I can think of no other legislature in the world which would have let members of the public into the same room as yesterday's committee hearing with Rupert & James Murdoch.
*I am trying to find out. But I BET he went somewhere like Stowe.
As a result of the British Parliament's openness, UK Uncut founder, Hero of Fortnum & Mason, and "activist", Jonathan May-Bowles, who lives in Windsor and probably went to a decent public school*, (Update: He went to Grammar School, specifically St Bernard's in Slough, parents being rich enough to afford a house in the catchment area...) was able to make a brilliant political point by publicly assualting an 80 year-old man who'd just described the proceedings as "the humblest day of my life", with a custard pie. To make himself even more risible, he got a kicking off Wendi, the old man's wife in the process.
Make the argument that you think the Murdochs to be evil incarnate, by all means. We do after all live in a free country. Boycott the Murdoch press. Pressure the advertisers who fund News International titles. These are all democratic, legitimate tactics. Wave placards in the street, make your point online, or in "comedy" shows. But there is a time and a place for "direct action" and when your quarry is giving evidence to Parliament is manifestly not it.
The sheer childish futility of such "actions" gets to me. What is the point? This made Murdoch, who was playing the part of a doddery old codger to perfection, seem vulnerable. The headlines today are about Wendi's lightening defence of her husband, not wrongdoing at News International. But the real effect of well-heeled protester's actions are that such openness in letting into Parliament self-confessed anarchist activists will be a thing of the past, and British democracy now gets a little more closed, the politicians a little further removed from the people they legislate for.
Thanks, Jonnie, you complete bell-end. You just made British democracy a little worse for all of us.