Exposing bigotry or exposing their own bigotry? Loyalists Against Democracy: part 1

ladHaving grown concerned about some of the discourse that those behind the ‘parody’ Loyalists Against Democracy (LAD) website were using I contacted them and asked them to meet up and discuss what they felt they were contributing to peace.  I asked them politely several times, all of which they declined.

Following their refusal to meet up, I decided to address my concerns about LAD on here.  In order to do this I asked a range of writers, academics, church leaders, politicians, and community workers to give their opinion about LAD. The response was so great that I decided that the best thing to do was to publish their opinions in full. The amount and depth of responses mean that I will publish them in two parts.  I have ordered them in the order they were sent to me.

Because LAD are faceless and hide behind a mask, making them unaccountable, I promised my contributors anonymity if they wished. However, I will give a little general information about the background of each person.  What follows are not my opinions, these are the unedited opinions of very experienced practitioners and thinkers who have contributed significantly to building peace in this part of the world.  They are a mix of voices from the Catholic and Protestant communities.  Cumulatively they have hundreds of years of experience in peacebuilding.

Firstly, from an experienced male community relations worker from the Catholic community:

‘You know, I haven’t “liked” it – some of the things I’ve seen linked to from other people’s posts about it are funny, but I have a problem about it – and I reckon that any loyalist friends of mine would feel like it does their cause damage. I’m not a loyalist, and I have major problems with the idea that loyalism is under attack (I don’t believe that at all) but I don’t think that the loyalists against democracy page is helpful.’

From a female community worker in a Loyalist area:

‘whilst sections of their sectarian satire posts can witty, it is a dangerous dark humour which serves no purpose other than to crank up already heightened tensions.’

From a male community worker in a Loyalist area:

‘The LAD site can occasionally be quite humorous and the political satire chewing gum for the mind. However I once heard a phrase about another column entitled Wit & Wisdom and LAD fits the same bill, very little wit and absolutely no wisdom.’

This from a widely published male community worker and writer and on Loyalism and Unionism:

‘..my opinion is that the growth of this kind of satire is fascinating, painful to see and that it will grow. For what was it Karl Marx said about history occurring the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce?  You see the loyalist cultural project is now so eaten through with incapacity that it seems entirely farcical for bands calling themselves Young Conquerers to be so patently losers – and so this invites the kind of vicious comic treatment that LAD offers, made all the more potent because twenty five years ago, loyalism still had tragic muscle and in certain quarters a sharp, grounded and innovative ethos. Yes, LAD is cruel, as all humour can be very cruel and it makes the abasement of the PUL psyche even more grievous but I doubt if the tide of ridicule can be turned, until enough PUL people come to see that one needs to exercise self awareness in order to know how to stop being a butt of humour and a laughing stock. Any school teacher knows that a kid who is mocked will only stop being mocked either when he learns to modify his behaviour or when he is protected by an authority figure, and that authority figure ain’t there so there has to be some quick learning going on, in the art of self-scrutiny and self-remodelling.

[There is] nothing more delicious to a nationalist or to someone who was a rotten Prod than mocking the deposed and neutered Loyalist bully, risky too as he may still have strength for one more knuckleduster punch. Dangerous too. As Nietzsche pointed out, he who fights with monsters must beware lest he too becomes a monster. The mockery of Bryson is in part a fearful class based thing, the derision for the uppity wee skitter from the estate, who wears cheap sports gear and a gold chain and gives you lip at the bus stop.

..superladtube [is] taking it to a whole disconcerting new level of cruelty…however some of the deconstruction of the infamous uvf remuralling project on you tube is utterly brilliant and morally impeccable.’

A female writer wrote:

‘It comes across as really superior and snobbish. As we heard on the news yesterday Northern Ireland’s literacy levels are terrible. It’s nothing to make light of. If they’re so clever, what are they doing to help?’

