MANY aeons ago, when my journalistic beat was to cover Scotland’s crime scenes and courtrooms, I received a summons exhorting me to attend for jury duty.

I had always wanted to carry out my public service in this manner, but when the clerk of the court saw me at the ballot and recognised my visage from the evening news on TV, without the precincts of the very same court, he chucked the bit of paper bearing my name into the bin and told me to go to the canteen for lunch and not come back.

There was every chance I had reported on the case I was about to hear, he said, and this would have given me unfair insider knowledge.

Having spent too many days of my life in courts, wading through human misery and enjoying scant few moments of unintended comedic genius, I am not a fan of the jury system.

I covered Scotland’s courts for 40 years and, despite my experience, frequently found myself so flummoxed by proceedings that I had to ask the dramatis personae for an explanation.

And if I had to do this, what chance had the 15 laypeople? I’d much rather a case is heard by a panel of three judges.

Cross the Atlantic to Donald Trump’s trial. The allegations, far less charges, should mean no such character is elected to the most powerful office on earth. But imagine if they selected 12 Republicans, or indeed Democrats, as jurors?

‘Is there a place called “somewhere else” you can go,’ is one of the little ditties I sometimes churn out when I need peace and quiet to perform some task of geo-political importance.

And I have been using it alarmingly frequently over the past few weeks when zipping along the road to Helensburgh Upper station to catch trains hither and thither.

As a frequent passenger on the Caledonian Sleeper, it is never an issue at night. But my goodness me, first thing in the morning, when you have only a few minutes to make the train, it certainly is.

There are only four car parking spaces at the station, and these are usually occupied by vehicles belonging to railway companies, whose staff members are working on the infrastructure.

Fair enough – I don’t for a moment doubt that it is vital, safety-critical work. But please leave your wagons elsewhere so the passengers who pay your wages can park and ride.

Outraged of Millig, here.

Ever since the introduction of automated supermarket tills, back in my dim, distant and plooky past, I have eschewed them and stood, like the thrawn Scotsman I am, in the queue (however long and slow) for the till staffed by a human being.

I believed, perhaps naively, that I was helping preserve Helensburgh jobs by using this service, rather than doing a 'shoot and scoot' after scanning my puckle of messages.

And lo, now I hear that the supermarkets I have been trying to help are to start charging customers to use tills staffed by your actual people.

What’s that all about? It’s about cutting jobs, that’s what.

It’s one thing having your life dictated to you by AI, but surely to goodness you can help save a person’s job by engaging with them for their raison d’être?

And don’t get me started on the banks.