The key message is that people shouldn't be put off donating to charity because of the actions of a few. However, everyone has a key role to play if we are to keep the role of charities at the heart of society and maintain (or increase!) the high levels of volunteering and donations made by the generous British public.
We can all be truly thankful that demand for foodbank parcels has, over the last year or so, begun to settle, though only after climbing to a figure of around a million three day parcels a year. It's an extraordinary high level compared with only a few years ago, and one that I would never have imagined we would reach. What seems bizarre though is that some commentators are suggesting this plateau in demand means that the problem of food poverty has gone away. It hasn't. It's too many, and there's no guarantee that it won't rise again soon.
A "very kind, generous and public-spirited gesture". That's how George Osborne acknowledged one pensioner's decision to pay back their Winter Fuel Payment. The benefit, worth between £100 and £300, is paid to around 12 million pensioners each year to help them meet the cost of heating their homes over the winter months.
We are suffering from a lack of leadership, something the Victorians had in spades. By failing to give significantly, the new rich are failing to set an example and inspire those who will follow them. Government makes noises about encouraging more philanthropy but most politicians follow focus groups rather offer leadership...
When I'm asked - as I regularly am - what my favourite part of my job is, I always smile and recall the Tardos that I've enjoyed a bit of verbal sparring with. They're the exception rather than the rule this lot, but when you come across one it's like finding an extra veggie sausage hiding under your free-range, corn-fed, organic poached egg at breakfast. They really do brighten up my day.