Electioneering is under way in the U.K., as politicians and voters prepare for a general election early next month. This week, the leaders of the three main parties joined in a televised debate for the first time. But the Labor Party, whose leader Gordon Brown is the incumbent prime minister, has received support from a powerful voice: Harry Potter author JK Rowling. Of course, seasoned Rowling fans will know she is a long-time Labor supporter. She gave 1 million pounds to the Labor Party in September 2008 and, according to the Guardian, is "known to be a personal friend of Brown and his wife Sarah." Nevertheless, the Scottish author's moving piece in the Times of London about her gloomy experience as a single mother during the mid-1990s Conservative government will be a welcome boost for Labor, which is behind in the polls:

"Between 1993 and 1997 I did the job of two parents, qualified and then worked as a secondary school teacher, wrote one and a half novels and did the planning for a further five. For a while, I was clinically depressed. To be told, over and over again, that I was feckless, lazy—even immoral—did not help ...

... I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that [Conservative leader David] Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under [the Conservative] government, was there to break the fall."

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