John McDonnell, the Labour Shadow Chancellor, just did something that doesn’t happen very often in the House of Commons. He quoted former communist dictator Chairman Mao Zedong.
In his response to chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement speech, McDonnell took the bizarre step of reading from Mao’s ‘little red book’, before throwing it across the Commons despatch box towards Osborne, and prime minister David Cameron.
Getting the book out, McDonnell said (Mao’s quote in bold): “Let’s quote from Mao. Rarely done in this chamber. We must learn to do economic work from all who know how, no matter who they are. We must esteeem them as teachers, learning from them respectfully and conscientiously, but we must not pertain to know what we do not know. I thought it would come in handy for him [Osborne].”
You can see the video below:
It’s safe to say that people were a little bit confused by what McDonnell was doing:
John McDonnell actually reading from Mao’s red book at the despatch box. “Let’s quote from Mao”.
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) November 25, 2015
Now Osborne waves John McDonnell’s personal signed copy of Mao’s book
— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) November 25, 2015
Quoting Mao in a budget response, picture of McDonnell waving a little red book around. Yes, lets make it even more difficult for ourselves.
— Meg Evans (@CaptainMeg) November 25, 2015
£5 for the first person to spot a genuine “The way the media are going on about the Little Red Book shows they must be rattled” tweet
— Martin Belam (@MartinBelam) November 25, 2015
I’ve got a little red book at home..but one defaced by dissidents. Never thought it wd be quoted by a shadow chancellor in House of Commons
— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) November 25, 2015
Brilliant. All future Tory broadcasts will contain genuine footage of John McDonnell holding the Little Red Book saying “Let’s quote Mao”
— Michael Deacon (@MichaelPDeacon) November 25, 2015
McDonnell actually read from Mao’s little red book, and threw it at Osborne. Get this guy off the stage.
— Iain Martin (@iainmartin1) November 25, 2015
JM I’ve brought along Mao’s Little Red Book, quotes from it. (Is he taking the piss? Who from? Tories cry “more”)
— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonSKY) November 25, 2015
I hope that Little Red Book is put into the National Archives as an important part of our political history.
— Ned Donovan (@Ned_Donovan) November 25, 2015
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