My mother was one of those stoic old Scottish nurses with a starched cap and apron who used to run a tight ship and bossed the doctors around.

Yet despite her Hattie Jacques cameo, she was remarkably compassionate and always did her level best for her patients. She retired from the NHS on a Friday and on the Monday started working in George Harrison’s AIDS orphanages in Romania.

However, I would have had to have a limb hanging off before she was sympathetic to me as a wee boy. ‘I’ve been dealing with really sick people all day, there’s nothing the matter with you,’ she would say and lob me an aspirin.

In the so-called Winter of Discontent in 1978 there were strikes among NHS staff across the UK when wage demands were ignored. The country was slowly but steadily grinding to a halt in a series of industrial disputes which eventually led to Margaret Thatcher coming to power.

I can remember my mother drawing herself up to her full five feet nothing and telling me that her patients came first and there was no way she would be going on strike – even if it meant her own pay and conditions were being eroded.

Today, in typically astute fashion – whether you agree with their Scottish independence policy or not, and in this case it’s irrelevant – the SNP government has made inroads in negotiations with health unions, meaning Scotland has, so far, been spared the chaos caused elsewhere by striking NHS staff - though that may yet change following the vote this week in favour of strike action by members of the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives.

At the same time, money ringfenced for a second independence referendum is instead being spent on easing people’s energy bills.

You’ll know by now that the bearpit of party politics is not my venue of choice, I’m happy to leave it to those with a thicker skin and boundless energy. I only chime up when there is a spin too far.

First of all, we had this ridiculous vapid rant on the side of the bus that said if we voted for Brexit, it would mean the Treasury would pour the £350 million per week we allegedly gave to Brussels back into the NHS.

Really? How did that work out? If that had been the case, there would be no strikes nor people waiting hours in ambulances outside A&E.

Then the worst spin of the lot: this arrant nonsense of clapping for our NHS staff who worked even greater miracles than usual during lockdown, instead of giving them a decent salary.

As if nurses are going to pay their gas bills with applause.