Britain

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

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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.

Julian Assange has been arrested in London today at the Ecuadorian Embassy on a US extradition warrant. The London Metropolitan Police have arrested Assange in line with this warrant and for failing to surrender to the UK court for a bail issue. Theresa May confirmed this morning, in her House of Commons address, that Julian Assange was “arrested in relation to an extradition request from the United States’ authorities.”

The Prime Minister has bought herself some time with another Brexit deadline extension. But workers and youth cannot afford to suffer any more of this chaos. We need a general election and a socialist Labour government now! According to Tory Brexiteers, Britain was supposed to be riding the waves of sovereignty and independence, having freed itself from the leviathan of the European Union. Instead, Theresa May and her ragtag government find themselves lost at sea - and with no hope on the horizon.

Xenophobia is perhaps the most consistent thread through British PM, Theresa May’s political career. Long before she became known as the Brexit prime minister – indeed, when she was still an ardent supporter of EU membership – she was the primary orchestrator of the Tory anti-migrant agenda. The Immigration Bill currently working its way through parliament will prove to be the crowning achievement of this divisive and cruel agenda.

The President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, is threatening to expel whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been for the last nine years, “within hours or days”. Moreno has accused Assange of leaking photos of the president and his family, along with intercepted private calls and correspondences. Moreno claimed on national radio that there were even “photos of my bedroom”, but has provided no evidence to substantiate his claims. This threat of expulsion is an assault on freedom of expression and should be

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British left-wing organisation Momentum has launched a national campaign calling on banks to divest from fossil fuel corporations. And the Labour Party has launched its own call for a Green New Deal. This highlights the need for public ownership of the monopolies.

The Mother of Parliaments is now home to the mother of all crises. Brexit has tested the UK’s institutions and unwritten constitution to their limits. We are in uncharted waters – and in Theresa May’s case, in a rapidly sinking boat without a life vest.

Brexit is turning into an absolute car crash. Theresa May has gone down in history as having racked up the biggest and the fourth biggest defeats in parliamentary history. Yesterday, weary MPs rubbed salt in the Tory leader’s wounds by voting to “take back control”, giving themselves a say in how to resolve the parliamentary paralysis (if this is even possible).

The British comrades of Socialist Appeal received the following letter from a former member of the CWI's British section, the Socialist Party, explaining why the explosive events in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership led him to abandon the sectarian route pursued by the SP and leave the organisation. He calls on his former comrades to do the same.

On 15-17 March, around 180 workers and students met in London for the annual national conference of supporters of Socialist Appeal, British section of the IMT. The meeting was, without a doubt, the best in the history of Socialist Appeal, as evidenced by the record attendance, the extremely enthusiastic mood, and the impressively high political level of the discussions.

With her precious Brexit deal thoroughly defeated in parliament for a second-time, Theresa May seems to have finally run out of road. Commentators on all sides are imploring the war-weary prime minister to stop flogging a dead horse and move on. But where can she go from here? The Tory government is in office but not in power. One disaster follows another in a never-ending circle. May looks (and sounds) like a dead-woman walking.

A ferocious civil war is going on inside the Labour Party – one that will determine its future. The party's right wing, largely confined to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), have unleashed a torrent of lies, abuse and misinformation. They are backed up to the hilt by the hyenas in the capitalist media, creating a climate of McCarthyite fear and intolerance over allegations of anti-semitism.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Jeremy Corbyn has promised the possibility of a second referendum in an attempt to pacify the Blairites. But such compromises will only embolden the Labour right wing. These careerists must instead be shown the door.Brexit is beginning to take its toll on Britain’s political parties. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are desperately attempting to hold their parties together in the face of irreconcilable divisions. But neither leader will be able to appease their rebels. Splits and shocks are the order of the day.

A Marxist student comrade of the Progressive Youth Alliance, Rawal Asad, remains in jail on the charge of sedition, having had his bail hearing rejected. In addition to continued protest in Pakistan against this injustice, messages and photographs have been pouring in all week from all over the world demanding our comrade's release.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

Last weekend, on Saturday 16 Feb, over 110 Marxists from all over Britain met in London to discuss the nature of work under capitalism, the history and role of Marxists in the labour movement, and how students can support the fight for socialism. Just one day after the historic school student climate strike, the energy and militancy amongst the youth was tangible.

An international solidarity campaign has been launched to demand the release of comrade Rawal Asad, who was arrested in Multan for the 'crime' of attending a protest. He faces a scandalous charge of sedition, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, and a judge has now officially denied his application for bail. In addition to demonstrations in Pakistan, comrades from all over the world have been protesting outside of Pakistani embassies, and sending pictures and messages of support calling

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At least 10,000 students across the UK walked out of school on Friday 15 February, marking the arrival of the international School Strike 4 Climate movement in Britain. This movement has already mobilised hundreds of thousands of students in over 40 countries, with young people around the world participating in incredibly militant strikes and marches – the aim of which is to force governmental action on climate change.

Good riddance. This will be the sentiment amongst grassroots Labour members towards today’s news that a group of seven Blairites are splitting from the party. Delight at their departure will be mixed with immense anger towards the treacherous role that these right-wingers have been allowed to play over the past few years. The task now is to kick out the rest of the saboteurs who remain at large inside the Parliamentary Labour Party. This is why we need mandatory reselection.

On Saturday, February 16, over 100 students representing Marxist Societies at over 30 universities across Britain met in London for the Marxist Student Federation national conference. One of the points of the agenda was the current ongoing Trump coup in Venezuela.

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