Heat or eat. Increasingly under the conservative coalition and the cruel ideological agenda that it is so relentlessly pursuing in the name of "austerity," that is the choice facing ordinary people.
But rest assured that there are those who face no such dilemma.
Aside from our ruling millionaires and their hangers-on and allies, the first big chill of 2013 swept in on the same day that Eon started hoovering up even greater profits.
An extra £100 a year is the price this firm, like other profiteers in the energy market, has been allowed to steal from people already struggling to make ends meet.
Austerity for the many, but fatter profits for the energy firms and their City backers.
As relentlessly as the bills go up this paper has set out the case for what would surely be the most popular renationalisations aside from transport.
We make no apology for repeating that call.
The pathetic coaxing of so-called "switching companies" - a parasitic industry that only exists because of the raft of pointless privatisations forced through by the heartless right - which say that people are missing out because they have not changed brand is about as far as the rest of the pro-Establishment media, or politicians, go.
But why, aside from the glaring pursuit of monopoly megaprofits, should people have to take on the task of shopping around?
Whether it's electricity or gas, the fuel comes through the same pipes, into the same homes.
The tyranny of supposed "consumer choice" is reflected nowhere more glaringly than in the energy sector.
Do the elderly and jobless, those working multiple jobs or struggling to bring up a family, have the time or even the internet access required to play this pointless game?
It is certainly they who fare worst under this emperor's new clothes of a system.
The answer is glaringly obvious.
It does not involve running the gauntlet of deals and contracts and switching that dresses up a fundamentally failed, rigged system.
No amount of regulation, undercutting competitors or cajoling from switching firms will change that basic fact.
It is neither idealistic or unreasonable to suggest that, in the 21st century, people should be able to both heat and eat.
The fact that so few in the corridors of power articulate the only real solution shows precisely why we ourselves must step up a gear.
We must move beyond aspiration and stating the glaringly obvious facts. The fight for the common ownership of those basic fundamentals of human existence, which currently remain locked in the deathly grip of the cold-hearted City profiteers, must turn to organisation and action.
The People's Charter is clear about the need to rebalance our economy in the interests of the majority.
But it will remain simply a document unless individuals and organisations which endorse its contents begin serious, local and sustained discussion about how to attain its goals.
If you needed any more motivation to do so, think of those fellow citizens who as you read this literally feel fear when deciding whether to switch on the heating.
Worse, those who past statistics prove are set to die in their icy homes.
Then think of the boardroom discussions around the latest raft of inflation-busting price rises by hugely profitable energy firms.
It is the role of the organised labour movement to act in unity to defend those weaker than us, as it has always done in the past. We must move from the defensive onto the offensive. And to do that we must join around a set of political goals fit for a decent 21st-century society.
Lives depend on it.
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