Shadow Chancellor ridiculed as Commons stunt backfires

Here at Vanbar Associates, we are strictly non-party political.  But we are also unashamedly pro-high quality public relations.

It would therefore be wrong - nay, unprofessional - not to point out that Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's decision to quote from Chairman Mao's 'Little Red Book' in the House of Commons earlier today was, in our view, not a good move.

As you'll most probably be aware, Mr McDonnell was replying to George Osborne's Autumn Statement which, on the face of it, had gone well for the Chancellor.  Having shot Labour's tax credit and police budget cuts foxes, easy targets were always going to be tough to find for the Hayes and Harlington MP. 

So he choose to shoot himself instead.

Already being successfully characterised by his opponents as an old-style socialist with extremist left-wing views, Mr McDonnell would have been well-advised to play it straight or, at the very least, be boring.

But no.

Instead he rose in our nation's Parliament and offered credence to the views of Mao Tse-tung, a man widely held responsible for an estimated 40-70 million deaths.

In a subsequent TV interview, the Shadow Chancellor condemned what is thought to be the top incidence of democide in human history.  And no doubt his words were heartfelt.  But the fact he was forced to do so tells you something about the success of his Commons tactic, which aides later described as "a joke."  Yes indeed.

Rumours are circulating tonight that the Labour Party are considering the recruitment of a communications agency to guide them out of their predicament.      

Vanbar Associates would like to wish whoever wins that account the very best of fortune.