Who Should the UK Blame for the Whole Brexit Thing?

We list the most culpable people and things.

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02 April 2019, 10:55pm

Photo: Jake Lewis

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

Well, here we are then. Having concluded the bit where we fail to answer history’s most torturous exam question – How do you leave an economic union while retaining all of its benefits? – it's already time to move on to the main course: assigning blame. It's tits-up, but how did those tits get up there in the first place, huh?

Who put them there? We, a vengeful public, demand answers.

Thankfully, help is at hand.

If you’re looking for someone to blame in the coming weeks, please look no further than our handy scapegoat guide.

WHICH SCAPEGOAT IS RIGHT FOR ME?

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Bodyguard. Photo: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

THE DEEP STATE

The Take:
Brexit was always going to be thwarted. You don’t think the LibLabCon would just give its power back to the people, do you?

The Civil Service was instinctively allergic to Brexit. It came up with Osborne's daft disaster predictions and barely flickered when the result was announced. Civil Servants didn’t even bother to prepare for any Brexit, making sure our hand was so weak we could only ever fold. Then they came up with poppycock like the Irish Backstop – little more than an Omagh Potemkin Village. They guided May’s disastrous strategy nose-first into the dirt, leaving us with only one set of options: stay, or stay?

Common advocates: Farage. Darrens from Basildon.
Who is, ultimately, to BLAME: Olly Robbins, the UK's chief Brexit negotiator.
Will I Feel Better If I Believe in This? Absolutely. Belief in the deep state is a lot like Hinduism – the sense of some celestial hand guiding you round life's chessboard, of a game that is cosmically unwinnable, really helps you avoid too much unpleasant introspection.
Real-life actual blame percentage: 20 percent culpable.
How well would this work as a YouTube documentary made by an unhinged loner with too much time on their hands?: Chasing anonymous lanyarded office workers down Whitehall, yelling, "WHY ARE YOU IGNORING ME"? Fantastic.
Can I monetise this vein of rage and turn it to political advantage? Ask Nigel "£700,000 a year" Farage.

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Protesters outside Parliament. Photo: Jake Lewis

DEMOCRACY

The Take:
The problem is not with the EU, it is with The People. The People, Mark, liked Nazis and Coldplay. You can’t trust The People.

It is high time we put an end to this whole disastrous democratic experiment. How can you expect a man who works fitting towbars to understand Ricardian Comparative Advantage. Even if he could, why would you give a toss about the opinions of a man who fits towbars for a living?

If there’s one thing this disastrous Vote has shown, it’s that The People can’t be trusted to make decisions that might affect the travel visas of university-educated urbanites.

Common advocates: Dominic Grieve. Anna Soubry.
Who is, ultimately, to BLAME: Democritus, the disastrous Greek theorist.
Will I Feel Better If I Believe in This? Absolutely. It's an instant ego boost, and the best thing about this particular elite is that you don’t have to be particularly smart or talented to join. In fact, it often helps if you’re not.
Real-life actual blame percentage: Statistically-speaking, precisely 50 percent of people have a below-average IQ. So… 50 percent?
How well would this work as a YouTube documentary made by an unhinged loner with too much time on their hands? Bad. "I'm on a journey… to challenge dumb people…" Optics, friend. Optics.
Can I monetise this vein of rage and turn it to political advantage? Some might say the whole EU project is built on doing just that.

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Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings in 'Brexit: The Uncivil War'. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

DOMINIC CUMMINGS

The Take:
A sinister brainiac hijacked the process and bent the minds of the British people with his hypnotic campaign messaging.

Portrayed by Cumberbatch for Channel 4’s biopic on the Vote Leave campaign, Dominic Cummings is a villain straight from Central Casting. He all but does you the favour of appearing in a puff of smoke. Being held "in contempt of Parliament" last week for refusing to testify in front of a select committee was only another sediment layer of icing on Cummings’ cake.

Of course, behind Cummings was Aaron Banks; behind Banks was Trump; behind Trump was Russia; behind Russia, oligarchs; and behind the oligarchs, a giant well of molten evil, drilled into the core of the earth, spewing its white-hot pestilent ejaculate into the troposphere, all powering a dynamo rotating the embalmed corpse of Heinrich Himmler.

Common advocates: Carole Cadwalladr. AC Grayling. #FBPE without number.
Who is, ultimately, to BLAME: The Electoral Commission.
Will I Feel Better If I Believe in This? No, but you will definitely earn many follow-backs as you descend into gibbering madness.
Real-life actual blame percentage: 18 percent culpable.
How well would this work as a YouTube documentary made by an unhinged loner with too much time on their hands? It’s already a podcast, so why not.
Can I monetise this vein of rage and turn it to political advantage? Yep. Middle-class conspiracy theories are way more lucrative.

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Map showing the extent of the British Empire in 1886, distributed as a supplement to The Graphic weekly newspaper in July of 1886. Photo: AF Fotografie / Alamy Stock Photo

THE BRITISH EMPIRE

The Take:
Paging Dr Freud… Brexit is a national crisis that has spilled over from Britain’s failure to deal with the fact that it lost its pwecious empire.

Everyone involved in Brexit is subject to the dysphoria of little boys who were once shown a map of the world with half of it coloured pink, and have never recovered from the fact that Britain is now Just A Country.

Being inside the European club – that Empire-of-Equals – has always chafed. Brexit is The Great Lashing Out. The moment when the stroppy teenager in all of us declares that we will do just fine on our own, thanks. It’s not really about politics, or even economics. It is one big psychodrama in which a 50-year tantrum reaches its sobbing, hyperventilating climax, as Britain cries itself back to the Dark Ages.

Common advocates: James O’Brien. SOAS students who need to get laid.
Who is, ultimately, to BLAME: Lord Kitchener.
Will I Feel Better If I Believe in This?: Getting laid is pretty much the only thing that has ever made anyone feel better, my friend. That, and enacting complex, meaningful life goals while nurturing a dense network of friendships and community. But hey, whatever floats your boat.
Real-life actual blame percentage: 10 percent culpable.
How well would this work as a YouTube documentary made by an unhinged loner with too much time on their hands? Very well. Just get loads of old Pathé on the Mau Mau Rebellion and make sure all the fonts are different sizes.
Can I monetise this vein of rage and turn it to political advantage? No. Don’t you know James O’Brien works for free because he is just so pissed off about it all?

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Photo: Simon Childs

CAPITALISM

The Take:
Yup, capitalism’s at it again. Brexit is an inevitable phase in capitalism’s endless campaign of misdirection.

The collapse of northern industrial towns that carried Brexit over the line was a phase predicted by Marx. The workers are beggared, the bosses fatter than ever. So what do the bosses do? They conspire to blame it all on immigration, and make rival working classes compete against each other until they are exhausted and spent. When the working classes do finally rebel, they only end up picking the wrong bloomin’ target! As ever for our fatcat puppetmasters, crisis becomes opportunity as capitalism moves in to tilt Britain even further to the right.

Common advocates: Grace Blakeley. Che Guevara.
Who is, ultimately, to BLAME: Lord Digby Jones.
Will I Feel Better If I Believe in This? Yes – people are very responsive to being told their entire belief structure represents "false consciousness". Just try it!
Real-life actual blame percentage: 99 percent culpable, baby.
How well would this work as a YouTube documentary made by an unhinged loner with too much time on their hands? Super-boring. Keep it to a meandering 20-minute response-vlog to a Sargon clip, if you please.
Can I monetise this vein of rage and turn it to political advantage? Stop trying to monetise things, you terrible communist!

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Photo: Parliament

THERESA MAY

Obviously.

@gavhaynes