Brexit the Uncivil War: losing control of the facts?

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Brexit The Uncivil War about how the campaign for Brexit was conducted - written by Kirkby playwright James Graham - was aired for the first time on Channel 4 last night.

Benedict Cumberbatch starred in the compelling drama about one of the most controversial referendums in modern British history.

It was an entertaining and thought provoking romp focusing on this ever so British affair raising more questions than it attempted to answer.

Graham’s thesis is that a group of wealthy financiers and anonymous figures were able to manipulate a defining moment in the nation’s history, without having any accountability for the outcome.

The central character Dominic Cummings was the faceless director of the leave campaign responsible for the famous £350 million a week for the NHS Bus and uncontrolled Turkish immigration memes which are supposed to have played an important part in people’s voting decision.

Cumberbatch portrayed him as a maverick genius defying conventions to propel the Brexiteers to victory - the only thing wavering was his Durham accent.

Using a mixture of intuition and the emerging might of digital technology he identified three million voters below the radar of the rival remain campaign and bombarded them with propaganda on social media.

Get back control was the theme.

But people were winging it left right and centre and it proved impossible to control once the genie was out of the bottle.

There were excellent caricatures of Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage and his millionaire backer Aaron Banks. PM David Cameron and his cohorts are powerless and out-manouevred.

The tragic assassination of Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox during the campaign brings their political parlour game into perspective.

Graham, who has admitted he voted remain, cleverly avoids patronising the Brexit voters too much. There are nuanced moments when an undecided woman voter in a focus group collapses in rage at her feelings of powerlessness and being ignored by metropolitan elites. An unemployed steelworker underlines how his family community and last vestiges of respect have been taken from him over the years, with immigration taking much of the blame.

There is a surreal moment as Cummings senses a physical awakening rage in the deprived provinces.

Perhaps the anger directed at the EU was not so top-down as was supposed.