McCann meets…LAD Part 1

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On Wednesday night I met up with three of the brains behind Loyalist Against Democracy (LAD) for a few pints beside City Hall for their first sit down interview. Billy, Rab and Ron talked with me for the well over an hour and no topics were off limits. My first impressions of them were-not at all what I expected; they are smart, professional and have built up a well-read blog and a solid following on Twitter.

I began by asking them what their initial reactions were to the flag protests in December 2012?

Billy told me about his disappointment at the treatment of Naomi Long and the Alliance party during the entire episode. The anger he felt that that people were causing so much trouble in the city he ‘loves’ motivated him to create LAD which he wanted to help ‘diffuse’ the city by essentially being funny.

For Rab, it was slightly different as he told me ‘when I first heard about it I did the usual thing and ignored it, until it started directly effecting me, coming home from work, getting to work, all that kind of thing.’

For Ron, LAD was ‘an outlet for my frustration’ as he seen family members caught up in flag protests being stopped from getting home.

How did they think the DUP responded to the protests?

Billy told me;

They were out actively supporting it You had Councillors and MLAs who were turning up at protests. There is just something quite wrong there. I don’t have a problem with the politics of the DUP. I understand that that’s their politics and that there are people who vote for them. But they caused the problem, Paul Givan was on the TV the other night talking about the policing overtime bill and he had the cheek to say that who have brought the flag protestors out on to the street should take some responsibility but his party were part of that problem. They didn’t stand up and show leadership…

When I asked about Sinn Fein’s response the guys were critical of the filming of the flag coming down and the tribal nature of politics here that encourages that type of behaviour amongst politicians. But as Ron was keen to point out that no matter how dark the politics of that time were that it was a very small minority of people involved in the protests.

At this juncture, I was poised to ask, where LAD not a bit out of touch with a great deal of the people in Northern Ireland who seemed to care about the flag vote? To this they said that they were confident that they were in touch with their people, who they defined as ‘in the middle’ and not aligned to either side. But essentially as Billy boldly declared;

 We don’t really care…I have never cared what other people think. I know what I think.

The lack of caring about other peoples opinions is a key ingredient of the groups success.

What about their critics?

Billy-

We are just a voice. We have as much right to articulate our point of view as somebody like Dave Magee does…I would very much believe that if somebody has a problem with you, it’s their problem, not your problem.

Ron-

We are also very proud of what we do, especially since Christmas, we have changed our focus a little bit but it was intentional, we always wanted to do that. But whenever you see people coming on and being blatantly stupid and not getting it about what we are trying to do it is deeply annoying and offensive…we do it for the best of intentions.

I wanted to move on some more substantive things they have done and I turned to the recent blog post by Ann Travers on their site. Billy was clear from the outset that he was not fan of some of the actions that she and Allister pursued during the course of the Spad bill. However, he told me ‘just because I don’t agree with somebody, doesn’t mean I won’t sit and talk with them.’ These nuances in LAD’s thinking are sometimes lost in their combative style on Twitter but as Billy explained how his understanding of Ann’s situation improved after she wrote for them, you see that the notion of an unmoving ideologue is not really an accurate picture.

When I jokingly asked if they would ever host a blog from Jamie Bryson? They said that they had already approached some detractors from other parties and groups but have been turned down. This was the aspect of the interview which really shocked me as they seemed totally un-phased about the attempts by people to find out who they are or those who sit and criticise them. For Billy, it would not be an issue for him to sit and debate Jamie Bryson but the alias he uses for the blog are all part of a character which he uses every time he logs on to the LAD account.

We then got onto talking about the PUP and its future direction. Billy and Ron told me they were admirers of David Ervine and have actually read pieces of work that he has written. Today’s PUP they believe bears no relation to the party established by people like Ervine and Hugh Smyth. Only John Kyle they believe is the last remnant of the old order that ran the party and that some of the party’s current candidates would be kicked out of the party if Ervine was still leader.

At this point it was time for another round…

In part two-we discuss where the LAD goes from here?, Jamie Bryson and are they too one sided?

 

 

 

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  • boondock

    Keep up the good work LAD. For those that dont like it well they dont have to read it. One sided well maybe but they do still have a go at the dissidents its just 90% of their material comes from the Protestant Coalition site, Willie and Jamie so maybe if they didnt keep making fools of themselves then LAD would cease to exist. By the way they are not the BBC so why should they have to listen to certain bloggers and journalists telling them to wise up or change their tone. One other thing the critics keep saying is they mock the illiterate no they dont they just mock the biggots and if they happen to be illiterate then so be it.

