Dallat condemns extreme websites

SDLP East Londonderry MLA John Dallat has called for tighter controls of websites that promote paramilitaries on the net. Relax, Slugger is not amongst them. But it appears John’s been walking on the darker side of the net in recent times. It also appears that the producers of one of the sites has already made good its reply.

Update: It looks like PA have been doing some further digging on this issue. Stay with us for further developments.

From John Dallat:

Loyalist FM is a radio station broadcasting on the net. It claims on its website to be only about loyalist culture. But just listen to it for a few minutes and you will find out that it glorifies loyalist paramilitaries and their bloody violence.

Some of the lyrics of songs broadcast include:

‘U stands for Ulster

And that’s the way it’ll stay

FF for Freedom Fighter

So fuck the IRA’

And –

‘We will fight for dear old Ulster…

All Protestants must fight for Ulster’s freedom…

Let’s go up the Falls Road.’

And –

“Give my gun

To all my sons

Let them fight as I have done…

10,000 men will fight and die

We are men of the UDA.”

And –

“Oh my father said to me

I must join the YCV

With a rifle or a pistol in my hand.

Though I am 16 years old

In the Volunteers I’ll engage

Like our fathers did so many years ago.”

Given the countless massacres that loyalist paramilitaries have been involved in, this is obviously just about incitement to hatred and lawlessness. That is why I am referring this website to the police. If broadcasting this kind of hate is not already illegal, it should be made illegal. I had already made this point to Lord Rooker last week before he went on holidays but still the station broadcasts.

It is all the more shocking to find that people are willing to be associated with this website. In fact, it is publicly sponsored by the Bentley Club in Knocklaughrim Co Derry. Paramilitaries have brought endless suffering to the people of the North and it is sickening that anybody would sponsor a website that openly glorifies them.

There are equally shocking republican websites. For example, www.fiannaeireann.com openly encourages recruitment to the youth wing of Continuity IRA. This is about turning them into child soldiers. It is about child abuse.

It is amazing that nothing is done to shut this website down. If it were about other forms of child abuse, such as sex abuse, every effort would rightly be made to close it. Yet nothing appears to be done to stop the recruitment of child soldiers and encouraging them into a life of violence and danger.

Paramilitaries on both sides have brought endless suffering to thousands on this island. It is deeply worrying that the net is being used not just to glorify them, but to perpetuate this misery into the future.

  • Fanny

    If there was any justice in this world, John Dallat would be leader of the SDLP. And First Minister.

  • TAFKABO

    This is the rebuttal on the site mentioned.

    “Freedom of SpeechRecently in the press SDLP MLA John Dallat of Kilrea, called for the closure of this website. This is something Unionists, Protestants, and Loyalists have come to expect from this serving MLA (we say serving in the hope that one day he will actually do what he is paid to do, and sit in the government of Ulster at Stormont), after all if you happen to fall into any of the three catagories above, Mr Dallat would prefer you simply did not exist. We at LFM decided as Mr Dallat obviously does not listen to LFM, or speak to anyone in the LFM chatroom, we would face his presumptions and assist him by laying down our position in black and white.

    Loyalist FM is indeed here to promote the Loyalist culture and provide entertainment for Loyalists around the world. Nowhere on this website do we glorify ANY illegal organization – on construction of this site the management team were specific and thorough with relation to that point. We do not and have not at ANY time ever played any role in recruiting for illegal organizations. The only message we convey is our belief that as Ulster citizens we have every right to be proud of our British culture and way of life – surely Mr Dallat striving to be [a confident pluralist and non sectarian] should accept our right to this?.

    We do not display or advertise any propaganda related to any illegal organization. LFM is run and financed by its listeners. We sell CD’s produced by bands from across the UK to people from all over the world, who enjoy the cultural music Mr Dallat so obviously abhors. Radio licensing laws do not apply as Mr Dallat well knows, to radio stations which have prior permission from all bands or groups they play. Permision we have been fully granted.