The final extract of part 1 is from Dr. Gareth Mulvenna, a visiting research fellow at Queen’s University, who did not mind his name being used:

‘LAD Fleg may claim to be the creation of a cross-section of our community, including working class Protestants, but one wonders what it actually adds to the debate. Rather than move things forward this type of parody only serves to reinforce liberal, middle-class, stereotypes of a community which is felt to be holding the ‘peace process’ back. More out of step with modern society are dissident Republicans yet we rarely see social media being used to the same extent to highlight the ridiculous, but more threatening, nature of their activities. The loyalist flag protestors, like the white working class ‘chavs’ which Owen Jones wrote about in England, are easy meat for those who have a delusional sense that Belfast begins and ends in the Cathedral Quarter. The dissidents are harder to challenge and pose the most severe threat to the peace due to their violent nature. Flag protestors, particularly the younger ones, should be given the opportunity to be understood – what are their social and economic concerns? Can we educate them about the welfare state and the best aspects of their British culture? That way we can move forward. Laughing and sneering at the loyalist community won’t fix anything.’

Part 2 will contain extracts from other writers, community activists, a PUL politican, and clergy.

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39 thoughts on “Exposing bigotry or exposing their own bigotry? Loyalists Against Democracy: part 1

  1. First of all, the criticism that LAD are snobbish or look down upon the working class is a poor man’s ‘get out of jail free’ card that releases the offender from any kind of accountability.

    If the details of LAD contributor’s were known then you’d be able to perhaps push in that direction, but, we do not have any evidence to prove this so why is it used as a rebuttal with such conviction?

    Indeed, a contributor to LAD known as ‘Hawf Nelson McCausland’ has stipulated quite clearly that he went to a state school, not a fancy Grammar school.

    This also ignores the fact that middle class people from the Loyalist/Unionist side are also equally lampooned for their idiotic behaviour; can you seriously refer to Nigel Dodds or Peter Robinson as ‘working class’?

    Personally, I’d like to see a ‘splinter group’ of theirs appear and place a bit more attention on similar shenanigans on ‘the other side of the fence’.

    However, what is not being examined is that PERHAPS they feel more strongly about the shocking state of Unionism rather than the wrongs of Republicanism/nationalism.
    If so, I can relate to that, I started my blog as a parody of ‘An Phoblacht’ to highlight Republican hypocrisy, but a few months in the ‘fleg’ crisis appeared and I was assaulted with images of all these morons making inarticulate arguments whilst disgracing the flag itself.

    As I am a Unionist and care more for the hypocrisy of Unionism than the hypocrisy of Republicanism I changed the model of my blog (and also because I lacked the talent, ambition, skills, patience and ability to come up with anything remotely similar to LAD…).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of LAD felt the same way.

    Comedy is cruel. Satire is cruel.
    If Loyalism proceeds as it does presently in spite of the potential talent it has at it’s helm (Nesbitt, Dodds, Robinson – I can call them many things but stupid isn’t one of them) then it is offering itself as a lamb on the alter of cruel comedy.

    If the upper echelons of Unionism can’t offer a guiding hand to those at the bottom then they will be picked off and sacrificed to satire.

    If they don’t like it then they should change it, the mirror itself isn’t dirty, the on beholder is.

  2. ‘Any school teacher knows that a kid who is mocked will only stop being mocked either when he learns to modify his behaviour or when he is protected by an authority figure.’

    As a school teacher I’d like to offer something else that I know. Being bullied is not the fault of the victim. Indeed, another way for the bullying to stop is that the bully stops doing it. I take exception to the idea that the onus should always be on the victim to stop the behaviour which is levelled against them. And that is the case for anyone who bullies anyone else, no matter how justified they believe their cause is. Don’t like nastiness? Don’t be nasty.

