Being of weak moral persuasion and a sucker for an old git in distress I found myself having a turncoat moment this week when I saw and read about the custard pie being thrust into the face of Rupert “Dr Evil” Murdoch.
I know he’s an avaricious, power grasping, devious, underhanded media mogul who cares little for the little man on the street other than how much spare change he’s willing to throw at his scurrilous newspapers and his satellite channels. I know he probably didn’t ask too many questions about how his minions acquired their scoops and exclusives other than “how little money do you want in your redundancy pay-off if you don’t get the story?” I know he looks like Arthur Askey in a baseball cap.
But, come on, guys. He’s 80 years old! He’s probably attached to a colostomy bag. He probably can’t remember the names of those closest to him (which is why he said of Rebekah Brooks – “my priority is to look after this one”). He’s probably being fed a diet of Viagra pills just so that his aides have something to keep him wedged upright under his desk with when he attends board meetings.
He’s an old man.
Sure, in the past I have spat at the mere mention of SKY. Sure I have wiped my metaphorical arse on the pages of The News Of The World. Sure I have lampooned all that he has stood for.
But a custard pie in the putz of an old man?
Is that an appropriate protest? Is that an appropriate way to display displeasure?
Isn’t it like Regan pulling Gloucester’s beard in King Lear? Ignobly done?
I know, I know. How much more ignoble have Murdoch’s minions behaved in their phone hacking activities? There can be few things lower than sifting through other people’s personal grief just to sell a few newspapers.
But even so. A custard pie in the face of an old man? It’s just not cricket, is it?
I don’t doubt the custard pie thrower (Phanton Flan Flinger – remember him, TISWAS fans?) thought he was striking a blow for us all.
“I was doin’ it for justice wun I? Doin’ it for you’s lot and all the uvvers that Murdoch and his team ‘ave trampled all over. Power to the people!”
Except he wasn’t, was he? He was doing it to get on the telly, for self publicity, to get (ironically) into the newspapers and (if he had any kind of business acumen) to publicise a new chain of pie shops that he’s about to open.
This whole thing has been enough of a circus as it is. And while I’d be quite happy to see Rebekah Brooks flung about in a skimpy leotard and fishnets on a trapeze (with me lying on the safety net down below) I don’t really want to have to witness Horlicks the Clown (standing in while Co-Co is on sabbatical) lowering proceedings even further with a short crust pastry base and whipped cream from a can.
Can we have a bit of dignity please? It’s been in short supply all round through this fiasco and would make a really nice change.