News, Politics

J K Rowling Against Scottish Independence

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Map of the United Kingdom. England is red and Scotland is blue. Image: Burmesedays
Map of the United Kingdom. England is red and Scotland is blue. Image: Burmesedays

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, announced last week that she is giving one million pounds (1.8 million Canadian dollars) to the Better Together campaign.

The campaign is trying to convince Scottish people to say no to separation from England. Scots will vote in a referendum in September. A referendum is a question that allows a country’s people to vote about a particular issue.

On her website, jkrowling.com, Rowling wrote:

This separation will not be quick and clean; it will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence.

Rowling believes a split will be bad for Scotland’s economy.

But Rowling’s donation is not the biggest one in this fight. The largest donation was made to the team that wants independence. It came from Scottish couple Colin and Chris Weir, who gave about 3.5 million pounds ($6.45 million Canadian) from their 2011 lottery winnings of 161 million pounds.

After 300 years, many people in Scotland say it’s time to break away from England. They want their own government and say they want to make sure their Scottish history is kept alive. Some also believe their economy would be better off if they split.

England and Scotland joined forces in 1603 when Scotland’s King became England’s King as well. For three centuries, the Scots and the English have fought together in wars, explored foreign territories together and grown economically together.

The referendum will take place on September 18.

Related link
J K Rowling’s website featuring her essay about Scottish independence (with a Death Eater reference in paragraph five).

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
The referendum will take place on September 18th. There is not a required number of people who have to vote in the referendum. In fact, people who were born in Scotland but who don’t live there now are not allowed to vote in the referendum. The winning side will need to have just over 50% of the vote. This means that a decision one way or the other will be made without everyone giving their opinion. What do you think of this arrangement – is it fair?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
The title of this article is: “J K Rowling Against Scottish Independence.” While this article explains J K Rowling’s role in this debate, it also explains the issue of Scottish independence, the referendum and other contributors to the debate, such as Colin and Chris Weir.

There is a lot of different information in this article, yet the journalist chose to highlight J K Rowling’s role in the title and the beginning of the article. Why do you think she chose to take this angle?

Junior
Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Intermediate
Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Language Feature: Initials
J. K. Rowling does not go by her full name, Joanne Kathleen Rowling. Why do you think she (and many other authors) chose to go by their initials instead of their full name?