Corruption takes many forms in society: the most famous is bribery, but there are many other forms that corruption takes. In the modern world, because bribery has become one in the same as "corruption", there has been a tendency to ignore its many other forms.
The recent coming to light of a potentially-horrifying child abuse scandal going to the heart of Britain's establishment is another sign of this.
It has been a very bad time for the Conservative government recently: with many key government figures being part-and-parcel of the establishment itself, their very lifestyle and approach to life is being questioned as it has never been before.
The appointment of Baroness Butler-Sloss as the head of the inquiry has been questioned by many. More cynically-minded observers have called it an "inside job" and setting the stalls for a government whitewash, like the Hutton inquiry did into the death of David Kelly ten years ago.
More objectively-speaking, and disregarding of any sinister motives, there is already evidence that in previous investigations she was involved in (that also involved the "establishment" in on way or another) she deliberately decided not to "rock the boat" and ignored allegations and evidence of child abuse. This all doesn't even mention the fact she is the sister of the avocate-general who was in charge when the allegations of abuse first came out thirty years ago.
The baroness herself strongly denies any willful ignorance on her part, and also vehemently denies any conflict of interest regarding her brother. But who is she to say so? As a judge herself, she surely should realise the problem of adjudicating over something that her brother previously looked at - otherwise, it would make her an appallingly-ignorant servant of justice.
What this all adds up to is not so much an "establishment" that is "sinister", but protective; in fact, institutionally-protective. In other words, corrupt.
Power for the sake of power
The establishment as an institution has existed for centuries, and has become masterful as its own self-preservation. The inevitable result of this system is corruption, and the inevitable growth (and acceptance) of immoral behaviour within the system. When the purpose of a system becomes simply its own self-preservation above all else, the inevitable result is to tolerate evil deeds for the sake of "the system".
It is easy to make some comparisons.
The author has written previously about the growth of Islamic extremism. While of course the comparison is very far from similar, the moral degradation of "the system" shows the same characteristics. In the case of Islam, the silence of moderates has allowed the amoral extremists to dominate the narrative and turn Islam into a creed of hate and violence.
In Britain's establishment, the reason why the child abuse scandal was allowed to continue for so long was simple: the "normals" within the system were too scared for their own fate, or too worried about the fate of "the system" to bring the "abnormals" with the system to proper justice. In other words, by turning a blind eye, they allowed evil to continue and grow. This kind of environment is that which allows amoral behaviour to thrive without restraint.
No wonder there seem to have been a disproportionately-large number of "abnormal" people within Britain's establishment - the security of being within "the system" would have only encouraged them even more...
Former politicians like Norman Tebbitt are coming out and admitting that this behaviour may well have gone on for years. No-one did anything because no-one wanted to risk harming the system.
Even so (and as just as likely an explanation), in such a system, even "normals" that had heard about rumours of amoral behaviour by "abnormals" may have become so wrapped-up in the establishment's own propaganda that they would not have believed such behaviour was possible. Put in this light, after years of being educated into being fed the "line" that the establishment was the best thing for Britain and what kept Britain going, many insiders genuinely believed it. It represents the self-delusional thinking of members of a closed society, perpetuating the lie and passing it on from one generation to the next - like in any corrupt system of power.
A select committee interview with the Home Office's chief civil servant was equally (if not more) damning. It was clear that the head civil servant had no idea how hundreds of files relating to child abuse allegations had "disappeared" (ha ha). Similarly, he had no idea what the investigator he had hired to look into the issue was actually investigating. In fact, it looked like the Home Office's chief civil servant know very little about anything.
In this case, it looked like it was better for an "establishment" figure to look like a fool than a rat.
Cloak and dagger
What is Britain's "establishment" actually for? Those in the system defend it as being part of Britain's culture, as defending Britain's symbols and way of life. In practical terms, though, the "establishment" equates its own interests with Britain's interests. In that sense, it may even be compared to some elements of how Franco's regime in Spain ran the country.
While Britain lauds itself as a modern democracy, it is the most feudalistic developed state in the West: with a House Of Lords, and a "LibLabCon" consensus that lives in its own Westminster bubble, separate from the concerns of normal Britain.
Apart from the "closed" system of the establishment, with the many cover-ups that preserve its system, advances in modern technology have made Britain into near-total surveillance state, where the intelligence community routinely records what people are doing online and on their phones. Why? Most "normal" people in the establishment talk of only the best motives to protect people, but its also clear that the more sinister members of the "establishment" also use information for another reason: blackmail.
So this is how the establishment protects itself - through cover-up and blackmail. Having an "Oxbridge" education simply means you speak in tongues while doing so, and thus sound all the more innocuous and harmless to your intended "victim". Both methods go hand-in-hand with a system of corruption. Which begs the question: what "system" does Britain's establishment believe in?
Surely it is simply "corruption" by any other name.
Britain can have its "democracy", as long as Britain's establishment is free to do what it does best.