Subscriber • Opinion

Public Sector Informant: A 24-hour lesson in politics from the Revolution

By Mark Thomas
June 6 2022 - 7:30pm
A statue of Maximilien Robespierre. Picture: Shutterstock

More than 180 years after the event, China's then-premier, Zhou Enlai, was asked to identify the main consequences of the French Revolution. "Too early to say", was his terse, droll reply. Zhou might have been ignorant (implausible), ironic (characteristic), muddled (thinking of Left Bank student riots in 1968 rather than the Bastille in 1789) or self-protective (given how contentious judging the consequences of China's Cultural Revolution had become).