Yesterday brought another example of why the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker may have cause to regret their close association with the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, after the Murdoch Sun had their appeal against a libel verdict thrown out. The original case was brought by Labour MP Richard Burgon.
Richard Burgon MP
In April 2017, The Great Guido revealed that Burgon, a lifetime heavy metal fan, was to record a track with Leeds band Dream Tröll. They helpfully included the band’s video ad for their upcoming release. And by complete coincidence you understand, the following day the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn attacked Burgon, claiming the band used “Nazi imagery”, which was likened to Hitler’s Waffen SS.
Sadly, as the NME pointed out very soon afterwards, the use of the stylised letter S was in homage to Black Sabbath (Dream Tröll simply changed the strapline from “We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Roll” to “We Sold Our Soul For Rock ’N’ Troll”). Burgon sued, asserting that the Sun headline “Reich and Roll: Labour’s justice boss ridiculed after he joins a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols” was defamatory.
Feared. But only in his own propaganda
Moreover, he used the services of Carter, Ruck, which means it was expensive. And in February this year, the Guardian reported that “The Labour MP Richard Burgon has won damages of £30,000 in his libel case against the Sun over a claim that a heavy metal band he performed with delighted in Nazi imagery”. There was more.
“It alleged that the typeface used in a spoof Dream Tröll Twitter post entitled ‘We Sold Our Soul For Rock N Tröll’ paid homage to the logo of the SS, which played a key role in the Holocaust. In reality, the judge concluded that Dream Tröll had simply tweeted a parody image of a classic Black Sabbath album cover and were not endorsing the Nazi paramilitary organisation”. £30,000 in damages, plus “considerable” legal costs.
Should have left that story well alone, eh Tom?
But neither the Sun, nor the Fawkes massive, were downhearted. The Murdoch goons appealed, heartened, perhaps, by The Great Guido eagerly claiming “Even though Burgon’s own band was absolved of using “Nazi imagery”, Guido has learned that Burgon is said to be a fan of a metal band called ‘Sacred Reich’. Metal bands often have daft names but ‘Sacred Reich’ is a big step beyond that”. It didn’t work.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has reported, “An appeal from The Sun newspaper has been thrown out after it was sued for damages over defamatory claims made about a Leeds MP … Following the [earlier] ruling, the tabloid vowed it would appeal the decision. The Rt Hon Lord Justice Haddon-Cave rejected the appeal on Tuesday. Now Mr Burgon says he will use the £30,000 payout to fund a paid internship for a young person from Leeds”.
A less than ecstatic CEO responds
To no surprise, there is no mention of this setback at the Sun, and nor has the Fawkes blog said anything. Thus the selective reporting goes on, while the Murdoch mafiosi have another opportunity to wonder if The Great Guido is really worth the candle.
Another big legal bill and nothing to show for it. Another fine mess, once again.
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