Some social norms we never think about. For instance, it would not be a social norm for the lowest strata of society, or lower strata of society in general to spend a lot of their time, energy and focus on spying on their social “superiors” and dedicate a lot of resources in plotting how to sabotage their interests to reduce them to penury and coerce them into slavery.
However, the converse is plainly true – that there are always extensive interests among the ruling class who are preoccupied at advancing their interests by actively attacking and sabotaging the life circumstances of those lower in rank to themselves. That the depravity of rulers and ruling elites prior to Nero and Caligula and subsequent to them, has been standard fare, everywhere in the world and at all times. These are the people who wage wars to strip others of their wealth and obtain slaves. These are the people who enslave their own people. They are obsessed with controlling and exploiting others. They acknowledge no law nor morality higher then their own whim. And at the top of society they control every structure in society which they re-organise to primarily serve themselves.
The security services in Britain traditionally recruited from the ruling class. In Britain the disdain for meritocracy of those born in privileged circumstances is hard-wired into their mind-set. After all, they owe their position to birth. The best strategy for them to retain their privilege is to prevent competition at all costs. As is standard in most employment areas, the best, higher rank jobs, conveying authority, are only open to those who already enjoy a high social class position. And it goes without saying, that unless it is clear that they will prioritise protecting their privileged class interests, even a higher social class individual won’t get the job.
The ongoing problem for such people is two-fold. Firstly, they have to employ competent subordinates many of whom will be more intelligent, talented and skilled than themselves. And somehow they have got to control people superior to themselves and prevent them successfully competing them out of their highest positions. The standard method is simply to stone-wall meritocratic competition with a social class closed shop. But you are dealing with the top brains in the country here, from relatively high social class origins themselves, though not the highest, who are now working close to the reins of power, and who will certainly learn how to use the methods of control and usurping power for themselves. Greed is a great ally. Be of good social class. Be well educated and enter a profession, and you will still be very lucky to earn £50k a year, which in this day and age is a barely adequate middle class income. Most people can suffocate a few moral qualms when offered a 6-figure salary.
What people overlook when they are at the top of their profession and they receive that discreet and flattering invitation to join that most exclusive of old boys clubs, the security services, is that if they obtained their pre-eminence on the basis of merit and not because of family connections to the ruling elite, they will be a subordinate in that organisation. Accustomed to receiving respect from others on the basis of their middle class origins and professional merit they are totally unprepared for the unique social perspective of the upper class elite. The ruling elite acknowledge only two classes of people. Themselves, a cast-iron ring-fenced group which does not accept outsiders, and everyone else they regard as slaves, and fair game for total exploitation. And “outsiders” with merit, and worst of all moral values who refuse to be bought, must be brought under control. And it just so happens that the security services have at their disposal every technique for destroying human minds at their disposal and the freedom to use them without consequences to themselves.