He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16.10)
Most parents are familiar with the idea of doling out responsibility in small does. See how a child handles something small before promoting him or her to something bigger. And so on and so forth until the child is an independent adult able to cope alone.
It is elementary practical logic to minimise risk. How many parents would appreciate being told by their daughter that although she's never been on a date before she must be allowed to stay out late, or by a newly-qualified son who's not even driven the family car to the local shops and back that he wants to drive it to Paris?
It may be thought insulting to compare the Scottish Government to a child, though some of their petulance when criticised is childish enough. In governmental terms however its lack of experience must be conceded.
Yet any attempt to challenge the SNP's administrative record of the last eight years is met only by an excuse that it has inadequate powers; too many decisions are still being taken in London.
What would you do with the new powers you're getting under the Referendum settlement?
Oh we're not getting enough powers.
Yes but what will you do with the fiscal powers you are getting?
We were promised more powers.
Really? Can you point out when and where exactly?
Look, we're only going to tell you what we'll do when we're in a position to do it.
Never mind about the mess we've made of police reorganisation; pay no attention to the dire straits of the health service; overlook the failures of the education system; forget about the crippling levels of student debt. Yes, we know that these are all devolved matters, we know we've been running them for years, but once we're responsible for everything, everything will be all right, you'll see.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please show me some competence in managing small things. That might encourage me to believe you.