JK Rowling and abuse in Scotland. Who started it?

JK Rowling giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry in 2011

I think we need to think through this question step by step. I never bought any of those Harry Potter books. Neither have I watched any of the films, although I know people I respect are fans of both. However, she did write an adult book anonymously, and the critics were impressed. Seems she can write decent books.

It is extremely important for the left not to condemn any form of art, literature, drama, music etc just because we hate the politics of the creator. Within limits, of course.

There is a serious issue with what has happened today, and I think Yes Campaigners are being set up. Lots of issues mixed up here. We should defend a democracy where we have one person, one vote. What she has done is prove how capitalist democracy sucks: one billionaire, one million quid pocket money to distort the election. This is sham democracy. However, there are rich people on our side too. Hard to press this argument home when there are rich donors on our side.

Another problem is that some of the response to her is abuse, and the Yes Campaign should criticize those who go too far. If we don’t do that, we will lose the sympathy of those we are still sitting on the fence. We need those people. We need to not justify, but explain why JK Rowling got this abuse. What we should say, in my opinion, is that she used her money to direct an insult against our side. This inevitably leads to anger and because we don’t have her access to the media, the powerlessness lead to a stronger emotional reaction. People who were insulted let their anger out. She has to accept that if she insults us, she can’t complain if we fight back. And there are things to fight back with.

What is it that she wants to stop? She claims she has no axe to grind. However, in an independent Scotland, she must know there will be much more left-wing governments.. And that means she is investing what is pocket money for her to mangle our democracy in order to decrease the chances of her having to pay a lot more tax. This does suggest naked self interest on her part. And she must accept it as a reasonable assumption of why she is making this political intervention. We can make this argument rationally. We can do it without bile. We don’t need to get personal. If she disputes our critique, she is free to defend herself. And we are free to take issue with any points she wants to make.

A couple of other points we should keep in mind in order to frame our critique of JK Rowling:

  1. She was a victim of press intrusion. That makes us sympathetic to her and her family. This is one reason why personal abuse is particularly bad.
  2. She is a self made person in a way that makes her a role model to many who are victims of the Tories. For that too, she should be applauded.


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