Yesterday, I met the Secretary of State for Scotland. I must admit, I was really thrilled.

It’s a most gauche and unfashionable reaction, but I’ve always held the idea that most politicians are pretty decent, at heart. Of course there are some knaves and fools; of course there are some who cause one to throw heavy objects every time you hear the maddening voice on the Today programme, not answering the question, or talking in robotic soundbites. But there are knaves and fools in every profession; it’s just that one usually does not see them on the Ten O’Clock news.

I genuinely think that most people who go into politics do it because they have a desire to do something of use. Everyone bleats about too much Oxbridge, but a lot of the parliamentarians could have taken those fancy degrees and parleyed them into seven figure salaries in banking or big Pharma or the kind of accountancy that salts away company cash in the Cayman Islands. I rather admire the fact that they chose public service instead.

I’m also riveted by the kind of people who get to high office. I’m not just a politics geek, but a bit of psychology nerd too. It takes a very particular mind-set to climb that greasy pole, and I am fascinated to see it close to.

Michael Moore, it turned out, was rather impressive, highly intelligent, and keenly focused. When I say I met the Secretary of State, it was only the briefest of handshakes and a couple of words. He was visiting HorseBack UK, the charity for whom I volunteer, and I was there in my capacity as their recorder-in-chief. I stumped around in my muddy boots, as the grave man in the suit was shown the facilities and all the marvellous work they do there. (I had attempted to get the worst of the horse off my outdoor coat, but it was rather a losing battle.)

He did not showboat about, or attempt to ingratiate with spurious charm. He was there for a serious purpose, and he got the job done with politeness and efficiency. One of the things that interests me about HorseBack is that whilst they have a very practical programme for the rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women, carefully planned and thought out, there is a nebulous, extra factor in their work, which cannot be recorded in clinical terms. It is partly to do with the fact that the injured work with horses there, and there is something about a horse that touches the places that no amount of pills or therapy can. It is also to do with the fact that HorseBack lies in one of the most ravishing natural landscapes in Britain. It can be slightly astonishing to hear a tough warrior talk, almost lyrically, of the part these rolling hills play in the long road to recovery.

For all that the Secretary was purposeful and businesslike, he absolutely got the thing about the beauty. He mentioned it more than once. It did help that after weeks of skies the colour of old socks, Scotland pulled her sunniest, most dazzling day out of the bag for him. The great lighting director in the sky was on golden time. But still, I was quite surprised. I liked him very much for that.

The visit was a huge success and it will make a big difference to a small but brilliant operation. Politician does decent thing for Good Cause will not make any headlines. All the same, it was a headline for me.