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    As I observed watching it on TV, I vividly recalled Reagan during the Iran/Contra hearings, where he conveniently avoided being backed into a position where he would have been exposed as a liar, by responded like someone suffering from dementia- he just kept repeating blankly "I don't remember" to every awkward question. But then of course, he did develop dementia, so it may well be Reagan was not feigning. Similarly with Murdoch: I thought, either this is a man who has pitifully lost all control of his organisation, or is a man feigning to be such. But as you say, it was quite painful to watch and in the end I didn't think he could be feigning- he really seemed to be groping and struggling.

    And what useless journos and police, not even to follow up on your leads!

    John Wallace

    Thank you. Police and Fourth Estate both let us down again then.


    Amie, I hadn't thought of Reagan, but yes, what you have to say about his performance in the Iran/Contra hearings seems very pertinent.

    One real clincher about Rupert Murdoch was his lack of response to the attack yesterday-- and to the astounding performance of his wife. He did cower when the attacker struck, but after that seemed almost frozen. He hardly looked around him, including at his wife-- and it was in great contrast to everyone else amongst his family and supporters, who were all agitatedly moving and gesturing. He seemed as if he didn't really comprehend what had happened.

    John, I do think Paul Waugh gave a very fair and accurate account of the hearing--and if I'd found him immediately after the event, perhaps he would have done more than the other journos...But basically, it's the police and Parliament security whose job it was to make sure that witnesses' details were taken, and they really did fall down on that part of the job, as well as the way the security was done on entry.


    OAP attacked by unemployed over educated upper class champagne socialist.
    A true numpty he's single handedly made people sympathise with a ruthless media tycoon.
    Time for the witch hunt to either become a lynch mob or quit.
    I don't see any sign of them quitting.


    Does anyone know who the woman in the grey suit is? The one on Wendi Murdoch's left. She was the first to intervene.


    What do you mean 'he may have done more than other journos'?

    You mean reported on your strangely out-of-proportion belief in some sort of conspiracy of four (four!?!) people and a smart-dressed man coordingating them all! Quick - someone call MI5, I be you he's from the Comintern.


    who did the actual security check..? was it G4S?


    Six decades of accumulated opinions, it says here; but, going by this post, I think these are six decades of accumulated anal retention. I think it must take some doing to get pious and condemnatory about a pie attack on a billionaire media mogul implicated in serious wrongdoing forced to apologise profusely and make dubious evasive responses to a parliamentary committee. The notion that a pie attack, a non-violent semi-slapstick gesture which has a long history, will serve to muster sympathy for the mogul only suggests that the author lives in her own rather rarified world. Given the long stream of serious allegations against Murdoch's corporation, it will take a lot more than pie attacks, even if they are errant, to distract the attention. More wishful thinking on the author's part - plus that anal retention, of course.


    The woman in the grey suit has been identified in Paul Waugh's post (link above) as Linda Nova, the legal representative of NewsCorp.

    Alasdair, you're a Labour Party activist, so you would say that, wouldn't you? Jonathan May-Bowles was thought to be fine as a Labour Party member till yesterday, despite being a self-declared anarchist with a blog proclaiming "because capitalism won't smash itself". Doesn't that go just a little beyond Labour as a "broad church"?

    He claimed not to have involved UKUncut in his stunt, yet within minutes, his Twitter "confession" tweet, from a Twitter account with a then tiny following had been retweeted to the point of trending nationally, with all of them recycling his Twitter name but not his real name and his founding UKUncut role. That doesn't happen quite so quickly without the involvement of large Twitter follower networks.

    If anything's out of proportion, it's your response of exaggerating my account of what I witnessed yesterday.


    "But what sort of security is it that lets a man into one of the most open buildings of Parliament with shaving foam in his bag?"

    Well, this is the difference between the author's authoritarian mindset and those of us who have a more libertarian outlook. This question is easily answered. You don't get many pie attacks in China, Russia, Cuba and other countries that are more authoritarian and where police will no doubt confiscate virtually any substance under the sun or not allow any member of the public near the vaunted elite (plus higher degrees of brainwashing, and no nasty anarchists). Perhaps the author would like to live in country with a 24 hour security lock down. However, to us with a more liberal mindset, the odd harmless pie attack on a billionaire is the price we pay for living in a more liberal democracy. Unlike the author, I would rather have it that way.


    Oh don't be ridiculous - clearly he's a knob. And clearly his behaviour did nothing for those of us who'd rather not see Murdoch own half the newspapers in the country and a big slice of broadcasting.

    But if you were actually abreast of what Labour members really thought, you'd know that most of them (us) think just that - he's a knob, and his actions have hardly helped them (us).

    As for this mysterious 'large Twitter follower network' (organised by whom? Maybe the smartly dressed man was busy on his smartphone calling the massed ranks of twitter-revolution to arms, smashing capitalism with a retweet), you clearly don't understand how Twitter works - especially not in the middle of such a globally watched and talked about media event.

    Maybe we should have an inquiry about how dirty anarchists have managed so thoroughly to infiltrate the police, parliamentary security, journalists and shaving foam makers in such numbers.


