Britain

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

Grenfell fire inquiry opens: No one faces police questioning until autumn 2018

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2017

In the week prior to the procedural hearings, survivors launched a petition to demand that the blatantly undemocratic nature of the inquiry be changed.

Millions of the poorest in the UK eat an unhealthy diet

By Thomas Scripps, 13 December 2017

Under the impact of cuts to social services, falling wages and rising food prices, many working people are unable to provide themselves, and particularly their children, with a healthy diet.

“We need to talk about Jeremy”: The City of London discusses its attitude to a Labour government

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership team has spent months persuading ruling circles that Labour can be trusted to take the reins of state.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

UK “Magnitsky bill” escalates US-led anti-Russia offensive

By Julie Hyland, 11 December 2017

The move by right-wing Labour MP Ian Austin is part of a cross-party effort to build pressure for a far more aggressive stance against Moscow.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

British “aid” diverted to jihadi forces in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 8 December 2017

The revelations confirm Britain’s covert support of jihadi forces as proxies to topple President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

UK terror report confirms Manchester and London terror attackers known to MI5

By Robert Stevens, 7 December 2017

A report into four terror attacks in the UK this year found that at least one could have been prevented—raising the question why police and the intelligence services failed to do so.

Former UK minister indicates Brexit referendum “deal” between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2017

According to Ken Clarke, Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Murdoch’s British arm, News International, said she was “running the government now in partnership with David Cameron.”

Proposed Brexit deal blocked by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2017

The May government has failed to reach an agreement with the European Union after seven months of acrimonious talks.

Grenfell fire families challenge government inquiry cover-up

By Robert Stevens, 5 December 2017

The petition represents the first major independent challenge to the government’s plans to carry out a cover-up of the events that led to the deaths of at least 71 people.

Betrayal of UK rail workers’ fight against driver only operations reveals treacherous role of unions

By Michael Barnes, 4 December 2017

The sellout of Southern rail workers—with conductors holding 39 days of strikes and drivers many days of walkouts—demonstrates there is no line the unions will not cross.

UK government rocked by Trump’s fascistic twitter postings

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2017

Following Trump’s unprecedented public attack on the Prime Minister, the alliance between the two countries has never been shakier.

One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

By Dennis Moore, 2 December 2017

A new study by the homeless charity Shelter shows widespread and pervasive homelessness across the UK, with an additional 13,000 without accommodation in the last year alone.

UK Labour staffer death is second linked to unproved allegations of sexual harassment

By Julie Hyland, 1 December 2017

The presumption of innocence until proven guilty has been jettisoned based on unsubstantiated allegations, rumour, innuendo and gossip.

Choreographed media fawning over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 1 December 2017

The engagement has much to do with well-placed concerns in ruling circles that when the 91-year-old reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth, dies, this could fuel republican sympathies.

“We’re human beings, not slaves and animals”

UK newspaper exposé details Amazon’s super-exploitation of workforce

By Robert Stevens and John Newham, 30 November 2017

A Sunday Mirror reporter conducted a five-week undercover investigation at Amazon’s Tilbury fulfilment centre

Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution

How the Bolshevik Revolution saved avant-garde art

By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017

The curators have carefully selected objects to reflect the different fields of avant-garde art—providing a serious historical narrative about its development before and after the Bolshevik Revolution.

“The Bolshevik Revolution liberated art and artists”

Radical Russia: an interview with curator Peter Waldron

By Paul Mitchell, 30 November 2017

Curator Peter Waldron spoke to the WSWS about the Radical Russia: Art, Culture and Revolution exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and the Royal Fabergé exhibition running in parallel.

UK health care cuts will lead to 100 additional deaths each day

By Margot Miller, 28 November 2017

A landmark study reveals the dirty secret of austerity policies being imposed all over the world: the more money is cut, the more people are sent to an early grave.

UK living standards facing longest decline in more than 60 years

By Julie Hyland, 27 November 2017

Average earnings of workers in 2021 are expected to be lower in real terms than in 2008.

Bus workers in northwest England escalate strikes for pay parity

By John Newham, 27 November 2017

As more disputes erupt, the unions are doing everything to contain the situation and oppose any united offensive by transport workers.

UK Electoral Commission investigates Leave campaign finances in Brexit referendum

By Julie Hyland, 25 November 2017

The UK Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum on British membership of the European Union breached its £7 million spending limit.

UK to offer larger EU “divorce settlement” to overcome stalled Brexit talks

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2017

The competing factions within the British ruling elite are seeking to steer a way out of unprecedented crisis under conditions in which the entire edifice of the European Union is crumbling.

The Guardian’s George Monbiot joins “fake news” campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2017

For the Guardian’s George Monbiot to portray the entirely valid criticisms of the official line on the Khan Sheikhoun attack in Syria as fuelling far-right conspiracy theories is politically criminal.

Letter from welfare advice worker on introduction of Universal Credit benefits

UK claimants deeply anxious, even suicidal, due to welfare sanctions

By our correspondent, 21 November 2017

The World Socialist Web Site received this submission on the introduction of Universal Credit in the UK from a welfare advice worker.

A third of UK children in poverty, with rate set to rise

By Margot Miller, 20 November 2017

A report predicts a 4 percent national increase in children in families living in poverty, or 400,000 additional children in families with incomes of 60 percent or less of the median.

Grenfell Tower “independent” task force produces whitewash report

By Steve James, 18 November 2017

The report avoids any reference to the fire’s origins in national and local policy decisions, including the deregulation and privatisation of fire safety and building control, as well as fire service cuts.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

EU anti-“fake news” authority prepares mass censorship

By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2017

The EU is preparing censorship aimed not at false information, but at news reports or political views that encourage popular opposition to the European ruling class.

May deploys anti-Russian propaganda to distract from Brexit crisis

By Julie Hyland, 15 November 2017

The UK prime minister’s claims underscore how unsubstantiated allegations of Russian “interference” and “fake news” have become the refuge for crisis-ridden politicians the world over.

Socialist Equality Party holds meeting on Google censorship at Manchester Metropolitan University

By our reporters, 15 November 2017

The meeting outlined the political context in which the term “fake news” is used to justify censorship.

Strikes at five UK rail companies

By our reporter, 13 November 2017

Outside London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station, large pickets were mounted as up to half of all services were cancelled.

Five million people in UK earn less than £8.10 an hour

By Thomas Scripps, 13 November 2017

Full-time employment is now out of reach for many, with growing numbers forced into precarious part-time and self-employment.

May’s Conservative government faces possible collapse over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 11 November 2017

European Union officials have let it be known that they are making contingency plans based on Prime Minister Theresa May not surviving beyond the end of this year.

Metropolitan Police try to block Freedom of Information requests over Grenfell Tower

By Simon Whelan, 11 November 2017

Attempts to stifle information over the Grenfell Tower inferno come as it has been revealed that 52 London tower blocks are similarly clad in flammable material.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

More than a quarter of Londoners live in poverty

By Alice Summers, 9 November 2017

Twenty-seven percent of London residents live in poverty, according to a study by poverty charity Trust for London.

UK rail workers escalate strikes in the face of scab operation

By Michael Barnes, 8 November 2017

Ahead of the strikes, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling declared the Conservative government’s intention to coordinate a national strike-breaking operation.

SEP national secretary proposes “Capitalism Has Failed” at St Andrews University Union Debating Society

By our reporter, 7 November 2017

Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, won substantial support for the proposition that capitalism is an “abject failure.”

Escalation of Universal Credit rollout in UK threatens millions more with poverty

By Robert Stevens, 4 November 2017

As well as facing delays in receiving the Universal Credit payments, many of those on the benefit face punitive “sanctions” aimed at cutting the pittance they receive even further.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Art auction for Grenfell fire survivors raises £2 million

By Paul Bond, 30 October 2017

The auction in London met up with the feeling of solidarity that many people have with those devastated by the fire.

Survey of UK nurses exposes staff crisis in National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 28 October 2017

214 out of 224 acute hospitals operated without an adequate level of nursing staff during day shifts last October, while 85 percent of them did not have proper staff levels on night shifts.

London: Public-private housing partnership to enforce social cleansing in Haringey Borough

By Ross Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 27 October 2017

Many working class people will be forced out of a borough where 48 percent of households have either no savings or are in debt.

Grenfell Fire Forum launches Facebook page

By our reporters, 26 October 2017

One Forum participant said the Facebook page “will be important to give a voice to the survivors, many of whose terrible experiences have still to be told.”

Road death of UK pensioner the result of tragic circumstances

By Dennis Moore, 25 October 2017

According to evidence presented, Yate had been working a continual week of night shifts at a supermarket in a losing battle to try and pay off £50,000 in debts.

Tsar to Lenin screens to sold out audiences in London and Manchester

By our reporters, 25 October 2017

The documentary was shown on October 14 at HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, and at the Barbican Centre in London on October 22.

Airbnb and eBay paying virtually no tax in the UK

By Margot Miller, 24 October 2017

While profits soar to exponential heights, corporations engage in myriad complex scams to evade paying even the minimal and ever decreasing corporate taxes levied by governments.

