Rowling’s Philanthropy Has Gone Too Far

Well renowned for her exceeding charitable donations which had her slip off the Forbes Billionaire list, the author of the Harry Potter novels Joanne Rowling has recently parted with a small portion of her large fortune which has caused much controversy amongst her fellow Scottish citizens. As the day of the Scottish referendum looms, the revelation of Rowling’s stance towards Scottish Independence was inevitably going to cause a lot of outrage. But is she really right in donating such a staggering amount of money to campaign against what would be a resounding success for Scotland?

JK Rowling

JK Rowling.
Rights; Daniel Ogren

Rowling, who herself has resided in Scotland for the past 21 years, released a statement explaining the reasons behind her decision to support the Better Together Campaign. Her reason for supporting the campaign, she wrote, are because she “loves Scotland and want it to thrive’. As well that, she compared Scottish Nationalists to ‘Death Eaters’ and stated clearly that she is not a fan of the current Westminster government. Much outrage has been caused by this news and subsequently so called ‘Cybernats’ trolls on Twitter have expressed this with online abuse which is said to have originated from the Dignity Project who have put it as the fault of hackers.

Scotland gaining independence would indeed be a momentous occasion and definitely historically significant. Whether this would be beneficial to the country and people is open to debate. Along with independence for Scotland comes a vast amount of questions and debates about what it will mean for Scotland. Will they be forced into joining the Euro? How are we to divide the national debt and North Sea oil revenues? As Rowling herself pointed out in her statement Scotland will have to succumb to various negotiations and will be only a small partner seeking arrangements with the UK. The First Minister Alex Salmond, however, is overly confident that Scotland will keep everything that they are particularly attached to such as the pound and even the Queen.

Rowling’s actions towards expressing her support for Scotland to stay with the UK may have been a little excessive with her decision to hand over such a vast amount of money towards its campaign. She has, however, set an example to many people to stand up for what they believe and not to be ashamed of their beliefs and wishes even if this has tainted her reputation towards all of her pro-independence fans. As she clearly stated in her essay, at the end of the day it is up to the Scottish people and I just hope that their decision will not turn out to be a historically bad mistake.