Location Location etc

In the Observer today, Peter Preston seems to be saying that the News of the World lost the Tommy Sheridan case largely because they were an English paper defending a story in a Scottish court. Like a football team facing a hostile crowd away from home, perhaps. He goes on to say..

English newspapers have always feared fighting libel cases in Northern Ireland, where being from London is a handicap, not a help.

Which struck me as a bit odd. Do we really distrust the English that much?