The differences between the approaches of the UK and Scottish governments become more marked as the Covid-19 pandemic goes on, not just their actions but their language, philosophy and beliefs.

The UK Government was elected on a mandate to Get Stuff Done. “Stuff” unfortunately includes Brexit but it also means improving the economy, developing infrastructure and building houses. The UK Government takes the approach that it is better to get something broadly right – but get it done by Monday – than try to achieve perfection but end up going home on Friday with the task unfinished.

This approach has had some notable successes. The furlough scheme – a re-engineering of HMRC’s systems to create a fully functioning reverse gear in weeks was a remarkable achievement.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses is an even better example, not quite right when launched but changed and workable within a few weeks.

Many in the media and the Scottish Government lambast the UK Government when policies come out with some raw edges – “shambolic” and “chaos” are words tediously over-used.

These detractors miss the vital point – the cavalry arrived – not in perfect formation but in time to save the day. A willingness to take calculated risks, to act when all the facts and expert opinions are not yet available and the fog of uncertainty hangs in the air – that’s leadership, that’s effective government.

Contrast this with how the Scottish Government operates.

Their approach is becoming predictable. Make demands which can’t or shouldn’t be met, moan that what you get is never enough, criticise all English lockdown changes and then follow with something similar but confusingly different about 10 days later , when something goes wrong blame it on Boris, above all create difference between England and Scotland.

What is more revealing is how the Scottish Government operates within its own direct sphere of control – where it acts like a Soviet Republic.

First, criticism is not encouraged. You don’t go to jail but if somebody asks the First Minister a question she doesn’t like she goes all petulant, accusing them (without a hint of shame) of “politicking” and moves on to a more on-message questioner.

Second, a tolerance of ministerial incompetence. The original arrangements for schools to return to work in August were absolutely hopeless and – as a result of public pressure rather than Government insight – eventually changed. Does anybody fall on their sword? Absolutely not.

In health the facts are even more damning, a replacement Sick Kids Hospital absurdly over-budget and years late and, worst of all, shunting elderly patients out of hospitals into care homes and so spreading Covid-19 rather than containing it. Yet our Health Secretary still sits in post. Just how many screw-ups are required to get fired?

Third, and the one which really directly matters for business, is a belief in a big state as a benign actor in our economic and social lives. The Scottish Government doesn’t seem to think the best way forward is for businesses to make decisions for themselves – they must be guided, helped, controlled.

The recent Higgins Report was a classic. Appoint a few professors and a trade unionist to a committee led by one of the few bankers who wasn’t culpable in the big blow-up and you get the report you deserve. Long on words, short on detail, almost entirely disconnected from the real world of business.

What next? A five-year plan for the economy? Businesses having to submit their plans to the government for approval and if they are politically correct enough they get a grant ? Help from Scottish Enterprise becomes compulsory? More Prestwick Airports, Ferguson Shipyards and BiFabs?

We all want the world to be a better place but recovery from Covid-19 is the time for the Scottish Government to act with speed and competence, to listen not tell and to support not dictate.

Guy Stenhouse is a Scottish financial sector veteran who wrote formerly as Pinstripe.