Monday, January 29, 2007

Plum sauce

In a car park in Cleethorpes, covering the exterior wall of the local franchise of authentically-styled Oirish theme pub chain O’Neills, a Technicolor explosion of spray-painted sloganeering can be viewed. Most of the examples there are vague, shambolic or cryptic - a few somehow manage to be combinations of all three - while others are just plain illegible. But among the dross lies this piece of work, sticking out like a sore thumb.

In opting to use a double g instead of the more common dg, it may feature an unusual spelling of the word midget but there’s no doubting its meaning. It's aimed squarely at Danny G, whoever he is, and it punches hard and low.

By comparing its handwriting and paint colour against graffiti elsewhere on the same wall, it seems the slur was sprayed by someone called Jonny. But on what grounds does he make such a serious accusation?

If Jonny has first-hand knowledge of the size Danny G's knackers then fair enough. Maybe there's a bit of, you know, history between them. Perhaps this insult forms part of their falling-out. We all know messy break-ups can be unpleasant. Or it could be that Jonny doesn't have the faintest idea whether his claim is true or not. It might just be a piece of idle mischief, sprayed purely for a laugh while killing time one wintry evening.

Jonny could find himself in trouble over this. He risks incurring the wrath of an angry Danny. He may be spoiling for revenge now that his former close personal friend has had a very public dig at his plums. But that’s just for starters. He's also on thin legal ice. Written slurs can be considered libellous. Danny G would be perfectly entitled to resort to litigation over this one. There are plenty of solicitors out there who’d be happy to take on a defamation case on a no win, no fee basis. Such arrangements are not limited solely to accident claims by compensation seekers.

So, Jonny, if push comes to shove, do you have the evidence to back up your assertion? Would it bear legal scrutiny? Might it be persuasive enough to woo a jury? In short, could you make it stand up in court?

The British judicial system is considered to be the best in the world. Let’s see it sort this one out.


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