It’d be a severe understatement to say that tensions are high in the United Kingdom right now. Since 2016, the Brexit vote has led to mass confusion and frustration on the part of both citizens and government officials, as the country attempts to extricate itself from the European Union without an agreed-upon plan for doing so.
As various political groups continue to spar about Brexit’s next steps, or whether it should even take place at all, demonstrators have taken to a particularly pointed and suit-destroying method of voicing their dissent. In recent months, figures like controversial Ukip (UK Independence Party) candidate Carl Benjamin and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage have been hit with milkshakes on the street:
Last week, near a venue where Farage had a scheduled speaking engagement, a McDonald’s even went as far as banning the creamy treat, in order to deter repeat incidents:
But friends, The Takeout isn’t here to wax rhetorical about Brexit. We’re sure that’ll find its way into the comments regardless. No, we’re here today to consider the milkshake’s versatility as a tool of discourse—specifically, what level of milkshake is appropriate for a corresponding level of transgression.
After all, this milkshake situation has left us with a lot of questions, but the one that came up around the office was this: Given the milkshake’s status as a pre-eminent dish within the dessert kingdom, it’s not the kind of treat that one just frivolously throws away. Therefore, how do you know when a sociopolitical dispute has reached loss-of-milkshake levels?
The taking up of milkshakes denotes a certain passion behind the action, a strength of intention that clearly says to the world “for as delicious as this milk-and-ice cream delicacy may be, my message requires its deployment as a weapon.” For instance, Paul Crowther (the protester in the above video) reportedly employed a “Five Guys banana and salted caramel milkshake” for the task, while noting that “the bile and the racism [Farage] spouts out in this country is far more damaging than a bit of milkshake to his front.”
Considering that just today Farage refused to deboard a Brexit Party bus due to the oncoming threat of milkshakes, it seems the battle rages on. [Editor’s note: It seems the question of whether Farage chose not to deboard because of the milkshake threat is not yet settled. Some witnesses also say the milkshakes appeared to be partially empty Frappuccinos.]