Thursday, 12 June 2014

The JK Rowling abuse: how not to win a referendum

Yesterday, the Edinburgh based authoress JK Rowling came out in favour of the no campaign in the Scottish referendum, and donated a £1,000,000 to the Better Together campaign. Good for her was my attitude, especially since that morning the latest opinion poll has shown the yes campaign coming up on the rails again, so I didn't think it mattered. By early evening the Nationalists had shot themselves in the foot by hurling some pretty loathsome abuse at la Rowling and I would not be surprised to see the growth in the yes vote start to taper off. Thanks, boys and girls: that's the way to lose a referendum.

JK Rowling is everything that a country should be proud of. Born in England she moved to Scotland about twenty years ago, and still lives here, paying her taxes, involving herself in politics, and contributing some of her wealth to charitable causes as well as the Labour Party. The Nationalists should just shrug their shoulders at this intervention, remind people that it is only one vote out of many, and get on with their campaign. 

Instead, JK Rowling has been subjected to some of the vilest abuse imaginable. She has been told that she is a "union cow bag," a "disgrace," as well as being various kinds of bitch. A charity called The Dignity Project may even have gone so far as to tweet this charming message to all its followers:


The Scottish Charity Regulator is quite rightly investigating whether or not that Tweet did come from the charity or whether it is an example of black ops by someone, but the whole hysteria leaves me a with a nasty taste in my mouth. Given that I am a yes supporter, and I feel that way, God knows what the undecided voters will make of it all.

The problem is that the yes team has reached a plateau where its members are really only talking to each other. They have convinced themselves that they are going to win, when all the evidence points to a victory for the Unionists. To make matters worse, JK Rowling is a genuine progressive and such people are expected to automatically support the independence campaign. The intervention of this authoress reminds the Nationalists that not all Unionists are Tories who sing The Sash and eat babies for breakfast.

That is what the Nationalist pure at hearts cannot stomach and that is why they are screaming so hysterically.

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