The festive season in Britain got off to a grim start with the discovery of two
pensioners who died weeks after their gas supply was cut off because of an
unpaid bill of £140. These events happened, not in 1840 but in our own times.
The Office of National Statistics predicts that 2,500 people will die of cold
this week. The cause of these deaths is usually attributed to things like
influenza, heart attacks, pneumonia and the like. But the real cause in most
cases is poverty and neglect.