And what the Robinson story was really about…

Peter Robinson will come on to the TV tonight to give his story in advance. Given statement comes outside the standard right of reply terms offered by the BBC, expect the Spotlight Special programme to be fore-grounded to later tonight or tomorrow in which the fuller details of the story are likely to emerge.

The core of Robinson’s statement is to the effect that his wife has been having an extramarital affair, and that he is preparing to stand by his woman. She has also tried committing suicide. The news will break first on UTV followed by an extended BBC Newsline programme.

The gossip has already begun on Politics.ie, but we would counsel you to pay close very attention to the detail in the material that follows from the BBC in the wake of the initial statement.

Update: the BBC Newsline site have this update:

During his interview Mr Robinson was also asked if his financial affairs were under investigation. In reply he said he had always acted “in the most professional and ethical way.” He also confirmed he had received a letter from the BBC which he said contained no allegations against him but “asked questions which are easily answered.”

The BBC Spotlight programme has confirmed it has been investigating matters involving Iris Robinson for some time.
In a statement the BBC added that allegations have been put to the Robinsons and their response is awaited.

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  • feismother

    I heard the rumour a week or two ago.

    Let’s hope Iris finds the courage to tell the whole truth about everything.

  • joeCanuck

    Just for info, BBC World News is covering the UDA decommissioning but not the Robinson story.

  • Jaggers

    Did anyone record the Peter Robinson statement with High Definition? The script of his statement can be clearly seen when he turns the pages but I can’t quite make out what it says, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see stage directions “look dew eyed” here or “look indignant” there.

    Northern Ireland needs a strong Unionist leader, both for Unionism and also to have credibility with other partners. Peter Robinson should retire along with his wife.

  • Skintown Lad

    Mick

    “That anyone could think a sex story like this could destablise the DUP betokens someone who does not understand the evangelical Protestant mindset.”

    I’m not sure I get this. Are you saying that Robinson would not be judged by his followers the way a nationalist politician in his position might?

    If this is not what you’re saying, and actually you think there would be no distinction as between the two sides’ reactions, there would have been no point in you mentioning his fundamentalist Protestant following at all. On that basis you must be drawing some comparison between the two communities’ mindsets. You must mean that Nationalists would somehow see Robinson, if he was *their* leader, as being tainted by the whole thing, such that he would have to stand down.

    But I am sceptical about this viewpoint because of the lack of calls for Gerry Adams to step down, in arguably more blameworthy circumstances. Robinson is not alleged to have done anything wrong at all – he is just a victim of his wife’s infidelity and/or unstable mind. Adams on the other hand, is accused of covering up a dangerous situation and lying about it. And yet nationalists still support him. Hence I am confused about your inference that somehow fundamentalist Protestants are more forgiving than Nationalists when it comes to “these things”, though I appreciate they are quite different “things” indeed.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    The fallout from all this should be interesting — the clerical abuse scandals have dented, but by no means decimated Irish mass attendance, the serious allegations re Gerry’s family judgement and ability to tell the truth appear to have caused few ripples as regards demands for his resignation. Perhaps evidence of a deep well of forgiveness / stoicism within the Catholic / Republican communities?

    But how is fundie adultery and a possible financial irregularity likely to play with the Unionist faithful? Will we see a huge dip in the DUP vote — perhaps a shift towards the TUV or the UUP/Cons? Or simply business as usual?

    Fascinating times ahead.

  • joeCanuck

    iris is about to be exposed having an affair with the butcher,

    Martin is a charmer.
    Martin was a butcher (twice over some “loyalists” would say)
    Martin’s mother died last year.

    Say it ain’t so, Joe.

    What a terrible rumour monger I’ve become!

  • Mick Fealty

    SL,

    They are very different, but I do take your point. Perhaps I was being too glib. But for me the Robinson interview hit a tone and a mode that fitted with a particular religious model for christian forgiveness. It was, in other words, a ‘testimony’.

