J K Rowling in the news

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Shit

Another multi-millionaire joins the barrage of voices against Scottish independence. The author of the ‘Harry Potter’ series of children’s fantasy books, JK Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, has donated £1,000,000 to the anti-independence campaign. You may have seen it in the news.

She wrote an extended explanation for this largesse.

From time to time the dead hand of political prompting can be seen in the piece – with statements like this:

The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities – any change brings opportunities – it also carries serious risks.

The underlining is added by me for emphasis. That sentence was savaged for political effect. JK Rowling writes with more economy and style than that. And this sentence is swiftly followed by reference to some rather partisan sources, and states that the Institute for Fiscal Studies “concludes that Alex Salmond has underestimated…” turning a reasoned argument into a personal attack on the First Minister. Pity. There is further disappointment when Joanne displays startling naivety with this statement: “I doubt whether we will ever have been more popular, or in a better position to dictate terms, than if we vote to stay.

Attack of the death eaters

There was some very weird preamble about being ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view on the issue, citing fringe nationalists whose views she ‘suspects’. This is where she enters the realm of fantasy, and it’s neat anticipatory retaliation for the the negative responses she would know this piece, and her huge donation would trigger. But nationalist death eaters? You live in Scotland Joanne. Therefore, you have a vote, and of course you have a valid view about this. It’s nothing to do with your ancestry. Scotland is a civic nation, not an ethnic enclave. This is something Alastair Darling would deny saying.

She at least ends with a gracious and inclusive statement hoping that, should Scotland vote for Independence, it is a resounding success. And her closing line could be readily quoted for or against the independence argument: “I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake.” Amen to that.

The most politically telling sentence in the whole piece is this one, which I quote without further comment:

The rest of the UK will have had no say in the biggest change to the Union in centuries, but will suffer the economic consequences.

It’s all about that four letter word: FEAR

The crux of her arguments about why she is voting No, and donating a million pounds of her money to the campaign, boil down to fear. She spells it out as such. Scotland is too wee, too poor, too feart. It’suncertainty.

Well here’s a newsflash: life is uncertain. Especially when you allow people who live far away from you, and have demonstrably different ideas about a fair society to run things like welfare, defence and taxation for you. And if it’s the economics that worry you Joanne – history shows us that one economist is as useless at the next at predicting the future. They’re shit at it.

The prize is a better country for the people of Scotland. And that’s only 97 days away.