Saturday, September 20, 2008

Arise, Baroness Rowling of Hogwarts

I laughed out loud when I heard that J K Rowling had given £1 million to the Labour Party because, you know, they have been so brilliant on child poverty. Did it not occur to her that giving a childrens' charity the money might have been better bang for her buck, and improved the lives of far more children than giving it to a political party would.

Still, who am I to begrudge Gordon Brown a bit of good news as his party conference gets underway. It's about the only bit of good news he will get if this weekend's opinion polls are anything to go by.

I'm off to Upton Park now to cheer on Gianfranco Zola's claret and blue army. Shame that doesn't scan, or it would make for quite a good chant. Instead, I think I will settle for...

From Stamford Bridge to Upton Park we've got your Zola and your Clarke.

52 comments:

Victor, NW Kent said...

An error by Rowling - she misread and gave it to Bumblebore in error.

The Lakelander said...

Her new book can be seen
here

Gordon said...

Whilst Labour have obviously not done very much for child poverty, I'm sceptical that a charity would do much more with the money, except possible wine and dine a few MPs whilst lobbying them. It might not work as well but building a new gym at 3 local schools perhaps, or maybe given the source of her wealth, a well-stocked library at a couple of local schools perhaps? Helping pay off the Labour overdraft will do nothing.

Tuscan Tony said...

As I have commented and posted elsewhere, "the unspeakable being funded by the uneatable"

Percepied said...

Although I might also question the decision to give such a large sum to Labour. JK Rowling is extensively involved with children's charities particularly in eastern Europe

neil craig said...

"Did it not occur to her that giving a childrens' charity the money might have been better bang for her buck,"

Probably not. Governments dispose of so much money that a small gesture to her would probably result in £10s of millions extra going to her favoured cause.

I am not supporting this situation (or indeed denouincing her use of it) but it is a fact of life & mjuch of the reason so many people spend money on lobbyists & party donations. Even worse, in my view, is the vicious circle of government providing money to organisations which then lobby for bigger government & more money. For example Friends of the Earth, Europe is 80% funded by various governments & lobbies Brussels for ever more bureaucracy. A very large fraction of the Democrats money comes from lawyers who make money suing people which may explain why people who sue there & lose don't have to pay the defendent's costs, a system towards which we are edging.

James said...

And I bet she paid less tax on her reputed £550m than you have on your income.

Blue Eyes said...

I don't think the Hammers should be shouting too much about the "trade gap" between East and West...!

simon said...

I think that this is hilarious. Harriet Harman being interviewed ootside LyingLabour's conference appeared to be on a verge of an orgasm trying to supress her excitement about her fellow 'sister's' donation. JK appears to still inhabit the 'land of the fairies'- hasn't relative child poverty gone up under caring LyingLabour? The gap btwn 'rich and poor' certainly has; a fact probably lost on a certain Scottish multi millionairess.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up the day job.

Anonymous said...

A fool and her money are easily parted...

Anonymous said...

I fail to see how paying off one seventeenth of New labour's debts is going to help child poverty.

Tayto said...

Arise Baroness Rowling of Hogwarts - I would think giving Brown £1m is the best way to ensure that never happens.

Geezer said...

Ironically, it is only the rich, like Rowling, that can afford to support Labour. If you are a dollar billionaire, you can afford to live in cloud-cuckoo land, believe in wizards, the tooth fairy and the Labour party! Everyone else has to inhabit the real world.

Martin Day said...

Labour and the LD's are doomed - DOOMED!

Sir Stuart Rose, who has advised Brown has said on the BBC that the Labour Government has been too slow to respond to the Financial Crisis enveloping Britain.

I am surprised that Some LD's welcome and seem to defend JK Rowlings donation. Maybe the LD babies still think the Labour party can protect them: I have news for the LD cry babied - the Tory Steam-roller is still heading toward your seats and indeed the engine is being stoked and the steam-roller is gaining speed!

Marquee Mark said...