    The claim by Mr Dallat that LFM is a misuse of the web raises lots of questions for example-
    where does freedom of speech begin and end? is it-
    just what YOU think?
    just what YOU believe in?
    just what YOU want to hear? OR
    does it apply to everyone? so everyone has a voice?
    if you don’t believe, are not open enough to other peoples lives and beliefs, or simply do not like what you hear then you have the option to switch off.

    The Internet is open to everyone the same as freedom of speech- who is the bigot here?

    A station promoting culture, not denying the violent past the people of Ulster have endured over 30 years, including all in the loyalist community, addressing the good and bad, reflecting on ALL aspects through both song and chat?

    OR you?
    Someone who cannot bear it so much he calls for the freedom of speech to be taken from it? Are we all [confident you are unafraid of differing identities and allegences] and that you [will protect and respect them all]?
    For therein lies the key Mr Dallat RESPECT……..
    When we hear you calling for the closure of for example-
    http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ira2
    http://www.geocities.com/southarmaghsniper1
    http://www.rira.topcities.com
    http://www.keltiad.net
    then we MAY begin to believe we are being treated as equals – until then the question for you remains rhetorical – WHO here is the bigot?

    LFM Management

    To members of our site

    Please refrain from posting sites with reference to Mr Dallat or the SDLP. We believe we have exposed them for what they are and as far as we are concerned this is an end to the matter.”

  • TAFKABO

    I don’t agree with everything they say, and I certainly don’t agree with all that they stand for.But I think they made an intelligent and well argued response.

  • la Dolorosa

    Sorry to be pedantic – but I didn’t realise there was/is ‘a government of Ulster’… seems that they are not quite up to date or au fait with things….
    LFM may well be just ‘a sheep in wolve’s clothing’ ie the respectable face of bigotry/sectarianism

  • Bored

    “I don’t agree with everything they say, and I certainly don’t agree with all that they stand for.But I think they made an intelligent and well argued response.”

    Hhhhhmmmmm………

    John Dallat merely pointed out that Loyalist FM plays tunes with nakedly sectarian and paramilitary-glorifying lyrics.

    Their response ? Eight paragraphs of hysterical waffle about how they’re not involved in “recruiting for illegal organisations”. A glaring absence of response to Mr. Dallat’s actual point.

    Now, perhaps they’d care to answer – do they play the type of tunes described my Mr. Dallat or not?

  • bertie

    I support Dallet’s sentiments but I just get annoyed by the use of the word “extreme” when evil/terrorist/murdering/scum are more appropriate. I am proud to be an extremist and I am extremely opposed to these thugs

  • SDLP support for freedom of speech

    MCDONNELL – FREEDOM OF THE PRESS FUNDAMENTAL
    Dr McDonnell stated:

    “Freedom of the press is a fundamental of any democratic society. It should not be bargained for or threatened. Those who do threaten it are those with most to fear from its existence. At our meeting with Direct Rule Security Minister Lord Rooker on Friday I made it clear that we cannot call our society normal if the freedom of the press is attacked in the brutal fashion in which the UDA is currently threatening the Sunday World Newspaper. I would expect politicians from all traditions to agree with and back this point.”

    “Without freedom of speech you cannot have a free society. …

    “If we as a community do not set clear standards for paramilitaries, they will try to set their low standards for all of us. Making sure that our standards prevail is a huge challenge for the police. They must provide better protection for communities and prosecution against these thugs.

    “But it is also a real challenge to Government too. If Government turns a blind eye, loyalists will believe that there is nothing that they cannot get away with. Instead of freedom of speech, we will be left with freedom of threat.” – Mark Durkan: Loyalists Attack Freedom of Speech

    Dallat has been recently threatened by Combat 18:
    Clearly any threat made by this sinister group must be taken seriously. This practice is deeply distressing to my staff but it won’t deter me from speaking out against hate-mongers and insisting that their racist fly posters are removed from property as soon as they appear.

