When I joined the workforce as a teenager, more than 40 years ago, the major issues facing Scottish society included knife crime, drug abuse, unemployment and problem drinking and, until recently, I believed that these still blighted communities throughout the country. It may have even be the case that the situation had in some cases worsened over the four decades.
You may be able to imagine my joy when I realised that, in fact, our elected representatives had eradicated these evils. When I point this out to friends and neighbours, they seem to doubt my sanity and seek evidence from me to substantiate my conclusion. I explain that it must be thus – otherwise how could it be that our government representatives and officials could invest so much time and energy in dealing with proposals to rewrite the meaning of marriage, ban smoking in cars and ensure future generations are protected from cheese rolling in Gloucester?