Britain

As the temperature rises in this general election, the battle lines have become ever clearer. On one side is the mass Corbyn movement of workers and youth. And on the other, the rich and powerful have assembled firmly behind their party, the Conservatives.

In an explosive move, Corbyn and the Labour Party revealed over 400 pages of previously redacted documents lifting the lid on the UK–US trade talks. The content of these documents cuts right through Boris Johnson’s neverending web of lies.

The Orthodox Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ephraim Mirvis, has launched a vicious attack against Labour, claiming the party is not doing enough to root out alleged anti-Jewish racism. In an article in the Times newspaper, the Chief Rabbi claims "the overwhelming majority of British Jews are gripped by anxiety" at the prospect of a Labour victory in the general election.

We are just over halfway into the general election. The next few weeks will be crucial. Everything is being done by the establishment to pour cold water on Labour’s campaign. They have the full support of the Tory media in this aim. And, as Johnson had hoped, Brexit is still being used to blur the class issues.

As part of the election campaign, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson recently addressed the captains of industry at a conference of the Confederation of British Industry in London. Swinson asserted that the Lib Dems were the "natural party of business" because they want to stop Brexit. Johnson, meanwhile, promised tax cuts for business as well as “stability”.

The first TV debate between Johnson and Corbyn earlier this week highlighted the Tories’ primary (and only) line of attack in this election: Brexit. Indeed, the mantra “Get Brexit Done” has been repeated ad-nauseum by the Tory leader and his PR goons.

Labour members were delivered an enormous shock by the sudden resignation of Tom Watson. He was a stalwart of the party’s right wing. Nobody expected him to leave the party like this. His unexpected departure has effectively decapitated the right wing of the party.

This general election is going to mark a fundamental turning-point in Britain. It will have colossal ramifications internationally.

The global economy is slowing down, heading for a new world slump. A rebellion is taking place across the planet, with mass insurrectionary movements erupting onto the streets from Baghdad to Beirut to Barcelona. And in Britain, the Corbyn movement is preparing for the battle of a generation, as a general election looms.

Splits and divisions have opened up at the top of the Tory government. Given the paralysis in Parliament, they don’t know which way to turn. Depending on what extension the EU offers, they are torn between trying to push Brexit through or going for a snap pre-Christmas general election.

Since mid-September, the Marxist Student Federation in Britain has signed up 3,193 people across the country. This is by a huge margin our best year ever. It reflects the deepening crisis of capitalism, and subsequent search for new ideas from the youth. We’ve been present in 36 universities, at the freshers fairs, putting forward the demand for a radical socialist labour government. With a General Election around the corner, people are ready to talk about politics, and the Marxist societies are bigger than ever.

In the 1930s, Leon Trotsky wrote that the ruling class were tobogganing towards disaster with their eyes closed. This seems to be an accurate description of the situation in Britain today. Tobogganing towards a no-deal Brexit, the ruling class has lost control of events.

Travel company Thomas Cook is no more. Another iconic cornerstone of the British high street has gone into liquidation and 9,000 workers in the UK are out of a job. Many of these went through the same horrible experience just two years ago when Monarch Airlines collapsed. The current collapse is arguably an even-greater social disaster and hits 20,000 workers worldwide, with wider knock-on effects throughout the travel industry.

The British Labour Party has been holding its national conference over the past several days. At a Labour4Clause4 fringe meeting on Monday evening, a packed room of grassroots Labour activists heard from Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell and leading trade unionists, who speakers pledged their support for the restoration of Clause 4 and Labour's commitment to socialist policies.

Britain is in the grip of an unprecedented crisis. The Brexit deadline is fast approaching. Boris Johnson’s government has hit the buffers and lost control of the situation. The scene is set for the most important and most bitterly-fought general election since the war.

Britain’s constitutional crisis has been deepened considerably by today’s Supreme Court ruling that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of parliament is unlawful and void. MPs will now return to parliament while the split in the ruling class widens into a canyon.

Parliament has now been shut down for five weeks by an unelected Prime Minister and a hereditary monarch. This scandalous state of affairs is perfectly legal under the constitution. This is what British parliamentary ‘democracy’ looks like.

His government is just two days old, but Boris Johnson has already managed to lose his majority and rack up two defeats in the House of Commons. No government in history has faced such an immediate losing streak. This demonstrates how weak the Tory leader and his regime are.

There is a lot of chatter these days about cross-party and cross-class alliances. The possibility of a no-deal Brexit has certainly set the tongues wagging, especially amongst middle-class radicals like journalist Paul Mason.

Today is the 200th anniversary of what has gone down in history as the Peterloo Massacre. This is one date that the ruling class has little desire to remember. Even now, two centuries on, a reminder of the bloodshed and violence associated with the history of British capitalism will be uncomfortable for the establishment.

Yesterday, Boris Johnson took his place in 10 Downing Street as the latest Prime Minister of Britain. His premiership will be characterised by deep crises and intense class struggles.