    "Jonathan May-Bowles was thought to be fine as a Labour Party member till yesterday, despite being a self-declared anarchist with a blog proclaiming "because capitalism won't smash itself". Doesn't that go just a little beyond Labour as a "broad church"?"

    Interesting McCarthyite attitude to politics. The author is suggesting that political parties should vet their members thorough internet checks, scanning emails, interviews etc., to make sure they always follow particular political lines. Irrespective of "anarchism" - a broad and flexible notion - one can see that Jonathan May-Bowles espoused pretty straight forward left wing views with an interest in activism (all legal and proper, even if you disagree with those views). Unlike the author and her narrow, illiberal, and sectarian view of politics, I don't think these were grounds to have barred him from the membership of ANY political party prior to this incident. As regards the incident itself, we shall have to see how things pan out. However, the notion that a pie thrower, even a convicted one, should be permanently banned from membership of ANY political party seems somewhat absurd.


    Impossible to tell whether the security people were actually subcontractors, as they were all in House of Commons uniform. And there's a named House of Commons security person officially responsible for determining the nature of the security checks made.

    Getting a tweet trending from one low-follower tweeter always depends on exponential take up. But it only gets to that point thanks to an initial core of tweeters who are followers or regular readers of the original tweeter, some of whom will be read and retweeted or echoed by others who have massive follower counts. That initial core will be most significant here.

    Readers can make up their own mind as to whether or not I'm au fait with Labour members' thinking and how Twitter works.


    May-Bowles may or may not be a "knob", but I don't think his actions make a great deal of difference either way. Most people will be pretty phlegmatic, and the incident provides a bit of water cooler gossip. Over the years, there have been various pie attacks on the rich, powerful and pompous. Given what Murdoch is implicated in, he seems an obvious target for such a political stunt.


    I agree with Benjamins comment, this piece comes accross as pious. The whole PCS process had a pantomime feel and the custard pie seemed appropriate.

    John H Watson, MD

    Could this mysterious besuited man have been a member of the Red-Headed League?


    Alimentary, my dear Watson. The evidence seems to suggest that he didn't have the stomach for the assault himself so may have despatched the self-important delusionary fool who did the job for him. Oh, and Watson, something of a lacuna in your normal standards of reporting. I referred to his smart dress, specifically a trench coat and a leather satchel. I cannot attest to whether the jacket beneath the trench coat was a suitable companion to his immaculate trousers.


    You asked the right question here:"But what sort of security is it that lets a man into one of the most open buildings of Parliament with shaving foam in his bag? That could have been caustic soda, paint stripper, poison, acid..."
    Mr.-Marbles- is a shill hired by Murdoch & Co to create a little PR stunt before the questioning gets rough. Just look at the way he was dressed-in a shabby looking plaid shirt with a ridiculous looking haircut(in his comedy videos he looks much different with a shaved head). I can't help but be reminded of Alan Colmes or Alex Jones when I was viewing the footage of Mr.Marbles being taken away,in that Mr.Marbles comes off as repulsive and unstable-just the way Faux News likes to portray any protester or activist.
    If you forget about the name and the public image the guy emanated, the security failing to stop him is very suspicious in this day and age of invasive body searches. Add to that the fact there is only one bad camera angle being shared currently.


    Snitchy lickspittle

    julia murdoch

    OMG are you people for real??? A pie is the face of Rupert Murdoch Oh boo hoo... I cannot understand why the whole of Scotland Yard didn't swoop down there immediately and seal the place off. Well done you for being such a galant citizen and getting down all these details. I'm not sure if you've ever heard of Alan Bond, multi millionaire fellow Australian who lost billions then developed dementia. Funnily enough he recovered once his jail term was finished. Seriously.


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    At least one of the above comments reeks of Murdoch-employed PR psoren is there a way for Nikki Finke to check when this happens? I'd certainly check who employs the first comment writer.The BBC is conservative with its editorialising. Fox news is intentionally misleading. And the BBC is not an aggressive corporation it's bound by principles that newscorp simply doesn't have at all. Which is why they employ people to write to magazines and papers and online forums such as this.


    Bejesus, not to be outdone by our 90 days vote, the Australian grnvoement is proposing 12 months!104.4 Terms of control order(d) specify the period during which the order is to be in force, which must not end more than 12 months after the day on which the order is made;


    I feel kind of bad to say this, because I do aiapecrpte the newspapers and the Duluth News Tribune, but I honestly can't see that I would do this. Whenever I run into a story that I want to read in the archives of newspaper sites, I just can't seem to buy the story. I just tell myself I really don't NEED to see it, and I move on. Not every blogger gets his news from traditional media. I get information for my blog from various sources, including people I know, friends, contacts, etc. I think blogs will become even more powerful if this happens, especially credible blogs that fact-check and report sources.


    Why would anyone be stpiud enough to do this? The Hibbing Daily Tribune currently charges for online content which is bull! Who knows how much traffic has decreased on due to charging for online content. Give me a break. Hibbing Daily Tribune doesn't pay carriers what they are worth. No wonder they can't find carriers to deliver their paper and rely on mail carriers to deliver the paper. People want their paper in the morning, not at 4:00 in the afternoon.

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