The Victorian urchin’s guide to getting through a harsh winter without the NHS

The NHS is so shafted that you can’t rely on it to save you from a cruel winter. Here’s how to survive as if you were one of Fagin’s pickpockets, but much less cheerful.

Drink a shitload of gin
Gin has been gentrified, but it’s still essentially the same liquid evil that turned the Victorians into degenerate alcoholics. It’ll keep you warm and happy, or hasten you on to a merciful early death, without ever setting foot in a hospital.

Stuff your clothes with newspaper
It might make those skinny jeans look a bit weird, but stuffing newspaper down them will insulate you from the cold and stop you catching your death.

Become a chimney sweep
Do your transferable skills stretch from pissing around on Facebook to climbing up the inside of chimneys? A non-sedentary lifestyle will do you the world of good, and you’ll always be toasty warm.

Set up an apothecary
Can’t see a GP? Why not treat yourself to a useless homemade remedy made of herbs, spices and cat hair? Make some extra cash by selling it to your friends too.

Sing a happy song
It won’t save your life if you can’t get into hospital due to a staffing crisis and chronic underfunding, but at least you’ll feel a bit chirpier before you croak.