Outback newspaper The Betoota Advocate is facing closure if a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit launched against it yesterday proves successful.
Noted personal injury and compensation lawyers Mal Feasance-Backburn launched the action in the NSW Supreme Court yesterday on behalf of a large group of uncles Australia wide who claim the paper wilfully defamed them by comparing them with three current leaders of the western world.
A story the paper posted recently headed Western Society Now Dictated By Blokes Who Look Like An Uncle That Starts Shit At Christmas has sparked the understandable rage around the nation.
One of the first to ring the law firm was Clarence Bigwell, a 68-year-old uncle from Orange in New South Wales.
“I got a bit more pissed than usual at a family event the other week and mentioned to someone, perhaps a little too loudly, that I wouldn’t mind giving my nephew’s missus one. I might have mentioned what while she’s no spring chicken her tits still look pretty good and even a quick tit fuck would do me,” he said.
“Okay, that didn’t go down so well seeing it was their 20th wedding anniversary dinner but things cooled down and it’s forgotten now.
“But to have this paper tell me that I remind it of the likes of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and that fucking moron Scott Morrison is absolutely disgraceful.
“I might have got pissed and run off at the mouth but these three cunts look and act nothing like me. Okay, I’ve got the social skills of Eddie Maguire but at least I’m basically harmless. Trump, Johnson and Morrison could get us all killed next week. They’re all puffed up with their own self-importance, would kill their own mothers if there was a vote in it and seem itching to have a go at Iran for starters.
“I don’t suppose I would have minded so much if the story had been the least bit funny.”
Another uncle who has joined the class action is Cyril Saunders from Cottesloe Beach in Perth.
He told The Bug: “The other day I thought it would be hilarious to pull the old elephant routine out of my box of party tricks – you know the one – you turn your pockets out and hang out your old fella and trumpet like an old bull elephant?
“I understand now that I completely fucked up and totally spoiled my grand niece’s sixth birthday party and shocked so many parents that they grabbed their kids and left straight away but my apology has been accepted by everyone. A few of the mothers have even called me since.
“That indiscretion aside, I was absolutely shocked to be compared with three powerful political leaders who seem incapable of telling the truth, have dodgy career histories that most working-class people would be thoroughly ashamed of, and who seem hellbent on creating societies where the rich and privileged just get richer and the poor can, well, go fuck themselves.
“Is The Betoota Advocate suggesting that I look as stupid as these jokers – or worse that my demeanour or actions suggest I have a similar mindset or the same core values in life?
“Besides, I still think my elephant routine is at least funny – funnier than that Betoota Advocate story any way.”
The Bug understands the newspaper could face a payout exceeding $20 million if the defamation lawsuit succeeds. Respondents to that class action could each get about $2000 of that.
The Betoota Advocate did not respond to The Bug‘s requests for a comment. The paper’s owners are understood to be having trouble seeking legal advice – the only law firm in Betoota, Just Us Outback Lawyers, closed down two years ago.
The paper is said to also be looking, as a number of uncles around the nation have suggested to The Bug, to at least hire some funny writers who know how to do political satire with real bite without hurting the feelings of a significant and basically decent subset of Australian society.