McDonnell quotes Mao Zedong in the House of Commons (VIDEO)
Speaking during Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, McDonnell surprised even his own Labour benches by whipping out the infamous little red book and reading a quote from the dear leader.
“Let’s quote from Mao,” he began, to hysterical cheers from the Tory frontbench.
“Rarely done in this chamber,” he continued.
“We must learn to do economic work from all who know how, no matter who they are. We must esteem them as teachers, we must respect them conscientiously, but we must not pretend to know what we do not know,” he read, before throwing the little red book across the table to Osborne.
Mao was responsible for 40-70 million deaths. Quoting him, even in a jocular way, is just weird.— James Bloodworth (@J_Bloodworth) November 25, 2015
According to British media mentioning Chairman Mao is a bigger solecism than a major government U-turn on tax credits #thingsyoulearn— Peter Jukes (@peterjukes) November 25, 2015
Perhaps the radical flourish was inspired by what Labour MPs are calling a victory over the government’s tax credit cuts earlier on Wednesday.
Although a memorable break with Parliamentary convention, McDonnell’s cultural revolution is unlikely to help Labour’s five year plan of re-election.