    “Recently I condemned the appearance of a number of neo-Nazi stickers which appeared on the property of Catholics in Garvagh announcing that “Combat 18” is back. Presumably that is the reason why threats have been made to torch my office or home.

  • Valenciano

    “When we hear you calling for the closure of for example-
    http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ira2

    Although ironically that group in question always had a large dose of Unionist posters or non republicans *cough* *cough* and extended a lot more freedom to posters than other more innocuous sounding sites which were often dominated by Irish American headbangers calling for an endless armed struggle. Dallat is only giving publicity to such sites with his comments as the type of people that read them have generally already made their minds up.

  • TAFKABO

    But surely the ones arguing against freedom of expression here are the SDLP?.
    I fully understand and accept that we must put limitations on some of the things people say, but Is it not also the case that by setting the benchmark at the level of this particular website we shall open up a can of worms?
    that is to say, how can we argue for them to be shut down, and still allow certain political organisations to sell IRA T-shirts or other paraphenalia, for example?

    Sure, this site has people singing sectarian songs, but I contend there is a world of difference between singing a Loyalist, or rebel song, and being part of an illegal organisation.

    Do we ban sporting events where loyalist or rebel songs are likely to be sung?

    Isn’t the whole concept of free speech designed so that people can say things we don’t want to hear?

  • Freedom of Speech

    Just pointing up the contradictions in the SDLP’s position. On the one hand, banging the freedom of speech drum, and on the other, running around town tearing down posters and shutting down websites. Nice rhetoric in their press releases, however.

  • beano; EverythingUlster.com

    I haven’t listened to any of the songs on loyalist FM but they seem to argue with Mr Dallat when they say “Nowhere on this website do we glorify ANY illegal organization”. The website would, I believe, include the radio station.

    One of the two are lying and I suspect (although I’ve not visited that website yet) that it maybe be the site, but I’m only basing this on the fact that I have come across another ‘loyalist’ radio station that airs hours of anti-catholic bile every day.

  • Audley

    As an Irishman and an ulsterman, I agree with tafkabo here. Anyone who even has an interest in listening to this site already has there minds made up. It seems to ba a collection of poor quality mp3’s being looped. And despite what they claim, they cannot be doing anything other than worsening community relations. Of more importance should be Bentley’s Night Club which seems to be sponsoring this crowd.

  • Bored

    I have to say that I think that Dallat has ‘backed the wrong horse’ here. Yes, Loyalist FM is a risible pile of shite. Yes, Loyalist FM probably plays tunes of a sectarian and/or paramilitary bent. But really, is it so offensive as to warrant state sanction? TAFKABO’s points are well made and hold water. I stand by my original post though, namely, the twats at Loyalist FM pointedly failed to deal with Mr. Dallat’s criticism of them and rather, engaged in a hysterical piece of reactionary waffle.

  • bertie

    I think that this is one of these occaisons where there is a difference in what people shouldn’t do and what they shouldn’t be allowed to do.

  • TAFKABO

    Besides, if we stopped them from acting like arseholes and bigots, how would we know who the arseholes and bigots were?

  • bertie

    Just use the universal truth – “potentially anyone who isn’t me”

  • Audley

    I know that if a local pub down where i live were sponsoring a rira radio station there would be something done about it. I do not see how this particular venue is let get away with sponsoring this station. And yes the station, in its reply, had a good old rant but failed to answer the main points in dallat’s argument.

  • TAFKABO

    “I know that if a local pub down where i live were sponsoring a rira radio station there would be something done about it”

    Be honest though, how many clubs and pubs play Rebel songs?, for that is a better comparison of what is happening.

  • fair_deal

    I have a general dislike of bans.

    Also from a practical point of view I think it is unwise. Its like all these calls to ban particular muslim clerics and organisations better to know who the people are and what they are thinking unless direct involvlement is shown in the propogation of crime and violence. Their views mean they should be of interest to the state’s security agencies not subject to bans.

