I've spent plenty of my adult life living in China, I'm well aware of that, thanks. Of course China looks nothing like it did in the 60's, neither does Britain. The Chinese Communist Party does have an official view on Mao, though. Mao is still hugely important in China, and venerated constantly in official propaganda. Not a night goes by without CCTV broadcasting soft-focus documentaries on his life story. Deng Xiaoping stated in the eighties that Mao was '70% good, 30% bad' and that is still the line used by the party today. Here's party mouthpiece The Global Times editorialising on it two years ago:
'We must admit that Deng Xiaoping's remark about Mao's life that he was "70 percent right and 30 percent wrong" represents the mainstream ideas about Mao. As the Cultural Revolution faded, most Chinese people began to recognize his mistakes as well as his achievements. That Mao is a great man has a strong foundation in Chinese society. Some think Mao has had an infamous reputation in society. This is only a naïve delusion of these people.'
. . .
'There is no historical or current evidence that is convincing enough to denigrate Mao. Voices that completely deny or support him are both highly polarized. Currently, the demonizing voices are mainly from the West, which also criticizes China's socialist system.'
The Communist Party is still the Communist Party, after all.
Why would Nigel Farage be quoting Hitler? If we're making a precise analogy, he would be quoting Hitler because another party was busy selling large parts of the nation's infrastructure to the Nazi Party. Do I think that would be worthy of comment? Yes, of course it would.
The reality is the point McDonnell was making is completely mainstream. It's no difference from the point chrisp65 has made in this thread many times. If McDonnell said it using words, rather than using a book as a prop, nobody would be talking about this at all. The man actually is a fool, you just happen to have chosen a time to make fun of him when he's actually making (badly) a very important point.
And surely you know that the China now although still communist bears little resemblance to the China in Mao's day - that's been the case for decades. I'm no fan of the Chinese government but it'd be silly to pretend that Xi Jinping or Hu Jintao are somehow on par with one of history's biggest mass murderers.
Yes I get the angle he was going for - most people do. That said, it was still a monumental **** up and I'm not sure it's really that appropriate for a shadow chancellor to be quoting someone like Mao at the dispatch box. This is like Farage (who obviously isn't a Nazi despite being a prick) quoting Hitler.
Of course he isn't a Maoist and everyone knows that but Corbyn's front-bench team certainly aren't doing a good job of disproving the notion that they're just a bunch of far-left loonies that are disconnected with the majority of the electorate.
I honestly don't know how you can try and defend this - even many Labour supporters are going mad about this. Corbyn's Labour are such a complete mess that they look Miliband and Balls look amazing. I hate Labour and even I'm starting to feel sorry for a lot of them.
You do know that China, the China that the gov't are giving sweetheart deals for nuclear power stations to, are still run by the Chinese Communist Party right? Do you remember the leader of Mao's Communist Party arriving on a state visit? I admit it's ancient history, must be all of two months ago now.
To put this in context, McDonnell quoted from the Little Red Book in an attempt to parody the gov't's sucking-up to the CCP. It was an act of political theatre. Obviously he misjudged the audience, and it's turned into an 'EdStone'-like disaster, but let's actually be honest, he wasn't quoting it because he's really a Maoist, it was just a misjudged joke.
And yet again we come full circle. Iran, Israel, Palestine. Whatever has got us to this point, there's no denying Syria is kind of the last piece of the jigsaw when it comes to building a military ring around Iran and even Pakistan. And from NATO's perspective, the only Russian thorn in their side. U.A.E, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and obviously Israel all homes to US or UK naval or air bases. India expanding its operations into Oman and Tajikistan. Russia obviously to the north, with Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan home to its military as well as in Syria itself. All very ominous from an Iranian perspective.
The Russian naval base at Tartus is of massive importance to Putin if he has any designs on building up the Black Sea fleet, and the annexing of Crimea certainly suggests he is. As things stand it's their only naval base in the med. Be nice from his perspective if he could get hold of the Turkish Straits while he was at it though......