In recent months we've all seen a new weapon in the armoury of your common-or-garden political activist. The shoe protest. It's been a perennial favourite among the shouty classes in certain countries for some time, but a couple of recent events have helped to push footwear fulmination into the stratosphere.
First there was the Iraqi journalist slinging his slip-ons at previous US President George W 'The Decider' Bush. And most recently we've had some home-grown high jinks, with the Chinese prime minister being on the receiving end of a rather poorly-aimed training shoe while giving a speech at Cambridge University.
I suppose it was too much to expect an Oxford brogue.
Having said that, such a choice in payload would have said more about the sender than the recipient. A hand-tooled shoe with heavyweight welted sole denotes the more thoughtful type of protester. The type whose main gripe might be the scheduling on Radio 4 or the willingness, or otherwise, of the local deli to stock free-range couscous.
And so, as a service to political leaders behind lecterns worldwide, and following the tradition for which this blog is known, I offer below a guide to translating the message behind the shoe.
The Croc - quite frankly, whatever the thrower is protesting about, you can happily disregard them. They clearly let slip the bonds of sanity some time ago.
The deck shoe - hmm. Have you threatened to close down a marina recently?
The Nike High-Top - are you John Lithgow and have you recently banned dancing in your local town? In which case, look out for Kevin Bacon in the audience.
The Manolo Blahnik slingback - actually, this might not be a protest at all, more of a request to join the thrower in the bar afterwards for a Cosmopolitan.
The Doctor Marten boot - you've pissed off a Goth. He'll probably be too dissolute to do too much else. But be careful in case there's a patchouli oil follow-on.
The sandal - a tricky one, this. It depends very much on where you are. If you're standing at a lectern in a temperate climate, then this is a bit of a classic, if stereotypical, case. Expect something involving furry creatures or CO2. However, if you're in a warmer country, somewhere sandy, perhaps, then quite frankly you're on your own, sunshine.
Any shoes in a pair - this isn't a protest. You have taken a job in a bowling alley.