No, JK Rowling, if anything ‘isn’t bloody funny’, it’s your hate campaigning

JK Rowling has long been a critic of Jeremy Corbyn, according to the Graun [Image: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters].

JK Rowling has long been a critic of Jeremy Corbyn, according to the Graun [Image: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters].

This Blog has no sympathy whatsoever with regard to JK Rowling for any animosity her campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn may have engendered.

The Guardian has reported that the author has been subjected to a large amount of criticism on Twitter after she published the following:

160831 JK Rowling not funny

The phenomenon is known as ‘dogpiling’ – many people posting unfriendly responses in short order to a single social media comment.

Some might argue that the adverse responses are justified. After all, nobody who supports Jeremy Corbyn has suggesting that him winning the Labour leadership election is in any way comical, and she does not support her comment with any evidence that Mr Corbyn will be bad for the Labour Party or the United Kingdom.

Some might argue that she is getting some of her own medicine. Ms Rowling is no stranger to the ‘dogpile’, having created at least one of her own – against This Writer.

After my piece on Jess Phillips and her panic room, Ms Rowling tweeted:

160831 JK Rowling vs Vox Political

As you will undoubtedly know already, Dear Reader, I did not write the words attributed to me by this hugely successful writer – of fiction.

But the thinly-veiled accusation of misogyny was enough to launch a multitude of aggressive and abusive tweets in my direction, mostly – it seems – from people who never bothered to read the article that provoked it.

So nobody should be surprised if I say Ms Rowling has no right to any sympathy at all. I wouldn’t want to start a dogpile against her, mind.

But then, she seems entirely capable of doing that, all by herself.

Ms Rowling’s point of view does warrant scrutiny. It is well known that she wrote her first published novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, while in receipt of state benefits. She now supports a candidate for the Labour leadership who did not oppose cuts to the benefit system proposed by the Conservatives – and let’s be clear: not only did he abstain on an important Parliamentary Bill, but he also spoke against scrapping the Work Capability Assessment that has driven so many people with mental health problems like depression to suicide.

I understand Ms Rowling suffered from depression while she was writing the first Harry Potter. It is hard to square her support for Mr Smith with her experience of the system in any way other than that expressed by ‘Real Labour’ on Twitter:

160831 Real Labour on JK Rowling

I should add that, as far as I am concerned, everyone is entitled to their point of view – including Ms Rowling, inconsistent though it may be. I made that point very clear – with reference to her – before the Labour leadership election stirred up everybody’s emotions:

160831 Mike Sivier on JK Rowling

That was before I saw her using her influence to attack people without good cause.

Ultimately, this is a writer who deserves nothing more than our disappointment.

She has a huge following and could use her influence to do a huge amount of good. But here we see her indulging in nothing but petty, vindictive and – in my case, at least – false accusations. Shame on her.

JK Rowling has tweeted her frustration with the likely re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader, claiming the party will not laugh in the future because “this isn’t bloody funny”.

The message from the author of the Harry Potter series, who has more than 8 million followers, triggered a huge response from supporters of the Labour leader, who attacked the message, to others who backed her for expressing the view.

Rowling has been an outspoken critic of Corbyn for a while, and has tried to support the Saving Labour movement that is backing Owen Smith in the leadership contest.

Source: ‘This isn’t bloody funny’: JK Rowling laments Corbyn’s strong position | Politics | The Guardian


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40 thoughts on “No, JK Rowling, if anything ‘isn’t bloody funny’, it’s your hate campaigning

  1. bladeofgrassuk

    This author has also “released the hounds” onto a friend of mine. He is a pleasant, friendly socialist with a history of being bullied. He suffers with anxiety, depression, and other more serious mental health issues.

    He received hundreds of abusive messages. Some of the tweeters dug into his personal history and misrepresented his year-long bullying ordeal as being his own fault. They attacked his political views and his credibility.

    It made me want to cry, honestly.

    I have a theory in life that no one should ever hate anyone or anything, but for nearly an hour I hated what Rowling had done to my friend.

    And then I took a deep breath and forgot about her. Ultimately, she isn’t important.

  2. mohandeer

    Once upon a time, not so long ago, a woman supported by the state wrote a series of books which brought her fame and fortune. Then when the woman was famous she turned her back on those she left behind and began a hateful campaign against a man who did not let his fame go to his head and instead, rather than paying lip service to human suffering, was actually willing to do something to alleviate it. The woman now lives very comfortably thank you ever so much and campaigns for a man who would see the poor and disabled suffer. It’s called the “pull the ladder up, I’m alright Jack” Judas Trait.

  3. John

    Successful people in one field can end up thinking they’re knowledgeable in all fields.
    We have all seen the latest “pop” stars air their opinions and views on various topics.
    Invariably, they know little or nothing about the subject they are spouting on about.
    I suspect this same principle applies to J. K. Rowling.
    She should restrict herself to what she is good at: just writing fiction.

