5 August 2010

Another McKie's identity mistaken...

And the sticky, incompetent fingerprints of the Herald are all over it. "Doesn't that Ian McKee MSP look the spitting image of Shirley McKie's father?" asked Mater Peat Worrier over her cup of breakfast tea and copy of the Herald. She was reading this article in the newspaper, outlining the MSPs who are in their final term and are leaving Holyrood come hell or high water at the next election in May 2011. Gone Foulkes, gone Rankin, out Aitken and Morgan. Among them is listed the SNP MSP Ian MacKee (pictured, left), who was first elected for the party in 2007 to the Lothians list. The web version offers only the charm of text, while the paper version includes an attractive graphic with a helpful picture of each departing representative of the people. Here, apparently, is where matters got too difficult for the Herald journalists. For my mother's impression was quite unerring. MSP MacKee was indeed in the dead spit of Iain McKie, former police officer and father of Shirley McKie, ironically enough, notable due to a particularly shocking incidence of mistaken identity. 

Yup, that's right, they published the wrong photo.  I mean, the mistake is easy to make and easy to forgive, isn't it? The parliamentarian is bald as a coot, while the campaigning father has an abundance of white hyacinthine curls. The image of one another! And, as any competent researcher could have found out, their names are actually spelled differently. Intriguingly, in the eccentric version of reality governing the article, the Herald not only failed to identify the MSP accurately as himself, but also contrived to introduce novelties to the spelling of his name, such that the McKie pictured wasn't correctly identified either. Firstly, there is Iain McKie - Shirley McKie's father, erroneously pictured. Secondly, Ian McKee- the SNP MSP, which the Herald intended to reference but failed to picture. Finally, absurdly, incompetently, throughout the Herald referred to one Ian McKie - a strange composit of the looks of Iain and the career of Ian  and the names of both. Brilliant. I do admire the quality daily press. Its the attention to detail which really makes them so inimitable. We'd all be lost without these hawk-eyed purveyors of fact to steer us aright...


  1. Ohoho. I think a wee letter should be fired off to the Herald, don't you Mr Peat Worrier? T'would be very interesting to see whether or not it is published.

  2. That it should have been Shirley McKie's father puts it beyond parody!

  3. Capital notion, Anonymous.

    Unfortunately, I've been locked up inside a train carriage all day and didn't get around to giving them a malicious prod. I was wondering if some other sharp-eyed reader would also have caught the error and persecuted them in my stead.

  4. Without question, Jim - beyond satire.

  5. Some years ago I wrote to the Scotsman about a case of mistaken identity in their radio listings - they were previewing a programme about so-called 'beautiful loser' Gram Parsons, ex of the Byrds (Gram is pictured in profusion at the link below)


    However the schoolboy error crept in when they illustrated their story with a photograph of another person called Parsons who had also been in the Byrds, viz Gene Parsons, pictured at the link below


    A loser certainly, but it might be stretching things to append the adjective 'beautiful'.

    The Scotsman somehow couldn't find the space to print my helpful letter pointing this out.

  6. Ha! I suppose some people - walrusiphiles say - might find Gene's vast moustache mesmerically charming. For all we know, he may the thinking garden gnome's crumpet.

    I've no doubt the Scotsman left your epistle to moulder among the detritus of the press room floor with heavy hearts, Almax, bosoms heaving with regret...