Brexit from the Inside

Allan Milne Lees
5 min readSep 24, 2019
Image credit: Daily Express

The human brain is extremely limited in its ability to reason and human memory is very fallible. We tell ourselves self-aggrandizing stories about how wonderfully clever we are but over the last 70 years clinical data has refuted every one of our inflated notions. In reality most of us are closer to the Keystone Kops than to the very few clever people of our species such as Richard Feynman or Oliver Sachs.

This is why almost all of human history is the story of one blunder after another. We subsequently pretend the parade of follies was because of strategic imperatives or the grand march of progress or political necessity or some other nonsense. We do this so that we can avoid having to accept our own fundamental cognitive limitations. We don’t want to face up to the fact that we’re all inept when it comes to the business of understanding the world around us and inept at making adequate decisions based on this faulty understanding.

But it is essential that we accept just how limited our mental capacities are if we ever want to escape from a never-ending series of self-harms and catastrophic errors.

To this end, we will now stroll back in time to 2016 and over to the dis-United Kingdom and insert ourselves into the cramped and sparsely furnished mind of Mister Johnathan Ruddiman, a fervent Brexit supporter.

Mr. Ruddiman is sixty-nine years old, skims the Daily Mail for his news, and is an avid supporter of his local football club. He left school at sixteen and spent much of his working life on an assembly line. His favorite parts of Christmas are watching the Queen’s Speech and yet another re-run of The Battle of Britain.

According to the chattering classes, Mr. Ruddiman and his ilk voted for Brexit in 2016 as a protest against globalization, as a protest against wealth disparity, and as a protest against an undefined elite.

Inside Mr Ruddiman’s mind, however, the scene looks very different. Mr. Ruddiman is going to vote for Brexit because all the talk about Europe and foreign things makes him very uncomfortable. Mr. Ruddiman likes to go down to the corner shop on Sundays so he can chat to the proprietor Mrs. Rapaka and for a few minutes feel a little less lonely, but that’s because she speaks English. Mr Ruddiman has never had any interest in foreign…

Allan Milne Lees

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.