Wednesday, 13 July 2011

( This case involved Bigot-Johnson being sued for libel , following comments he made , as editor , about the plaintiff in the September edition of the Walnut Tree Allotment BC newsletter. As usual Bigot elected to defend himself. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below . )
Counsel for the plaintiff ( CP ) : Were you , Bigot , the editor of this vile, scurrilous and outrageous newsletter ?
B-J : Yes I was......but some members really liked it
CP : Well, the majority didn' of which happens to be my client
B-J : And who are you to judge on whether or not my newsletter was in appalling bad taste ?
Judge : Good which I will answer.....he isn't.......because that responsibility falls on me
B-J : Thank God for that.....
CP : My client is without doubt a respectable and respected member of the club......unlike yourself , Bigot....
B-J : must have some damn good researchers in your team
CP : Oh.... that's just common knowledge
B-J : Hmm.....
CP : So allow me to remind you of the libellous comment you made about my client : " ....he was with his most trusting and trusted partner, Tom Applecart..."
B-J : What's defamatory about that.....all I was doing was complimenting him on his choice of partner , and giving my reasons why he usually chose Applecart for the big matches and major club competitions
CP : Well, that's where you are so wrong. These cunning, clever words were loaded with wicked innuendos , which revealed two defamatory remarks. Firstly, they suggested that my client was a rather shady character, and secondly .....that his partner Applecart....... to put it mildly..... was his simple- minded lackey. Allow me now to read a passage from the letter of complaint my client sent in to the club's committee : "......if this is true it is patently the case that the expression trusting once again implies I am a shifty person, who should not be trusted, and on that basis I now wish to complain about Bigot's editorial conduct. It is also offensive to Applecart as it suggests he is too simple to realise my shifty bidding tactics "
B-J : Hold on there......are you suggesting that my compliments amounted to insults by innuendo ?
CP : Yes...
B-J : So therefore by using this argument , it is true to say that if I had suggested that Applecart..... didn't trust Bateman ..... and was not a partner to be trusted........ I would be complimenting both by innuendo ?
CP : Don't be ridiculous.....such words would be a direct slur on their characters , as opposed to the ones you used , which were an indirect slur......
B-J : So whatever I say or write about your client , my words will always be taken and interpreted as defamatory......simply because he believes that I am out to get him ?
CP :'ve hit the nail right on the head
Judge : That's it......I've heard enough of all this nonsense. The law cannot allow compliments to be converted into insults, and meanings of words taken from a dictionary of their antonyms..............whatever next ! For once....I have to side with Bigot if only to allow common sense and reason to prevail.
B-J : Thank you....thank you ....your honour. You showed great insight and wisdom. You always had my trust right from the very start.
Judge : I know......and it proved to be a very tidy sum indeed...
B-J : Well, what's money if it maintains my editorial reputation and freedom.....
Judge : Absolutely.....

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