversed his election promise to reduce US involvement in Afghanistan.

Anger over sell-out pay deal at Sheffield Supertram

By Laura Tiernan, 22 August 2018

Under the new agreement, pay will reportedly rise by just £1,700 over three years for a Supertram driver and £1,600 for conductors, far below rates for drivers and conductors at Manchester Metrolink who are covered by the same union.

UK: Boris Johnson gathers support for pro-Brexit Tory leadership challenge

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

Johnson’s anti-burqa comments and the leadership ambitions that informed them were spurred on by effusive support from Trump and his former adviser, Steve Bannon.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman takes his place alongside anti-Corbyn witch-hunters

By Julie Hyland, 20 August 2018

Whatever the progressive sentiments of those who signed up to the project, the Momentum network was from the very start aimed at controlling and ultimately sabotaging any genuine challenge to the right.

London: Ecuador embassy vigil marks six years since Julian Assange granted asylum

By Paul Mitchell, 18 August 2018

If forced out, Assange faces arrest by British police and imprisonment on bail infringement charges relating to a case dropped by Sweden over a year ago.

UK: Westminster “terror incident” remains unclear

By Paul Bond, 18 August 2018

While the authorities are not yet able to confirm that the incident was a terrorist attack, it will be used to intensify policing powers and surveillance across the capital.

UK artists’ visa refusals highlight tightened legislation against migrants

By Paul Bond, 17 August 2018

Implementation of the repressive Control Order was confirmed in operational guidance to border staff last month.

Anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn links opposition to Israel’s crimes with support for terrorism

By Chris Marsden, 16 August 2018

The British Labour Party leader is seeking to appease rather than confront his opponents, whose attack centres on the claim that opposition to Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism.

British government’s educational “reforms” exacerbate inequality, reduce school funding

By Alice Summers, 16 August 2018

The policies of both Labour and Conservative governments have led to massive spending cuts, threats to teacher pay and privatisation.

UK: Police take no action over far-right attack on Bookmarks bookstore

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2018

Despite London being the CCTV capital of the world and the fascist perpetrators gleefully posting videos of their activities on social media, there have been no reports to date of the police detaining, arresting or charging anyone.

UK: Three police officers acquitted of misconduct in restraint death

By Paul Bond, 15 August 2018

The victim was suffering an epileptic seizure when he was seized and forcibly restrained by seven policemen, who held him face down.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions

By Steve James, 14 August 2018

Serco wrote to Glasgow City Council of its intention to evict “former Asylum Seekers who do not wish to engage in voluntary return, and who the Home Office have determined have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

UK government warned of dangers of flammable cladding three years before Grenfell fire

By Tom Pearce, 14 August 2018

The warnings are further evidence of the vast criminality committed at Grenfell by the political and corporate elite.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

International artists’ visa refusals highlight UK government’s “hostile environment” against migrants

By Paul Bond, 13 August 2018

The racist visa bans have provoked widespread protests, condemning them and their parallels with the 1930s.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

Based on bogus charges of anti-Semitism

Details emerge of plot to oust Corbyn or split UK Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 11 August 2018

In their plot to remove Corbyn, Labour’s right wing are reasserting the nakedly neo-liberal and militarist agenda pursued by Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

Julian Assange reportedly asked to give secret interview to US Senate Intelligence Committee

By Mike Head, 9 August 2018

WikiLeaks said it received a request for Assange to answer questions about supposed “Russian interference” in the 2016 election.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

UK: Haringey Development Vehicle scheme scrapped, but social cleansing threat remains

By Paul Bond, 8 August 2018

The scheme would have seen the demolition of 1,400 council houses and their replacement by luxury developments and supposedly “affordable” properties.

UK: Unite suspends strike action on Sheffield Supertram to recommend sellout deal

By Tony Robson, 8 August 2018

The full details of the revised deal will not be disclosed publicly until the result of the ballot has been announced, but it amounts to a meagre 4 pence increase on the original offer.

UK: Victims of state surveillance to take legal action against Undercover Policing Inquiry

By Thomas Scripps, 7 August 2018

From the outset, the inquiry did not require the police to reveal their operations and accepted as participants only some of those who already knew themselves to be victims.

Fascists attack left-wing bookshop in central London

By Robert Stevens, 6 August 2018

The attack is part of the orchestrated and well-funded resurgence of far-right activity in Britain and internationally.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Smearing of Corbyn as an anti-Semite prepares right-wing breakaway from Labour

By Julie Hyland, 4 August 2018

The Blairite right wing is openly discussing a “declaration of independence from Corbyn’s Labour” by much of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

NHS trade unions’ “best deal in eight years” revealed as a fraud

By Ajanta Silva, 4 August 2018

Health workers are expressing outrage as the truth about the latest union sellout comes to light.

What is behind the talk of a Brexit “national emergency”?

By Julie Hyland, 3 August 2018

Underlying the febrile atmosphere that has developed since the Brexit referendum vote are explosive class tensions.

Julian Assange’s lawyer: Australian government has a “duty” to protect him

By Mike Head, 2 August 2018

Jennifer Robinson said the WikiLeaks editor wants to exercise his right to return to Australia, provided he is protected from extradition to the US.

British Navy evacuated Manchester bomber Salman Abedi from Libya in 2014

By Robert Stevens, 2 August 2018

It was known at top levels of the British state that Abedi had travelled on the ship, but the public, including the families of his victims, was kept in the dark for over a year.

Dawn Sturgess funeral held in UK as unanswered questions mount in novichok crisis

By Thomas Scripps, 1 August 2018

The Conservative government is desperate to contain and control a story in which not a single word from the authorities can be believed.

UK: Memorial event held 25 years after Joy Gardner’s killing

By Steve James, 1 August 2018

The event last Saturday marked 25 years since the 1993 murder of Jamaican mother Joy Gardner by the British government’s Alien Deportation Squad.