    In fact there is virtually nothing but the inclusion of family in the problem that ties the Adams and Robinson crises together. And there’s the particular awkwardness that that family intimacy inevitably throws up. The Adams story of course is also a good deal further through its cycle.

    I want to see what Spotlight have before closing the book on this, but that’s how it looks like a genuinely personal proble for now.

  • Pigeon Toes

    There is something deeply disturbing about the statements…

    Her: Overly apologetic, doesn’t deserve second chance

    Him: Well whilst my wife was trying to kill herself, I was doing important stuff.
    Of course I love her and am doing y best to forgive her. She accepts that it’s all her fault….

    Just trying to think what kind of scenario that reminds me of…

  • estreeter

    I am very surprised that someone got the butcher thing that long ago.

  • [b]Oh Yes, there is much more to this than meets the eye. [/b] … italicised text was earlier submission [Jan 06, 2010 @ 07:09 PM] and included here for context.[minus politics.ie quote for post to fit 5000 max limit]

    [u][quote]Unless there is more to this than an affair, then I do not see it as a public issue, as the woman has already stood down from public office.[/quote] …. Posted by Mickhall on Jan 06, 2010 @ 06:13 PM

    Of course there is more, Mickhall.

    So everything was hunky-dory and it was going to be just the same gravy train ride since March if the extramarital shagging could have been kept to themselves and hidden in the closet and out of the greater public domain? And now they expect sympathy and are playing the devastated devoted married couple card. Strewth ……

    What a phoney cynical politically expedient partnership that is, and Peter did not say No to the question raised about financial irregularities either when asked on the BBC, preferring instead to answer another question he invented for himself. Methinks anything else discovered, will render the DUP an ethical and moral problem and reveal the leadership to be ……. well, corrupt is the word they need to fear being applied and that will have everyone panicking about what will be uncovered.[/u] And then that will also have everyone with a working brain thinking about all those in the know supporters of the leadership …… although it is quite telling that there has been no one stepping into the Harry Limelight to stand shoulder to shoulder with the dear leader and deny that there is anything deeper and more sinister/embarrassing.

    Are the DUP now in Meltdown Mode and are there major money laundering/public money channelling irregularities dragging the oh so sanctimonious, holier than thou, crowd down into the pit of despair that is public humiliation with disdainful disgust and criminal investigation looming on the horizon? Is that also the reason for the stumbling block on the Devolution of Police and Justice Powers. A cynical delay to try and get “their team players” in place.

    [quote]I thought his TV statement showed that he was deeply upset and hurt. It takes real strength, IMHO, to put the work in to try to recover a marriage under these difficult circumstances.[/quote] … Posted by Comrade Stalin on Jan 06, 2010 @ 07:07 PM

    Err, I thought it was a cynical piece of third rate ham acting, for the no good benefit of the cameras, reading from a very poor script, Comrade.

    [quote]Could you elaborate on that, estreeter? Just what exactly has Mr. Robinson done to impugn his integrity.
    In answer to your repeated “Am I the only one?”, it would seem that, so far, you are definitely in a minority.[/quote] …. Posted by joeCanuck on Jan 06, 2010 @ 09:30 PM

    A minority which has doubled in size for obviously estreeter’ views are reflected and further speculated upon here too, joeCanuck.

    And quite why the Assembly being threatened with collapse is being pimped, if a few rotten apples are discovered is surely ludicrous, for all one does is turf them inceremoniously out of office and get on with business without their parasitic influence. Hell, the country was run by the working man on the street for decades whenever the Troubles was the Media Production for Global Entertainment, so dumping a few dodgy born again politicians who abused their public mandate and the trust of those who elected them is wee buns.

    Don’t you yet know that this is the Age of Virtual Remote Government by True Media Story, or is that only AI BetaTesting NIRobotIQs ProgramMING for ESPecial IntelAIgent Services stationed here and BroadBandCasting on HyperRadioProActive IT EMPWavelengths? Irregularities at Head Office, Stormont, would certainly explain why there was no reply to the Information supplied, introducing to the Government here in Northern Ireland what was now available for Great Governance, Fit for Future’s Better Purposes. Or did they just not understand IT and couldn’t be even bothered to ask, or get someone else in the office to ask for a simpler explanation. Jesus, it is not as if they are snowed under with work and have no time to do anything, is it, whenever all they have to do is listen to what the people want and to give it to them if it does no one any harm, for what else is Good Government, or do they think they have to Lead and impose up One and All their Subjective and Narrow Views/Blinkered and Bigotted Opinions ….. which would be more like a Petty Pseudo-Fascist Dictatorship than anything Decent and Worthwhile and Worth having at Public Expense. Errr, Thanks but NO Thanks, Methinks, on that Abomination.

  • regimental 1912

    Alias my dear little poop tube activist,I would not like to take a chance on you if the stories are true,talking about sisters I heard that you,r sister on aquiring her first vibrator did in fact knock her teeth out giving it a blow job ffs.Peter of the Fyfe fame,I also understand you like to satisfy yourself with your namesake,well it does have four skins.

  • Macanna

    Love the quality of your posts regimental, as must the moderators who seem keen to keep them on here.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I am sure many unionist readers have a longer memory than myself but I know over the years as much of the DUPs vote was built up on a moral base as it was a political one, I have had many rumours flung at me over the years by their supporters saying how can you vote for the UUP when so and so has did such and such, and please remember the DUP was ran by Robinson all those years, as i have said elsewhere I actually have alot of sympathy for Iris, she is paying a very heavy price for her very human failings, far too high in many many ways, I think on a personal level I wonder could Peter have did much more to lessen that burden over the years.

  • Driftwood

    I see the usual ragbag of cynics having a field day here seemingly enjoying this personal tragedy. They should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting.

  • Halfer

    I have to stress again,,,,,, the personal end of this is being exploited by the Robinsons to disguise the deeds in the background. The affair was exposed by Peter in March and alleged suicide attempt followed closely. Its only on the eve of the spotlight expose that this performance by Peter is choreographed.

    Adams used details of his fathers abuse to cloak his shepherding of his child rapist brother in much the same way.

  • Skintown Lad

    Mick

    Yes I see your point now. The whole thing did have a cleansing/washed-by-the-blood-of-the-lamb feel to it. I can see how that would appeal to the fundamentalist Protestant followers (whether intentionally or not), and which perhaps would not be such a strong communicative tool for a Nationalist leader.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Skintown,

    It’s actually more typical of a Domestic Abusive situation…

  • Eleanor Bull

    “Her: Overly apologetic, doesn’t deserve second chance

    Him: Well whilst my wife was trying to kill herself, I was doing important stuff.
    Of course I love her and am doing y best to forgive her. She accepts that it’s all her fault….

    Just trying to think what kind of scenario that reminds me of… ”

    Shakespeare. Specifically ‘Macbeth’. Or Eastenders. It’s basically the same stuff anyway.

  • Skintown Lad

    In what way, Pigeon Toes?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Eleanor

    Peter as Phil Mitchell?

    Ah now we know who “did Archie in”…

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    ”I actually have alot of sympathy for Iris, she is paying a very heavy price for her very human failings, far too high in many many ways”

    Fair comment Drumlins, but for the fact that Iris sought to publicly moralise on other’s sexuality in an extremely crude and holier-than-thou manner.

    If she cares to consult her holy book, she will find it considerably more scathing on adultery than homosexuality. The hypocrisy is breathtaking and whilst she has seen fit to apologise to her husband, her god and her electorate, we must assume that her hateful attitude to an entire community remains unchanged.

    Whilst I can feel sympathy for Peter in this situation, it’s very difficult to do the same for Iris.

  • Skintown Lad

    Gerry

    Does the fact that a preacher has himself sinned prevent him from preaching about sin?

  • Rory Carr

    “I see the usual ragbag of cynics having a field day here seemingly enjoying this personal tragedy. They should be ashamed of themselves. Disgusting.”

