So fractured, so broken, so divided is the political landscape just now that it’s definitely worth mentioning when all the parties agree on something and this time they really do agree. Ian Blackford and Douglas Ross are on the same side for God’s sake. We should pay attention.

The subject they agree on is football, specifically the damage that’s been done, and being done, to footballers’ health and what the football authorities, and governments, should and must do about it. Mr Blackford is to lead a debate on the subject in the Commons to discuss a few ideas and support is coming from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories.

One of the ideas under discussion is that dementia in retired footballers should be classed as an industrial injury because of the clear link between the condition and how the game is played. A study by the leading expert in this field, Willie Stewart, found that due to repeated heading of the ball, former footballers were three and a half times more likely than non-footballers to die of neurodegenerative brain disease.

Some action has been taken already, but only some. The Scottish Football Association has guidelines that limit heading in youth football and bans it completely for under-12s. Professional clubs have also been told to ban their players from heading the ball in training the day before and after a game. This is undoubtedly progress, especially from a sector that is notoriously slow to embrace change.

But having spoken to Willie Stewart about this, and having seen for myself as an editor of obituaries just how many footballers die with dementia, I don’t think tweaking the guidelines for players is enough. One of the problems is that there’s resistance to reforming the game even though it would be good for the players’ health (just as there is in rugby) and that means steps may have to be taken in other areas to force the change that’s needed.

One of those steps could certainly be the one Mr Blackford and others are suggesting which is to make dementia in footballers an industrial injury. It would mean that, even if players are still forced to head the ball, at the very least retired players with dementia would be able to receive more of the support they need including industrial injury benefit. It would only be treating the symptoms rather than tackling the cause but it would still be better than nothing.

And even if it does go ahead at some point – and I hope it will – it would still not be enough. Why, for example, isn’t there a central surveillance system, as there is for CJD, that can identify anyone with early onset dementia and collate the information with a view to seeing what’s really going on. It’s only with that sort of detailed information that we can start to build the big picture.

However, dementia in footballers is also so important that we need to go over the heads of the people who run the game, which is why there should be a public inquiry into the link with heading the ball. Combined with the evidence from surveillance and recording, this could actually encourage government to legislate on the matter and that might include banning heading. If it’s what’s needed, so be it.

Naturally, probably, there will be people in the game, at all levels, who would grumble about such an idea, perhaps because they feel it would compromise the “integrity” of the game, but Dr Stewart’s view on that was pretty clear. “My attitude,” he said, “would be: forget about the integrity of the game, what about the integrity of the brain?”

Dr Stewart also made me realise just what we’re dealing with here by comparing football to another sport. You wouldn’t, he said, put Lewis Hamilton in a Formula 1 car after he’d had three pints, but that’s essentially what’s happening in football. He also said we need to get to the point where playing football with a suspected brain injury is as abhorrent as getting into a car drunk and yet we’re still a long way off from that.

As proved by Mr Blackford and Mr Ross agreeing on something for once, a consensus is starting to build, which is great, and some action is being taken including the debate in the Commons. But here’s the thing: footballers are still out there now, heading the ball, today, tomorrow, every Saturday, and the dark truth is that each little impact has potentially large and terrible consequences. Time to do something wouldn’t you think?