  • ayeYerMa

    “Billy”, “Rab” and “Ron” my arse.

    More likely the tossers you were talking to were called Sean, Ciaran and Brendan.

  • ayeYerMa

    … and like typical Republicans, I see they have problems with victims of Republican terrorism successfully blocking the glorification of terrorism, while at the same time pretending they occupy some smug place where they have grounds to mock those on the receiving end who object to further appeasement of Republican aggression.

  • aquifer

    In cyberspace nobody hears the Paisleyite death scream.

    Its all a bit of a laugh really.

  • boondock

    ‘“Billy”, “Rab” and “Ron” my arse.

    More likely the tossers you were talking to were called Sean, Ciaran and Brendan.’

    ‘… and like typical Republicans’

    ayeYerMa in the above article there is a link to one of their main critics Dave Magee who says

    ‘I have no intention attempting to ‘out’ them, but Loyalists should at least know that LAD are not part of some Republican agenda against them. LAD are self-loathing Unionists.’

    How true this is I dont know but I would guess LAD are more likely to be Alliance/letsgetalongerist types than mad diehard Republicans

  • ayeYerMa

    I don’t disagree boondock. Republicans at the core, and a few pathetic and naive submissive Alliance pansy types, who believe in nothing other than appeasing Republican aggression, joining in later.

  • Cackle Daily

    Wow – AyeYerMa; total failure to engage with the post substantively, inaccurate usage of the concept of ‘appeasement’ and a wee dash of needless homophobia at the end.
    You’re on a roll Jamie!

  • Helicopter of the Holy Ghost

    ‘My first impressions of them were-not at all what I expected; they are smart, professional’ – funny that is what I always assumed they would be like.

    Which leads me to ayeYerma – LAD always came across to me as a sort of sneering middle-class Unionist project rather than being a Republican blog.

    Also, can LAD tell me if they actually knew Ervine? How do they know he wouldn’t have some of the current candidates in the party?

  • http://backonthecorneragain.wordpress.com chrisbrowne28

    I don’t think ayeYerMa’s response requires any ridicule or rebuttal. Just let him continue posting and he will do the job for us.

  • http://www.openunionism.com oneill

    “….this they said that they were confident that they were in touch with *their people, who they defined as ‘in the middle’ and not aligned to either side.”

    *Their people*??!!

  • http://backonthecorneragain.wordpress.com chrisbrowne28

    As far as LAD go – I like what they do, but it does at times border on slightly concerning territory. Particularly when it becomes a class/ education thing.

    I do think that they are clear about what they do and that they are not necessarily accountable to anyone, but if their audience continues to increase, I believe there is some responsibility that comes with that.

    They do seem to recognise that responsibility though and that is shown by the more serious posts they host on their site.

    Keep it up guys.

  • derrydave

    They may be middle-class unionists, but they’re middle-class REPUBLICAN IRA-LOVING unionists, isn’t that right AyeyerMa :-)
    Do you not understand that it’s idiots like you which fuel the LAD machine – and long may it continue :-)

  • Granni Trixie

    “Submissive alliance pansy types” : at one level this gave me a LOL moment but then saw it does smack of homophobia.
    I hope this is not to become the standard of “debate” on slugger.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I see a lot of this eulogizing about David Ervine and how the PUP – along with the rest of the world – would be different if he were still alive.

    Ervine may be the best thing that ever emerged from political loyalism, he certainly talked a good talk to rival the verbiage of the Shinners at the time.

    But at the end of the day he accomplished fuck all. The UVF continued to murder people while he was leading the PUP and the best he could do was put out statements about how shameful it was. The UVF didn’t decommission a single weapon or bullet during Ervine’s tenure and it’s pretty obvious that they simply ignored him and did whatever the hell they liked, in the same way they ignore the PUP today.

    There is no saviour, and no single man, who can come along and identify some sort of solution to our problems here.

  • Master McGrath

    Is LAD useful or contributing anything to the present political situation?
    I would say yes LAD is and it is a VERY useful reminder that the Non-Nationalist population has a sense of humour and views that are largely missed in the Unionist/Loyalist how low can you go to get votes scramble that characterizes the political attitude of those with their minds constantly focused on the next election.
    If everything swings on the hinge of making sure that the fuck-wits who are leading the debate on the basis of reaction and progress the non-engaged Unionists will never take part at any level – the middle class will continue their desertion of the political field and the result will continue to be entirely unsatisfactory for ALL.
    LAD was needed and remains so. It does not give enough offence I feel at times but then sometimes it would be difficult to be more offensive in a comic sense that some of those it lampoons.
    Keep at it LAD – You are needed.

