When Margaret Thatcher was invited to Paris for the bicentenary celebrations of the French Revolution she reportedly asked President Mitterand what they were celebrating. She had been told or believed that the Revolution was a bad thing. Some French people might have agreed with her. I have come upon a few who refuse to celebrate the fourteenth of July, Bastille Day.

A good many of us, around half the adult population of the United Kingdom indeed, echo her question when invited by Boris Johnson to celebrate our departure from the European Union. For us the triumphant note he strikes rings hollow.