The Debatable Land #19: Was Brexit made in Oxford?
A new book pins the blame for Brexit on Oxford University.
Brexit was not supposed to happen. Since it did, six years later political anthropologists are still seeking explanations for how this calamity - it is taken as read it must be a calamity - could possibly have occurred. Hitherto, intrepid newspaper reporters have donned their pith helmets and ventured deep into post-industrial England to explore the natives and their peculiar prejudices. The “Red Wall” has been fertile territory for such expeditions and it is considered unhelpful to note that more attention has been paid to Sunderland than to, say, Sevenoaks or Slough.
That being so, Simon Kuper’s new polemic “Chums: How A Tiny Caste of Oxford Tories Took Over the UK” at least has the virtue of novelty. For Kuper, an Oxford man himself, pins the blame for Brexit squarely upon his alma mater and, within it, specifically on the Oxford Union. This offers the prospect of some entertainment for, frankly, almost everyone enjoys giving Oxford a shoeing.
And the university’s gra…