Maybe I’m alone in thinking this, but I don’t think the Scottish Government has done its job perfectly in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, there is one aspect of the route out of lockdown which particularly galls me and on behalf of rugby I am afraid I have to accuse the Scottish Government of rank hypocrisy in their hugely disappointing approach to bringing back some sort of normality to this country.

Every sane and sensible person in Scotland knew that social distancing would go out of the window when alcohol came back into the public mix. Hence the scenes in Aberdeen and elsewhere where young people in particular mistakenly seem to think they are invulnerable.

As they get blootered and infect each other and innocent people, across the country decent rugby people have been deprived of their sport, either as players or coaches or spectators.

So on behalf of community rugby and other sports clubs across the land I have just one thing to say – what an utterly ludicrous situation we are in when gyms and swimming pools will not re-open until next month, many weeks after the pubs, hotels and restaurants were able to re-open.

The Scottish Government has sent out entirely the wrong message to young people in particular. No, you can’t play rugby or go to the gym, but you can get yourself down the pub and pick up a pint and a dose of the virus when you all get pished and end up drunk and uncatchable.

Don’t anyone in the Government ever again dare lecture me about minimum alcohol pricing or remind us about not drinking on rugby coaches or in football stadia. I am well aware of the economic imperative to get licensed premises open again, but it is hypocritical in the extreme to wither on about Scotland’s national drink problem while opening up pubs two months before community sports facilities.

Many rugby clubs in Scotland completely depend on local authority facilities for their very existence. Yet there has been an almost total shutdown and now we have the very sad sight of Leisure Trusts saying they might not survive much longer. I know quite a few of these Trust people, and believe me they are not kidding. As people like me predicted when they were brought in to take over from council departments, Leisure Trusts were always just a way to avoid paying VAT and other taxes and eventually there would be a reckoning as councils lost income and concentrated on saving core jobs and councillors’ salaries. Trusts were always going to be disposable, and now I fear they will indeed become so.

Even at the moment, the crackdown on gyms and swimming pools has severely disrupted the activities of many rugby clubs and individual players. How does a prop forward prepare his neck and shoulders for a tough season without access to the weights at his local gym? Presumably there is a protocol for using scrum machines, but how do individual players improve their health when they can’t get to the gym or the swimming pool? And will those gyms and pools ever re-open? Special pleading here – like many old props I have arthritis of the hips and need access to a swimming pool to exercise. So how’s about it, Jason Leitch – can’t we re-open pools before September 15? After all, chlorinated water kills the virus and the staff at sports centres, gyms and pools are all ready to impose protective measures – much more so than your average bartender, I would say.

It’s all been done gluteus maximus over elbow. Every community rugby club in Scotland, and for that matter every community sports club in the country, should have been prioritised before the hospitality industry. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to see pubs open again, though I would make a very serious point after the Aberdeen fiasco – it is highly unfair to lockdown all restaurants and bistros and hotel bars because some eejits went into a bar and got smashed. Target the pubs and the individuals that caused the problem, and fine the punters and close the irresponsible bars, but let the good guys carry on.

So here we are in the middle of August and while the SRU are doing their level best to get rugby going again, they are getting precious little help from the Government or local authorities – the latter can’t really be blamed because their budgets are cut to ribbons. The priorities are all wrong and for the sake of rugby and other sports, there has to be change of approach.

Put it this way, it’s a very sad day when I have to agree with Duncan Bannatyne, but I had to admit his tweet yesterday hit home: “Listening to Nicola Sturgeon talking about the high number of cases in Scotland linked to pubs. But there have been no high numbers of cases linked to Health Clubs or Gyms in the world. So why is she keeping gyms closed knowing that she has opened pubs & knowing that is an issue?”

As I say, somebody has got all this wrong, big style.