  • ayeYerMa

    Keep kidding yourselves LADs! We weren’t all born yesterday. Not even a middle class Unionist (I am one, and know too many of the sneering types mentioned) is going to be droning on about “British occupied Ireland” (as in their latest fake news story) or complaining about things operating against terrorists like “Annes Law”.

    As for the Pansy Alliance, an excessive dominance of weak, pathetic, submissive, effeminate, never-rock-the-boat behaviour (such as that inherent in the Alliance Party) is detrimental to the survival of any people and the phrase “Progressive Pansyism” sums it up the phenomenon perfectly with a rather satisfying alliterative quality that suitably mocks those who like to arrogantly tell us how “progressive” they are –> the only progression is that towards the weak decline in power that is occurring across the West.

    It’s interesting that people like Cackle Daily and Granni Trixie think it is fine to use their own insult-words of choice in debate as being “high standard” , but not that of others to counter their own words designed to shut down all freedom of speech.

    I’m afraid that the trend for people across the UK (and hopefully the West in general) is that they are getting fed up with with the destruction that so-called “liberal” Progressive Pansyism is doing to enable a broken society in the country. People are increasingly seeing through the boring tactic of the “liberal progressive” loons over the past few decades of trying to shout down all opposition via using their favourite shut-down-the-conversation-insult-word of choice. People are increasingly ignoring those Progressive Pansies who shout “bigot” at any opinion which disagrees with their own views which they arrogantly decree “progressive”, seeing through the shouts of “racist” and so now are starting a sensible debate on immigration and integration (though too late for England), ignoring shouts of “islamophobe” and so can start to rationally discuss the negative influences of Wahabi Jihadism. Unfortunately, recent debates on changing civil partnerships to “gay marriage” in GB lost all rationality and met with the same hysteric “homophobe” slurs. That will pass though when people actually educate themselves, and soon we shall all be able to debate rationally about topics such as the malign influence on society as a whole of excessive unchecked dominance of effeminate thinking without being called a “sexist” (despite loving one’s wife, mother and daughters) or “homophobe” (despite supporting the decriminalisation of homosexuality).

    PS: there are also numerous homosexuals who exhibit quite assertive masculine behaviour who would also take offence at being grouped with weak and effeminate pansies as Cackle Daily has done (actually, no they wouldn’t because with non-pansy behaviour you toughen the fck up and don’t have such thin skin to take pathetic offence at words easily).

  • BifterGreenthumb

    oneill said ““….this they said that they were confident that they were in touch with *their people, who they defined as ‘in the middle’ and not aligned to either side.”

    *Their people*??!!”

    What’s your issue with “their people”?

  • derrydave

    I’m with Ayeyerma on this one – let the campaign to restore ‘non-pansy behavior’ amongst the populace start here ! Lol – what a wierd guy !

  • Granni Trixie

    As far as I can observe, traditionally its been hard work to live in NI as a gay person hence it take guts which is why I object to the intentional slurs above. We will never know how many brothers,sons and daughters have left the country for this reason,

    From first hand experience I can also say thAt it often requires courage to be in Alliance but rather than trying to explain this to slow learners all I will reiterate is that the language of ayeyerma is lowering the standard of debate.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I could respond to ayeYerMa, but he’d just ignore me (lacking the capacity for a proper argument) and in any case I think he speaks pretty well for himself.

    No Surrender.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk

    CS

    Your posts are always of interest (although I certainly wouldn’t always agree with them). However, you are spot on here. How could any of us have the insolence to argue with AyeYerMa? He’s obviously right. All the British people I know ( including my Dad who is from London) and all the people I met (living there for 20 years) are totally in support of the OO and the ‘Fleg” protestors who drape themselves the the Union Jack and then urinate on Catholic Churches or indulge in rampant rioting, looting and lawbreaking.

    Yet again he (as with most “Loyalists”) hits the nail on the head with his homophobic “pansy” comments. I’m so glad that he pointed out where I’m so out of touch with his fellow ‘Mainlanders”. Oddly enough, the overwhelming majority of real British people I have met are very open minded and have no issue with Gay folk ( or Polish immigrants etc).

    Up until now I have had the utmost admiration for the courage of Naomi Long and the Alliance members of BCC – standing up for what they believe to be right (at great personal threat to themselves and their families). I’d be presumptuous enough to think you would be in agreement.

