2007 - 2021

For the Muggles not the Few

JK Rowling – a talented writer and generous philanthropist who has popularised children reading – is frequently slightly unhinged about politics. In a confused twitter rant this morning she said:


As well as being a disservice to poor old George Orwell, who seems to be rolled out everysinglebloodyday to be pressed into service by the misguided and ignorant to defend their politics, the statements just don’t make any sense.

In almost every conceivable sense the two referendums were exact opposites in content and form.

The Scottish referendum was deliberately inclusive and participatory, diverse and engaged.

The Brexit referendum was a top-down campaign run by some of the richest men in Britain.

The Scottish referendum was rich in content, detail and complexity and poured over by both sides over a long time period.

The Brexit referendum was a farrago of lies and distortion characterised by (now discredited) propaganda.

The Scottish campaign published a 650 White Paper in advance of the vote available to every household.

People still don’t know what on earth the Brexit will mean, other than the clues gleaned from the unfolding shambles.

The Scottish referendum was internationally praised for the peaceful and orderly conduct of the campaign, the Brexit vote descended into violence on more than one occasion and has precipitated ‘highest spike in religious and racial hate crimes ever recorded’.

The notion of JK Rowling as some kind of champion of political change and social justice is best summed up by Frankie Boyle:

… and if anyone is wondering about the similarities between the two campaigns, there are many: mostly the broken promises and complete deceit perpetrated by those defending the status quo.

Here’s Stephen Paton from two years ago with a refresher …



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Comments (11)

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  1. Roland Stiven says:

    I think the inordinately rich feel powerful in the face of change and uncertainty- they have the wherewithal to make it work for them whatever, and they forget (JKR?) or never knew what it is like to feel uneasy about change outwith our control . There is nothing concrete about Brexit for the bulk of us to work with in terms of adapting constructively.

    1. Wul says:

      Research shows that the very wealthy are actually more insecure than the moderately comfortably off. They have so much more to lose (they think) if the status quo changes.

      They are all for change which they initiate (Brexit) but dead against change they can’t control (independence).

      1. IDL says:

        Well I think there are at least two kinds of rich people (almost certainly more) . One is the kind you describe who has possibly grown rich from a position of uncertainty and insecurity, but there are many very rich people whose position is as secure as money can make it, and money becomes just a tool, a means to an end.

  2. Josef O Luain says:

    The lady was surely pissed.

  3. Alan Bissett says:

    Hilarious, given she was on the same side as UKIP during the indyref, and presumably would be again during the next one.

  4. MBC says:

    I couldn’t figure out what she meant either, or what her point was.

    Orwell thought he hated nationalism but what he actually hated was the chauvinism and crushing cruelty of racism and imperialism.

    Fintal O’Tool called it right when he said there were two kinds of nationalism. The nationalism of elites who want to dominate and subjugate everybody else to their will: and the nationalism of the subjugated who are trying to cast them off.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Independence is about liberation, freedom, and yes, according to the UN it is also about decolonisation. Independence is not nationalism.

      Nationalism is “an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries”. Aggressive nationalism is simply the takeover and control of other territories and the subjugation of their people. Wha daes thon soond lyke?

  5. @CRobertsonuk says:

    I would have thought , regardless of camps , that Orwell was warning on a super state with complete control? Well thats what I take from it.

    So the warnings of EU , used by brexiteers , are both wrong and right – in that they “believe” EU represents Big Brother , while not realising its not billionaires , millionaires , and state media that is BBC is ensuring such a thing @home , instead of the EU , all under the guise of “this blind patriotism good , that socialist nationalism bad.”

    Its like Niemoller was never born , or has direct contact with Pacific Quay.

  6. Wul says:

    “Brexiteers duplicating every play in the Yessers’ book”

    Eh? Whit? I must have missed that.

    I’ve not heard any “Brexiteers” talking about creating a fairer, more socially just and compassionate society the way the “Yes” campaign does.

    I have heard a lot of talk of “punching above our weight”, “taking back control”, “tell the EU to go whistle”, “cutting red tape”, “setting business free to create more wealth”.

    The two campaigns could not be more different. Her tweets demonstrate the depth of her ignorance about Scotland’s people.

  7. Iain MacGillivray says:

    It should be a Farage of lies really

  8. MBC says:

    She really is out of touch with the mood in Scotland if she seriously thinks there is any similarity between Yessers and Brexiteers, in either their aims or their tactics.

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