The Conservative and Unionist Party is in the midst of a monumental crisis. This is more than raised voices and red wine on the sofa – this is an existential crisis that threatens to tear the party apart.

The crisis unfolding within the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) is reaching a critical phase, and a deep split is now imminent. The Spanish group of the CWI, Izquierda Revolucionaria, which only joined the CWI in 2017, has already split away and what remains of the Mexican and Venezuelan groups have followed suit. The Portuguese group has also left. To help readers understand what is happening, we take this opportunity to publish two opposition documents from 1991 and 1992, when a heated dispute took place within the Militant Tendency in Britain over the question of the internal regime.

On 12 June, the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid certified the request from the US to extradite Julian Assange for allegations of hacking and sharing classified American government documents. We wholeheartedly oppose his extradition and defend Assange’s freedom of speech.

When Theresa May made a tearful resignation announcement in front of Downing Street recently, many posts on social media went viral speaking about the lack of tears from the Prime Minister over Grenfell. In any case, Grenfell families wouldn’t have been comforted by any tears then, and they certainly won’t be now. They want justice.

In Britain, all eyes are currently on the Tory leadership contest. But another – far less publicised – race is currently taking place at the same time: that to replace Vince Cable as leader of the Liberal Democrats, who are enjoying something of a revival.

The Labour right wing were fully expecting and hoping for the party to lose a key by-election in Peterborough last week. This constituency voted strongly to leave the European Union, and the press had hyped up Nigel Farage's right-wing Brexit Party, which everybody expected to win the seat. This would've given a boost to the Blairite plotters and Farage's hard-Brexiteer outfit. But on the day, Labour defied expectations and won with an increased majority. Originally published at Socialist Appeal on 7 June.

Alan Woods, editor of In Defence of Marxism, comments on President Trump's recent state visit to Britain. With Theresa May stepping down, Tory leadership contenders have made a lot of noise about how Britain will 'reclaim sovereignty' and 'take back control' after Brexit. But the events surrounding Trump's visit expose this as a complete charade. Far from achieving a favourable trade deal with the USA, the Tory government is preparing the ground for American big business to sweep in and pick at whatever scraps are left of the British economy after Brexit.

As expected, the European elections saw a huge victory for the Brexit Party, which took 32 percent of the vote in Britain. This clearly reflects the frustrations of many people about the paralysis in Parliament and the failure of politicians to agree on a path for Britain’s departure from the EU.

After three years of can kicking, Theresa May has finally run out of road. Giving a teary-eyed speech in front of Number 10 this morning, the Prime Minister announced that she would step down on 7 June. The race to succeed her will begin the following week. Then the fireworks will really begin.

Things are getting desperate, even excruciating. The Tory agony seems to have no end. Theresa May is clinging to office by her finger tips, hoping to last out until the end of October, or maybe even longer. However, the longer she bunkers down, the greater the disaster for the Tory Party.

It has been a shaky start for Change UK – the Independent Group, in Britain. Impressive early polling figures for the new "centre ground" party suggested it would take 15 percentage points and a few seats off Labour, thereby robbing Corbyn of a general election victory. But despite this strong initial push, it all seems to have gone horribly wrong. This should come as no surprise. Change UK represents the failed politics of the past.

Local elections took place in Britain on 2 May, in which nearly 9,000 seats across over 250 councils were being contested. They told a story of anger, apathy, and disillusionment. The Tories are clearly in crisis. The unholy alliance of the media and the Blairites have used the opportunity to further their campaign to sabotage the chances of Labour coming to power. Corbyn has tried to bring the focus away from Brexit and towards class issues. This is the best way forward.

Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching the UK Bail Act. One year is the maximum sentence permitted for bail evasions. He will serve out his time in Belmarsh maximum security prison.

Alan Woods discusses the battle in the Labour Party over the question of a second referendum on Britain's EU membership. The Tories are torn apart over Brexit, yet rather than uniting behind their party leader, right-wing Labour MPs are putting their energies into attacking Jeremy Corbyn. Sooner or later, judgement day will come for Theresa May, and the opportunity for Corbyn’s Labour to form a government will present itself. But how will Corbyn deal with the wreckers in his ranks, and the question of the EU?

“We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us.” These are the pearls of wisdom from a Tory MP recently describing the collective hatred with the Conservative Party towards British Prime Minister Theresa May.

The arrest of Julian Assange is a vicious assault on basic democratic rights. Through WikiLeaks, Assange has exposed the hair-raising crimes of US imperialism and its allies, including the UK. While war criminals like Bush and Blair walk free, Assange now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a US prison. A defence of Assange is a defence of the right to freedom of expression and the right to information, against imperialist aggression.

With Marxist Labour councillors in the leadership, a mass movement involving the entire labour movement and working class communities was built up in Liverpool in the 80s, in order to oppose cuts and fight for socialist policies.