Occasionally, I’ll surprise myself, in that I don’t react, or respond to something, quite in the way that I would have expected. This has been the case, with the news that Kezia Dugdale, is to appear on Zzzelebrity Jungle, or some such tv trash.
The obvious temptation, of course, is to be outraged. Ms Dugdale remains, after all, an elected representative, a paid public servant, an MSP. Had Holyrood been in recess, this might have been less of an issue. And, as others quickly pointed out, this is a politician, who all too recently, insisted that Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP “get on with the day job” at every opportunity, and there were many. Countless actually.
But here’s the thing. I can honestly say, that in 16 series (I had to google it, in case you’re wondering), I’ve watched all of about 16 minutes of Zzzelebrity Jungle. Kezia Dugdale’s decision to take part, has me intrigued. I’m almost inclined to watch. Why? You may ask.
Well, put simply, I’d be interested to see, what more there is to Ms Dugdale, beyond the rather gauche, whining unfortunate, that led the Labour Party in Scotland for a short time. And there will be more to her. She has, in my view, already shown a more self-assured side to herself, in the media appearances she has made, in the few months since she threw off the shackles, and unexpectedly stepped down.
Once in a while, (and probably not often enough) I have to remind myself, that politicians are flesh and blood human beings too. They are not, - however much we would like them to be, as amongst other things, it makes it easier to love, or hate, them - the caricature they are often portrayed as.
Interestingly, former (does 10 day’s count?) White House Director of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci’s made that very point, in Q&A sessions with the Oxford Union, and the Cambridge Union. He insisted, entirely believably, that President Trump is, in private, quite different to his public persona, more “contemplative” and “thoughtful”, than the trigger-happy tweeter might suggest. Mr Scaramucci’s also pointed out, that in his experience, Hilary Clinton is a warmer, altogether more likeable person, than she is often perceived to be.
I suppose, as others have said, that if Kezia Dugdale’s gamble, and it is a gamble, pays off, she could do herself, her party (assuming she’s not about to defect), and politics in general, a favour, by showing that some politicians at least, are people, like you and I, with much the same hopes and fears. I rather hope that’s the case. It’s be great, that if as well as not being a straight white male, Kezia Dugdale demonstrates that she’s no’ a total roaster either.
Whilst I disagree with Ms Dugdale’s politics, in particular, her unionism, I do not doubt her work ethic, or her record of public service. Assuming she’s doing it for the right reasons, and until it is shown otherwise, I’ll take it that she is, I for one, am content to cut her some slack, and accept that she’s probably earned three weeks in Oz with a group of has-beens and never-were’s.