This will probably offend a lot of people, but I happen to think that Boris Johnson and his greasy eminence Dominic Cummings played a blinder in late 2019.

A blinder from their point of view, I should emphasise. Instead of repeatedly getting a doing in Parliament, and knowing a second referendum would probably go against Brexit, they came up with the tactic of going for a general election – much fewer votes needed to win - in which Johnson’s mantra ‘get Brexit done’ was by far the most powerful message out there in England. Didn’t work here in Scotland, but then in this current State of the Union it didn’t need to.

The timing was crucial – with no evidence whatsoever to back their view, many pundits speculated that a pre-Christmas election would backfire on the prime minister. They were hopelessly wrong and Johnson and Cummings were right and proven so. Their timing was spot on, and now we’ll have decade of them.

It was a classic example of timing being everything in life generally, and though the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) sometimes appears like a Johnson Government – you never really know what

they’re up to behind those closed doors – there have been occasions recently when the governing body just didn’t get its timing right.

To those who follow such things, the current spat over the report by Sir Bill Gammell and Norman Murray which recommends wholesale changes to the governance of the SRU seems to be heading in what the Murrayfield Macfia will consider the wrong direction, i.e. against the changes.

The clubs aren’t buying it in sufficient numbers as the ‘Club Information Meeting’ at Murrayfield last Wednesday surely indicated.

Now there are crucial discussions and votes coming up, and right bang into the mix dropped the bombshell that was the revelation of SRU chief executive Mark Dodson’s earnings of nearly £1m in 2019.

The timing could not be worse for the SRU. The people who run the many local clubs across the country may not understand the minutiae of Gammell/Murray but they sure as hell understand snouts in the trough while they give selflessly of their time to run the amateur side of the sport.

As it happens, I don’t blame Dodson for taking the money, nor do I condemn the remuneration committee members for authorising it – remember that the £933,000 was made up of his salary and a bonus accrued over three years.

I suspect that a lot of people in rugby in Scotland were probably unaware that there was a bonus culture within the SRU. How did that come about, they will ask, and I will answer ‘because you all ignored what’s been going on at the top of the sport for years’. I would also blame the board and council of the SRU for not being more open about this bonus culture, although they will no doubt argue that they put the facts out there.

It is simply a fact of commercial life nowadays that chief executives and senior managers get bonuses if they meet targets set by boards of directors. Dodson achieved those targets which presumably consisted of growing the SRU’s turnover – and he has done so.

I’ve already written that I think Dodson should have been sacked, or at least suspended, for his remarks in Japan during the World Cup which cost the SRU £70,000 – perhaps he could use some of his bonus to repay all or part of that sum?

The price the Macfia could now pay is obvious. The junior clubs within the SRU are on alert as to what might be about to happen to them in the new proposed system and as a result they are looking askance at anything coming out of Murrayfield, especially Gammell/Murray.

Just as so many people in England voted for Brexit in order to protest against the greed of Westminster, so Gammell/Murray might just fail because the Dodson revelations have been flagged up in time for the Macfia to get a metaphorical kicking.

Particularly vexing for a lot of people is that the new placemen in the new structure will be appointed and not elected. That’s a move which has a lot of people suspicious, especially if there follows a power grab by any new board.

What needs to happen is a more open conversation about the way ahead for the SRU. If it takes many more months, then so be it.

On a personal note, I want to mention the passing of Chris Price with whom I played in the 1980s and 90s at Lismore RFC. He was a fine flanker and a lovely man, and the respect and affection in which he was held was demonstrated at his funeral on Monday by the large turnout of former club colleagues. Taken too young by cancer, he will be missed by his family and all who knew him.