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’
‘We will fight for dear old Ulster…
All Protestants must fight for Ulster’s freedom…
Let’s go up the Falls Road.’
“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.”
“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.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty