THERE are some statements that almost everyone would claim to agree with but that are totally unrealistic. “Why can’t we all just get along?”; “All we are saying is give peace a chance”; “All you need is love”.

These are not in themselves stupid (actually, the last one is). But they are ideas to which the objection “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that” is more or less inevitable.

There are all sorts of popular notions – universal basic income, bringing back the death penalty for child murderers, nationalising the railways or the water industry, legalising drugs, banning the arms trade, boycotting Saudi Arabia/China/the US, abolishing the House of Lords, taxing billionaires or tech companies more, reintroducing national service – to which exactly that response is required.

That’s not to say that those ideas may not have something to be said for them, still less that they are impossible – they clearly all could be done. It’s just that they sound simple but may be trickier to implement than you might imagine, or could have unintended consequences, or are more contentious than their advocates think.

Some of the solutions you’ve come up with for obvious changes in the law will be disagreed with by some people (or idiots, as you may prefer to think of them) or turn out to be a bit fiddly to introduce.

It doesn’t follow, however, that that objection is always as clever as those making it think. There are plenty of instances where the person saying “Why should it be difficult just to do X?” has a point, and the smart-alec saying “It’s a bit more complicated than that” is wrong. (Wrong to say it’s complicated, that is. X might still be a daft idea.)

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I thought of this last month when someone made the mistake of writing a tweet along the lines of “If it were up to me, I would just roll the vaccine out more quickly” and then had to spend the rest of the day explaining to hundreds of people whose replies began “Actually… ” that it had been, you know, a joke.

The more I think about it, however, the more I think he might have been on to something. The vaccines are the one undoubted triumph of the whole coronavirus episode; it is extraordinary that they have been developed, assessed, approved and produced in such quantities in the time they have.

Most of the credit should go to the scientists and pharmaceutical companies (so often cast as baddies by halfwits on both Left and Right). But a good deal should also go to the government, civil service, and those brought in to manage procurement and delivery. Whatever else has been badly handled, which has been most things, the UK has so far got this right.

Things are still terrible, of course; probably worse than the first wave. Lockdown continues to be a necessity. Imagine, for a moment, though, what it would be like if we were where we are, but with no vaccine in sight.

There is still the possibility that delivery of the vaccine, as opposed to having got one and lined up supplies of it, will be messed up. Indeed, that is the assumption of lots of pessimists. But I confess that my scepticism about the apparent confidence of the government and its advisors was slightly tempered by the fact that the NHS and public health experts – even those happy to slate politicians for other failures – seem united in the view that the ambitious timetable for actually getting the stuff into people’s arms is, while a huge challenge, not especially unrealistic.

If one looks at the track record of Israel, which has inoculated one fifth of its population in less than three weeks, it’s clear that – assuming you have supplies of the vaccine – it can be delivered to an awful lot of people very quickly. And the one thing Britain has secured is sufficient supplies. Leaving aside tiresome, point-scoring claims that it’s the first clear benefit of Brexit, or any of that rubbish, it is a matter of fact that on this one issue, we’ve so far done better than any other European country – almost any country, full stop.

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But that’s no use if we fluff the delivery. Instead of assuming that the UK or Scottish Government will mess it up, or concentrating on what a huge logistical task it is, it’s worth looking at some of the ways in which it might be relatively straightforward, and even ways it could be quicker and easier. We will be constrained by the supply, but needn’t be by the logistics.

We do a lot of things that involve large chunks of the population without much fuss already. Every election day, about half the population cast their votes somewhere fairly near their home in a few minutes, usually without queuing. The country is not short of community centres, schools, surgeries, libraries, sports stadia, leisure centres and other venues where people could line up, safely socially distanced.

The numbers seem daunting, but think of this: 50,000 people can pour in and out of Hampden over a few hours; Ibrox is as big, Celtic Park even bigger; the SSE Hydro holds more than 14,000. Over a day or two, Glasgow alone could probably vaccinate a couple of hundred thousand people safely.

Nor are we short of people qualified to handle it. Even without bringing in, say, the army, there is obvious capacity. Take the infrastructure that lies behind the booking of tickets and the stewarding and management of live entertainment: concerts, sports, festivals. These people handle hundreds of thousands of sales in a matter of hours, book time slots, line up staff. They shepherd enormous crowds around large venues.

All those people – expert in just such large-scale events – are, as it happens, desperate for something to do, since their industries have been shut down.

That shut-down is another consideration and why, for once, cost isn’t. Lockdown is probably, all told, costing the Treasury more than £1 billion every day: last year’s bill was about £280 billion. If a substantial chunk of the population were to receive the vaccine by the end of March, some return to normality and productivity is a possibility. No matter how much it costs to do this, it is almost certain to be a saving.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.