UK: BAE Systems and Vauxhall to impose mass job losses

By Dennis Moore, 23 October 2017

Job losses at Vauxhall and BAE Systems are among thousands of cuts across the UK as the economy stagnates.

Post-Grenfell: More than £400 million needed to make London residential buildings safe

By Tom Pearce, 20 October 2017

London has 32 boroughs, of which just 21 answered a survey on the cost of planned remedial safety work.

Rift deepens between Britain and European Union as talks reach no agreement

By Robert Stevens, 19 October 2017

EU leaders will today inform British Prime Minister Theresa May that after five rounds of negotiations over the terms of its exit from the EU, the UK needs to make further concessions.

Hurricane Ophelia’s tail hits Ireland and UK

By Margot Miller, 17 October 2017

Three lives were reported lost and winds of up to 109 mph left 360,000 homes and businesses without power in the Republic of Ireland.

Youth suicides at a record high in the UK

By Alice Summers, 14 October 2017

Economic and academic pressures on young people are exacerbated by a systemic decrease of funding for mental health counselling.

UK school funding crisis worsens

By Tom Pearce, 14 October 2017

Due to budget cuts, schools have asked for donations from businesses to provide basic necessities, resulting in further reliance on the private sector.

UK government refuses funds for unsafe tower blocks post-Grenfell

By Robert Stevens, 13 October 2017

No money has been made available to fund the installation of sprinkler systems, despite fire brigades stating that they are essential to prevent fires spreading.

British Clinical Commissioning Group to slash health services in Dorset

By Ajanta Silva, 11 October 2017

More than 75,000 people signed petitions against the Clinical Service Review, with many thousands across the county participating in protest marches, meetings and gatherings in Dorchester, Poole and Bournemouth.

UK draws up plans to back US military attack on North Korea

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2017

At the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said his government was prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea or another adversary.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

London’s Garden Bridge project abandoned at massive cost

By Paul Bond, 9 October 2017

From an original proposal to pay only “enabling costs” from public funds, £60 million towards capital cost was committed by Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson and then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Tory party on verge of leadership contest after disastrous conference performance by May

By Robert Stevens, 7 October 2017

Theresa May only remains in place to keep the party together and avoid an eruption of unrestrained factional warfare.

Huge increase in UK firefighters with mental health problems

By Dennis Moore, 6 October 2017

Many of the firefighters who tackled the Grenfell fire suffered mental health problems following that terrible event.

UK: Corbyn ally John McDonnell declares Labour’s mission is to “stabilise capitalism”

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2017

Despite the “socialist” rhetoric they may spout, the pseudo-left and Stalinist groups are all in fundamental agreement with McDonnell—the job at hand is to defend capitalism.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Monarch Airlines collapse causes air travel chaos

By Steve James, 3 October 2017

Monarch is the third major European airline to go under this year.

People’s Assembly stage tame protest outside Conservative Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2017

The pseudo-left groups are desperate to conceal the fact that the many local Labour authorities have imposed austerity on behalf of the government for years.

Manchester demonstrators: “People are dying under these austerity measures.”

By our reporters, 3 October 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to those attending Saturday’s anti-austerity protest in Manchester.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Wide-ranging discussion and resolution passed opposing Google censorship

By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2017

Over 20 people, half of whom were local residents, attended the first meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum last Saturday at the Maxilla Social Club in North Kensington, London.

UK public sector employment at record low

By Margot Miller, 2 October 2017

The ruling elite is seeking to return social conditions to the Victorian era, abolishing the post-World War II welfare state.

Parsons Green bomb seized on to call for greater internet censorship

By Steve James, 30 September 2017

The ruling elite are calling for powers to exclude whole sections of the population from internet use, as and when politically convenient.

The Labour Party’s Annual Conference 2017

Corbyn prepares for government: At what price?

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 29 September 2017

If Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was serious about implementing a single one of his pledges, he would alert the working class to the struggle they face to ensure their demands are met.

Attend the Grenfell Fire Forum hosted by the Socialist Equality Party (UK)

29 September 2017

The SEP (UK) is holding the first in a series of regular meetings on the Grenfell Tower fire on September 30 at the Maxilla Hall Social Club, North Kensington, London.

More disturbances in UK prisons as conditions worsen

By Peter Reyd, 28 September 2017

Riot squads were called to prisons 30 to 40 times a month to deal with serious disorders between March and November 2016.

UK government moves to prop up super-rich tax haven operations in British Virgin Islands

By Jean Shaoul and Robert Stevens, 27 September 2017

The BVI is known as a tourist location, but the island’s raison d’être for the ruling elite in Britain and globally is as a site for financial swindling on a vast scale.