Are you teasing us with some inside track on the upcoming polls?

ScottishToryBoy said...

I agree wholeheartedly with you Iain:

http://scottishtoryboy.blogspot.com/2008/09/donations-and-book-covers.html

Martin said...

Yes, Iain, I guess giving money to a political party without any hope of gaining some personal financial advantage from it is difficult for a Tory to understand!

Mitch said...

Well she never has had nor will ever get any of my money.

Unsworth said...

@ Martin

"without any hope of gaining some personal financial advantage"

How about peerages, then?

Anyway, do you have inside knowledge of whatever passes through whatever passes for Ms Rownling's 'mind'?

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. Rowling and Mr and Mrs Brown are good friends.

This has naff all to do with child poverty or helping children, and everything to do with her helping out a friend by cashing in on her celebrity and wealth.

It's an inconsequential story that any sensible person will see straight through. Still, I expect it will give Labour a +4 points in the opinion polls or there abouts, leaving them JUST 24 points behind..... (hahahaha)

All Gordon needs now is the entire cast of Easternders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street and he may be in with a shot!

Auntie Flo' said...

BBC's Have Your Say is having a vote on this and whether or not Labour can re-energise themselves. Some of the responses:

For the past 11 years they have lied to us over everything..Just tell us when the next election is so we can vote you all out.
..........

"...Gordon Brown urged MPs to focus on core values, telling them "we can come through this difficult time".


Core values such as:

+Keep your head down in difficult times. Mouth, Body and Soul must be in the Trough! Wiggling tail can be outside...+Roll back rights of workers which took centuries to achieve...+Lose confidential data and sense of loyalty to ordinary citizens...+Become the asylum capital of the world!
...............

I've watched his interviews and held my head in despair at the man's stupidity; obliviousness to British life; and his own exhausting repetition. It's so depressing...a useless, naive, socially inept relic from the failed politics of the past is in charge.
............
What are you expecting from the Labour party conference?

More corruption, more deceit and more lies. So there's nothing new there. That will be Labour's legacy.
.....................
You bet I'll be watching it! I'll be in the front row with my knitting, just like those watching the executions in the French Revolution.Only, in this case, it will be to watch the welcome death of Gordon Brown & NuLabour.
............
Rowling said she had given her donation because of Labour's record on reducing child poverty. LABOUR ARE NOT REDUCING IT THEY ARE IMPORTING IT.
..............
I'm glad that Harry Potter series has ended because I won't buy another of Rowling's books.
..............
Shame on those mean Tories for letting her (JKR) have a council house!...She may also wish to review if she's paying all the tax she could on her substantial earnings.
..............

Don't forget to vote!

Auntie Flo' said...

If the only thing that can help nulabour is Harry Potter, they'd better thrown in their cauldrons now.

JKR's donation must be Broon's royalties for the inspiration: she can only have based the evil, reptilian Voldermort on Broon.

And speaking of royalties, didn't nulab just up JKR's royalty period from 50 to 75 years? And is she one of those authors calling for a 100 year royalty period?

Auntie Flo said...

This couldn't be in any sense connected to nulab's recent decision to give:

£500 worth of free driving lessons

to all 16 year olds in education or who are unemployed?

And nulab's next move to give 16 year olds the vote?

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Perhaps you may wish to research just why Brown gave a tax break to Warner Brothers...then consider who are filming the Rowling children's novels...then consider that this 'gift' could be 'on behalf of a third party'?? and then we could have a story!!

It is all too cosy.

Pete Chown said...

I actually felt quite sickened when I read that. I enjoyed most of the books and films. Now I won't be able to buy them without thinking that my money is going to the people who destroyed Iraq.

(It's pretty unpleasant lauding the government's supposed success with child poverty in the UK, when many Iraqi children actually died at the same government's hands.)

Jules said...

I don't know Iain, but I really don't think Rowling should be let off the hook for this one.

Sure, it's her right to donate money and it's also her right to give reasons why she is supporting Labour.

