In a very welcome move, the Scottish Government has announced more than £250million of extra funding to counter Scotland’s drug death crisis over the next five years.
In what has become a significant change of tone, Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged “a national disgrace” and said that “it is a reasonable criticism to say this government should have done more”.
The First Minister responded to the awful death toll, to the pleas of campaigners and families given voice by the Daily Record, and taken control and responsibility.
While safer consumption rooms, the focus of much of the recent drugs debate, remains outwith the legal remit of the Scottish Government, a lot more can be done.
Rehabilitation treatment is expensive and not always successful, addiction is a powerful enemy, but restoring much-needed finance to rehab is a vital step in changing and saving lives.
Turning around Scotland’s drugs scourge is a long haul, but several steps in the right direction have been taken by injecting finance into the fight as well as good intentions.
Yesterday was a significant moment for those who have campaigned long and hard for more to be done to tackle the drug death crisis.
The issue now looks as if it is being taken seriously. Not before time.
President faces a planet in crisis
Joe Biden comes to office facing, in his own dignified words as he took his oath, a winter of peril.
A pandemic is still raging, American democracy has looked over the abyss, the economy is on its knees and the planet is burning up.
Not since the dark days of the Great Depression or the close of World War II has an American president come to office facing such challenges.
There were many lessons to take away from yesterday’s inauguration. The profound moment when Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first woman, first black and Asian vice-president was only one of them.
The new President’s appeal, that politics does not have to be forest fire, is one we could all take to heart.
Taking the temperature down, treating disagreements with respect instead of spite and finding a little bit of calm will make for better politics and better lives.
Despite the threat posed by Trumpism, we saw democracy prevail in Washington yesterday with the peaceful transition of power.
We wish President Biden well in the tough days ahead.