Dom Joly: It takes real custard to offend a billionaire

Share
Related Topics

Watching the slightly disappointing proceedings in the Select Committee on Tuesday, I found myself with the curious sensation of feeling sorry for the billionaire Rupert Murdoch. Like everyone else, I was expecting some gnashing monster snarling at everyone and mentally noting who to have killed when proceedings were over.

As everyone moved in for the kill, however, he appeared rather phased and confused by life. It's not surprising, as everyone has now jumped on the Get Murdoch bandwagon. It's a bit like living under Colonel Gaddafi – you spend years keeping your head down for fear of it getting shot off, but once you've plucked up the courage to say, "I hate Gaddafi" there's no way back. You have to kill him off or you're toast.

This was very much what was happening in Parliament, with everyone suddenly finding their brave voice now the mob was circled around the victim. And then came Jonnie Marbles. Screwing up his move spectacularly by choosing to pie Murdoch at the moment when an MP (the wife of Metallica's manager to make things weirder) was asking a question (obviously Murdoch would not be on screen, duh!), he attempted to place a paper plate bedecked with shaving foam all over Rupert's face.

One of my heroes is a Belgian called Noel Godin. He started an anarchist group called les Entarteurs, whose main purpose in life was to custard pie public figures that he felt had grown too pompous. They would do this in a distinctly Belgian manner. First, they would meet up in a bar and sing Belgian anarchist songs before converging on their target in great numbers (he calls these tempêtes patissières – pastry storms), on the basis that this way one of them would get through. Someone nearly always did. The aim was to be funny and silly in battle, and the entarteurs would all chant "Gloup, gloup, gloup" while in action.

There has always been something gloriously bonkers about Godin and, sadly, this is what seemed to be lacking from Jonnie Marbles's assault on Murdoch. Godin would have somehow made the whole thing ludicrous, surreal and joyful. Marbles just looked like a worthy muppet. Even shouting "You're a very naughty billionaire" was strangely cringeworthy, like a line from a Carry On film.

Godin firmly believed that there is no better way to judge a man's character than by how he reacts when he is custard-pied. The French philosopher and socialite Bernard-Henri Lévy always reacted particularly badly, and so Godin carried out several repeat attacks.

Even though this was not a custard pie, but just shaving foam – and Godin is very Belgian in his beliefs that it has to be custard – Rupert Murdoch could be seen to have behaved very well. James Murdoch stood up and looked like a spare part, which is increasingly what he appears to be. The most impressive of course, was Wendi Deng, Murdoch's wife.

On BBC 5 Live, Marbles announced that there would be no need for a security review in the House of Commons as he had "prepared very carefully" the way he smuggled in his foam and paper plate. Oh, that's OK then, because terrorism is very much an impulse thought. No planning required. Just buy a bomb on a whim, pop into the House of Commons and boom – pie in the sky.



Dom performs in Cheltenham tonight, Brighton tomorrow, Huddersfield (Tue), London (Wed), Norwich (Thurs and Fri), and Cambridge (Sat)

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Read Next
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
The Big Society Network was assessed as  

What became of Cameron's Big Society Network?

Oliver Wright
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn