What is Rowling Doing? Post Twitter, She is Starting a New Political Party

Today is the one month mark since J. K. Rowling has tweeted or re-tweeted from her bully pulpit of a Twitter platform, a venue offering her access to the minds of 14.6 million followers, by far the largest of any author or screenwriter. So what has she been up to?

The best guesses we have heard or thought of ourselves in the HogwartsProfessor faculty lounge are that she is vacationing after the tumultuous 2018, that she is hard at work re-writing Fantastic Beasts 3 in light of Crimes of Grindelwald’s disappointing box office and film reviews, that she is taking a break from politics because she has realized the vanity and absurdity of yelling into the gale of principle-free opinions with her own bon mots, and, by far the wish fulfillment option, that she is working day and night on finishing the fifth Cormoran Strike novel.

Yesterday morning The National, a newspaper in Scotland, reported that Rowling is part of a push to start a third political party in the UK, a left of center alternative to the anti-Semitism of Labour and the Brexit convictions of the Conservative party. A meeting was held in London at the offices of Neil Blair, Rowling’s right hand in all things legal and Machiavellian, and the crowd gathered was said to be enthusiastic (surprise!) about the idea of The Presence being the celebrity face of this as-yet-unnamed political faction. Jonathan Powell, an advisor to Tony Blair the former Prime Minister, supposedly was in attendance at this exploratory meeting to offer his guidance.

See other story write-ups at The Daily MailRT.com, and The Daily Express, two of which say Rowling was there, one citing the story that does not say she was present as its source; caveat lector. Rowling still has a degree of deniability but Neil Blair, despite having almost seventy clients in The Blair Partnership in addition to Rowling and Galbraith, is famous only because of his work for The Presence and holding the meeting at his offices inevitably involved her name and the media ‘hook.’ 

A Potter Pundit who will not be named assures me that ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ is a natural tag for this new party. My best guess for a name would be ‘Order of the Phoenix’ to avoid the Children’s Crusade jokes — and can’t you see Rowling in a Carolina (Brussells?) Blue cap with the words ‘Make Britain France Again’ emblazoned on it? Go, Jo, go!

Jo-king aside, I hope the several Blairs and party planners go with the name ‘Fabian Socialists,’ because, as Travis Prinzi and other Potter Pundits have pointed out through the years, this has been the Dumbledore-esque political theme of Rowling’s writings from the start, i.e., slow-but-steady growth of government control of every aspect of human life “for the greater good.” Gradualism, not revolution, is the road to societal utopia…

So what do you think? If a reality show host can be President, why or why not the best selling author of the age as Prime Minister or at least Minister for Culture? Let me know what you think of the Phoenix Party in the comment boxes below.

Comments

  1. The Phoenix Party – it’s perfect!

  2. I love the title, ‘The Phoenix Party’.

  3. http://Katherine%20Grimes says

    I’m not sure I agree that Rowling’s work advocates government in every aspect of people’s lives. She’s quite hard on the Ministry of Magic, the wizard government. Socialism is really an economic system whereby those with millions are taxed to help those with little, because capitalism allows people to earn millions by exploiting those with little. It’s a corrective. It isn’t totalitarianism or dictatorship, which are political, but economic. Perhaps I’m influenced by reading the parable of the Good Samaritan in my Literary Studies class today.

  4. Socialism, alas, means “Venezuela” not “coerced charity of the haves for the have nots.” Because it requires some degree of government control of the means of production, socialism is necessarily political and economic simultaneously. It has proved repeatedly and without exception throughout its history to be disastrous for individual liberty and religious believers.

    We agree that Rowling blasts both political right and left in her Potter and Strike series. Read Prinzi’s essay on her Fabianism in Harry Potter and Imagination, though, for where her center-left loyalties lie, not to mention the posts on this site about her mixed messaging about the UK’s National Health Service in Lethal White. To her credit, she is not a cartoon “No Enemies to My Left” ideologue, as her break with the Labour Party over Brexit and anti-Semitism are only the most recent examples.