Ken Livingstone and Mao Zedong

I copy below a snippet from Sam Leith’s column in  The Evening Standard. It speaks for itself.

I was lucky enough to see Mao’s biographer Jung Chang give a talk at the Hay Festival in the Maldives last week.

In the course of it, she set Ken Livingstone straight on one of his heroes. “Mao was responsible for the deaths of 70 million Chinese,” she said. “But Livingstone said because Mao banned foot-binding, that alone justified his rule. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Foot-binding was banned by the Empress Dowager at the start of the 20th century. It was nothing to do with Mao.”

She was once introduced to Ken, she said, and had set him straight. I asked her how he’d reacted. “He said, Oh, well, he led the country in the fight against Japan.’ I said: Again, you’ve got that wrong too.’ He just changed the subject. He has a hide like an elephant.”

Hat Tip: Amie.

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