Skip to content



20 years of Potter

So, Harry Potter is 20 years old today. So, how did it become such a global phenominon? Well, if I knew the answer, I would be as rich as Midas. But, I can give my personal opinion. Firstly, I would say that there are better children’s books than Harry Potter, but literature is cyclical, and these books have been forgotten and largely left unread by the Harry Potter generation. Twenty years ago there was somewhat of a magic-shaped gap in children’s literature. Things like Dahl’s The Witches, Susan Cooper’s Earth Sea books, Alan Garner and Ursula Gwynn, having seemingly lost their appeal. Rowling managed to capture some classic elements, borrowing from other writers, she created a magical world that was immersive and inviting. The first book was enchanting, exploiting all the classical elements of the boarding school romp, and the spirit of magic. Sadly, in my opinion, the books slowly went down hill, Rowling constantly writing herself into corners, and having to create sprawling and rather meandering plot devices to get herself out of trouble. This said, there is no debate, Harry Potter is a phenominon, and a very successful franchise. There is no doubt that Rowling is a good story teller, able to set a good pace and keep the pages turning. However, Harry is never in real danger, as the reader knew way in advance that there were to be sequels. This meant that whatever jepardy he was in, there was no real tension, because we knew he would always survive. But, Rowling created accessible characters, giving most readers someone to associate with; be it swatty Hermione, poor Ron, outsider Nevil or bullied Lunar. Characters that children identified with and grew to love Rowling made magic fashionable, she made school interesting, and made the fantastical real. Well done Jo, and most of all, well done Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who cemented Harry into the consciousness of millions. 


The Finsbury Park attack opens an interesting can of worms regarding language, definition and terminology. At first the police were slightly retisent to call it an act of terror, or a terrorist attack, but soon changed their minds. So, what constitutes an act of terror? Is it simply an attack that is motivated by hatred and serves to cause terror and division? in which case, isn’t it a hate crime? Or is it an act perpetrated in the name of a cause or organisation? In which case, can this attack be characterised as terror, as, to my knowledge the perpatrator, given his targets, may not have belonged to an organisation or sect with a clear agenda. If the result of his actions was the spread of terror and dischord, there is an argument to suggest it was a terorist attack. But if it was akin to a hit and run, surely it can’t be terrorism. There is ambiguity here, according to some reports, the man who sadly died, had a heart attack before the van arrived. When people gatherd to help, the van ploughed into them. So, in this case, thankfuly, it seems as though there were no fatalities. I’m not trying to in any way diminish the revolting, synical, wickedness of this crime, but I would argue that the term “terrorism” needs to be better defined. The fact that the perpatrator was subdued and arrested is excellent, and of course the press need to be cautious. But in my opinion, this was a hate crime, not an act of terrorism. The fact that he had a similar modus operandi to other adttacks, doesn’t mean that the motivation and result was necessarily the same. 

#Audiomo2017 Politics and village halls

#Audiomo2017 Rapture

#Audiomo2017 Dogs and drilling

#Audiomo2017 @Omaniblog