  3. I have had an on off with relationship with LAD from the beginning. I made many comments that they didn’t like and was barred on many occasions. However I kept coming back to them as I found they exposed underlying sectarianism that exists under the surface and needed exposed. We have always had the ability to laugh at ourselves in Northern Ireland and the recent flag issue was a good platform as those who pledged their allegiance to Britain and all she stands for made fools of themselves on the street. There are times when the line is crossed both by LADS and some of the contributors but as in any other situation it is up to those who support the site, to point this out and not to be like sheep agreeing with everything said. The recent Give Poots the Boot was a good example of how this site can help show how the ordinary person feels as to what is going on, or not going on in the Assembly. So although I can’t say I will always agree with what is considered satire I will continue to support LAD in exposing those who are determined to undermine the future of Northern Ireland. And you have to admit it can be very funny. I wish them all the best with their bid to help the local charity that they are suporting this Christmas.

  4. I think all anyone has to do is look at the title of this group and it is generalizing and deeply sectarian. Trying to portray that all Loyalists are against democracy is utter rubbish and deeply rooted in bigotry and ignorance.

    They don’t help at all and they just marginalize Protestants.

  5. It’s clear in NI we can have laugh at ourselves, look at Give My Head Peace ‘s relative success. But it made fun of both sides. LAD has a clear Nationalist agenda, mocking and looking down on WC Loyalists from the snobby RC + some uppity Protestant middle class sector. Its annoys all of the Unionist community as some of it is quite embarrassing. And even though most Nationalists will know it does nothing to address any issues. Only make them worse! They arent going to complain as it provides a laugh now and again. The ‘fleggers’ are an easy target and Society has to ask themselves how ‘far’ they can be mocked before its wrong. Its bordering on cruel obsession what LAD do. And the excuse ‘they give us the material’ is beginning to wash out!

    • I focus mainly on the Loyalist extremes too.

      Does that mean I am a Nationalist by default?

      Or does it mean that the Loyalist extremes have hit a nerve because I care more for Unionism?

      Why are Loyalists not being restrained/guided by those who should know better?

      The DUP et all are willing to stand on a platform in Twaddell, willing to put leaflets through doors to PROPERLY whip up tension and emotion yet they seldom act as articulate mouth-pieces for these ‘easy targets’.

      IF mocking fleggers when they do stupid things like calling for ‘Ireland to be cleansed of Irish’ is wrong then who can be lampooned and ridiculed without the sectarian card being played?

      Currently, on the LAD facebook page, the last 5 people to be mocked have included the following:

      1/ The UVF costume march
      2/ A man calling for a bridge to be built between NI and Scotland, as well as for a defunct (and now offensive) flag to be given recognition
      3/ Some one guffawing at the idea of tolerance and respect for each other’s humanity
      4/ Camp Twaddell – A group of ‘Loyalists’ who drunkenly ignore the PC’s declarations and have almost guaranteed that never again will the OO walk down that route i.e. the complete opposite of their goals
      5/ Willie Frazer’s latest ramblings – and to be honest, if it wasn’t for Willie’s obvious ‘condition’ I think he’d be in for a lot more abuse and ridicule.

      NON of these latest contributions are sectarian.

      They highlight delusion, hypocrisy and borderline madness (bar the costume march)

      If it wasn’t for LAD highlighting these actions then people would get away with doing it.
      Now they’re being exposed and they don’t like it.
      Hence why they’re always trying to close LAD down.

      Maybe LAD do go a bit too far but it’s probably a difficult thing to gauge, some people think satire should be utterly no holds barred, just look at Spitting Image and Private Eye.

      The main reason a lot of people dislike LAD is that there’s not enough coverage of ‘themuns’.

      To which I say “go on facebook, screenshot some Republican stupidity and send it in to LAD” and see what happens.

      Having said that, who’s in general wrecking the place every marching season and causing civil disorder at the moment?

