This morning it was announced that Harry Potter author J K Rowling had given £1 million to the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK. That’s her perfect right in exactly the same way as it’s the perfect right of Christine and Colin Weir to give their lottery winnings to the Yes campaign. Believe me, if I won millions on the lottery, the Liberal Democrats would be getting a fair chunk of it as would my favourite charities. I’d want to use it to make the world a better place.
She gave her reasons in a characteristically honest and well-crafted piece that even mentions death-eaters. My favourite bit is:
Some of the most pro-independence people I know think that Scotland need not be afraid of going it alone, because it will excel no matter what. This romantic outlook strikes a chord with me, because I happen to think that this country is exceptional, too. Scotland has punched above its weight in just about every field of endeavour you care to mention, pouring out world-class scientists, statesmen, economists, philanthropists, sportsmen, writers, musicians and indeed Westminster Prime Ministers in quantities you would expect from a far larger country.
My hesitance at embracing independence has nothing to do with lack of belief in Scotland’s remarkable people or its achievements. The simple truth is that Scotland is subject to the same twenty-first century pressures as the rest of the world. It must compete in the same global markets, defend itself from the same threats and navigate what still feels like a fragile economic recovery. The more I listen to the Yes campaign, the more I worry about its minimisation and even denial of risks.
Whenever the big issues are raised – our heavy reliance on oil revenue if we become independent, what currency we’ll use, whether we’ll get back into the EU – reasonable questions are drowned out by accusations of ‘scaremongering.’ Meanwhile, dramatically differing figures and predictions are being slapped in front of us by both campaigns, so that it becomes difficult to know what to believe.
Since the announcement was made, predictably, Jo has come in for some horribly misogynistic abuse on Twitter. To be fair, some people out there have an issue with any woman having an opinion and Nicola Sturgeon has had some nasty stuff sent in her direction too, so it’s a problem for us all. Sadly, it’s par for the course.
Then a friend of mine from south of the Border shared a Tweet calling Jo a bitch. He pointed out the irony of this coming from The Dignity Project.
My curiosity got the better of me and I wondered what the Dignity Project was. It’s actually a charity raising money for education and child care in Africa. According to Scotland’s charity regulator, it’s still active. Apparently another of it’s aims is to:
The advancement of the Christian religion in Africa by furthering the work of God and particularly by teaching the aforementioned children Christianity and Christian Beliefs
None of this is consistent with the tweet that came from it today. This could be a hack. It could be a #epicfail in the Tweetdeck department. Whoever did it wouldn’t have been the first person to tweet from the wrong account.
We need an explanation, though, and an apology, because something like this is sufficient to cause huge reputational damage to an organisation which is trying to do some good. Its Facebook page indicates that it’s struggling for support at the moment. This act might just have killed it off.