It’s not something I normally do, but after listening to the offensive trash spewed up by the Wolfetones on the BBC's Radio 2 last Wednesday, I emailed a complaint to the presenter in question:
Have you read the lyrics of the Wolfetones song you played today, in particular these ones:
"Throughout our history We were born to be free So get out British bastards leave us be"
Do you really think it was appropriate in the present climate to publicise a racist and sectarian song, which not only glorifies in the murder of British soldiers, but also calls for the expulsion of Unionists from Northern Ireland?
Was there not something else you could have played?
You’ll see my complaint is specifically centred on the song played and not with the balance of the show, or the Beeb’s coverage in general.
The reply I received contains this caveat:
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
So, I won’t quote the full e-mail verbatim (or name the BBC officer who penned it), but I think it’s important to highlight this sentence in which the Beeb justifies playing the song:
XXXX, our aim was to highlight the bravery and resilience of British troops. I fail to see how any of this including playing part of the rebel song was prejudiced, but like the rest of our listeners, you are entitled to your views.
In my opinion, the aim of the show was, in typical BBC stylie, to treat both sides, no matter the circumstances, in an "even handed" way- but as I said, that’s not my main problem.
Now, there are "rebel songs" and there are "rebel songs", most are relatively harmless durges, but "Go on Home" by the Wolfetones falls into the category of racist hate-speech; imagine the uproar if one word in their lyrics had been changed:
Throughout our history We were born to be free
So get out you black bastards leave us be
Would the BBC have played it?
I’m not satisfied with BBC’s justification for playing this "song" and I’m now making an official complaint.
It would appear that it was a standard Email, with exactly the same wording, sent out to all who complained (see here, post number 29).