As such, Peter Mandelson was an ideal target. Jeremy Clarkson was less so because, whilst he's a rampantly egotistical fuckweasel of the highest order, he was bound to take it in good spirits.
Frankly, I cannot think of a better target than Rupert Murdoch, target of a pie attack by Johnnie Marbles (who explains it himself here).
The venomous bile he's spewed into our lives, the racism, sexism and homophobia he has promoted and entrenched, the countless thousands of lives he has permanently ruined to get one day's titillating story, the governments he's hijacked, enfeebled and bent to his will. Really, who would weep for him ever, let alone being unhurt by foam?
And yet they pretend to. The Daily Mirror fumed that the outrageous news of yet more City banker bonuses were buried because Murdoch's pieing got the front page, and this is somehow Marbles' fault. As if Murdoch's appearance at the Select Committees wasn't going to be the front page anyway.
Had Marbles not lobbed his custard (so to speak), should we blame Tom Wilson for hiding the banker bonuses by having Murdoch come into parliament that day? Or is this a paper desperately trying to find outrage somewhere but knowing that, really, you can't stick up for Murdoch because we all hate the fucker and he needs less of a pie in the face and something more like a trial for crimes against humanity?
It's not just the usual press gripers though. On Facebook, Billy Bragg posted
We finally get an opportunity to see Rupert Murdoch for what he really is - a frail 80 year old who is out of touch with the day to day running of his empire - on what must be the worse day in News Corps history. Then Jonny Marbles steps up with his pie prank and gives the The Sun, The Times, Sky News and Fox News the chance make Murdoch look like the victim. Thanks a lot, you idiot.
So Fox News were poised to report it properly were they? They hadn't already drafted their portrait of Murdoch as the victim of aggressive axe-grinding politicians?
Tailoring our action to what won't make Fox News and the Sun dislike us is not going to get us far. Doubly so when the target is the Sun's owner. For floundering unthought-throughness, Bragg exceeds even the Mirror.
Direct action is rarely popular with the media. They tend to call it anti-democratic when it is actually almost always about plugging gaps in democracy, reining in or smacking up against power that is far in excess of what is fair and just. Murdoch bestrides the earth designing our tax regimes and picking our leaders. He came into the select committee, once again made the politicians dance for him, then flew away in a private jet.
Jonnie Marbles is the first one to stick something back at him, to give Murdoch's victims a laugh at their tormentor's expense, for who knows how long. But at the end of the day it made no real difference either way. Contrary to what Billy Bragg and co allege, the world is not awash with a spontaneous wave of tender love for Rupert Fucking Murdoch. Neither did it derail the questioning - it's not as if without the pie Murdoch might've spilled the beans on the corrupt police and politicians on his secret payroll.
It did not profoundly shake Murdoch's power. But then neither will any number of attacks be they desserts or select committees. And that was part of the point. It did, for just for one moment, make the self-appointed king into a clown.