Row over Brexit punctures myth of unity behind Corbyn at Labour Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 27 September 2017

The conference vote on Brexit took on surreal elements, being held on the same day that it was announced that the beginning of a fourth round of talks between the UK and the EU again broke up without agreement.

May’s overtures to European Union on Brexit terms falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2017

While Conservative Prime Minister May’s speech in Florence was flagged as bridge building with the European Union over Brexit, not a single EU leader or representative was present.

UK wields military and security cooperation as a weapon in Brexit negotiations

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2017

The British government’s position paper on the terms of its exit from the EU stresses the UK’s role as the second military power in NATO, to underline the implicit threat that it will withdraw military and defence co-operation with the bloc.

Socialist Equality Party/International Youth and Students for Social Equality (UK) public meetings

Stop Internet Censorship! Stop Google’s political blacklisting of the World Socialist Web Site

22 September 2017

The Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding a series of public meetings in the UK in opposition to Google’s censorship of the Internet and its blacklisting of the World Socialist Web Site.

Grenfell Tower fire eyewitnesses: “It’s because of our class—we are the lowest socioeconomic class on the food chain”

By our reporters, 20 September 2017

A Socialist Equality Party campaign team spoke with local residents in Ladbroke Grove, London about the Grenfell Tower fire.

Survivors and local residents speak out on Grenfell Tower Inquiry opening

By our reporters, 19 September 2017

Inquiry Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick claimed that he was “impartial” and had therefore rejected submissions to appoint a local resident to act as an assessor.

Millions of the UK’s poorest families driven into deeper poverty

By Dennis Moore, 19 September 2017

The government’s overall agenda, dressed up as welfare “reform,” is underpinned by slashing welfare spending and encouraging people to move from benefits into work.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 2

By Paul Armstrong, 18 September 2017

In the aftermath of the Lakanal House fire, the Labour-controlled council promised £62 million for improved fire safety and maintenance, but residents are still living in death traps.

World Socialist Web Site readers in Britain oppose Google’s censorship campaign

By our reporter, 18 September 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the hundreds of people in Britain on why they have signed the petition to Google demanding that the corporation stop its censorship of the Internet and end their blacklist of the WSWS.

Bomb attack on London Underground sets stage for further state repression

By Steve James, 16 September 2017

As with all such outrages, there is no reason to assume that the attack comes as a surprise to the British intelligence agencies.

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1

By Paul Armstrong, 16 September 2017

Recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into the Lakanal House tower block fire, handed down in 2013, were ignored by the Conservative government, local council authorities and the London Fire Brigade.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the case for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 15 September 2017

The refusal of Sir Martin Moore-Bick to answer questions at the official opening of the government inquiry into the Grenfell Tower inferno epitomises the class arrogance and indifference of the powers-that-be towards working people.

As official Grenfell Tower inquiry opens, UK fire safety provisions under attack

By John Vassilopoulos, 14 September 2017

Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor and fire safety expert, told the WSWS government cuts were responsible for the Grenfell Tower inferno.

UK: Pay cap for majority of public sector workers to continue, despite government defeat

By Robert Stevens, 14 September 2017

August saw a further precipitous decline in living standards for all workers, due to the rising cost of fuel, clothes and food imports, with wages as a share of national income the lowest since the Second World War.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

UK: Tony Blair calls for anti-immigration policies to stop Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2017

The former Labour prime minister called for EU nationals without work in the UK to be barred from renting homes, opening bank accounts and receiving health care.

UK: Labour Mayor in Salford rubber stamps closure of disabled children’s school

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 11 September 2017

Since 2010, Salford Council has imposed £186 million in cuts to vitally needed services.

UK: May government finalises Grenfell Tower Inquiry cover-up

By Robert Stevens, 9 September 2017

The inquiry has no intention of achieving real justice for the victims of Grenfell—nor remedying the dangers faced by thousands of other tenants across the country.

Royal College of Nursing union holds rally in London

No answers to attacks on public health care

By Ajanta Silva and Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2017

The “Summer of Action” was largely restricted to appeals to MPs and photo opportunities for RCN bureaucrats and union officials making occasional media appearances.

UK: Refuse workers resume strike after Birmingham Council imposes redundancies

By John Farmer and Robert Stevens, 8 September 2017

Throughout the strike, Unite never called all-out action, even as the Birmingham City Council mounted a mass scabbing operation.

British soldiers arrested for membership in banned fascist group

By Steve James, 7 September 2017

Four soldiers in the British Army were arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism as members of the outlawed fascist group National Action.

Labour will seek to block Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 7 September 2017

As parliament begins its debate today on the second reading of the so-called Great Repeal bill, the Labour Party officially announced it will vote against.