  • tafkabo

    Pubs all over Ulster play loyalist/republican songs, but they do not publicly show their support for a station like this on either side. Paying the bills for a sectarian radio show is a different matter.

  • fair_deal

    “Oh my father said to me
    I must join the YCV
    With a rifle or a pistol in my hand.

    Though I am 16 years old
    In the Volunteers I’ll engage
    Like our fathers did so many years ago.”

    On a point of information/cultural trivia this song is sung to the tune of the Fields of Athenry.

  • TAFKABO

    Oy!

    tafkabo, get yer own name ya cheap bastid.

  • audley

    That last post was in response to tafkabo, ahem, not the man himself!!

  • peteb

    Mick

    The UTV report has a lot more detail on the site in question and where the controversial files are actually hosted.. seemingly in the USA.

  • well really!

    I don’t see the point in giving them publicity. The sort of people who listen to this station aren’t really worth dedicating a thread to

  • Ulster

    loyalist fm is a station dedicated to the people of ulster people listen because this is there culture and there hertige , so what if there is ther words UVF and UDA there is plenty of website promoting the IRA and the INLA so its about time ues grew up , if ure goin out to shut down these websites y not have a go at ure own people and shut ure own down 1st !!!!

  • Bored

    Troll (I hope).

  • bertie

    If he isn’t, who is he getting at with “ure own people” ?

  • East Belfast Resident

    There is nights i am forced to listen to wats known as Rhebel Radio from the catholics near my home blasting it out, songs including words like,

    “Go on Home British Soldiers, Go on Home, Have You got no Fucking Homes of Your Own”,

    &

    “Oh Ah Up the Ra, Oh Ah Up the Ra”

    &

    “Fuck Your Unionjack We Want our country back, we want to see old ireland free once more.”

    To Name But a few.

    I think you should go check out these before you take action against a station playing about 95% wartime and traditional music.

  • Confused

    This should be simple enough. If material is an incitement to hatred and/or violence, it crosses the boundaries of what might broadly be called “freedom of speech”, and is or should be treated as criminal in nature. If it falls short of that, it should be freely published. You can sing, recite, declaim all you like in private – but publishing carries duties as well as rights.

    However, as NI is not a “normal” society, it probably isn’t simple enough.

  • TAFKABO

    “This should be simple enough.”

    Aye, ye would think.

    “If material is an incitement to hatred and/or violence, it crosses the boundaries of what might broadly be called “freedom of speech”, and is or should be treated as criminal in nature. If it falls short of that, it should be freely published.”

    In a perfect world, yes.

    ” You can sing, recite, declaim all you like in private – but publishing carries duties as well as rights.However, as NI is not a “normal” society, it probably isn’t simple enough.”

    And that’s it in a nutshell.

    The two governments, the rest of the EU and our friends in America have all made decisions to ignore behaviour when it happens in Northern Ireland, behaviour they would not tolerate on their own doorstep.
    To prosecute this particular group of hatemongers would leave the powers that be exposed to charges of failing to prosecute other groups of hatemongers that have been doing much worse things for decades.

    Lest anyone think I am in anyway defending this site, let me make it clear that I think Mr Dallat is one of the good guys.But his party did contribute to creating the conditions where hate and violence were legitimised and made respectable.
    The Genie is out of the bottle.

    And we have all run out of wishes.

  • David

    Mr O Toole was the ycv not formerly known as the 14th batallion Royal Irish Rifles a legitimate Army batallion if one is not allowed to sing songs in the defence of there country we are all doomed. Was The UDA NOT A LEGITIMATE organisation up until about ten years ago so why all the fuss? Can Protestants not remember, sing about their own that made the ultimate sacrifice? You Should spend more time talking about getting convicted terrorists removed from goverment ie Sinn Fein. In your reference to up the falls this is where most cowardly bomb and murderous attacks on protestants originated form so is it any wonder we sing about this evil place???????? answer back soon.

