When I think back to the satirical 'establishment' targets of the 1970s now I think only how naive we all were. The out-of-touch judges, bent coppers, pompous MPs, upper class twits, fat bishops and naughty vicars, corrupt councillors and opaque mandarins that we saw as an obstacle to a truly liberal, free, open and transparent society were in reality the dam holding back a whole new generation of the new establishment even more rotten, more corrupt, more self serving and less transparent than they were.
Several decades after Lindsay Anderson's 'Britannia Hospital' we have the reality of all our hospitals euthanising the old and inconvenient through the Liverpool Death Pathway; we also have 1,200 prematurely dead in Mid Staffs, not even, as that ghastly regime accorded the victims of the T4 programme, 'granted a mercy-death (Gnadentod) after discerning diagnosis' but killed though indifference and lack of care, stinking in their own faeces, dying of thirst, hunger and cold whilst their fat cat bosses enjoyed canapes at the opera, built extensions to their comfortable suburban houses and enjoyed the apres-ski on the slopes of Verbier.
So they're now all on remand in jail awaiting trial, no? No. Not Dr Helen Moss, the Director of Nursing, deaf to pleas of junior nurses, acquitted by her peers. Not Martin Yeates, the Chief Executive, who left with a £400k goodbye. Not Sir David Nicholson, who ran West Midlands SHA, who has been promoted and now runs the entire NHS. And not Cynthia Bower, also head of the SHA, who beyond belief now runs the Care Quality Commission.
And while some 60 newspaper hacks were arrested in dawn raids and remain on bail for the suspected phone hacking of third-rate tabloid fodder personalities, thieving MPs remain at large and immune from prosecution, robbing bankers enjoy their lives of luxury untouched by the law, incompetent mandarins who lose billions are rewarded with honours and pensions, corrupt councillors bluff their way through trouble and the whole generation of the new establishment who drink deep at the public tit, who seek power and reward without responsibility, celebrate their immunity from Justice.
The rotten stench of the new establishment like week-old Mackerel does more than merely offend; it is repulsive, repugnant, indecent and unbearable.