JK Rowling, tax and The Casual Vacancy

"I chose to remain a domiciled taxpayer for a couple of reasons. The main one was that I wanted my children to grow up where I grew up, to have proper roots in a culture as old and magnificent as Britain’s; to be citizens, with everything that implies, of a real country, not free-floating ex-pats, living in the limbo of some tax haven and associating only with the children of similarly greedy tax exiles.

A second reason, however, was that I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism. On the available evidence, I suspect that it is Lord Ashcroft’s idea of being a mug."

- J.K Rowling (from The Times via Tumblr)

I like Rowling, it took me a while to get into Harry Potter (as in jump on the bandwagon and read it) but I was hooked once I started; they reminded me so much of stories I'd grown up reading (yes, I know she takes parts of other books and that's why but Shakespeare did the same folks) but twisted into something new. I like her personal story too, especially as she is seemingly one of the few rich people in the UK that doesn't keep their money in Monaco etc.

What's this all got to do with The Casual Vacancy you ask? The book took me a while to get into, it's a pretty negative and unfortunately fairly accurate picture of small town British life complete with prejudices, judgements, pressures and system failures. I hope that lot's of people will read it and will start to think more about their wider community and where their money goes.

GIF set via