      • You’re obviously a fan of LAD. Please explain to me why it’s acceptable to highlight someone else’s underachievement ? I’ve read several posts from LAD mocking loyalists because of their spelling. You only have to look st their main phrase, it states ” are culture ” that’s a dig at someone mis-spelling our.. To mock Jamie continuously for his speech impediment. Tell me that isn’t outright bullying. Jamie talks some tripe but he can’t change the way he speaks. Also, i once wrote on LAD that their page as a whole wasn’t satire, it was bollox. I was criticised for over an hour by many nationalists, because i didn’t spell a word correctly. Even though i edited it when i noticed. They photo saved the original. One lady asked me why i wasn’t pissed off at thousands of people laughing at me. That was her wish. That i would be hurt & offended. LAD response was to tell me to ” fuck off if you don’t like it ” … So they definitely aren’t snobby! They think the are better though. Yet, no matter what a bitter protestant might think of a short strand nationalist, they don’t set out to humiliate people in the same fashion as LAD. Also, they don’t advertise their hatred under anonymous names. Majority of LAD material is typed as the real person. No hiding. LAD are obsessed. They edit updates. Alot. To make loyalists look even more bitter than some are. Someone has stated they’re planning on helping a charity? I would like to think that’s regulated. If they intend selling anything or raising funds, they’ll need to clear it with the psni & post a photograph of themselves with a cheque. To the charity. Or I’ll report that to the police myself. They want to remain anonymous while claims are said they’re wanting to help others. Why would anyone trust the unknown, especially online..

      • Hello Shirley

        Yes, I am quite an advocate of their work.

        Not all of it but in general we sing from the same hymn sheet.

        Would you really label that as underachievement?

        First of all, the head of the sectarian octopus, ‘The Protestant Coalition’ is trying to put itself across as a serious representative for working class Unionists.
        Their spelling is as atrocious as their message and if mocking their spelling is a rather cruel way of clipping their wings then so be it.

        The ‘are culture’ bit? Phonetically spot on and certainly no more cruel than spitting image ever was with regards to accents.

        As for Jamie’s speech impediment, well, he’s in the public eye now. It come’s with the territory. Just ask Jonathan Ross.

        Perhaps it does take away from their criticism of him a bit, you may have a point there.

        And I agree with you on your ‘bollox’ comment as in there was no need to gun for you.

        The fact that LAD are anonymous is neither here nor there from a material point of view; if people say foul things and are caught out for it then it matters not if they are caught out by a masked entity or not.
        The spotlight is on them and they have been exposed.

        Having said that, I think it wise that they keep a low profile. They could easily end up with death threats and we all know it.

        As for what you said about keeping everything above board for the charity, well, by all means, I welcome extra marshaling for charities, it removes the element of doubt that one might have when dealing with strangers.

        LAD may be obsessed but a lot of people are joining the fight against the Loyalist underbelly.

        Unionists like myself are glad that the hypocrisy of Unionist leaders is being exposed as well as showing how tolerated the sectarian aspect of Loyalist culture is.
        If it encourages anybody to think twice about what they post on facebook then that’s only a good thing and looking at the trend of the Protestant Coalition over the past while that appears to be the case.

        It can get a bit ugly but the subject matter itself is vulgar to begin with.

        I hope this clears up my views on the matter Shirley

        Regards

        AG

  6. Loyalists plural. If they were saying All loyalists were like this the title might be ‘A LAD’?

    I think LAD contributed a lot. In the last year the threat to PUL-ers from PUL-ers has been abominable. The stress, the lack of sleep, the traffic jams, the sirens, the wrecking and burning, the litter, the fecking airborne litter. When I can’t get a job, a career, can’t meet my girl, can’t read in peace or raise the quality of my society, I’m glad I can read LAD and get a laugh on my face, and that someone understands. LAD are speaking to me. My reading is they’re saying bullies need a dose of their own and they need to learn before they can evolve.

    They’re the plug in the brain drain. They’re the best that exposed patriotism has to offer. I think they’re very concerned with Unionism, I wouldn’t be surprised if LAD are all Unionists themselves. (No, not traitors, Unionists, to the silly weans)

  7. Dreadful unbalanced article. Out of All the people they have canvassed opinions from they didn’t find one person who challenges the initial premiss and assumptions of the article. LAD does not have a duty to serve the community, LAD will however be releasing a charity single at Christmas to raise money to send children with serious illnesses to Lapland (a cross community charity).