  • Bored

    Again, Troll (I hope).

  • middle-class taig

    TAFKABO

    Eminently sensible comments throughout (except for one, of which more below).

    “how can we argue for them to be shut down, and still allow certain political organisations to sell IRA T-shirts or other paraphenalia, for example?”

    How indeed?

    I think John Dallat has a point about hate online, although I think the LFM response was surprisingly well-argued and inetellectually “together”. As Bored points out, it was also a “hysterical piece of reactionary waffle”. But it was “hysterical reactionary waffle” of a higher standard than I would have expected. The general standard of articulation of right-based arguments in the North is pretty high, don’t you think? Monkey-see-monkey-do I suppose.

    In reality, much though I loathe sites of this kind, the fact that they have stuff to say that I don’t want to hear, probably means that they should be allowed to say it. It probably also means I should listen to it more often. I try to understand what hard line unionists are saying. I log regularly onto ATW, as, it appears, do many nationalist contributors here. The difficulty with these sites appears to be that they talk each other up into a frenzy, each poster trying to show he’s more reactionary than the last. It gets pretty intellectually sterile in the end.

    Singing loyalist songs is, as you say, the direct equivalent of singing rebel songs, and I would bristle at anyone even calling me sectarian for listenting to a bit of the Tones, never mind trying to ban me from listening to it.

    Confused has it right here.

    “if we stopped them from acting like arseholes and bigots, how would we know who the arseholes and bigots were?”

    Too right.

    I remember the furore about the BBC letting Nick Griffin on Newsnight. I thought it was great that they gave him a chance to make himself look a moron. In the end, Paxman was so vain and self-regarding that he failed to eviscerate Griffin, just as he failed with Galloway on election night. But I doubt Griffin won a single vote with his performance.

    The only place you lost the run of yourself was “But his party did contribute to creating the conditions where hate and violence were legitimised and made respectable.”

    This is bowlocks, and you know it. Never mind. Good stuff from you on here (he said, patronisingly).

    Strange one this for the SDLP to wade into. Having lost much of its dark-green core vote and its socialist core vote it can hardly afford to lose the libertarian core vote – the only core that would leave them with is the mass-going, middle-class, holier-than-thou, sanctimonious-pain-in-the-ass core vote – ehm, I’ll get my coat.

  • UTC

    Na Fianna Eireann are not the youth wing of any organization. They have their own structures and leadership. They are a scouting organization. You should check your facts before you post such garbage as that.

  • Gonzo

    This story first appeared a month ago.

    Yawn.

  • reality check

    David-the Uda should never have been legal in the first place.Are you saying that Protestants have to sing about a sectarian culture?given that dup/uup members sit on forums with uda/uvf perhaps people with associations with terrorists should be removed from goverment.

  • barnshee

    Do they never learn- 95 % of people had never heard of the website until he whined about it. Thanks a bunch. He is likely to turn it into a very popular and successful site the proverbial foot looking for a mouth to slip into

  • Loyal Rodney

    Loyalist FM may have its issues and I may not agree with 5% of its music, but it does play mostly genuine cultural music which I wholeheartedly enjoy.

    Other songs such as “Would you like a chicken supper Bobby Sands” are just funny and make me laugh. Northern Ireland humour is the best in the world – dont you think?

  • fair_deal

    Barnshee

    “Do they never learn- 95 % of people had never heard of the website until he whined about it. Thanks a bunch. He is likely to turn it into a very popular and successful site the proverbial foot looking for a mouth to slip into”

    Some evidence to back your claim up. It looks like the site is attracting a cross-community audience the latest member is liam mulhern who describes his occupation as a soldier with interests in irish freedom.

  • ulster

    loyalist fm was allready a sucussful staion and has baeen runnning from 2003 this is just giving them more publicity thanks alot lads your help is appreciated :d