Saturday 20 January 2018

JK Rowling calls Scottish nationalists 'Death Eaters' – and donates £1m to union campaign

JK Rowling. Photo: Ben Pruchnie
JK Rowling. Photo: Ben Pruchnie

Felicity Morse

The author JK Rowling has lent her support to the Better Together campaign, donating £1million to the group campaigning for Scotland to stay in the United Kingdom.

In a post on her website she compared some Scottish Nationalists to Death Eaters and explained the reasoning behind her donation,  saying the more she listened to the Yes campaign, the more she worried it “preferred the grand ‘up yours’ gesture” to considering what it “might be doing to the prospects of future generations.”

The Harry Potter author explained she was no fan of the current Westminster government, but that David Cameron “will be long gone before the full consequences of independence are felt.”

She said she feared an independent Scotland would lose out, pointing to evidence that the nation’s oil and gas reserves are being depleted and a letter from all five of Scotland's medical schools saying that Scottish research could be undermined in this area.

She writes that despite being “bombarded with contradictory figures and forecasts/warnings of catastrophe/promises of Utopia,  she fears Salmond has underestimated the long term effect of the ageing population on the economy.

In a move that is sure to enrage those aggressively vocal Yes campaigners sometimes referred to “cybernats” she compared a portion of Scottish nationalists to Death Eaters. Death Eaters are fictional characters from the Harry Potter books, an evil tribe of wizards and witches who support Lord Voldemort, and reject any 'mudbloods' who do not have full magical heritage, but have instead had children with humans.

She writes: “I also know that there is a fringe of nationalists who like to demonise anyone who is not blindly and unquestionably pro-independence and I suspect, notwithstanding the fact that I’ve lived in Scotland for twenty-one years and plan to remain here for the rest of my life, that they might judge me ‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view.

"It is true that I was born in the West Country and grew up on the Welsh border and while I have Scottish blood on my mother’s side, I also have English, French and Flemish ancestry.

"However, when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste."

Her donation comes amidst fresh enmity between the Yes and No camps.  Gordon Brown was accused of being a “fully paid up member of project fear” by SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson yesterday after the former Prime Minister warned nearly a million jobs in Scotland are linked to its membership of the UK,

During a speech at the London School of Economics (LSE) he said around 40pc of posts north of the border were directly or indirectly connected to the union. Mr Brown explained how 962,000 jobs in Scotland were connected to the UK.

They include 313,000 in companies controlled from other parts of the union, and 247,000 in firms that export to the UK, according to research carried out by Professor Brian Ashcroft at Strathclyde University.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “These are ridiculous claims from Gordon Brown - after a Yes vote Scotland will continue to have a close and positive relationship with our neighbours, on an open border basis, and the rest of the UK will remain our biggest trading partner. On Mr Brown's absurd logic, Canada should join with the United States and be governed from Washington.

“Indeed, it is Gordon Brown who supports Scotland staying part of a Westminster system that risks taking Scotland out of the EU against our will - posing the real danger to investment and jobs in Scotland. Only a Yes vote in September will ensure that can't happen.

“Just yesterday, Gordon Brown said that the No campaign was too negative - today he is making scaremongering claims which don't stand up to a second's scrutiny. He is clearly a fully paid-up member of the No campaign's Project Fear."

Current polling shows support for the Yes campaign is 12 points behind the No campaign.

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