    Quite right, Driftwood, it is certainly disgusting and I am indeed most ashamed of myself, more particularly as I am no stranger to “irregularities” or “inappropriate behaviour” in the conduct of my own sexual and financial doings over the years. But strangely it is this very identification with the plight of Peter and Iris that I find so comforting and so hilariously compelling.

    Some years ago that pompous old fart and slave-hearted devotee of Margaret Thatcher, former editor of the New Statesman, Paul Johnson fulminated in The Spectator at the degrading effect that the comic magazine, Viz was having upon the moral welfare of the young. Fellow Spectator columnist, the late Auberon Waugh defended Viz in a witty riposte that pointed out that the more vulgar aspects of human behaviour had always been a great source for merriment. “when someone farts at the dinner table it is funny”, said Waugh, “but when it is the Bishop who farts then it is absolutely hilarious”.

    With this in mind my transgressions make me a mere farter while Iris is a farting bishop and I intend to enjoy all the merriment to be had from that while it lasts. Then it’s on to the next target.

  • Jaggers

    Possibly the most significant event yesterday was not the Husband-and-Wife Statements, the rumours of financial irregularity, the decommissioning of UDA weapons, the visit of the two DUP members to the Cardinal and then of course not staying for the funeral (was that an Orange Order degree thing or had they better places to be?) or indeed the continuing wrangling about devolution of policing. It was dear Peter meeting with the Conservative (and Unionist) shadow spokesman on Northern Ireland. Could it be that Peter is holding out for an entirely new dispensation come May or June? Was the “one unionist per constituency” (so as not to split the unionist vote) scheme discussed again?

  • Mr Crowley

    Given that I despise shinners and dupers in equal measure I have to admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude in all of this. Brian Feeney summed up Robinson’s performance well in the Irish News this morning, particularly in regard to it’s stage managed nature. There is more to this story than meets the eye and the Robinsons have taken a leaf from the book of Gerry in regards to crisis management through sympathy whoring. It is also interesting to note that Arthur Morgan TD was still unavailable for comment before yesterday’s Irish News went to print. Another remarkable display of shinner integrity and moral courage; no wonder there are so many shinners sympathising with the Robinsons on this thread and in the media.

  • Halfer

    Mr Crowley,

    excellent post.

  • Neil

    Regarding those who say … he is without sin…, if only Iris had followed that advice herself then the multitude of homosexual people in NI, who in their day to day lives do not judge people, might not (would not in fact) now feel perfectly entitled to sit in judgement. And they would be correct IMO, TAFKABO has already hit that nail on the head.

    I would also repeat an earlier point of my own, given that she can find a psychiatrist to ‘cure’ homosexuality, one would imagine she might be able to find one that can deal with depression. From what I can gather gay fixing psychiatrists are as numerous as hen’s teeth, where as the vast majority claim to be able to help people cope with depression, and the stress caused by being a duplicitous, spiteful sinner while presenting oneself as a puritanical Christian.

    The playing out of the story with regards any matters financial will tell the final tale. We will have to wait. Like most people I have my own vague ideas as to how things might turn out, and if I’m right I’ll most certainly enjoy the craic when the news breaks.

  • Jaggers

    Is there a sex-tape ala Colin Farrell or Abi Titmuss?

  • andnowwhat

    Would you want to see the tape Jagger? YUCH!!

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Skintown

    ”Does the fact that a preacher has himself sinned prevent him from preaching about sin?”

    Several points here — first of all, Iris notion of homosexuality being a ‘sin’ is firmly rooted in her selective use of her holy book. Most in our society do not consider a private consensual act between two adults to be sinful, proven by the fact that homosexuality has been legal for over a generation.

    Secondly her archaic notion that gay people can be ‘cured’ and the outrageous opinion that homosexuality is worse than child abuse amounts less to preaching and more to incitement to hatred.

    Thirdly, had these extra marital activities occurred in her very distant past, then we just might be able to stomach her ‘born again’ credentials, but the fact is that her affair was going on in much the same time frame as her anti gay sex outbursts.

