...the European Union represented one of the few examples in human history of the political classes of several nations acting selflessly and sensibly.
For myself, I had always been an enthusiastic pro-European and an unashamed believer in a federal European state. Like many English people of my tastes and proclivities, I rather fancied myself propping up zinc bars, sipping pastis and listening to the musical chink-clank of petanque.
I viewed an increasingly united Europe as a necessary counterweight to US world hegemony and Russian idiocy, while also being a handy cosmopolitan stick with which to beat the backs of uptight Little Englanders.
But times and opinions change: the continent's sixty year double-thinking reverie has turned the European dream into something of a nightmare: the quadriga's remaining obstinately faced to the East has resulted in an unfeasible extension of the EU in that direction also, while the attempt to reconcile national sovereignty with a single European economy has resulted in a bloated bureaucracy full of the wind of its own democratic deficit.
But times and opinions change? In other words, not that Mr Self will ever admit to it, he got it spectacularly wrong.