    Thank God for AyeYerMa – otherwise we could have been duped into supporting these ‘pansy’ lovers. I’ll make certain to get rid of all my circle of friends in London who appear to have been infiltrated by “pansy loving” commies who don’t support the OO (and UVF) supporting, “Fleg” protesting, rioting thugs.

    I’ll get out there and find some “real” friends among the vast majority of British People who love the OO, Fleg Protesters and who really care about the ‘Union” with NI and are concerned about the “pansy” lovers.

    It might take me some time to locate my local BNP/Combat 18 meeting but I’ll get back to you as soon as I do.

    In the meantime – be sure to listen to AyeYerMa – don’t pay any attention to anyone who claims to represent the democratic “majority” who aren’t homophobic, racist and support rioters draped in “their fleg”.

    These guys are imposters – its ‘AyeYerMa’ and his followers who really represent the views of the British people.

    I’m just so relieved he took the time to set us straight – otherwise we could have wasted years with our open minded, pluralist views – phew!

  • Barney

    Ayeyerma

    Yes, power through strength is the way forward, I suggest storming the bastions of Slugger with an unfocused rant it can only be a matter of time before Jeddah falls…..forward people Gott Mit uns.

  • http://www.openunionism.com oneill

    “What’s your issue with “their people”?”

    Struck me as presumptious, bit like when SF or the DUP claim to speak on behalf of the entire nat-unionist population.

    But, hey, we live in a democracy and like SF or the DUPes they can claim to speak on behalf of whoever they like.

    And if they are really confident “that they were in touch with their people,” then they can test it at the ballot box beauty contest I guess?

  • Reader

    AyeYerMa: As for the Pansy Alliance, an excessive dominance of weak, pathetic, submissive, effeminate, never-rock-the-boat behaviour (such as that inherent in the Alliance Party) is detrimental to the survival of any people and the phrase “Progressive Pansyism” sums it up…
    I don’t think that defending yourself from charges of homophobia by laying yourself open to charges of sexism is really going to help you make your real point; which is surely that there is a contest on and some people aren’t playing their part?
    I would disagree with that, but at least that discussion wouldn’t take place in the middle of a shitstorm.

  • Granni Trixie

    And there’s more AYM
    – if anything some criticise Alliance for too much rocking the boat. Truth be told , much creative diversity in the Party arises from the tension between members who see it as a movement for radical change and those who tend to be more conservative. I see activism in alliance myself as a form of resistance to the received wisdom of two traditions.
    So thanks for reminding me of that,AYM

  • gaygael

    I’m kinda ashocked so I am……. Not really sure where to start.
    The casual homophobia is not on. You deliberately use the word pansy to get a rise knowing its use here in the north has been one that is used to denigrate gay men.
    Really try and make yer point without resulting to casual homophobic language. I can deal with your words, but not being challenged on them gives them sanction. Words and attitudes like your are responsible for suicide in lgbt youth. Shame on you.
    Mick, if this was such outright racist or sectarian language I presume there would be a card.

  • ayeYerMa

    MonkDeWallyDeHonk et. al, you seem to think that I (with prime Ulster loyalties) think the UK mainland is free from the problems of PC progressive pansyism, when in fact I believe the the UK mainland is very much where many of the problems caused by its tyrrany as upheld by the media, politics, law and courts originate. The illogical emotionally-dominated, non-nuanced and hysterical response here whereby the progressive pansies want to censor and dictate to everyone else what is supposedly *really* meant (nudge, nudge, wink wink) when mere words are used (they are oh-so-vulnerable to being emotionally distressed by words!) is entirely predictable, and exposes perfectly the lack of logic in many a “progressive”‘s argument.

    Digging deeper, we really shouldn’t be surprised that the Alliance Party have parallels with SF/IRA when both rely on promoting Marxist ideology whereby society is the great oppressor and source of all problems, and whereby analysing individual actions, personal responsibility, or nuanced logic used in a non-hysterical case-by-case basis is an absolute no-no. Though for SF/IRA we know rightly many of them think it is a lot of bollocks, but use it as a disingenuous cover for driving the belligerence of their believed ethno-sectarian grouping against the majority of our local population to achieve hegemony of their own believed group; many are, of course, also naive and have extremely poor balanced understandings of our local history.