    Iris ‘preaching’ is akin to the Catholic church lecturing it’s followers on sexual morality in the full knowledge that it’s own staff were raping children.

  • Jaggers

    I wonder how the Robinsons can be so sure God has forgiven Iris? I wonder if Iris is concerned God will turn her into a pillar of salt and someone will chuck her onto the road as grit?

  • EmmaK

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1 v 9

    That’s how Iris and everyone else can be sure.

  • Jaggers

    Crikey, so all those terrorists that burned, maimed ,tortured and killed in Northern Ireland – they’re all forgiven by God as long as they confessed their sins.
    Gosh and to continue the logic, if God has forgiven them then who is Peter to have any difficulty dealing with these people – mind you I seem to remember he did have some minor difficulty in the past.

  • EmmaK

    This no place for a theoligical debate but I am shocked by the lack of understanding with regards to true Christianity here.

    King David himself was an adulterer yet he is referred to as “a man after God’s own heart”. His repentence is evident in Psalm 51. Some sins “are more heinous in the sight of God than others”, yes, but they all get equal forgiveness if that forgiveness is true repentence; the admittance of wrong-doing, the admittance of helplessness and that one is a sinner, the realisation that there is only one Saviour and, therefore, only one way to God, accepting Him as Saviour, being truly sorry and the full intention of never repeating that sin or any sin again. Christians are not perfect; just sinners saved by grace.

  • Driftwood

    EmmaK
    Apart from preaching your own brand of creation mythology, what is your point?

  • EmmaK

    “I wonder how the Robinsons can be so sure God has forgiven Iris?”

    Posted by Jaggers on Jan 07, 2010 @ 02:03 PM

    I was answering the question and I never mentioned creation.

  • EmmaK

    I also wasn’t preaching; I was informing people on what the teaching of the Bible is on forgiveness as, judging by the ill-informed posts, people don’t seem to have a clue what they are talking about. If you want to perfectly understand the Robinson’s thinking regarding their references to God then the verse I quoted previously explains it.

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1 v 9

  • Driftwood

    Ah! being a classical believer- Zeus and all the guys at Mount Olympus- I am never quite sure what to make of the Christian bible. Too many paradoxes and nasty things happening to first born sons etc.

    minor point
    Shouldn’t you refer to *their* (and, presumably your)God.

    He/she isn’t mine.

    Saves any confusion.

  • andnowwhat

    Excellent point Driftwood. Why do christains always assume that we all believe in that mumbo jumbo. Should all be banned to the believers privacy and leave the rest of us alone

  • EmmaK

    Since I quoted 1 John and, therefore the Bible, it should have been safe for you to assume I was speaking of the Almighty God and not a fictional character 🙂

  • TAFKABO

    If you want to perfectly understand the Robinson’s thinking regarding their references to God then the verse I quoted previously explains it.

    I’d point out that cynical manipulations of gullible people’s religious view also explains it.
    Just sayin…

  • EmmaK

    Oh I haven’t been sucked in, far from it. I was defending my faith not the Robinsons.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Now, now. This is no excuse to bash the bible bashers. Its not God’s fault you know

  • TAFKABO

    Ah but Lionel, if you don’t believe in God, and I don’t, then the bible bashers are fair game, since it’s only them you’re attacking.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Well its not the fault of every bible basher either. She’s not their spokesman. If she was, it would be their worst decision since George W

  • TAFKABO

    Sorry Lionel, they’re all eager to share the glory when one does something deserving praise, it works both ways.

  • Lionel Hutz

    oh right, well you better never slip up TAFKABO, cause all the atheists are gonna get it! Which, bearing in mind that I share that, means that I’m quite worried

  • ding dong

    EmmaK –

    You are quite right to quote what you have and i find your reference to King David very timely.

    Yet while David repented and was forgiven the consequences of his actions were felt by his family and ultimately by the nation of Israel.

    THe sad reflection on the Christian defence of the repentent sinner in this case is that there is a suggestion that there are no consequences. THis is not right and it is unscriptural.

