What will the woke cancel mob accuse JK Rowling of next?

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They’ve also tried accusing her of antisemitism, but that doesn’t seem to have convinced anyone, either. According to them, the goblin bankers in Harry Potter are physical caricatures of Jews. But, as hundreds of millions of readers will be aware, the books don’t actually describe the goblin bankers’ faces, other than to say they look “clever” and have beards. Still, I suppose the accusation represents progress of a kind. Normally the Left dismiss all claims of antisemitism out of hand.

In desperation, some activists have even tried accusing Ms Rowling of xenophobia, apparently on the grounds that in the Harry Potter books, she gave an Irish character – Seamus Finnigan – a “stereotypical” Irish name. In real life, as it happens, Seamus Finnegan (with an e) is the name of a Belfast playwright, whose works include I Am Of Ireland, It’s All Blarney, The Murphy Girls and The Beautiful Nun. Since that name was given to him by his parents, perhaps he should cancel them. And possibly even himself.

Still, if there’s one thing we know about Left-wing activists, it’s that they do not give up easily, no matter how many defeats they suffer. I wonder what crime they will try accusing Ms Rowling of next. Perhaps she has been spotted slipping empty Quality Street wrappers back into the tin, or using the express checkout when she has more than 10 items.

Fortune favours the bald

Exciting news from South Korea. A leading candidate for the presidency, Lee Jae-myung, has announced a radical new policy that he hopes will swing March’s election his way. Under his premiership, he says, all bald men will receive hair-loss treatment free of charge.

Mr Lee has no vested interest in this policy – he himself boasts a lustrous head of hair. So his intentions are wholly public-spirited. At any rate, it will be interesting to see whether his pledge pays off at the polls. If so, don’t be surprised if Boris Johnson adopts the idea, in an effort to win back disillusioned older voters. At this very moment, CCHQ may be dispatching researchers to gauge the scale of male pattern baldness in Red Wall seats.

I only hope that Mr Lee has not overestimated the potential appeal of his policy. No doubt there are plenty of bald men in South Korea. But it is worth remembering that the country is home to a significant population – 7.62million at the last count – of Buddhists. And Buddhists are bald of their own volition. They shave their heads, in order to symbolise their renunciation of personal vanity.

I trust that Mr Lee will take this into account, and adjust his manifesto accordingly. Free hair-loss treatment for the majority. Free razor blades for the rest.

Wind power

There is no denying that many young people today are fervent anti-capitalists. But we should not despair too soon. One enterprising millennial has proven that, in some quarters at least, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well.

According to reports, 31-year-old Stephanie Matto – a photogenic former reality TV star from the US – has been making $50,000 (£38,000) a week by means of a highly original venture. Apparently, she breaks wind into jars – and then sells the jars to male admirers online at $1,000 (£738) a pop.

It may sound unseemly. But I think Miss Matto deserves our admiration. After all, she has shown tremendous business acumen. Like any good capitalist, she has identified a hitherto untapped market, and is making a fortune by serving it. The woman is entirely self-made. Much like her product.

Quite why so many men are willing to pay for it, I am unable to say. Selling digestive gases to men is surely the 21st-century equivalent of selling coals to Newcastle. None the less, Miss Matto has proven that the demand is there, and that there are vast profits to be made from it. Her overheads must be extremely low, and staffing costs nil. Gwyneth Paltrow must be kicking herself for not thinking of it first.

Sadly, however, it seems that this bold young pioneer will be forced to shut up shop, after experiencing “very intense gas pains”. Doctors, she says, have advised her to “change my diet and to take a gas suppressant medication, which has effectively ended my business”.

Still, perhaps it’s for the best. Now that word of Miss Matto’s success has got out, the market will soon be flooded, as opportunists scramble to join the bandwagon. Celebrities will rush to release their own personal brands, just as they already do with perfumes and wines. Meanwhile, in broadsheet newspaper supplements, professional critics will deliver their verdicts. (“Ah yes, the 2016. A fine vintage. Very delicate nose. I’m getting notes of Heinz and Ginsters, with just a playful little hint of Pot Noodle.”)

Sympathetic though I am to Miss Matto, I think she is wise to quit while she’s ahead.

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