Our individual borrowing exceeds the nation's GDP. Fuelled by a cheap credit boom, the country has binged on loans and credit cards, periodically converting the debts into additional mortgage borrowing as house values spiralled ever upwards. Now individuals are paring their spending, reining in further debt, cancelling gym subscriptions, deciding the three year-old sofa has a bit more life in it, trimming motoring costs and chucking the yacht charter and swimming pool brochures in the bin. And as the pain bites, they will all want someone to blame - and not just to blame. Before long, people will want a sacrificial victim; they want to see the priests pull the living heart from the chest of the condemned atop the ziggurat.
Labour know this. They're wearing the collective worried expression of someone found with a can of lighter fuel and a box of matches near Pudding Lane in 1666.
Brown will do his utmost to offer the country an alternative victim; bankers, hedge fund traders, men in decent wool suits with polished Oxfords. The Conservatives this week must resist at all costs joining Labour in this attempt to deflect responsibility. The message from Birmingham should be clear. The country, with Cameron at the helm, faces a painful struggle to get debt under control. Expanding spending is not an option. Every household will understand this message. The message should continue, and should place the fault firmly at Brown's door; his irresponsibility, his incompetence, his reckless purblind spending binge. Birmingham should place a hand firmly between Brown's shoulder blades and propel him up the steps of the ziggurat, to the priests with the sharp Obsidian knives and a decent knowledge of anatomy.
We stand a chance now to destroy the malignant curse of socialism in Britain, the chance to free our people from its baleful and evil spell. At the next election, we can see Labour's life-blood flowing in rivulets down the sacrificial mound, its torn heart ceasing its spasms. Yes, the bankers will need dealing with, quietly and behind the scenes, with a sharp stiletto and a hand over their mouth, but let's reserve our public obloquy for the real beast - Labour.