IVAN McKee is more qualified than most to comment on whether the Scottish Government ‘gets’ business.

The MSP appears to be a rare example of a high-profile politician with direct experience of the commercial world, having held senior roles within the manufacturing sector before entering Holyrood.

That background stood him in good stead during his spell as Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise between 2021 and 2023, and indeed there were mutterings of discontent within the business community when it emerged that he would not retain his post in the first Cabinet assembled by new First Minister Humza Yusaf.

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So, when Mr McKee offers his perspective on whether the Scottish Government truly understands business, it is worth paying close attention.

Writing in The Herald today, Mr McKee underscores the importance of business to Scotland’s ability to tackle poverty, deliver reliable public services, and grow its economy. He rightly notes that the Scottish business scene is hugely varied and highlights the diversity of opinion on key areas, which can make delivering nationwide policies difficult.

But he makes some observations that may perhaps be construed that the Scottish Government could improve in certain areas.

While he said ministers offer a good level of access, he stressed the importance of engaging in a “meaningful” way that really convinces business that they understand the challenges they are facing.

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And in what might be regarded as a comment on those who have succeeded him in Cabinet (the finance and economy briefs are now shared by Shona Robison and Neil Gray, neither of whom have a significant business background), Mr McKee talks of the importance of “lived experience”.

Moreover, he offers the view that while many new regulations begin life with good intentions, they are often delivered to business in language it does not understand. In some cases, he adds, there are proposals which “don’t chime with reality”.

Mr McKee notes that despite hard work on the part of government there is a perception that it needs to “reset” its relationship with business, which Mr Yousaf “understands”, and admits that “once a narrative takes root it can be difficult to shake off”.

But perhaps by making good on a couple of Mr McKee’s observations, that impression might slowly begin to change.