  4. Di ane

    JK Rowling had a go on me about Jess Phillips too!
    She accused me of encouraging threats to MPs
    Firstly: as a woman I couldn’t endorse any threats to other women [whether I like them or not]
    Second: what I ACTUALLY SAID was how subjective protection for women [that have been threatened] is!
    I said female MPs can get protection [panic rooms et al] paid for at taxpayers expense,
    BUT, a domestic-violence bedroom-tax victim has to go to court because she had to PAY for her protection

    “The Court of Appeal heard the case of a woman who had rented her three bedroom home from the council since 1989. An ex, who was sent to prison for attempted murder, started hounding her. After he got out of jail, he raped her, and a child was conceived. In 2012, he contacted her again and threatened her with more violence.

    At this point, the police and other agencies helped the woman and her child make their home more secure under the ‘Sanctuary Scheme’. This included an extra, safe room – which the Government classed as a ‘bedroom’.”

    Did JK Rowling apologise for her attack on me? DID SHE HELL!
    I can only summise that she thinks that protection of women is subjective too.

      1. ellie

        I disagree. You seem respected and others will listen. More men need to speak out about subjective protection in general, including for women.

  5. Phil Woodford

    I love the way Corbyn fanatics pick fights with some of the country’s most popular people. Richard Branson the other day. Now J K Rowling. I’m surprised Chairman Mao hasn’t called for her knighthood to be rescinded lol.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I love the way anti-Corbyn fanatics mistake popularity for being right.
      In Mr Branson’s case I would dispute the claim that he is popular.
      In Ms Rowling’s I would question whether she will remain popular for long, with attitudes such as those she has been displaying.

    2. simplyshirah

      Why do you equate opinions about Branson & JK Rowling with some spurious argument that it is all about Corbyn fanatics? How peculiar! Are you suggesting then that Branson & JK Rowling’s comments may not be commented on? That criticism can only go one way? Sound a bit like the NEC who appear to share your view. Those who do not have access to the political mainstream can be culled, but of course those who do have as much access as they desire cannot be culled? Yes it does seem to me that you agree with the NEC wholeheartedly. Of course Ms Rowling & Mr Branson have a right to voice their opinions, but equally so do other mere mortals. Free speech is just that, free speech. We either all have free speech or we don’t. Free speech should not just be the province of the rich & famous.

    3. John

      Phil Woodford,
      Your statement is wholly irrational.
      It was not Corbyn who ‘picked a fight’ – as you put it – with Branson and Rowling (he does not do such things) but they who ‘picked a fight’ with him.
      Does it ever occur to you to think before you write?

  6. John

    I don’t pay any attention to Rowling whatsoever (nothing personal, I just don’t), but if she doesn’t support Corbyn (which it seems she doesn’t), then I am a little surprised by that. I know it’s not necessarily a guarantee, but being someone who (in the past), and generally speaking, has always tended to focus on young people (her books ARE mainly targetted towards that audience), I do find her lack of support surprising, given that Corbyn DID start out aiming his message at young people.
    Maybe it’s got something to do with forcing people (especially the very well off ones), to pay their fair share of taxes? Does anyone know if she hasn’t been?
    What exactly IS her reason for lack of support?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Let’s not speculate about a person’s tax affairs when we already have a strong enough reason for criticism.
      Her lack of support doesn’t have to be reasonable, does it?

      1. Henrietta Sandwich

        Surprisingly, JK does pay all her taxes. She’s never even tried to avoid paying them. Which makes it all the more baffling, to me, that she’s now supporting the right wing of the Labour party.

  7. A Grumpy_Old_Man (@Hairyloon)

    Context dear boy.
    If you are going to lay into someone foe “attacking” a defenceless old man, then you should include in your article something that actually looks like an attack on that man.
    There is nothing in what you’ve said she said attacking anybody other than the Labour Party, and they are well deserving of the comment.

    As to the unattributed quote: why do you say that she said you said it? There is nothing there to suggest that, unless you know what you said.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Everybody knows what I said; it’s in the article I wrote.
      As for Ms Rowling’s attack on Jeremy Corbyn, you should certainly write to The Guardian and any other mainstream media outlet that took up this story, if you think that they are mistaken.

      1. Dai

        My policy is don’t buy their products, I stopped purchasing the mirror after Routledge printed the s scarecrow article.

        I have now seen through the mainstream media but I am stuck with the BBC licence fee, but I watch Russia today.

        But if there’s a bandwagon everyone wants to get on it.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        I don’t!
        Okay, so there are more than 10,000 of us here on any given day, so…
        Phil thinks we all watch Russia Today!
        How many of you actually do?
        Let us know.

  8. pj21516

    Aye Mike, JK used a wee cafe in the Southside of Edinburgh she would sit with her bairn and was often given freebies coffe, tea, a bite to eat by the kind people who owned and ran their small business these are Real Edinburgh Southsiders she never will be, I wonder if she is claiming Benefits for severe Memory Loss caused by being a Billionaire, it’s a strange phenomenon Mike when certain people who did not have a pot to piss in at one stage in their life suddenly come into Fortunes and Lose all Memories of who and what they were before the life changing break.

