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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: the Scottish Premier League

Have no doubt - everyone involved in this sorry story was trying to do A Good Thing. As such, it may seem harsh that anyone should be relegated to the naughty step. But sometimes barefaced incompetence should not go unpunished.

Picture the scene. You are in charge of the Scottish Premier League's Reading Champions scheme, which sends footballers into local schools to encourage pupils to read. All you need is one football player who likes to read a book every now and again. We're not talking Proust here - Andy McNab would do.

But no. Instead they tracked down Darren Mackie (pictured), striker extraordinaire at Aberdeen FC, and sent him to visit nearby Meldrum School. And - bless them - the staff published his thoughts online. "I don't read books," he said. Ah. Interesting.

"If I did read books, it would be autobiographies because I enjoy finding out about things that have happened in other people's lives." Mr Mackie, it seems, is interested in the idea of reading, but not interested enough to actually pick up a book.

"My favourite book is Lord of the Rings," he ploughed on. "Although I haven't read the book, I have watched the films. The book must be good because the films are so good."

TES is unclear who should be placed on the Naughty Step for this debacle, but it probably isn't Mr Mackie, who clearly tried. So off you go, scheme organisers, and have a think about what you've done.

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