‘The National Interest’. It’s an interesting term, isn’t it ?
It is a term that is often misunderstood because the majority of the public have in their minds one definition of The Nation while those that are charged to safeguard the national interest have a subtly distinct understanding of what The Nation is.
In the case of the majority of us The Nation is a voluntary collective of citizens prepared to obey the law as a means to safeguard our mutual self-interest. We, as a society, recognise that there are both internal and external threats to our broadly peaceful way of life and The Nation is a glue that binds us together for our mutual protection. For this mutual protection we willingly relinquish absolute freedom which can only manifest itself in an anarchic state offering none of us security.
However, for those, who by definition are the establishment, charged with safeguarding the ‘National Interest’, The Nation is mistakenly conflated with The State and the establishment’s definition of The State ergo The Nation is ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors.’ and, by extension, all the mechanisms that sustain the monarchy in that position.
Every Member of Parliament pledges this Oath of Allegiance or Solemn Affirmation before he or she can sit “I…swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
Similar Oaths of Allegiance are pledged by members of the Lords, members of the Civil Service, members of the judiciary, members of the armed forces, the police, and the clergy.
For the record, I think we have a very good Queen and I think that a constitutional monarchy is as good a system of government as any and better than some. For the most part the interests of The State and those of The Nation are one and the same. If they were not then conflict between the two would have brought down The State, as it is now, long ago.
But sometimes the interests of The State and The Nation, as perceived by the majority of people, are not the same and because when these differences do occur they might lead to public disenchantment and in extremis a breakdown in public order, these rare examples must by necessity be kept secret.
Such is the example of establishment child abuse. By no reasonable definition of ‘National Interest’ can a cover-up be condoned. It is an essential tenet of our social contract that the most vulnerable in our society are those that need to be protected the most and children above all others are the most innocent and therefore most in need of this protection.
Only when the interests of The State, and the establishment mechanisms which sustain it, are jeopardised is it possible for such abhorrent and anti-social behaviour be covered-up by those charged with safeguarding the ‘National Interest’.
But let’s be clear, when this happens the power to protect the ‘National Interest’ has been misappropriated and those that do so, far from protecting The State, undermine in the eyes of the public The State and the establishment which sustains it.