In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu said “Leaders should not seek power or status”. That would appear to be wise counsel for any putative leader of whatever Scottish Labour changes into after the Murphy/Boyack review. Conventional wisdom, albeit five years from an election and in the aftermath of an almighty kicking, has it that Labour (and I will use the term from here on to mean the Scottish Labour Party, not the wider UK Party) will lose the 2016 election in Scotland. Though Tom Harris for one appears to be willing to take up the mantle. Or, depending on your view, poisoned chalice.

The last part of that section in the Tae Te Ching is perhaps more pertinent: “[Leaders] work serenely, with inner quiet”. What Labour needs is not a bombastic, divisive, with-me-or-against-me leader in the mould of George W Bush or Alex Salmond or Tony Blair. Nor do we need a all-comrades-together-let’s-talk-about-it patsy. Labour has problems. It has structural problems, it has problems with policy making, it has membership recruitment problems, it has membership engagement problems, it has membership retention problems, it has voter problems coming out of its ears.

What Labour needs is a leader who will challenge the party without antagonising it. Someone who will “lead by instilling humility and open-mindedness [..] discouraging personal ambition, by strengthening the bone-structure of the people”. Someone committed to widening the power of members, not riding rough shod over them in the name of misunderstood centrism.

No good can come of an authoritarian Labour leader. Conversely, neither will Labour thrive with someone beholden to the vested interests within the party. A radical, willing to stand up where necessary but also willing to let go – “the best leader’s work is done the people say: ‘We did it ourselves!’ “