Thursday, April 27, 2017

J K Rowling and the Corbynista left

I hope it is a measure of my independent judgement that, despite the fact that I strongly disagree with some aspects of her political views and she with my party, I admire the author Joanne K. Rowling. As Sydney Harris once wrote,

I greatly admire the ability and hard work that got J. K. Rowling where she is today, I admire the fact that she gives generously to causes she thinks are right without expectation of any reward even when I don't support those causes myself, and I admire the courage with which she stands up for her views and does so in a dignified and moderate way even when the act of standing up for her convictions  provokes vicious criticism from some of the most unpleasant people in politics.

Previously having put her head over the parapet as a supporter of the Union between the countries of the United Kingdom, J.K. Rowling has come in from some pretty nasty abuse from the "Cybernats" and less pleasant supporters of Scottish Independence, people who even the more reasonable nationalists - and I would not want to deny that there are reasonable nationalists - will admit are not a credit to their cause.

Now she has come under fire for tweeting a link to a New Statesman article written by a moderate Labour supporter who, like her, does not hold Jeremy Corbyn in high regard but nevertheless encouraged people who felt as she does to campaign for the election or re-election of moderate Labour candidates and MPs.

J.K. Rowling's tweet repeated the headline of Sarah Ditum's article, which was "Election 2017: what should you do if you support Labour but can’t stand Jeremy Corbyn?"

I presume that Rowling would have shared it with two mouse clicks (on the Twitter icon and "Share") and the key point about this is that it encouraged disillusioned Labour supporters to find a way that they can in good conscience campaign for a Labour vote.

Personally I would encourage a Conservative vote and I find the position of moderate Labour MPs like John Woodcock who say they can stand as Labour candidates while not supporting Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister to be completely untenable.

But of course I would think that, wouldn't I - after all, I support the opposing party. To me, the idea of going beyond saying that I strongly disagree with that position it into the realms of personal abuse is neither necessary nor reasonable.

Yet, in spite of the fact that Ditum and Rowling were urging a Labour vote, however reluctantly, the Corbynista left has been lining up to denounce them as Nick Cohen writes here.

To the true believers of the hard left, (s)he who is not with me is against me and apostates are even more hated than those who were always of the opposing view.

So they tell anyone who dares to say anything they don't like to "join the tories."

If the polls are right, on 8th June they will get their wish.

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