But she's gone beyond that - she's turned this into a compare/contrast, Pro-Labour, Anti-Tory exercise by referring to Cameron and the Tory past and attacking their position on single parenting and their beliefs in the family.

She's spouting Brownies on child poverty in a way that a Labour MP would, except she is not a politician and is not subject to the same scrutiny; all the more troubling given who she is and the position of influence she enjoys.

If she wants to do this, then she should stand as a Labour MP. In the meantime, she should stick at fiction, not reality.

Plus, she's also guilty of double standards - she supports single parents, having been one, but at the end of the day, she remarried and started a new family - the sort of thing the Tories support. Labour may have helped single parents, but they have destroyed the family.

Tory Bear said...

http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40183885655

norman said...

She could give it to the Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Hospital is advertising for £3 a montn donation on TV with a voice that made me reach for my cheque book. The Hospital is a deserving recipient. As a pensioner I cannot compete with the £500 million or so this writer has. But will do what I can.

Anonymous said...

"Did it not occur to her that giving a childrens' charity the money might have been better bang for her buck, and improved the livs of far more children than giving it to a political party would."

Hmm.. I ain't sure that this is the case Iain..

If you were to give One Million of your spondoolicks to 'charidee', they would have an extra £ 1 m to spend on improving the lives of kids.

If you give the One Million to El Gordo, he can easily give £ 10, 000, 000 [that's TEN BILLION QUID, fact fans] of our own money to the poorer children of this country..

Whether you think that is a 'good thing' is entirely your decision, but 'cash and carry' Government does give a bigger bang to the buck, whether you subsidising your chums in 'big oil', 'big pharma', the arms industry or your 'core voters'..

Feel feel to disagree in further comments....

Dave H. said...

She's acknowledging a debt. Gordon provided the inspiration for the Dementors.

Adrian Bailey said...

Was phone-polled by ICM this morning. The guy said it would take 6 minutes, but it was more than double that even though we raced through the questions at breakneck pace. Anyway, there were lots of good questions and I'm sure the results will be more bad news for Gordon.

curly15 said...

Aren't they all just a bunch of "mumbles"?

I couldn't resist having a go, so I did.

Does this make Cameron a Voldemort character (he who shall not be spoken of)?

curly15 said...

Oh yes, the book.

Newmania said...

I knew that would happen and I also knew it would happen when she had so much money it didn't matter if she irritated anyone.

Listen to hjer speak for just a minute . Her husband earns every penny. Her first three books are very good and are deeply Conservative in structure and style .

Auntie Flo said...

Pete Chown said...

"It's pretty unpleasant lauding the government's supposed success with child poverty in the UK, when many Iraqi children actually died at the same government's hands."


Good point, I totally agree with you. Doesn't this fact alone make you wonder what Rowling's real agenda is here?

Auntie Flo said...

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps you may wish to research just why Brown gave a tax break to Warner Brothers...then consider who are filming the Rowling children's novels...then consider that this 'gift' could be 'on behalf of a third party'?? and then we could have a story!!

It is all too cosy."


An excellent point, anon. Please do investigate this, Iain.

john miller said...

How cynical can you get!

Good grief, who can deny that Nu Labour have done a magnificent job of reducing child poverty? Why, a quick glance at www.endchildpoverty.org.uk shows that they have brought it down to 1 in 3. So obviously under the bastard, wicked Tories, it was obviously 1 in 2 or perhaps even 1 in 1!

Given that Ms Rowling is worth £560M this just shows her huge commitment to Mr Brown and the Labour cause; why, its the equivalent of me giving them £196 so you can see how much, relatively speaking, she is sacrificing! All for a problem closest to her heart. It's possible she may not be able to have diamond studded caviar on toast every day for the next, well , day, I suppose.

Anyway, the Labour Party don't need any money, they have huge amounts pouring in from the unions every day - gosh, they must be swimming in the stuff!

Mostly Ordinary said...

I agree political donations change nothing and are a waste of money.

Ben said...

