If there’s one thing that unites the people of these islands, it’s moaning.
We’re likely to disagree when it comes to football, political beliefs and the correct way of making tea, but we’re all unified in our firm belief that things ain’t what they used to be and that, if we were in charge, things would be different.
Research, carried out by this very reporter while waiting for a bus in the pouring rain, suggests that among the most popular subjects when it comes to moaning are the weather and public transport.
Others in the top 10 include the number of ad breaks on TV and the difficulty of opening plastic bags in supermarkets.
Complaining is a fine art. It takes practice to pick the right targets.
People have a right to demand high standards, but those that do must ensure they don’t go overboard and become that most despised of creatures - a whinger.
For example, it’s reasonable to expect a train to arrive on time. But using one experience of a slow-running service is not a justification to write-off the entire country’s transport infrastructure as useless.
I wonder if the rail network became as efficient as the German system we wouldn’t all be secretly disappointed.
All that opportunity to moan and groan would be removed.
My colleague Kirsty Beaton speculated in this august column last week how much life in Scotland would improve if it was regularly warm and sunny.
I agree. But I suspect others don’t. I was at Ayr beach during the recent mini heatwave, and I swear every third person was loudly moaning: “I like it to be warm - but not this warm!”
For the record, it was a hardly-mercury-busting 25 degrees at the time.
You just can’t please all of the people all of the time.