The 'Harry Potter' creator used evil wizard Voldemort and Donald Trump to frame her criticism of the Leave side
In the near decade since British writer JK Rowling released the final instalment of the Harry Potter series, a literary sensation that spawned a billion-dollar media franchise, she has never shied away from giving her opinion on social issues affecting the UK. And now gaining a reputation for silencing critics with quick-witted tweets, the author has opened up to her 7.5m Twitter and 5m Facebook followers on how she views the campaigns waged in the Brexit referendum – and why she is voting to remain.
In a blog written on her website yesterday evening, Rowling took cues from the magical universe of her own creation to compare the toxic environment gripping Britain, which will see UK citizens go to the polls to determine whether or not to remain members of the European Union.
“Both sides of this campaign have been telling stories,” she writes, “They are appealing to us through our universal need to make sense of the world by storytelling. They have not been afraid to conjure monsters calculated to stir up our deepest fears.”
Rowling points fingers at both sides of the campaign, pouring particular scorn over the culture of fear and nationalist rhetoric espoused by those pushing for a vote to leave.
“We take the benefits of EU membership for granted,” Rowling says, before describing her own family history, which is part French. “I glory in associations with the cultures of my fellow Europeans. My values are not contained or proscribed by border... We should be proud of our enduring desire to join together, seeking better, safer, fairer lives, for ourselves and for millions of others.”
If one more person tells me voting Remain is for the rich: WHO WILL SUFFER IF THE EXPERTS ARE RIGHT AND 100K JOBS GO AND WELFARE IS SLASHED?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 21, 2016
Looking beyond the UK, Rowling also expressed unequivocal criticism of the presumptive Republican Party US presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling him a “fascist in all by name.”
“He has the temperament of an unstable nightclub bouncer, jeers at violence when it breaks out at his rallies and wears his disdain for women and minorities with pride. God help America. God help us all,” Rowling writes.
Parallels have been drawn between Trump’s anti-immigration policies and those of the Leave campaign, which she says has also used xenophobia to whip up a fearful frenzy. The billionaire property mogul has expressed his desire to see the UK opt out of the 28-member economic and political union that has seen peace exist between member states since its foundation.
“It is dishonourable to suggest, as many have, that Leavers are all racists and bigots: they aren’t and it is shameful to suggest that they are. Nevertheless, it is equally nonsensical to pretend that racists and bigots aren’t flocking to the ‘Leave’ cause.”
The most recent opinion polls show a swing back to the Remain side, after reports that Leave had taken a narrow lead last week. Irish bookmakers Paddy Power now has the odds of remaining at 2/9 and leaving at 10/3.