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Rowling laments 'monsters' in Brexit debate

June 20, 2016

Author J.K. Rowling has criticized the Brexit campaign, taking the "leave" camp to task for suggesting the UK can somehow regain its former glory by leaving the EU. She also lamented a "remain" campaign focused on fear.

USA J.K. Rowling in New York
Image: picture alliance/Photoshot

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has called out the ugly campaign leading up to Thursday's referendum on EU membership, accusing both sides of conjuring monsters in order to scare voters to their side.

"I'm not an expert on much," she wrote on her website, "but I do know how to create a monster."

Taking both sides to task for trying to persuade voters through fear mongering, Rowling claimed the current campaign "will come to be seen as one of the most divisive and bitter political campaigns ever waged within [Britain's] borders."

"If we can't see that Britain will only regain superpower status if we leave the union, we must be unpatriotic, cowardly or part of a corrupt elite," she said of the "leave" campaign.

The "remain" camp, meanwhile, was "finding many ears closed to their grim prognostications" centered on economic gloom and doom.

'Remain' right, but disappoints

While the "remain" camp has insisted that the UK needs immigration, Rowling lamented that it was only for the functional purpose of filling holes in the jobs sector, eschewing any notion of personal and cultural enrichment that comes from living in a multicultural society.

"I'm the mongrel product of this European continent and I'm an internationalist," she said, explaining that she also has French ancestry. "I glory in association with the cultures of my fellow Europeans. My values are not contained or proscribed by borders."

For those in the "leave" camp, she suspected their "vote will be a simple howl of frustration, a giant two fingers to the specters that haunt our imaginations, against terrorism that seems almost supernatural in its ability to hit us in our most vulnerable places."

While the campaign itself has featured dueling narratives designed to persuade voters to their respective sides, Rowling said that will change on Thursday when Britons cast their votes.

At that point, she said, "we stop being readers and become authors. The ending of this story, whether happy or not, will be written by us."

bik/cmk (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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