Is Nasty, Brutish, and Short the Brexit team of Farage, Johnson, and Galloway?

Who would have thought that Thomas Hobbes, perhaps the UK’s greatest political philosopher, could predict what we can expect with Brexit? He famously described life before a commonwealth as a state of nature which men want to escape. His description captures what the UK will look like after Brexit.

In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts;[1] no Letters[2]; no Society[3]; and which is worst of all, continuall feare[4], and danger of violent death[5]; And the life of man, solitary[6], poore[7], nasty, brutish, and short.[8]” [Emphasis added]

What we do know about Brexit is that London will be richer, fabulously wealthier, as they will no longer have to follow EU regulations on banking[9] or finance[10]. There will be no limits to compensation packages for bankers. The rest of the UK will see the same systemic inequality they have experienced for the last 40 years.

Despite the EU’s best efforts, the UK remains a country riven with deep inequality of wealth, opportunity, and life expectancy. Despite the EU’s aid with an attempt to bring fairness, justice, and a decent life to its citizens, the UK has stoutly resisted. The result is that UK citizens are migrating as quickly as they can.[11] They don’t want out of EU, they want out of a UK. Brexit will tell you a fairy tale that leaving the EU will return us to a Panglossian age “the best possible world, where everything is for the best”.  The reality though is much different.

Brexit works for the wealthy not the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable. It will ensure that the London based central government that prioritizes the interests of the City of London and the City of Westminster over everyone else will have a freer hand. They have not reversed the deep inequality for 40 years while in the EU why would they change when they leave the EU?

With Brexit, the UK will get a life that is Solitary, Poor, Nasty, Brutish, and Short. Is this what the UK  wants or are they being told a tale by those who will benefit the most from Brexit? It certainly will not be to the advantage of the the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable.

[1] The arts have been cut since 2010 by 36% percent. 

[2] The libraries are being cut,  since 2010 over a 1000 have been closed–none have been opened.

[3] Margaret Thatcher’s dream, a nation of individuals who are egotistical individuals seeking their own self-interest as there is no common good, only the individual good.    

In almost 60 years of public statements, Thatcher only mentioned the common good 16 times.

This is found at this site

With this search

[4] Anyone with a job, anyone without a job, pretty much anyone who is at the mercy of the state.

[5] see also for context


[7] For the past 40 years the UK’s northeast has been one of the poorer areas in the UK and in northern Europe. The UK has 9 of the poorest areas in northern EU even as it has the richest, London, in all of the EU.–eJ0axHCqmx

[8] Life expectancy is dropping in the UK especially for women when compared to the EU average.





About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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