Author JK Rowling donates 1 million sterling to fight Scottish independence

Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:52am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

LONDON (Reuters) - JK Rowling, Britain's best-selling author and creator of teenage wizard Harry Potter, has donated 1 million pounds ($1.68 million) to the campaign against Scottish independence, saying on Wednesday she believed Scotland was better off staying in the United Kingdom.

Rowling lives in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh where she wrote the first of the Potter series in a local cafe and will be among about four million Scottish residents to decide on Sept. 18 whether to end the 307-year tie to England.

Rowling said she was concerned about the economic impact of going alone, with Scotland's oil and gas reserves being depleted and an ageing population, becoming the latest in a string of celebrities to wade into the increasingly heated debate.

"The more I have read from a variety of independent and unbiased sources, the more I have come to the conclusion that while independence might give us opportunities – any change brings opportunities – it also carries serious risks," she wrote on her website.

Rowling said she knew her stance might put her in the firing line of a fringe of aggressive nationalists whom she compared to Death Eaters, followers of Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort.

"While a few of our fiercer nationalists might like to drive me forcibly over the border after reading this, I'd prefer to stay and contribute to a country that has given me more than I can easily express," she wrote.

"I just hope with all my heart that we never have cause to look back and feel that we made a historically bad mistake."

A spokesman for the Better Together campaign confirmed Rowling had donated 1 million pounds to the fight to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom which is the biggest donation yet to the pro-union campaign that is leading in opinion polls.   Continued...

File photograph shows British writer JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books, posing during the launch of the new online website Pottermore in London June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files