I note that Frances Curran, former MSP and ex-colleague of Tommy Sheridan, has been unsucessful in a defamation claim against the Daily Record. Ms. Curran claimed that a Daily Record article in the wake of Mr. Sheridan’s sucessful claim against News International defamed her.
The article, published on 7 August 2006 was titled “I’ll destroy the scabs who tried to ruin me.” and Ms. Curran considered that to apply the term ” scab” to her was to accuse her of of personal immorality or base motives. She also complained that a description of her entering court to give evidence with a smile on her face implied that she had perjured herself.
The judge however dismissed the claim, holding that, in the context, the term “scab” referred only to allegations of political disloyalty, that there was no implication to be reasonably drawn from noting that she smiled on entering court, that as the holder of public office (at the time) more latitude was given to comment and criticism, and that the article constituted “fair retort” to a statement by the faction SSP United Left with which she was associated and which included the following:
“Tommy has lied his way through this court case and we want no part in that.”
“There is no plot, no frame up of Tommy Sheridan, the idea only exists in his paranoid imagination.”
So, I think what the judge was getting at was that people in glass houses shouldn’t call the kettle black (or something).
Anyway, you can read it all for yourself here:
Frances Curran v. Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Limited [2010 CSOH 44].