"One way of putting the referendum that I like is that Brussels and Germany are the mother and father of the EU and the rest of the countries are kids. And some kids spend the money wisely but some, like Ireland, spend it on crazy things.
"So the mum and dad keep giving the kids more and more money. But eventually they put their foot down and say, 'Right, you can keep borrowing our money – if you sign this form to let us know what you’ll use it for.' "
This, apparently, is what we're teaching our kids now – that we are all children, subject to our strict but benign parents in Brussels and Berlin. The words are those of a primary schoolboy, interviewed on RTÉ Radio to mark Europe Day last week.