Another full house for Elaine Murphy's excellent talk this afternoon I'm pleased to say!
What struck me most was how little the big issues change - how can we establish a progressive support system while ensuring that is not exploited.
Her comments about workers receiving inadequate pay because their employers relied on poor relief to top up wages, rang particularly loud bells about zero-hours contracts.
Her description of the way individuals in need were examined, reminded me of reports from disabled people I know.about the unfeeling benefit interviews they can suffer. And when she talked about the inequitable administration of relief in particular areas, the words 'postcode lottery' sprang readily to mind.
Yet the old parish system of supporting the 'unfortunate', when it was administered well, also had the enormous benefit of local knowledge about, and sympathy for, individual circumstances.
A most thought-provoking presentation, entertainingly delivered!
The cake was good too...