ANDREW PIERCE: Harry Potter and the curse of the woke fan
The BBC has invited a fan of author J.K. Rowling to present a 30-minute Radio 4 documentary called: ‘Can I still read Harry Potter?’
Well, all I can say is that if Aja Romano is a real fan of the author, then I’m a dangerously radical Corbynista.
A leading apologist for ‘cancel culture’ (the withdrawal of support for public figures deemed to have been politically incorrect), in June Romano accused Rowling of ‘pernicious hate’ after the author antagonised militants in the trans community by ridiculing an article which used the phrase ‘people who menstruate’.
Indeed, so incensed was Romano that she announced she was removing her Harry Potter books from her shelves.
Romano also finds the Potter books ‘guilty of fat shaming’ and ‘upholding patriarchal structures’, and accused Rowling of ‘repeated examples of bigotry’.
I think we know what Romano’s conclusion will be even before the programme is broadcast later this month.
Perhaps Radio 4 should use licence-fee payers’ money to investigate intolerant extremists behind cancel culture instead.
At a ‘virtual’ rally of the hard-Left group Momentum, Labour MP Diane Abbott paid tribute to her former boyfriend Jeremy Corbyn. Praising his work as a constituency organiser in Hornsey in the 1970s, she said: ‘He laid the basis for Hornsey now being one of the safest Labour seats in London.’
This will be news to Lynne Featherstone, who was the Lib Dem MP for Hornsey between 2005 and 2015.
Jenrick the Generous pays out
Tory MP Philip Davies is asking Cabinet Ministers to reveal the biggest pay rise in their departments. The Treasury coughed to an £8,000 bump, worth an inflation-busting 7.3 per cent, which was not the result of a promotion.
Dominic Raab’s Foreign Office refused to say for fear of exposing the individual’s identity — so much for open government. It turns out that the place to be for civil servants on the make is Robert Jenrick’s Housing, Communities and Local Government department. It handed out a whopping 21.4 per cent rise for an employee just to continue in the same role.
Who says Jenrick only looks out for billionaire developers?
Labour MP Kevin Brennan has persuaded the Commons culture select committee to conduct an inquiry into the pennies paid to musicians by streaming giant Spotify. But does Brennan have an interest to declare?
The frontman of Parliamentary band MP4, Brennan pockets £0.004 each time an unsuspecting listener streams a track from their album Cross Party on Spotify.
Perhaps they should learn Abba’s Money Money Money.
Figure of the week — 1,563: The number of days Keir Starmer served in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet. On how many did he raise the party’s failure to deal with anti-Semitism?
Two Tory MPs overheard in the Commons after Labour leader Sir Keir was involved in a prang in his car with a cyclist: ‘At least when Boris does a U-turn no one ends up in hospital.’
Hunt drops himself in the soup
It probably seemed a good idea when Jeremy Hunt posted a receipt on social media ‘thanking’ the Chancellor for the £50 saving on a ‘delicious’ lunch on his Eat Out To Help Out scheme.
But the move backfired after the former Health Secretary, who made £14 million from the sale of a company two years ago, voted against extending free school meals for needy children out of term time.
Constituents reacted with fury in letters to his local newspaper the Farnham Herald, with one saying: ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch, Mr Hunt — it’s the British taxpayer footing the bill, not Rishi Sunak, and I for one would rather subsidise hungry children than a self-serving career politician.’ Ouch.
The move backfired after the former Health Secretary, who made £14 million from the sale of a company two years ago, voted against extending free school meals for needy children out of term time