    LAD exists and has grown in popularity due to people across the board (and political spectrum) being fed up and frustrated by the actions of idiotic, selfish people who are still living in a sectarian bubble. People who choose to embrace democracy until it doesn’t serve there own childish agenda. At which point this mob go out of their way to inconvenience, annoy and intimidate decent members of society who should be free to live a quiet peaceful life.

    It is fair to say that some of the posts on LAD’s facebook page are not to my liking but all in all I am glad it exists as in the face of such moronic sectarian and backwardness it is good to have a sight to go to to make light of these vile hoards.

  8. “LAD will however be releasing a charity single at Christmas to raise money to send children with serious illnesses to Lapland (a cross community charity).”

    Great stuff and I hope they make a lot of money from it but the relevance to the original premise of this post?

    We all seem to be getting a little ahead of ourselves here; I read a great comment last week on a football website:

    “Over the last 5 years not one single word of anything you have typed at any time on our website, twitter feed, facebook page has made the blindest bit of difference”

    LAD has changed what exactly?

    It is supported by people who have a deep contempt for the behaviour and lifestyle of working/class prods. Fair enough.
    But any chance those working class prods are going to change their behaviour and lifestyle because of your latest post/tweet.
    Hmmm… Nope.

    So, what’s the point then exactly?

    We all seem to be getting a little ahead of ourselves here, very few worf

  9. Your quoting ability is akin to that of a red top newspaper, if you cannot name or in some way reference the opinions in which to to base your piece, what is it to say that this very article is nothing more than a manifestation of your belligerence to a Facebook page that parodies behaviour such as yours?

    LAD do nothing more than lay bare the base line sectarianism that exists in this society. To coin a phrase, you can’t handle the truth.

  10. LAD has achieved a lot since December of 2012. When the people felt as if the PSNI were doing nothing and the thugs were running the streets, LAD gave power to the people to get at these un-loyal flegger types using witty words and clever pictures. They have boosted morale for the decent people during these dark times when no one else was standing up to the fleg bullies. LAD has also gotten under the skin of these groups and have exposed their hidden agendas. This article does feel quite slanted in the way it’s worded and hey maybe you just need a sense of humour to get LAD as I feel you just don’t get it and your friends have given too much thought to it. It may feel like a nationalist slanted web page at times but as a working class Unionist I wouldn’t be on it if it was.

  11. There is a problem in the protestant community to laugh at/critique themselves, which may be a contributing factor to others making fun of them. Lad isn’t satirizing or critiquing loyalists. it is hostile, condescending, ideologically liberal (not truly liberal), bitter (why?), elitist (I don’t know if sectarian as I know of Prods that like it), it doesn’t understand the depth and complexity of the PUL community and how that relates to the working class Republican community and the wider social and economic factors still deeply ingrained in N. Irleand. It is basically immature, shallow and speaks for a bunch of idiots who’s aspiration is hang about on culture night and other such pseudo sophisticated Belfast events, thinking they have emerged to become cool in the 18 years of relative peace in comparison to hundreds of years of conflict.

    • LOL

      Willie Frazer dresses up as a Muslim cleric – they lampoon him

      X amount of people post things like “KAI/KAT, cleanse Ireland of the Irish, the SCUM are worshiping again…” – they lampoon them

      Gerry Kelly throws himself on front of a police landrover – they lampoon him

      Jamie Bryson comes out with his homophobic views – they lampoon him

      The Protestant coalition advertise the sale of a UVF plaque made by a terrorist prisoner – they highlight this

      The vatican misspell Jesus on a coin – they highlight it

      They ridicule Poots’ competence as a minister, hardly an unfair standpoint.

      Everyone is very quick to highlight how snobby or condescending LAD maybe but with a curious lack of examples to back up such claims.

      It’s true that fleggers are ‘low hanging fruit’ in this arena, but this low hanging fruit is trying to bring this country to its knees.

