The working-class cockneys of London’s East End have long been the butt of jokes among the British upper classes. Over the last century and a half, a fascination with the East End spawned popular books by Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde and television shows like Coronation Street and East Enders. London’s white East Enders have for decades been fleeing to the suburban county of Essex, north and east of London. The BBC documentary Last Whites of the East End is about the few who haven’t left.
The dramatic cultural change that animated the recent Brexit vote is most pronounced in the East End, where the tension between Muslim immigrants and lower-class whites is high.