Where the grand tradition laughs in the face of fear, Brexit had to tap into deep anxiety about the loss of status. It had to somehow put together two fears – the older one about Britain’s loss of status in the world after 1945 and the newer concern that the privileges of whiteness were being eroded. For people who feel anxious about the threat of losing their status, self-pity is attractive because it combines righteous anger with reassurance. You are reassured because you know you deserve a great deal, righteously angry because for some reason you have not been getting what you so obviously deserve. This combination has always been alluring to anti-colonial liberation movements: we are a great, unique people therefore we deserve to be free; only the colonial oppressor is preventing us from enjoying the freedom we deserve.