      Can you please prove that none of the LAD contributors have any understanding of the “depth and complexities of the ‘PUL’ community”?

      Do you know them all by name and their social history?

      I’m quite sore on Unionist idiocy too – does this mean that I no longer have any understanding of rural unionist mindsets?

      Once one becomes a critic of Loyalism then does one automatically cross the Rubicon into a land of ignorance?

      If they see themselves as cool or not is irrelevant – it’s if they are wrong is what matters.
      And as it stands presently, fleggers are posting dumb things on facebook, their leaders are saying dumb things in the media, camp Twaddell is damaging the image of Irish Protestants in the eyes of the world and a lot (not all) of Unionist politicians are proving to manipulative, cowardly and opportunistic much to the detriment of the people who support them.
      So I’m afraid it’s very plain to see that at the moment LAD are unfortunately anything BUT wrong.

      Surely proving them wrong would be a harsher indictment than snobbery?

  12. Do you know them all by name and their social history?

    No

    I’m quite sore on Unionist idiocy too – does this mean that I no longer have any understanding of rural unionist mindsets?

    I wasn’t referring to you

    Once one becomes a critic of Loyalism then does one automatically cross the Rubicon into a land of ignorance?

    No

    Surely proving them wrong would be a harsher indictment than snobbery?

    I can’t prove them wrong, nor can they prove themselves right, neither can you.

    ‘Fleggers’ in my opinion, sounds snobby.

    ‘manipulative, cowardly and opportunistic’ i’m pretty sure if you went to any country, you’d find people who refer to politician’s with such words.

  13. ‘Flegger’ may sound snobby but it’s a tad nicer than the other label that was floating about during the advent of the protests; ‘Flegtard’.

    You still haven’t backed up your claims about their shallowness, elitism, or how they are condescending or idiots.

    Are they any more severe on ‘flag protesting types’ than Spitting image was on politicians or than Private Eye is now?

    And Chewin’ the Fat/Still Game? The writers of those shows constantly make fun of Glasgow ‘NEDS’ (Spides, Chavs, unfairly victimised members of the non-working class…)


    Should they cut it out?

    Were Smith, Jones and Stephenson unfair to England’s equivalent of ‘fleggers’? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04clpd7h0b0

    What’s the alternative then?

    Let low brow Loyalism off the hook completely? If that were the case then is it likely that the number of provocative posts from the Protestant Coalition’s facebook page would have tailed off so dramatically?

    I can’t prove that it’s down to LAD but is it then a coincidence that they withdrew a lot of their early postings after they were flagged and ridiculed by LAD? Perhaps but a very unlikely coincidence…

  14. You still haven’t backed up your claims about their shallowness, elitism, or how they are condescending or idiots.

    ‘fleggers’…’They’re not British, they’re Brutish’ – That’s not condescending!???!? Aye right!

  15. So the more ‘brutal’ element of society that BJS is referring at is NOT ‘brutish’?

    I would bet that some PSNI officers who have been attacked with masonry and swords would disagree…

  16. Communities are not homogeneous, they rarely speak with one voice, Individuals who protested against the flag being taking down can not all be lumped into a violent category, no matter how much you wish to crudely lump the PUL community into a easy to understand ‘Fleggers’ category.

  17. “Communities are not homogeneous, they rarely speak with one voice, Individuals who protested against the flag being taking down can not all be lumped into a violent category, no matter how much you wish to crudely lump the PUL community into a easy to understand ‘Fleggers’ category.”

    EXACTLY.

    They don’t lump the ‘PUL’ community into the fleggers category.

    LAD have stressed that they don’t see fleggers as the ‘PUL’ community.
    The see them as a part that trails down the ‘PUL’ community and hence expose their hypocrisy.

    If they did then ordinary Protestants going about their business would be ridiculed, go onto the LAD facebook page and give examples of this please.

