There’s widespread agreement that governments across Europe, including our own, spent too much and borrowed too much.

But there’s some reluctance to talk about the borrowing habits of the rest of us.

Just as Gordon Brown fell into the trap of believing his own hype, and imagining that the economy would do nothing but grow for the foreseeable future, so some of us did the same.

Hence, we took advantage of cheap and easily available credit, safe in the knowledge that unemployment was low and, if we owned property, house prices would continue ever upward.

The result was that British people enjoyed a standard of living based on what they could borrow – not on what they actually produced.

It’s not a pleasing thought, which perhaps helps to explain why David Cameron received such short shrift when he appeared to tell us all to pay off our credit cards last year.

For one thing, it suggests that we might share a little of the blame with the banks for what has gone wrong in the economy.

Perhaps more worrying though, it implies that we should give up hope of things getting back to “normal” – because what we considered normal actually involved living beyond our means.