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Kez is facing a trial in the kangaroo court.

Byline: Roberts Lesley

The look on the kangaroo's face said it all.

It was a narrowed-eyed expression of incredulity - exactly the kind of look you would give the former leader of the Scottish Labour Party when she tells you she signed up for I'm A Celebrity to further the cause of left-wing politics and deliver her message to a wider audience of young folk.

"Either this sheila thinks I'm a drongo," the sceptical marsupial seemed to be saying, "or she's one witchetty grub short of the full bushtucker trial herself."

Give that kangaroo an Equity card for masterful portrayal of world-weary disbelief.

One look conveyed exactly the troubled thought processes many of us will have been wrangling with since news of Kezia Dugdale's addition to the I'm a Celebrity contestants was leaked just the day before the new Scottish Labour leader was announced.

Have we lost the plot entirely - or has she? As she crawled through a Perspex box of rancid fish guts on her camp debut, a cheeky sign marked "Sickola Sturgeon" above her, I think we came closer to making up our minds.

ROO ARE YOU . Kezia Fair dinkum: maybe she plans to serve up a cold dish of revenge (with aside order of mealworms) to those who are alleged to have spent months scheming to ditch her as leader and install Richard Leonard in her place.

It was something of a publicity masterstroke that her jungle adventure spectacularly overshadowed the announcement of Leonard as her successor, something which Kez insists was entirely accidental and never ever her intention (feel that kangaroo expression coming on again?) If that's her motivation, kudos to Kez.

Then again, Dugdale may simply have felt aggrieved that she's been rather eclipsed by both Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson as Labour's national fortunes have waned.

Maybe she fancied the chance to shine on a bigger stage for a while, albeit one set in the Australian bush with Fiz from Corrie, Bojo's dad and that muscly guy from Hollyoaks. Though, to be fair, few would have had her down as a desperate attention seeker, until now.

But surely nobody - not even her kangaroo friend - is buying the line that this is about promoting "Labour values and the difference they could make".

If she's not talking about former lovers or bitching about campmates, her chat's unlikely to survive the edit.

Equally unconvincing is Kezia's claim that it's a chance for the public to "see how politicians handle a bit of pressure and adversity".

We'd rather see our well-paid democratically elected politicians handle the pressure of representing their constituents and the adversity of fighting for a better society than cleaning the dunny or eating cockroaches.

And even though she's donating to charity her MSP wages for the duration of her jungle stay, there's no question of where her focus should be - Edinburgh and the Lothians.

She must know as much herself. She was quick enough to comment on the decision of serving Tory MP Nadine Dorries when she went into the jungle in 2012.

She tweeted: "David Cameron has been desperate to ditch Nadine Dorries since her election - how daft of her to serve him up a reason on a plate."

This from the woman who opposed Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and who will be under the new stewardship of Corbynista Leonard. How daft indeed.

She's likely to be as popular as a rattlesnake in a lucky dip, as they say in Oz.

Maybe the real truth is, she just doesn't care. She sees a public life for herself but one outside the political jungle. This is simply the helicopter ride and spindly rope bridge towards it.

Will she go straight from the airport to parliament when she arrives home? Frankly, I have my doubts. She'll probably have panto rehearsals to attend, co-starring a particularly expressive kangaroo.

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ROO ARE YOU . Kezia and the kangaroo
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 26, 2017
Words:648
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