I am in a ridiculously upbeat frame of mind just now, it obviously can't last. The John McDonnell / Mao thing is just so funny. These eejits just can't help themselves: they are totally resistant to spin-doctory advice, based on a lifetime of not giving a toss (and of being listened to by an average audience of three Trots, a couple of Respect voters whose grasp of English is not that of a native speaker, and a granny who didn't manage to get out of the social club before the comrades started their meeting). So they are doomed to crash and burn.
Thus we have the spectacle of most Labour MPs, every newspaper, and half the CiF brigade declaring the rather trivial episode to be a Total Disaster; while the other half-CiF cries "where's yer sense of humour?" in a rather plaintive fashion. Haha! - I know where mine is.
Actually when it comes to Chairman Mao (and I shall continue not to say 'Zedong', on no less an authority than the Chinese Embassy from which I obtained the volumes pictured herewith), although his Little Red Book (which in 1972 I was given for free!) is no great shakes, his Selected Military Writings (for which I shelled out 40 pence of my own money) are a really cracking read, I would recommend them warmly to any student of military matters.
The thing is, I can say this, McDonnell cannot - in the same way that no elected politician of the Right can enthuse about Nietzsche. The reasons are stupid but compelling nonetheless, and only a rank amateur misses the point. As they say in the army, if you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined: or in this case, if you want to be free to speak your mind, you can't be a front-bench MP.
Speaking of which, I laughed like a drain when I saw the verdict in the Yeo libel case. Haha!
But it can't last, I know this.