Today’s big Scottish political news is undoubtedly the surprise story that Tom Harris has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next Scottish leader of the Labour party, in whatever guise that position will be once Labour has finished its review.

It is a bit of a bolt out of the blue. I mean, where the actual flippityjibbity did that come from?

It is difficult not to immediately suspect that Tom’s new blog Labour Hame was part of the same strategy, to build an online power base of sorts and show that he is helping to shape the debate that will take Scottish Labour beyond their current woes.

It would be churlish not to wish Tom good luck but it would also be dishonest to suggest that I thought he had any chance of winning. There is his somewhat right of centre views on certain topics and, going by his online presence, he certainly seems to go out of his way to avoid talking about issues north of the border. Furthermore, his at times visceral dislike of the SNP will surely count against him. Who can forget Mr Harris’ description of SNP Conference as a “hate fest“?

I suspect, though, the Glasgow South MP is just looking to shake things up and hurry the process along a bit as, as the man said himself: “Iain Gray announced he was standing down in September, which is next week, and I don’t even know if that’s going ahead.” And, to be fair, the announcement does have a ring of ‘I’ll do it if noone else will’ about it. Not overly inspiring though.

In going over the top and forcing Labour to get back on its feet, impatience may well be a virtue. I’d nonetheless suggest not taking the bookies up on Tom winning the contest at whatever odds they end up offering.