he New Year is a time for resolutions. So here's one for the whole country. Let us kick Britain's addiction to debt. Let our Government live within its means. And let us seek to pass on to our children a better world, not a more indebted one.
The first step, like in any addiction, is to be honest about the problem. Britain faces a debt crisis. As a country, we have been living for too long on borrowed time and too much borrowed money - other people's money.
For ten years, Labour Britain enjoyed a huge, unsustainable boom fuelled by the money we borrowed from the rest of the world.
There's nothing wrong with borrowing sensibly to buy a house or start a business, provided you can pay it back over time. But British families ran up the highest personal borrowing of any country in history.
Our economy sucked up the savings of millions of Chinese workers, like a national vacuum cleaner, and spent them - often on the very goods those Chinese workers were toiling away in their factories to make.
And the message from the Labour Government was: don't worry, we're borrowing recklessly, too. Gordon Brown ran up the highest budget, borrowing in the developed world to go on a spending spree, too.
More than any other major country, Britain took a ride on the giant, unstable, unsustainable merry-go-round of global finance. At least Tony Blair now admits that it was purely a matter of luck that the music didn't come to a stop earlier.
His partner in this economic crime, Gordon Brown, claimed in yesterday's TV interview that all along he had concerns about where it would end.
Strange, for I am sure that was the same Gordon Brown who spent ten years telling us he had rewritten the fundamental laws of economics and "abolished boom and bust".
He has recently developed a taste for Churchillian language but unlike the real Winston Churchill he was the politician who failed to see the emerging threat and failed to prepare his country for the gathering storm.
Far from creating the right defences, the system of financial regulation he created allowed the greatest banking crisis of our lifetimes to develop under his very nose. He didn't fix the roof when the sun was shining.
In light of subsequent events, history will treat his Chancellorship as one of the most disastrous and misguided of the modern era.
Now, as the job losses mount and his whole debt-driven boom collapses, Gordon Brown wants to borrow and spend even more. He is like Archie Rice in The Entertainer, trying the same desperate old tricks to keep the show going.
So he is going to double the national debt, chuck good money after bad, drag the country further and further back to the Seventies. Someone has to tell him that the show's over. He has been found out.
The VAT cut that Gordon Brown told us was going to stimulate the economy has achieved nothing except add another £12 billion to the bills future generations will have to pay.
The stamp duty holiday he assured us would restart the housing market has done nothing, while prices continue to tumble.
His recapitalisation of the banks not only failed to save the world but it has failed to get lending going again to British businesses, and now there is humiliating speculation that a new bail-out may be required.
It's not so much a case of doing nothing as achieving nothing. Gordon Brown has had more than a year to tackle the economic problems he helped create and he has failed. The recession is getting worse, not better. It is time for a fundamentally different approach.
Instead of trying to turn the clock back and reflate the bubble, we need to move Britain forwards in a new direction. We need to tackle the credit crunch directly by introducing the Conservative's National Loan Guarantee Scheme. This would get sensible credit flowing to responsible businesses and keep people in work.
The Treasury knows it's the right thing to do but the Prime Minister is dithering, desperate to avoid copying the right idea just because his political opponents thought of it first.
We also need to start now building for a strong recovery by ensuring our economy is more balanced. We want the City of London to be a success and operate within rules that work but we must never again make Labour's mistake of relying on it as almost the only motor of economic growth.
So today, David Cameron is announcing the results of months of independent research on how we can compete with countries like Germany and the US in green tech manufacturing, catch up with the rest of Europe in building new, superfast broadband and make the most of Britain's creative industries.
With thousands now so sadly losing their jobs, these steps are vital to creating the work of the future.
Above all, we have to end Britain's addiction to debt. For until we tackle Labour's debt crisis, there will be no confidence in the future and no proper recovery. This requires a two-pronged approach.
First, we have to help the innocent victims of Labour's recession - the pensioners and the savers. They did the right thing during the age of irresponsibility and now their incomes are being unfairly decimated as the Bank of England has been forced to cut interest rates. A further rate cut later this week may be necessary, but it will add to their misery.
The Conservatives are today offering a major, fully-funded tax cut for savers and pensioners. This will bring real help now in the recession but also lay the foundations of a strong saving culture in the future.
And it's not just people who we want to save more. The Government needs to kick its addiction to debt, too. So the second part of the Conservative approach is to ensure the state lives within its means. Families and businesses are tightening their belt, and so should government - and that's how we pay for the help to pensioners and savers.
Conservatives stood firm for our principles when we opposed Labour plans to add recklessly to our national debt with that VAT cut, and our economic judgment has been vindicated by events. Now we need to show the same strength as we resolve not to leave our children with our unpaid debts but build for them the good future they deserve. That is a New Year resolution the whole country can stick to.