Ken Stott: Ian Rankin’s wrong, Rebus would have voted Yes for Scottish independence

Ken Stott, Scottish stage, screen and film actor responds to Rebus author Ian Rankin, who last week told Nicola Sturgeon his famous detective would have been a No voter.

By Claire McKim
Thursday, 26th September 2019, 12:40 pm
Ken Stott, Scottish stage, screen and film actor. Picture: JPIMEDIA
Ken Stott, Scottish stage, screen and film actor. Picture: JPIMEDIA

Dear Nicola,

I expect you were as surprised as I was to learn that Ian Rankin imagined his character of Rebus to be a No voter.

Now, it’s unusual for an actor to find himself at odds with a writer because the actors primary duty when applying flesh and blood to the written character is to be faithful to the writer, first and foremost - but let’s look briefly at just one aspect: his creation was the grandson of a Polish immigrant, therefore I suspect Rebus would be well aware of the humiliation and degradation suffered by so many immigrants at the hands of the Home Office then and now. This may, in turn, lead him to ‘think carefully’ before voting and to consider how his grandfather might have fared in the ‘hostile environment’ of a pre/post-Brexit UK.

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So isn’t Ian here just simply projecting himself onto a much-loved character? Because if you could apply the question to Rebus, he would obviously tell you he’s a Yes voter.

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