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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

Me_aveclechapeaud_aretha_thumb

She is awesome and so eloquent while sticking it to the Tories. Good on her!

Posted by accio_salmon on April 14, 2010, 06:38 PM report to moderator
My_hero_neville_thumb
6352 Points

I’m a proud American liberal and I’m very happy to see JKR once again speaking out for those with so little power.

LOVE YOU JKR!

Posted by KB Prez [ROAR!] on April 14, 2010, 06:40 PM report to moderator
New_me2_thumb
103 Points

Its great that she cares still. I hope that never changes about her.

Posted by Ravenwing ROAR on April 14, 2010, 06:44 PM report to moderator
Choco_dementor_thumb
465 Points

Way to go, Jo! :)

Posted by The Half-Blood Lauma' on April 14, 2010, 07:07 PM report to moderator
Emma_watson_polyvore_thumb
1740 Points

It is great that she finally spoke out against what she thought about the governement. I mean it’s like the same in U.S.A, there they only give healthcare insurance to whoever can afford, in other words to the rich. Here it’s the same in London, they only give you a break fron taxes if you can afford it or live in a civil family. They don’t understand that there are other people that are starving and struggling to support their family.

Emma_watson_polyvore_thumb
1740 Points

It is great that she finally spoke out against what she thought about the governement. I mean it’s like the same in U.S.A, there they only give healthcare insurance to whoever can afford, in other words to the rich. Here it’s the same in London, they only give you a break fron taxes if you can afford it or live in a civil family. They don’t understand that there are other people that are starving and struggling to support their family.

Peepingtom_thumb
36 Points

Wow, JKR is really grounded and down-to-earth. I’ve always had a high opinion of her, but my respect for her has increased.

Posted by lunarmage on April 14, 2010, 07:48 PM report to moderator
Casualvacanycover_2266306a_thumb
3455 Points

“Rowlinginit” i can see why she loved the simple surname potter so much, that must be annoying to be the raw end of a pun all the time….it was an excellent article!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on April 14, 2010, 08:19 PM report to moderator
Casualvacanycover_2266306a_thumb
3455 Points

i agree with you lunarmage!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on April 14, 2010, 08:19 PM report to moderator
Epjpegutil31_thumb
4208 Points

Jk Rowling is not only a great writer, she is an astute woman who has not forgotten her roots, and who has not caved in to expediency. She neatly exposed the hypocrisy of the Conservatives in Britain. There will always be poeple who need help through no fault of their own, and governments are there to help care for them, in my opinion. Charities can help too, but there needs to be centers where people can get job counselling, help with child care, and health care. No one has the right to complain about single parents unless they have walked in their footsteps. JK Rowling told it like it is, and very eloquently too.

Posted by Fresca ROAR on April 14, 2010, 09:38 PM report to moderator
Johnnie_ret_thumb
120 Points

Well said, Jo! x

Posted by Gloria on April 14, 2010, 09:44 PM report to moderator
Keep_calm_hrh2_thumb
12569 Points

JK is not only eloquent but logical. What better person to represent this perspective than someone with her personal experience. Her experience is exceptional, but it is also a great example of why a government and society that has a system to support those who have fallen on hard times to help them pick themselves up again. Not only is it just so that they can survive, but in end be a contributing member of society. That is what extremist conservative who think of welfare as a “waste” because it just goes to people who don’t contribute don’t get. It is not just an idealogical issue, it is one of common decency. Good on ya Jo!!!

Posted by tinagin [ROAR]! on April 14, 2010, 09:53 PM report to moderator
Natalieportman14_thumb
1231 Points

You go, Jo!

Posted by Tassana Burrfoot on April 14, 2010, 10:50 PM report to moderator
Upclose_of_me_thumb
3271 Points

I agree with Jo! Glad she is speaking out on what she believes is right! Glad to hear from her too on such a personal level.

Posted by Half-Blood Princess66[ROAR!] on April 14, 2010, 11:53 PM report to moderator
Img_7524_thumb
730 Points

This is why Jo Rowling is my greatest role model (aside from my parents and grandparents). It’s not even the fact that I tend to lean towards the liberal side of politics, it’s that she continues to care about the world around her when she could so easily slip into a little celebrity-bubble, that she cares about national politics for the good of the country even though it’s at her own expense, and that she expresses herself so graciously and eloquently. Brava, Ms. Rowling, brava!

Posted by RavenclawDancer on April 15, 2010, 01:23 AM report to moderator
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