    1. Leo

      You seem not to have heard of Rowling’s philanthropy and charitable work. If you end up doing as much good as she has then I would judge you to be a very good person with a good heart who helped make the world a better place.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Nobody is denying that.
        But any good work could be tarnished by association with these mean-spirited and biased pronouncements.

      2. Di ane

        Just because someone does a lot for charity it doesn’t mean they can’t do or say anything wrong.
        Jimmy Savile is a case in point, he did a lot for charity [albeit with an agenda most of the time].

      3. Phil Woodford

        I’ve seen some pretty awful stuff on this blog. But a comparison between J K Rowling and Jimmy Savile?

      4. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’ve written some pretty awful stuff in This Blog’s comment column, so really you shouldn’t criticise.

  9. pipsterish

    There is nothing to suggest that JK Rowling is in fear of paying more tax. She’s said outright in the past that she considers it fair that she should, given that the state supported her during her writing.

    Yet, she has fallen into the mindset of most successful people, which is that her success is entirely due to her own hard work and diligence, instead of blind luck, when in fact the opposite is true. For each JK there will be hundreds (if not thousands) of authors who don’t make it, whose work may well sometimes exceed the quality of her own.

    Because of that, because it’s difficult to acknowledge your own good fortune and admit that things are fundamentally unfair (since it takes away somewhat from any achievement), Ms Rowling now feels it’s reasonable to make it harder, rather than easier, for people who are in the same position as she was. After all, if they work hard enough, like her, they will escape, won’t they? Now where have I heard that before. Oh, yes, right – from tories.

    Also, her vitriol is quite disturbing. One day, we will look back and this won’t be bloody funny. Indeed. Because it’s not just establishment and neoliberals that are against Corbyn – it’s also hugely inflated egos whose integrity is being called into question. No one is ever paid for talent. Sad, but true. JK would feel much better if she could admit that to herself.

  10. Tim

    Rowling has donated MILLIONS to the Labour party and doesn’t deserve castigation for airing her honest opinion. Blimey! Whatever next? The Thought police?

      1. Phil Woodford

        I have a feeling if either J K Rowling or Richard Branson were leader of the Labour Party, we’d be a long way ahead of the Tories in the polls. The one thing Corbyn and his cronies can’t stand is people who are brighter and more successful than them. Witness, for instance, the attacks on Laura Kuenssberg, for instance.

      2. Tim

        No. Only her commitment to what she previously believed was Labour’s agenda. Rowling, a single parent under the Tories, faced extreme hardship before finding success as an author, who did her best by way of donation and publicity to advance Labour’s cause is a very serious and worthy Labour aficionado who doesn’t deserve to be attacked or abused because she has a different viewpoint or isn’t a full-blooded Corbyn supporter. This them and us mentality is going to end up ruining the Labour party; just because somebody disagrees with you, or disapproves of a person/people in public life, doesn’t make them your enemy.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        You’re right – she doesn’t deserve to be attacked or abused because she has a different viewpoint, but that’s not what’s happening here.
        She herself is doing the attacking and abusing. If you’re trying to turn that around on the people she has attacked, then you are victim-blaming and she is cry-bullying, as I understand the two behaviours are described in the current vernacular.
        You are right about the “them and us” mentality. I just wish someone would persuade JK Rowling and her clique of that.

      4. Leo

        You do know what Twitter is don’t you, Mike. It’s basically a public forum for public gossip, most of it being verbiage. Rowling may have a lot of people who follow her on that site but unless she’s actually got magical powers on the grand scale is unlikely to sway many of them towards or away from supporting the current Labour regime. If Mr Corbyn is too frail to stand up to rude or unsympathetic Twitter tweets then being leader of a political party really can’t be his bag. If anybody thinks what Corbyn has suffered to date is bad just wait until the red tops and media tear into him as we approach the next general election, assuming he remains leader of course and isn’t booted out beforehand or decides to step down voluntarily upset by naughty things that others may have said or written about him.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        Why are you bringing Mr Corbyn into this discussion of the spiteful behaviour of an individual who clearly wishes to misuse the undue amount of influence she has?
        Twitter may be all of what you suggest, but it is a home for opinion-formers. I wouldn’t have been ‘dogpiled’ thanks to this woman’s words if people had stopped to check the facts, so the weight of evidence is against you.

  11. Linwren

    Appalling nasty minded women. I’m so shocked at her behaviour. I wonder how she feels about the disabled people on benefits who have been evicted because of benefit sanctions. Or that 4000? have died as a direct result of abuse by the government. What goes around come around mrs

    1. Leo

      The horror you mention will likely continue unless a Labour government gets elected. My bet is that J. K. Rowling sees Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as an insurmountable obstacle to that happening and so, from her point of view, a very bad thing that should be challenged or at the very least lamented.

  12. simplyshirah

    Astonishing stuff. JKR supports Jess Phillips who has been one of the most abusive MPs on Twitter. She can have an opinion and speak in damaging way about Corbyn and his supporters and not be expelled from the Party. Bit like Mr Foster. Anything can be said by such people, but mere mortals are treated to savagery at hands of NEC dictators. Nice? What a wonderful democratic system we have in the Labour Party.

Comments are closed.