Remember Jack McConnell? You might have thought that he had fled these verdant shores for pastures new and exotic given that he had his eye on a diplomatic post in Malawi (what do you mean he should leave diplomatic posts to diplomats?) - a post that his big buddy Gordon Brown had secured for him. He had the opportunity to copy his muse, Helen Liddell, and nip off to warmer climes and less intrusive politics - or so he thought. It all went wrong when Labour realised it didn't want a byelection in Motherwell and told him to stay as an MSP - part-time, of course.
It was thought at one stage that he'd step down at next year's election and take up the Malawi posting, even chatting up the Conservatives to try to secure himself a deal in spite of having already eyed up standing again and taking another pop at leading the Labour group in the Scottish Parliament. Now he's making sure he's noticed again, with public pronouncements and the 'human being, honest' revelations of this week. Why would he be seeking the limelight so blatantly now? I think it's straightforward, he thinks that Labour is in trouble, dispirited at its plight, that members and activists will drift off, and that there is little chance of Labour winning an election in 11 months' time.
I think Jack McConnell is positioning himself for the leadership battle when Iain Gray steps down after losing the election. Ironically, he's using the same tactics as Iain used when he sensed a weakness in Wendy Alexander. Lupus pilum mutat, non mentem.
Mind how you go!