THE year is 2017; and our collective political shock-receptors are set to high. Nothing is impossible and no scenario too unlikely to be ruled out completely. The only thing we can be certain of is that everything is uncertain. Michael Fabricant appeared on Channel 4’s First Dates. So we chuckled a wee bit and shrugged our shoulders. It’s 2017, after all – why wouldn’t a floppy-haired Tory go on TV to find a mate? Later in the year Ruth Davidson will be gracing our screens on The Great British Bakeoff celebrity special. She’ll come ready with one-liners and soggy bottom double-entendre. You don’t become the beloved face of the modern Tories just from sitting at Holyrood, you know.

We are so inured to this topsy-turvy year of political wackiness that Dennis Skinner could start lobbing custard-filled balloons at the Tory benches during PMQs and we’d just tweet about it for a while and then forget the next day.

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As the year draws to a close; we thought we’d seen it all. Enter, stage (centre) left: Kezia Dugdale. Or as she shall forever now be known ‘Kez of the Jungle’. It’s been nearly a week since the news of her decision to take part in this year’s ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ leaked and I can honestly say, I still haven’t quite got my head around it. On Thursday night, she made her debut; competing against radio host Iain Lee to become Jungle Prime Minister which involved wading through a box of fish guts labelled ‘Sickola Sturgeon’. Before entering the jungle, Kezia said that she was doing the programme to promote Labour values and talk up the benefits of a Labour government.

Kez, mate. It’s not going to happen.

The only people that truly believe that I’m a Celeb is going to be a platform for Kezia to engage a younger electorate or spark a conversation about progressive taxation are those political anoraks who are tuning in for the first time; eager to see a politician being dooked in a tub of mealworms. The show is about ritual humiliation, which is why the contestants are generously compensated for their participation. Kezia could run a one-woman Momentum sign-up operation and have the other contestants singing The Red Flag around the campfire; but it wouldn’t would make it past the edit.

The stramash over Kezia Dugdale’s decision was as vicious as it was illuminating. Scottish Labour figures lined up to criticise her and their anger was palpable. With one reportedly saying "She’s got no pals left". And another: "We wish she’d just f*** off."

Such open warfare on a former leader is illustrative of the task that lies ahead for Richard Leonard in uniting the factions within the party. I imagine he’s looking at Kezia’s willingness to be subjected to the unpleasantness of camp life and wondering what was it about leading the Scottish Labour party that has prepared her for such a task.

The First Minister tweeted that she was #TeamKez, as did a number of SNP politicians. Some have suggested that this is opportunism and the SNP are jumping on the Dugdale popularity train before it chugs it’s way to UK-wide stardom. I think a far more likely reason for their unexpected support is that the political divide in Scotland isn’t as stark or unyielding as some would have you believe. And for all the genuine bewilderment and even disappointment about her decision; she’s a hard-working parliamentarian and campaigner who’s been doing the most thankless job in Scottish politics for the last few years. The SNP could have used Kezia’s decision as a stick to beat the Scottish Labour party with; but they are already knocking lumps out of each other anyway, so why interrupt?

I think she will do well. She’s not going to sell Corbyn to the masses or spark a socialist revolution, but that’s not what the show is about. Expectations on that front will soon be managed as soon as viewers see her undertake the gruesome challenges that are in store. It’s difficult for politicians to emerge unscathed from reality shows with their dignity and reputation in tact, but we should reserve judgment and see how she fares.

We’ll be entertained, regardless. Though we should perhaps be concerned about the precedent that this sets. If 2018 sees Willie Rennie join Celebrity Love Island then I might well lose my mind.