When the Labour leadership contest began in earnest, I admit I paid scant attention.

We all have the right to say that we are all electioned-out after facing the independence referendum, European elections and UK elections in the space of 12 months. Then, of course we have the impending Scottish Parliament elections in 2016 and the local government elections in 2017. And, of course, this was merely the third of the Labour leadership contests, the Scottish version having jumped about like a yo-yo since the referendum.

Of course, when the leadership race began, there was a conveyor belt of politicians who all appeared to be shiny products of the New Labour machine. As has been regularly pointed out, Jeremy Corbyn was thrown a line into the contest in tokenesque fashion, by someone who didn’t even want him as leader in the first place.

For all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that the election of Corbyn is a suicide note for the next UK election (with politicians and the press falling into something akin to the old US ‘reds under the bed’ mentality), I believe that he provides a threat to the SNP as he represents the Keir Hardie bloodline which many traditional Scottish Labour supporter still hold true.

When New Labour came in, the point was made crystal clear - ideology is bad.

Much of this harked back to the hatred of the free market stylings of the Thatcher Government and the inability of a starkly leftist Labour to successfully oppose the policies of the 80s. Even the mellowing of Labour in the early 90s failed in that respect.

So it is understandable. But, much like the atheist who obsessess the negative, i.e. the absence of God, the pragmatic ‘third way’ approach has become its own dogma. Actually, worse than that, it has become an ideology that revels in the absence of anything bar the most wooly of ideals.

Whatever your opinion of Jeremy Corbyn (which may or may not have been clouded by some of the most ridiculously scaremongering press I have ever seen - for a government let along an opposition leader) there is no doubt that he has a sense of conviction in his belief.

There was certainly no sense of him being flustered as the circus continued around Prime Minister’s questions last week.

It got me thinking. When Tony Blair arrived at Downing Street astride the New Labour machine, the senior figures had been part of old Labour, with many having campaigned at the more militant end of the spectrum.

They were coming to the ‘third way’ with a personal experience of the left and used that to their advantage. In recent years we have seen the introduction of more and more politicians who have only had the New Labour model. And since that model has no underlying principles.

Now the terms principle and ideology overlap to a greater or lesser extent. So, if there is no basic philosophy other than a wispy ‘vision’, what is the motivation other than power for power’s sake.

Of course, this ungraspable political model means that the quicker politicians can think on their feet and manoeuvre themselves without the constraint of principle/ideology. However, I reckon that you are more likely to find a politician struggle for words when they don’t have a genuine belief in what they stand for. It was reinforced listening to Corbyn. No, none of the questions went for the jugular. Yes, he did take an interesting approach by asking the ‘public’s’ questions rather than his own. However, there was no hint of nerves or the occasional bumbling of Ed Milliband.

He may well be the equivalent of political cyanide, but I, for one, find the fact there is a change from the homogenous Westminster lump quite refreshing. I will be interesting to see if others are of the same view.

As the American band Devo said: “Freedom of choice is what you got, freedom from choice is what you want.” • I noticed a few young ‘uns who were clearly readying themselves for life in university. While things have changed immeasurably since I started 20 years ago, there are still the tell-tale signs for those who are choosing to leave home - namely tons of beans and a toastie maker.

I am a firm believer that university is not simply about academia. Yes, students and alcohol are often an irritating bunch. However, the social aspect shouldn’t be sneered at.

My time as a fresher was certainly an eye-opener, given my birthday was during freshers week. With that excuse in hand, I made sure full use was made.