Very tendentious of the BBC to make this their top TV news story at midday; but I suppose we shouldn't be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Dear oh dear, sounds like the politics of envy is still alive and well, with some commenter’s cancelling their Christmas book orders to make a political point, despite disappointing the kids.
Mind you, I know people who've never been inside a Tesco since Lady Porter, and I've never bought an Archer novel.
On ConHome, more predictable malice, but Louise Bagshaw is entirely supportive.

Lady Finchley said...

So glad I never bought a Harry Potter book. At least Damien Hurst (who I usually have no time for at all) donated mega bucks to Kids' Company and Demelza's.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

That's it. Just because ol' JK is the new Enid Blyton (and they'll all be slagging her off in 30 years time, too) everyone thinks she is omniscient.

JK Rowling wrote a lot of immensely readable twaddle. That does not make her a political player. She happens to have made a lot of money by writing the same basic story over and over again and having a good publisher.

She has always struck me as being a very stupid woman (tautology, I know) so this news is not news. She should stick to disgorging her schlock from the glop hopper - not contributing to its political equivalent.

Anonymous said...

Is this donation conditional on Labour changing/adapting some policy or other, like Stuart Wheeler?

Mostly Ordinary said...

Have to wonder if this venom would be aimed at this women if she made her fortune selling cheese?

Really what is the issues here? A rich person donates money to a political party she supports? Is that really a topic of such hatred? This women made her money on solely her own talent she is free to spend her money as she wishes.

Good luck to her.

Auntie Flo' said...

A gem from BBC's Have Your Say::

"If Gordon Brown stood with his pants down in front of the CERN Hadron Collider I doubt it would energise him or the Governement"

Laban said...

Last time I looked the NSPCC were spending half their budget on advertising, with the aim of changing govt policy (i.e. criminalising parents who smack their kids). They're totally bought into the idea that the only way to improve children's lives is by legislation.

So if you want to do that, it's cheaper to give the money direct to Labour.

Auntie Flo said...

Another little gem from BBC's Have Your Say:

"I think if Gordon Brown's head got pulled off, as happened to one of the characters in the first Alien movie we would see the same sort of wiring and oil ducts that makes a robot function...

He is so devoid of emotions he has to be from planet Zirgon, planted here to undermine society in preparation for an extra terrestrial takeover."

Brit_in_Aussie said...

Of course, if JK Rowling had contributed £1 million to the Tories, do you think we'd hear this carping?

It looks and smells like sour grapes, Ian.

Oh and the Tories practically invented and patented "Cash for Honours", so try not to be so hypocritical.

Jess The Dog said...

So a megarich posh celebrity is a Labour luvvie...excuse my jaw for remaining undropped.

Rowling's cash is for her to do as she pleases with, and her charity work is commendable. Nevertheless, I find it objectionable that she has to comment in public on her political views regarding poor families....she hasn't looked back since her deserved success in the late 90s and presumably doesn't have to worry about the mortgage or the bills. I am sure she has very illuminating chats with the Brown families at posh soirees, in stately homes and castles and the like, surrounded by flunkies and bodyguards....doesn't make her much of an authority on poor families though!

She knows fine well that her views (and the views of other celebrities) make the front pages whilst the views of us millions of Muggle voters count for diddly-squat.

Presumably she will also be happy with the Death Eaters asking for our ID cards if her efforts keep Voldemort in Downing Street somehow.

More of my rant here (read by nearly as many people as the Harry Potter books!)

http://jess-the-dog.blogspot.com/2008/09/harry-potter-and-wodge-of-cash.html

http://jess-the-dog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Poor old WW, bitterly undermining and demeaning the ability and huge earning capacity of a very talented woman, while Auntie flo can only haunt message boards for hours, searching desperately for other people’s repellent comments to post here.
Gives a whole new perspective to the simple and well understood words ‘sad old sod’
as we envision the miserable lives of these two.

Bill Quango MP said...

New book
New Labour Rowling Book announced