    So far today on their page I have seen:
    *The UVF costume parade (ok, a bit pointless)

    * Someone advocating the renaming of NI, the erection of a bridge to Scotland and the recognition of a defunct (and offensive flag)

    *A man on facebook ridiculing Wiilie Frazer’s muslim cleric stunt

    *The latest ‘Not British, brutish’ piece

    *Someone voicing their affront at the idea of ‘pluralism, multi-culturalism and respecting everyone’s humanity’

    *A buckfast article – Buckfast being the drink of choice for hangers on at band parades (and Glasgow NEDs)

    *Someone failing to understand ‘viva la revolucion’ thinking it to be a typo

    *More bollix from the Protestant Coalition

    * A Ramones parody for Orange MOPEry

    *The (widely predicted) loss of momentum for flag protests

    *Willie Frazer’s eternal victim-hood manifested in this latest version with a ‘paint bomb attack’ with no splash marks.

    *The Protestant Coalition advertising the sale of UVF paraphernalia made by a terrorist

    *Edwin Poots

    Not ONE reference to an ordinary Protestant, Unionist or Loyalist going about their daily business.

    All have brought the cross hairs to bear on themselves.

    You’ve just showed that you don’t read it or if you do then it’s a very selective form of reading.

    AGAIN, they attack a small disruptive element of the Protestant community NOT the greater community itself.

  18. Wish I could post pictures here. I took 3 screengrabs yesterday of where they had used ‘loyalist’ to mean ‘idiot/flegger/etc.’ They were dead easy to find. And it’s a shame they don’t moderate their comments because they’re full of homophobia and sectarianism. So on one hand it’s fine to have a go at Jamie Byson for his homophobia but they also leave up homophobic comments and let many people ‘like’ them? Em….

  19. For example, the picture of a pack of Loyola/Crayola pencils for ‘loyal loyalists who like to write letters’- ‘Not the sharpest’, ‘Non-toxic- we’re not so sure’, etc.

  20. Saw the crayons

    Thought it was hilarious.

    It goes right for the jugular of the cretin aspect of Loyalism who insist on writing offensive, vitriolic, idiotic things on Facebook with childish enthusiasm and spelling.
    It has NOTHING to do with wider Unionism in general.

    I would have thought it better to leave up the comments so that some of the commentators can be hoisted by their own petard? (which they sometimes are).

    Hiding them would only give a false impression of their fan base. Their fan base includes people from the Unionist community and people who enjoy seeing Loyalists being ridiculed.

    If it had only fans from one section of the community then they truly would be in trouble and bereft of credibility.

  21. An example from LAD website –

    ‘so it is that the young, educated, middle-class in Northern Ireland are subjugated by “barbaric sectarian leaders” and the feral communities that they play-out to.’

    ‘feral communities’ – It’s unbelievable that someone with an education can refer to communities as feral. Are you and LAD lumping the working class community into a feral category?

    It seems to me that this ‘young educated middle class in Northern Ireland’ is also a generalization. it’s attempting to frame it into a class division. Which is the most worrying aspect of all this.

    Education doesn’t mean understanding.

  22. Well, what do you interpret from the term feral communities?
    Are they talking about ALL of the working class or (again) the small violent part that is trailing the country down?

    “Education doesn’t mean understanding.”
    Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly on that one

  23. Old Knudsen,

    So, according to you, what LAD has achieved:

    “LAD gave power to the people to get at these un-loyal flegger types using witty words and clever pictures.”

    Oh come off it! “Gave power to people”?

    As the title of this post says tThe power to use middle-class bigotry to expose bigotry and just as a handy side-effect for all its m/c and republican supporters to laugh at stereotypes of the prod working class???!!! That’s hardly the power MLK or Gandhi spoke about is it?

    And what kind of effect has it had on the loyalists that it has targetted? Has their behaviour been moderated?
    Presumably that should have been the aim, no?

    “LAD has also gotten under the skin of these groups and have exposed their hidden agendas.”

    Well as the loyalist working-class are regarded by LAD as illiterate scum I don’t think that “exposing” would have taken up too much of their time. And as I pointed out above, “getting under the skin” of those it regards as scum seems much less of a worthy objective than actually managing to cause a change of behaviour.

