Rowling pledges support to ‘Better Together’ campaign

Donates £1 million to it ahead of referendum

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:25 pm IST

Published - June 12, 2014 12:03 am IST - London:

J K Rowling

J K Rowling

The ‘Better Together’ campaign, which wants Scotland to remain within the United Kingdom, has landed the biggest endorsement that any popular movement could hope for.

J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, is Scotland’s very own international celebrity with a name that resonates in all parts of the globe. A Scot who wears her patriotism on her sleeve, her firm “No thanks” (the slogan of the Better Together campaign) to the Yes campaign’s promise of an independent Scotland has given the Better Together campaign a much needed shot in the arm.

Ms. Rowling has also announced a donation of £1 million to the campaign.

There are less than 100 days left for the referendum on Scottish independence.

Writing on her website, Ms Rowling lays out a carefully argued position for her stay-together choice. Acknowledging the “intelligent, thoughtful people” who dominate on both sides of the argument, she said she came to her decision despite her belief in the exceptionality of Scotland where she has lived for the better part of her life.

“By residence, marriage, and out of gratitude for what this country has given me, my allegiance is wholly to Scotland and it is in that spirit that I have been listening to the months of arguments and counter-arguments,” she says.

And despite being “no fan of the current Westminster government,” she argues that Scotland would do better to be part of a larger union in a globalised world. For example, when “the RBS [Royal Bank of Scotland] needed to be bailed out, membership of the union saved us from economic catastrophe.”

Her reading of a ‘variety of independent and unbiased sources,” Ms. Rowling says, led her to the conclusion that the Yes campaign has minimised, and even denied, the economic risks of independence.

She fears independence will have a negative impact on an area of personal interest for her, that of Scottish medical research.

“Having put a large amount of money into Multiple Sclerosis research here, I was worried to see an open letter from all five of Scotland's medical schools expressing ‘grave concerns’ that independence could jeopardise what is currently Scotland’s world-class performance in this area.” The 14 professors who signed the letter said that Alex Salmond’s plans for a common research funding area are ‘fraught with difficulty’ and ‘unlikely to come to fruition’.

The Better Together campaign was formed in 2012 to represent the principal political opposition to Scottish independence.

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