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When I woke up this morning (October 30), the temperature outside was -6C and the cat was begging me to let her get into bed with me to get warm.

It seems autumn has been and gone, and we have made the transition from balmy summer into frigid winter with the kind of rapidity that some people find hard to accommodate – especially those who are past retirement age.

It seems it is time for the annual Tory pensioner cull.

The number of deaths due to cold weather has increased rapidly since the Conservative Party took office in 2010, reaching a high of 48,000 (if you can believe the source) between December 1 last year and the end of April, 2018.

This happened at a time when almost a million fewer pensioners qualified for cold weather payments than the previous year (1.7 million, compared with 2.6 million in 2016-17), due to a rise in the state pension age for women, Budget measures since 2011 and changes under the new-style state pension.

This year’s Budget has done nothing to help:

Conservatives think it’s funny.

Do you remember the tweet from the abortive Tory youth organisation Activate, remarking on the cold weather earlier this year?

It stated: “As the cold settles in and the national gas supply is running low we are hearing horrific stories…

“All across the country, Socialists are being forced to put their hands in their own pockets.”

The backlash put them firmly in their place, and may have contributed to the demise of Activate. My personal favourite response was, “I hope your arrogance keeps you warm tonight.”

As I stated in March, This is the Tory attack on the old.

Pensions cost the Department for Work and Pensions more than all its other expenditure combined. Tories hate paying them to people who have actually worked for a living and paid their taxes and National Insurance.

So they are raising the age at which people can claim their pension, and changing the conditions under which it is drawn.

It’s a short-sighted policy, because pensioners are now the Conservative Party’s main constituency.

It may be some small consolation to the families of those whose lives are endangered – or lost – because of these selfish politicians, if they are ousted from power for many years as a result.

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