This week, a beleaguered Boris Johnson administration reacted to calls for his resignation by announcing it will defund Britain’s public broadcaster and further militarise the Franco-British border. With many speculating it is a matter of when, not if, Johnson falls, it is important to recognise that such populist policies, launched to placate the right-wing media and others, are consistent with a pattern of entrenched impunity by this government: in the policing of borders, the police, the judiciary, equalities, and human rights. To help understand the sheer proliferation of government measures and proposals put forward over the past year, this week IRR News published a five-part resource, Impunity Entrenched, compiled by IRR vice chair Frances Webber. These measures, informed by an ideology of punishment and exclusion, will destroy the right to asylum, fill prisons, further divide society and exacerbate racial tensions and hatred, while entrenching the powerful by blocking routes to political, legal and public accountability. What they all share is a retreat from values of fairness, equality and basic human decency, in favour of strong-arm policing of minorities and dissent at home, abroad and on the borders, within a punitive, crude, nationalistic political culture.
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