Stephen Daisley Stephen Daisley

Network Rail’s cowardly JK Rowling decision

Edinburgh Waverley station (photo: Getty)

I  ❤ JK Rowling. There, now I’m a hate-monger, too. A digital advert reading just that — ‘I ❤ JK Rowling’ — has been removed from Edinburgh Waverley station, the city’s main rail terminus. The ad was taken out by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a women’s rights campaigner better known as Posie Parker, who paid for a billboard in Liverpool during the 2018 Labour Party conference which read ‘woman: adult human female’. That was removed, too. Her latest display doesn’t quote anything as wildly controversial as the Oxford English Dictionary. It simply expresses affection for the Harry Potter author. So why has it been removed?

A Network Rail source has told the Times the ad was deemed ‘likely to cause offence’ because of Rowling’s belief that women are a sex class with legal rights rather than a gender identity that can be opted into. The left-wing author — you know, proper left-wing: wants to change more than just pronouns — has been routinely assailed for stating a view that until recently was almost universally accepted, and in the process has been hung out to dry by middling actors who would be teaching drama at their local comp right now if it weren’t for her.

Network Rail tells the Times:

‘The poster in question is against our code of acceptance for advertising in our stations owing to its political nature. We do not allow advertising that is likely to support or promote one viewpoint over another.’

The company’s code of acceptance for station advertising excludes material that is ‘of a political nature calling for the support of a particular viewpoint, policy or action or attacking a member or policies of any legislative, central or local government authority’. If ‘I ❤ JK Rowling’ is ‘of a political nature calling for the support of a particular viewpoint’, one wonders what Network Rail would make of someone displaying LGBT

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