1st December is a bit special this year, in Leith. A 1-hour documentary film has been shot here for screening on 2 December – the nearest they could get to the Day itself, the election has been messing about with the schedules – on BBC! at 2100 hrs, that is 9.00 pm. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07vnrn4 Several of my informants are featured, although some of them are not named in my book. “It should never have happened”, it says in the trailer; “It was a perfect storm.” The War on Drugs, poor housing conditions, a generation of unemployed youngsters – then came HLTV-3. Originally known as “the gay men’s disease”, it was very late in the day that the authorities realised that intra-venous heroin injectors were bigger transmitters of the condition than gay men.

The programme is called CHOOSE LIFE. Irvine Welsh used that expression once in the book Trainspotting, and maybe he picked it up from WHAM’s tee-shirts as they sang Wake me up before you go go in 1980. It was intended explicitly as a positive health message in the face of the arrival of hard drugs. Danny Boyle made it into a catchphrase in the film, and of course I use it as part of the title of my book. Moses beat us all by 2,500 years (Deuteronomy 30:19). It’s well meant, wherever you find it.

See it, and discuss it in my guestbook.