BREXITEERS seem to be obsessed with the term “elite”. It’s their go-to “insult” when anyone tries to question their avid drive for splendid isolation and cliff-edge negotiation. Perhaps alleged man-of-the-people, radio presenter and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage can shed some light on this obsession. Farage is fond of sprinkling his Brexit discourse with liberal doses of blame for ... well, liberals, as it happens – or the so-called “metropolitan elite”.

As far as he and his populist playmates are concerned, it’s these shadowy bureaucrats in Brussels and, closer to home, in our own House of Commons, that are to blame for the ills of the working people, for the dispossessed and marginalised in our society that have been silenced and ignored. According to Farage, Brexit is the only answer to the question of how to break down this progressive monopoly and “take back control”.

Unfortunately for Farage, actions speak louder than words, as nothing says “elite” quite like arriving at work in Strasbourg in a private plane paid for by some anonymous businessman. For this MEP has more than one public persona; in this case, less everyday working hero, more two-faced wealth grabbing elitist. As Richard E Grant would say in Withnail and I, “free to those who can afford it, very expensive for those who can’t”.

Because most people can’t afford Farage’s lifestyle and can only dream of private planes or ascending in gold lifts to meet the President of the United States. Since well before the EU referendum in 2016, Farage – with pint in hand and tweedy Terry-Thomas demeanour – has successfully diverted attention away from his own wealth and privilege, to focus on what he views as problems with this “metropolitan elite”, who’ve had the audacity to protect our hard-won human rights and workers’ protections through their support for the EU and its progressive liberal agenda.

In this sleight of hand, he’s omitted to tell his supporters that the spoils of Brexit have already been earmarked by an entirely different elite, of which he is a founding member, and the working folk will see precious little of any mythical Brexit dividend.

He’s not the only one who is fond of this distraction technique. Former chair of the European Research Group and Tory MP Suella Braverman recently described Conservative prime minister John Major as “elite” – or more accurately, decried his “Remainer elite views” when he challenged Theresa May’s mishandling of our exit from the EU.

Braverman’s comment is rather disingenuous, given Major’s well-known council house and state school background, which is about as far from elite as another former prime minister, David Cameron, is from using a food bank.

That’s not to say that all former council house boys have the monopoly on political insight. Tory MP David Davis, a short-lived and hapless Brexit Secretary, was brought up in a council estate in Tooting before attending the local grammar school, entering parliament in 1987 and becoming Europe Secretary back in 1994.

The National: David Davis

With this back catalogue, you’d think he would a) have insight and much-needed experience on Europe, and b) an understanding of what it’s like for the majority of the population of the UK who haven’t been born with a silver spoon in their mouth.

And yet, like some white-haired Austin Powers, all lascivious grins and giggling swagger, the Right Hon Mr Davis made a sharp exit when the chaos of Brexit got too hot to handle, and is laughing all the way to the bank with his £3000 an hour pay check for 20 hours consultancy work a year for JCB.

A rather elitist scenario for those with friends in high places – in this instance, Lord Bamford, the Brexit-supporting chairman of a well-known British manufacturing company.

If Davis is Austin Powers in this Brexit reimagining, then who is Dr Evil, intent on wrestling control from the so-called “elites” at the EU? There are a number of contenders for this auspicious role, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, Dominic Raab and even Theresa May herself – but the winner would most likely be Boris Johnson, with his glorification of self-interest over his nation’s future prosperity, conducted with brass-necked bravado and old-style Etonian superiority.

In between making wild accusations of a “deep state” plot to undermine Brexit, and suggesting, without the merest hint of irony, that the public are sick of “public school debating society chicanery” in the House of Commons, Johnson is willing to say just about anything, no matter how outrageous or mendacious, to divert attention from the monumental disaster that his party has made of Brexit.

That just leaves Michael Gove as Mini Me to complete this rather tasteless analogy, for a roll call of tricksters who are very much the establishment in all its privileged sense. As well as boasting a salary from The Telegraph that would take most people years to earn, Johnson, like fellow Eurosceptic David Davis, also receives a fat pay check from JCB.

No amount of photo ops driving diggers or wearing hard hats can hide the fact that, for those unprotected by influence and wealth, the reality of post-Brexit Britain will be a wasteland of job losses, pay cuts and firms going bust in the construction and manufacturing industry, not to mention the mass exodus of important businesses across all sectors.

It is in this Brexit bad-land that the UK Government is considering their “martial law” options to curb riots and dissent when food and medicines run dry. Hardly the land of milk and honey as promised by these gold-plated Brexiteers. Yet still they continue to appropriate “elite” as a slur on their detractors, as a way of duping the voting public and drawing attention away from their exclusive, wealth creation activities to the detriment of just about everyone else.

This elite club of hardline Eurosceptics have moved all their money out of the UK anyway. A two-job Tory MP and global strategist for an investment company, John Redwood has already advised his clients to shift their dosh to sunnier climes, while Jacob Rees-Mogg is taking advantage of far better investment security in the Republic of Ireland.

He’ll be warning his buddy Farage not to push too hard on Nigel’s ill-advised “Irexit” mission – well, at least not until he’s moved his funds once more to another healthy European economy. And, while Henry Hoover may be enjoying a brief upsurge in profits thanks to vacuum protest shopping, Sir James Dyson moving his business to Singapore will benefit, without one sleepless night, from lower taxation and fewer workers’ rights when the UK has sunk far into a financial abyss. One rule for the Brexiteers, another for everyone else.

At least Jeremy Corbyn will be ideally placed to advise on allotment care when the rest of the nation morphs into a less than cheery version of Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal in the Good Life, and the taste of blueberries and radicchio are mere distant memories.

For many Leave voters, however, it doesn’t matter anymore who is to blame, elite or otherwise. Perhaps it never did. The unicorn is galloping towards the horizon, towards a sun setting on the modern order and a return to the red, white and blue days of old, when political correctness was just two unrelated words in the dictionary and we still had colonies to partition on a whim.

Whether the kind of Brexit the UK ultimately achieves is ever truly owned as a victory for the hidden elite at the expense of the working people remains to be seen. One thing is sure – when the reality of picking up the pieces of our exit from the EU hits home, when the supermarket shelves are empty, and medicines run low, when cancer screening grinds to a halt and airports cease to function, huge numbers of voters will be looking for someone to blame. Farage may need his German passport yet.