J K Rowling throws her tuppence (times 50000000 for her donation) into the independence debate. I’ve never read her stuff (I am an adult), and would rather watch wood warp than watch any of the Harry Potter films. It is another example of a phenomenon I have noticed regarding celebrities and their opinion on the referendum campaign: if the person is someone I have previously admired and respected, for example the actors Brian Cox and Alan Cumming, I know what their stance will be before they open their mouths – Pro-Yes. I have never paid much attention to Rowling, but, seeing she is a bosom buddy of Sad Gordon Brown, I am not particularly surprised at her attitude. Her recent intervention though, I found pretty distasteful.
Here is an example:
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… when people try to make this debate about the purity of your lineage, things start getting a little Death Eaterish for my taste.”
I have followed the campaign very closely in the past few months – argued online, read blogs and articles from all sides, attended Yes meetings in halls, pubs and back-rooms, spoken at length about the issues with other interested people, and this is the first I have heard any mention of anyone being “‘insufficiently Scottish’ to have a valid view” or any talk of ‘purity of lineage’. I feel quite aggrieved at these nasty allegations – anyone I know who advocates independence would be appalled to be accused of thinking on these lines. This is a campaign which should be an example on how a national debate should be held – certainly on the Yes side.
Am I being paranoid and overly suspicious to see the past week or so, with its talk of ‘blood and sand’ and comparisons of Alex Salmond to dictators as being a planned tactic of the Project Fear Better Together No Thanks bods? I am not saying Rowling has been given the nod by her mate GB, but her contribution does seem to slide comfortably into place in this. I have said before – the British establishment see this campaign as the greatest threat to the UK since WW2, and we can expect some dirty tricks in the coming weeks – accusing us of being bigots and racists is particularly nasty tactic, but if they think it will reap benefits, you can be sure they will not hesitate to adopt it.
Perhaps it is not such a thought-out approach, and is instead a kind of sub-conscious reaction amongst British unionists against the shame they feel at their country voting en-masse for a proudly racist party at the recent European elections. Pure projection.
The other strand in this attack is the focus on nasty ‘cybernats’ who have said nasty things online. Last week a columnist on the Telegraph announced that Alex Salmond could stop this by asking them to stop. Yes – Alex Salmond can control the internet! As an encore he will herd cats and stop the tide from coming in at Troon beach. Look at any youtube video featuring kittens eating candy-floss and the comments below will be full of trolls calling each other retards or passing comment on each other’s mammies. This is the internet! It is full of fucking trolls! The Yes campaign will have its share, I’m sure, but for grown-ups to make this a point of argument is supremely silly, and just dishonest. More distraction from those who cannot make a decent positive argument for the union.