    The same Marxist nonsense also being the same driving factor behind the radical feminist movements (irrationally claiming existence of some sort of oppressive over-arching patriarchy) which have gained so much dominant power in the UK and successfully emasculated so many into becoming sissy-men claiming to be “liberal progressive”; the realisation of progressive policies of pansyism being the obsession with emotions and attempted subversion of truth and the assertive masculine backbone of society to the benefit of its enemies. Ulster, up to now, has been relatively spared from lib-pc disease due to facing circumstances of endless reality-checks on survival which have not been so prevalent in the rest of the UK.

    PS: I also see the usual “sexist” hysteria here where some confuse the difference between seeing an upset in balance between the complementary benefits that inherent traits of men and women provide to each other, with the noble desire for women’s rights in general (as a result of evolutionary reproductive benefit, it is in most men’s instinct to love women and will have natural desire to provide the physical backbone and sacrifice to defend women and family to the death; but repeated social science studies also indicate that many women also have an instinct to not only look after offspring, but to also have a purely emotional group in-think towards other women that men do not so readily possess towards other men). The problem in the lib-pc-diseased UK is the growing dominance in law and politics of an emasculation agenda originating in radical feminist misandry. I don’t think that most women support such a feminist agenda if they actually thought about it, more an insidious effect of democracy which is pushed by this inherent, but usually innocuous and in-check, tendency towards female in-group thinking making the flawed assumption that men readily think of themselves as a group in the same way as women do. A problem soon to be made even worse when pansy Milliband and feminist extremists like Harriet Hate-you-if-you’re-a-man come back into power.

  • between the bridges

    LAD fool’s no one other than those who wish to be…

  • Cackle Daily

    Hi, AyM – leaving aside your accusing me of resorting to insult when I did no such thing it is otherwise impossible to engage with the substance of your argument. such as it is. You start with an attack on LAD which metastasises into a denunciation of alliance are effete homosexuals.
    you then say I took needless offence. I took offence not at your language (which is a mish mash of Daily Mail, Hyperbole, Willy Frazer and a dash of Fox News) but at the stunning poverty of your argument which runs as follows

    LAD = Bad because they make fun of Protestors =they
    must be Catholics = if they’re not catholics = self hating Protestants (?latent homosexuals?)’

    Why in your rambling and tedious screed did you not take on the fact I also accused of a wilful misrepresentation of the concept of ‘appeasement’ . A term thrown around by many keyboard warriors but which only has a specific meaning in a specific context.

    I could go on but I’m holding you up from writing another windy diatribe where the enemies of Ulster are making common cause with the muslims and the freemasons and our dark lord Cthulthu to bring down the flags in Portadown or something

  • DC

    LAD have been a disaster and there is some sort of dynamic happening between them and Alliance inadvertently or otherwise which will put the squeeze on the SDLP and Unionism in general, in my opinion.

    The Alliance party have been most unhelpful in dealing with sectarianism, as a party it takes to the media to signal to others what should be done but people resent that approach because they don’t sit down and level and talk it through in the background – they score points. And then along comes LAD to point out alleged sectarian behaviour and what not.

    Alliance should be helping out joining in and yes helping others to organise in communities where there are problems with sectarianism, rather going to the media and demanding action of others – anyone but themselves it would seem. People don’t have magic wands and need to organise to make this sort of change happen it can’t just be ‘communicated’ – this is real street politics where they and indeed others are looking to see changes, middle class massaging of the message using the media and getting the message out there, while sounding good and being of benefit to Alliance, will not actually lead to results. Others are going to have to get their shit knocked in here, metaphorically and maybe literally.

    Yes people want murals down, some want them up, some want flags up some down, but there is so much disorganisation out there that Alliance going to the media and scoring points and putting the squeeze on loyalist areas is creating more disorder – add into that the dynamic of LAD and it somehow making Alliance more appealing.

    All the more disappointing as Alliance has done nothing and Lo’s profile raised because she received racist abuse, as repugnant and horrible and wrong as that is, it still doesn’t mean the Alliance has organised where it matters and actually helped out on the ground.

    No better example than the flag decision, no harm in giving it a stay of execution of one term, listening and leading the electorate to its position through dialogue and to combat the effects of the DUP leaflet.

    No, stuff being compassion you guys can get stuffed it’s our policy and go hang – cue the sectarian fall out.

    So I will come out and say LAD has been a complete disaster in terms of trying to turn things around it has wound people up the wrong way and, while not being racist, it has been appallingly rude to some people in the process, then for the Alliance gain from this especially given its long tradition within the Unionist community, well it has been all the more galling.

  • DC

    LAD has done a Miley Cyrus – it came in like a wrecking ball.

    LAD, Alliance and those with no emotional attachment to anything unionist get to stand back and marvel, while others are left to pick up the pieces.