LONDON (Reuters) – Anti-Brexit protesters on Saturday used a bizarre array of humor to lampoon Britain’s leaders, casting Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser as a manipulating devil behind a divorce that was the work of a privileged few.
Figures depicting Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his special advisor Dominic Cummings are displayed during a demonstration as parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time since the 1982 Falklands War, to discuss Brexit in London, Britain, October 19, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
The battle over Brexit spilled onto the streets of London when hundreds of thousands of people gathered to demand a new referendum while lawmakers decided the fate of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Many turned to sometimes risqué British humor.
Dominic Cummings, cast by his enemies variously as the puppet master of Brexit, Britain’s Rasputin or a political vandal, was made into a giant effigy of the devil, complete with horns and manipulating his boss, Johnson.
“Demonic Cummings” was scrawled across the head of the effigy, pulled by protesters, some with berets sporting the stars of the European flag.
Another placard said: ‘I didn’t vote for Dominic Cummings’.
Other targets were the privileged financial backers of Brexit.
“Brexit is a billionaire con,” read one banner. “Brexit = Disaster Capitalism” read another.
Under the slogan “Eton Mess” one placard showed former Prime Minister David Cameron and Johnson, both of whom studied at Britain’s most privileged school – Eton College. They were cast as Horror and Lardy in the pose of Laurel and Hardy, complete with bowler hats.
In 2016, 17.4 million voters, or 52%, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48%, backed staying in the EU. Both campaigns were supported by wealthy backers.
Sex, of course, was one topic employed on Saturday, as peculiarly, were vegetables and fruit.
“Brexit is like consent – we can change our minds during foreplay,” read one placard. “Pulling out never works,” read another.
One man was dressed as broccoli while another was dressed as a banana with a sign: “We are ripe for change.”
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Iain Withers; Editing by Alexandra Hudson