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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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39680 Points

Good! I agree to how she didnt forget what happened to her in the past and is putting it out there for people to get the message. and they make £150 look like it’s a chance.

Posted by chocolaterabbits on April 14, 2010, 04:44 PM report to moderator
16322 Points

:D Go Jo Go!

Posted by FilmGirl27 *Team Weasley!* (ROAR!!) on April 14, 2010, 04:58 PM report to moderator
157 Points

JKR always standing for what’s right. I love that woman <3

Posted by IHeartHarryPotter on April 14, 2010, 05:01 PM report to moderator
58 Points

I think she’s totaly right, i can’t vote but my Mother can’t change her vote because she’s a single parent and the government in charge at the moment gives her a certain amount of money and if the government changed to a certain different one, that would stop and we can’t afford to not get that money – it’s okay for the party leaders to give out messages when they live on so much more than minimum wage. I’ll have to read all of her article.

Posted by retrorocketrhiannon on April 14, 2010, 05:04 PM report to moderator
98 Points

Lol. Somebody over on MuggleNet “So this is what she’s been writing!” :P
I’m so glad Jo stands up for what she beleives in like this! Though, I don’t know much about British politics Jo’s writng still captivated me. JK Rowling is truly amazing! :D

Posted by FGFG on April 14, 2010, 05:13 PM report to moderator
4852 Points

Good for her to speak her mind!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on April 14, 2010, 05:16 PM report to moderator
314 Points

This was brilliant. I wouldn’t be surprised if she changed the outcome of the whole election.

Posted by Libby on April 14, 2010, 05:18 PM report to moderator
660 Points


Posted by Noble Birth Descending on April 14, 2010, 05:26 PM report to moderator
58 Points

I just read the article and it was really good but there were LOADS of hate comments afterwards! The people writing them seem to have decided that because she’s now rich she has no right to comment on Party policy about single parent families – how wrong i think they are! She is a prime example of someone who our current system saved from rock bottom and allowed her to achieve the height of success! They are just jealous. GO JKR!

Posted by retrorocketrhiannon on April 14, 2010, 05:27 PM report to moderator
3455 Points

Most of what i want to say is GO JO!!!!!! because im so happy and proud that even though she has become who she is now, and the hard times have past, she still uses her experience to help those who are still in troubled times! and shes a strong woman with a lot of voice now who can help those with out one, and she uses that voice of hers!!!!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on April 14, 2010, 05:34 PM report to moderator
3048 Points

Yet again I am proud of J.K. Rowling for giving a voice, standing up for, and representing the voices of single-parent families and is able to speak from experience with regard to these families with both authority and wit. I hope that she does succeed in informing the public about the true nature of single-parent families and prevent any abusive or unjust laws from being passed in addition to those already in place.

Posted by Kirk on April 14, 2010, 05:43 PM report to moderator
478 Points

wow… she is truly amazing. not just an author, but a brilliant woman inside out:)

Posted by ProfessorAlice on April 14, 2010, 05:44 PM report to moderator
1925 Points

See this is why i like J.K Rowling she has a good head on her shoulders and even though she has accumlated a vast amount of money in the past few years she still doesnt forget what its like to be broke. Today it seems people have the idea that it is someone choice to be broke and that since it is their “choice” they can deal with it on their own and with politics in the US it seems more are making choices based on themselves vs. the people who are in need of this ex. the health care bill.

Posted by Parkinsonpansy on April 14, 2010, 06:01 PM report to moderator
1661 Points

This article was brilliantly written. I’m not British, so I’m not up to date on UK politics, but I agree with JKR. No child should have to live in poverty. It makes no sense for a single mother to only be able to get a tax break if she’s married. That needs to be changed ASAP. I grew up in a single parent home and it is not fun. No mother should have to struggle to feed her child.

Posted by cghambright on April 14, 2010, 06:09 PM report to moderator
1599 Points

so, im from the US—and i dont really get a lot of the conservative (the tory party?) vs. um…the labour party? wow, um those names are a bit…odd, but okay—so i dont really get all of the UK political stuff, but i heartily agree with Jo’s stance on single-parenting. i am a child (well, really im 18 but, anyway) of a single parent home. my parents divorced when i was eight years old, so for the greater part of my childhood i have lived under a single-mom home. i am very lucky in that my mom has held down a stable job all of my life. however, we are not living like kings, it seems like every government tax break or anything that could help us, cant. we seem to make literally just enough money to not qualify for most of government aid, so either we’d have to be poorer or my mom would have had to of stayed in an abusive relationship with my father. hmm. i dont like those options, government. like jo said, it is the money. this is, “for the greater good” all. over. again.

Posted by Nealie Zealbie on April 14, 2010, 06:27 PM report to moderator
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