Despite the urging of my niece, I haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, and I probably won’t read J.K. Rowling’s new novel either.
But I appreciated her very personal defense a couple of years ago of the much-maligned welfare state.
And I appreciate her acknowledgement in a recent interview with ABC News that her success was not exclusively a result of her own efforts.
“I know in your country [USA] at the moment this ‘we built it’ catchphrase. It’s always made me a little uncomfortable because I don’t want to be a poster girl for a set of beliefs to which I do not subscribe.
“I worked extremely hard. I worked fill-in-your-own-expletive hard. And I take credit for the work. But I received a free education. I received free health care. I’m unapologetic about saying this. I had pneumonia when my daughter was under one year old. If we hadn’t had free health care in this country, God only knows what would have happened to either of us.
“I am proud of having done what I’ve done. Very proud. But I do take issue… with anyone who truly feels it’s one hundred percent down to them.”
I think Rowling would take that as a compliment. I know I would.
Update: I’ve removed the embedded video because it was causing problems in some browsers.
Alec adds: Now she has upset the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.