JK Rowling: for April 15

An inspiring and patriotic storyfrom the creator of Harry Potter."Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say 'its not the money, its the message'. When your flat has been broken into, and you cannot afford a locksmith, it is the money. When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Camerons only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is 'get married, and well give you 150', he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation...."..."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 Majors 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 Ashcrofts idea of being a mug."Another country, another election cycle, but how true. Read the whole thing and rejoice in filing your tax return: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7096786.ece

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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