In a Telegraph piece last week Michael Gove wrote
I was in the Far East last month, to see what I could learn … I am happy to confess I’d like us to implement a cultural revolution just like the one they’ve had in China. Like Chairman Mao, we’ve embarked on a Long March to reform our education system.
Gove clearly thinks the Cultural Revolution was some kind of happy event that drove up school standards, but of course it wasn’t.The Cultural Revolution was a crime against the Chinese people and humanity as a whole.
Although it is difficult to extract hard figures from the chaos of China in the late sixties, at least hundreds of thousands were killed and millions displaced. Conventional education was largely abandoned in favour of rote-learning the teachings of Mao. Much of China’s rich historical and artistic heritage was destroyed, and rape, torture, and murder became commonplace.
Gove couldn’t be more insensitive. As Sonny Leong, chair of Chinese for Labour says
I am in total despair. Every time Michael Gove opens his mouth, extravagant foolishness and ignorance spews from it.