    I will never defend those loyalists who have broken the law either in deed or word. But there are better ways of trying to effect a change in general amongst the protestant working class than attempting to dehumanize them as a complete group.

  24. There’s no distinctions, it’s a blanket term for working class communities, not that I think you should refer to anyone from any walk of life as ‘feral’.

    It doesn’t sound like comedy to me….

  25. Could some one here please explicitly highlight how LAD are portraying ALL of the Loyalist working class as scum/illiterate?

    Surely those that are most likely to engage in sectarian behaviour are by definition of a ‘scummier’ nature?

    They have stipulated time and time again that this is their ‘target market’ so to speak.

    Flegs wrapped around the waist, defying police, lobbing masonry at the police, blocking roads, posting comments like “KAI/KAT, cleanse Ireland of the Irish”.
    Surely classifying these people as ‘ordinary working class loyalists’ is the biggest insult of all???

    There’s a lot of chat here about sweeping generalisations, the problem with them is that they are themselves sweeping generalisations…

  26. Possibly one, possibly both, but hardly rock solid proof for your assertion “it is hostile, condescending, ideologically liberal , bitter , elitist , it doesn’t understand the depth and complexity of the PUL community and how that relates to the working class ”

    There’s also the possibility that they’re deeply frustrated with ELEMENTS of loyalism and are sick of these ELEMENTS going unchallenged or unnoticed.
    Do you accept that there is a teeny weeny possibility that this may be the case?

  27. The loyalist community should be open to challenge, from within and from outside. It seems like it is noticed and challenged from outside when it encroaches on mainstream life in N.Ireland, when it doesn’t encroach on mainstream life, well, it seems like the ‘young, educated, middle-class’ don’t care about engaging with these ‘feral communities’, as long as they can hit the cathedral quarter and hear Mr Scruff.

  28. “when it doesn’t encroach on mainstream life, well, it seems like the ‘young, educated, middle-class’ don’t care about engaging with these ‘feral communities’, as long as they can hit the cathedral quarter and hear Mr Scruf”

    Well, you’ve just summed up life in the UK.

  29. Pingback: Twaddell Avenue Civil Rights Camp - Page 80

  30. Pingback: New media and new politics in NI? Or complacency after conflict? « Slugger O'Toole

  31. Surely you are not seriously trying to portray Thespis piece as nonsense. Either you have the research and investigative expertise o a ten year old or you are merely engaging in a one sided propaganda exercise. It is clear that you choose both your sample of respondents and the extracted comments to portray LAD in a negative light. Also the qub research fellow appears to characterise lad as being driven by some middle, class liberal agenda, on what evidence? Does he have data and findings to support this assertion? Finally, your piece pays no attention to the rampant sectarianism and hate that LAD exposes again points to the fact that you are in the game of political point scoring rather than uncovering fact.

  32. The standard of English used by some commentators on this article is appallingly bad. Some may call me a ‘snob’ for pointing that out, however, if one used similarly poor English in applying for a job, the (prospective) employer would (rightly and ‘snobbishly’) judge one for the lack of basic required skills and, most likely, rule one out of consideration for said job. If the rump of loyalists which actually IS functionally illiterate and innumerate doesn’t like others lampooning it for this reason, let it get off its (collective) behind and address its paucity of knowledge by going back into education to acquire these basic required skills. Instead of ‘gurning’ about how society has ‘failed’ it or that ‘themmuns’ consistently outperform it educationally, let it DO something to redress the educational imbalance. As for L.A.D., anyone who follows it regularly will be aware that it DOES lampoon republican sectarianism and ‘whataboutery’, so allegations of one-sidedness by some here are facile and untrue. In a sea of tinfoil hat-clad insanity, L.A.D. is a breath of fresh air and a log to cling to while showing this loyalist rump up for what it is; fascist, psychopathic, un-British and chillingly hateful.

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