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J.K.Rowling Writes "Single Mother's Manifesto," Criticizes British Conservative Party in The Times

J.K. Rowling
Posted by: Rosi
April 14, 2010, 12:11 PM

With the British General Election approaching on the 6th of May in the United Kingdom, J.K. Rowling has written an article in today's Times relating her options on the British Conservative Party's stance on single-parent families.  In a critical look at some of the positions held by party leaders, the Harry Potter author asks whether the "nasty party" has really changed, as Conservative Party leader David Cameron says it has. In the article, Rowling particularly addresses the Conservative Party's plans to give married couples and civil partners a £150 annual tax break and Cameron's insistence that "it's not the money, it's the message." Rowling writes:

Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say “it’s not the money, it’s the message”. When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron’s only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is “get married, and we’ll give you £150”, he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation.
Rowling writes of how, following the 1993 break up of her first marriage, she "became a hate figure to a certain section of the press, and a bogeyman to the Tory Government" for the supposed "easy life" she subsequently received along with state benefits and state-funded accommodation.

Whilst conceding that "[there] remains much more to be done" by the governing Labour party, Rowling stands firmly against the assumption that having "long since left single parenthood for marriage and a nuclear family" she is a natural voter for the Tory (Conservative) party:
The 2010 election campaign, more than any other, has underscored the continuing gulf between Tory values and my own. It is not only that the renewed marginalisation of the single, the divorced and the widowed brings back very bad memories. There has also been the revelation, after ten years of prevarication on the subject, that Lord Ashcroft, deputy chairman of the Conservatives, is non-domiciled for tax purposes.
Rowling goes on to discuss her reasons for remaining a domiciled taxpayer, centred on a sense of indebtedness to the British welfare state and a feeling that "it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque." The author finishes by directly countering the widespread Conservative advertising campaign: "I’ve never voted Tory before ... and they keep on reminding me why." You can read the article in full on the Times website at this link.

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71 Comments

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285 Points

Good for her. It’s so much to her credit that even after the money she’s pulled in, she still hasn’t forgotten about her past, and where she was before she became as successful as she is. Kudos to her for continuing to take the right stance on the subject, rather than the stance that would most benefit her situation now.

Posted by Brad Ausrotas on April 14, 2010, 12:45 PM report to moderator
The-moose_thumb
8876 Points

Way to go JKR standing up for what she believes in … not that that’s anything new with her. She is always speaking up for what she believes and, she does something about it. She is just so awesome.

Posted by Moose_Starr on April 14, 2010, 12:54 PM report to moderator
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1166 Points

I am glad to hear that JKR still feels that she owes the state when they took care of her and Jessica. I wish more celebrities were like that, giving back more now that they can. It’s not just single mothers who benefit from the state, it’s the children (who didn’t ask to be born into their situations) that need to help too!!

Posted by JessSnape on April 14, 2010, 01:07 PM report to moderator
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737 Points

Major credit to Jo for sticking her neck out for something important. Nice to hear from her again, especially on such a personal and politically urgent issue!

Posted by Avelina_Went [ROAR] on April 14, 2010, 01:20 PM report to moderator
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9916 Points

I am so proud right now to call JK Rowling my favourtie author. The way she still stands out for what she believes in regardless of how rich and famous she is now is amazing. Good for you Jo! You’re amazing!

Posted by Owana Potter on April 14, 2010, 01:27 PM report to moderator
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3777 Points

Jo is too strong a woman to compromise her values
GO JO

Posted by ZachBlack [ROAR] on April 14, 2010, 01:49 PM report to moderator
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312 Points

Woo! Go JKR!

Posted by Lucida on April 14, 2010, 01:53 PM report to moderator
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221 Points

She speaks with such authority, clarity, intelligence, wit… I’m always overwhelmed by her awesomeness. She rocks.

Posted by rosepug on April 14, 2010, 01:56 PM report to moderator
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1481 Points

She rocks

Posted by Mew5645 on April 14, 2010, 01:58 PM report to moderator
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Typical Liberal/socialistic views. If you are a hard working person, yes you will have up and downs. But that doesn’t mean that someone else has to pay for you. I say BS. Most of you people here are liberals or want social programs anyways.

Posted by War Wizard on April 14, 2010, 02:50 PM report to moderator
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4565 Points

She is entitled to her own opinion, but what they do in England is the same that they do in the US. People who are married get more tax breaks and benefits than single people. That is how the government is.

Posted by Ron&Hermione-4-ever [ROAR] on April 14, 2010, 02:55 PM report to moderator
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679 Points

You tell ’em JKR… as a social democrat I totally agree ;)

Posted by Evagirl on April 14, 2010, 02:56 PM report to moderator
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264 Points

I totally agree with everything she is saying. Been there done that had to go days without eating so my kids could. things are better now that I am older and have a stale job and a good husband who even though can not work right now still keeps up with house hold chores and big part in raising the children 2 mine 2 his. But like Jo said it is not that easy and no one Parent or child should have to go hungry because the government can not get there headout of there butts and do something better for the country they help lead. I am all for helping other countries out that need it but when you have a homeless rate and proverty rate as high as the U.S. then matbe we should spend some of the money in our own countries before sending so much in others. Sorry about all that but I feel better. Boy I could go for a BUTTERBEER right now lol. ROAR

Posted by Roseann on April 14, 2010, 03:53 PM report to moderator
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22029 Points

i agree!!! Cool news!

Noavatar-thumb
54 Points

Okay, I’m American, and the politics here are a little different, but… wow. My Uncle is a single dad. If he lived in the UK, I’d hate to see how he fared. That’s awful. I’m raised in a mainly Conservative Christian family, but I’m what my family calls an Equalist Christian — I’m a middle-of-the-roader when it comes to the political parties — and I HATE when a party, any party, makes a completely unfair decision “in the interest of the people”. Yeah. Right. Whatever. Not that they have to ask my opinion, I mean, I’m not even old enough to vote, but still… Just thought I’d make my opinion clear.

Posted by BringItVoldyROAR on April 14, 2010, 03:59 PM report to moderator
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