Self-pity thus combines two things that may seem incompatible: a deep sense of grievance and a high sense of superiority. It is this doubleness that makes it so important to the understanding of Brexit, a political phenomenon that is driven by ideas that would not otherwise combine. Crudely, passionate nationalism has taken two antagonistic forms. There is an imperial nationalism and an anti-imperialist nationalism; one sets out to dominate the world, the other to throw off such dominance. The incoherence of the new English nationalism that lies behind Brexit is that it wants to be both simultaneously. On the one hand, Brexit is fuelled by fantasies of 'Empire 2.0', a reconstructed global mercantilist trading empire in which the old white colonies will be reconnected to the mother country. On the other, it is an insurgency and therefore needs to imagine that it is a revolt against oppression. It therefore requires both a sense of superiority and a sense of grievance. Self-pity is the only emotion that can bring them together.