    Forgiveness is available to all but the consequences of our sin has to be lived with and the two cannot be separated

  • EmmaK

    I agree entirely ding dong. I was only talking about forgiveness. The consequences will be far reaching especially given her and, in particular, her husband’s position in society.

  • TAFKABO

    Not a valid comparison Lionel old chum. Atheism isn’t a belief system I follow, or insist other people follow for that matter, on pain of eternal torture if they don’t.
    I don’t cite other atheist’s works as an example of the validity of atheism.

  • Lionel Hutz

    16.does anyone think its important that Iris is supposed to have stopped the affair by March?

    I just don’t by this thing about March. I do not think that Robinson is that good an actor. I mean he was obviously performing yesterday, but regardless of that, the worry and the fear and the hurt that were etched all over him was all for real. He can’t have done that.

    I certainly don’t think he knew about all of this in March. But I ask myself, why would he make this part up. And the only thing I can think of is that it is important to him that people know that Iris’ affair had stopped by then.

    I have no idea why though, it could be anything. Obviously the rumour mill in the press are suggesting some financial allegation, some help with public money for example, relating to the man she had an affair with. I wonder if the BBC have proof that he got something last year, later than march. Thats a complete guess obviously. Time will tell.

  • Fabianus

    TAFKABO,

    Excellent riposte at 4.55. What the supernaturalists seldom get is that we atheists, unlike them, aren’t forever bothering other people with infantile beliefs.

    I’m laughing at the Robinsons. I really am. The arrogance of people like Iris who feel they can insult decent people (gays) on a whim, and get away with it, is breathtaking.

    Great to see her getting her comeuppance. And please, spare us the lies. Let your preachers take care of the lies. That’s what they’re good at.

  • Lionel Hutz

    No, but you do poke fun at the CHristian’s. I do. Well, I don’t what I am. I don’t care. But I enjoy the odd pop at bible-bashers as much as the best as them. All I’m saying to you is, that a woman having an affair doesn’t say anything about bible bashers

  • Lionel Hutz

    UTV understands that Iris Robinson’s inappropriate relationship was with a young man, believed to be aged under 21 at the time.”

    http://u.tv/News/Young-man-in-Robinson-affair/a76d5fd1-63a3-45a3-b3e3-070a5014f98

  • If anyone quotes the Simon and Garfunkle song or “The Graduate”, we’ve already heard it……

  • ABALL

    It’s the kid who took on the lease for The Lock-keepers cottage on The Lagan. Coincidentally he recently won an award for Young Entrepreneur of The Year!!

  • Lionel Hutz

    irishblogs.ie has the name

  • Lionel Hutz

    March is key to the defence. Thats what its all about.

  • Lionel Hutz

    March is key to the defence. Thats what its all about.

  • Lionel Hutz

    March is key to the defence. Thats what its all about.

  • andnowwhat

    Is anyone else sensing that Nolan is being very defensive of the Robinsons and Peter in particular.

  • fpveritas

    FPVERITAS

    William Mc Crea MP for South Antrim had opportunity on Nolan Show to record his reaction to the sin of adultery

    As a minister of the gospel he utterly failed in his duty

    Failure to condemn sinful actions must then condone

  • fpveritas

    FPVERITAS

    William Mc Crea MP for South Antrim had opportunity on Nolan Show to record his reaction to the sin of adultery

    As a minister of the gospel he utterly failed in his duty

    Failure to condemn sinful actions must then condone

  • fpveritas

    FPVERITAS

    William Mc Crea MP for South Antrim had opportunity on Nolan Show to record his reaction to the sin of adultery

    As a minister of the gospel he utterly failed in his duty

    Failure to condemn sinful actions must then condone

  • fpveritas

    The pastor of the “Whitewash Tabernacle”
    also failed to record his reaction to the sin of
    adultery

    As a minister of the gospel he has utterly faied in his duty

    I will NEVER EVER return to the “Met”

  • Greenflag

    fpveritas,

    ‘William Mc Crea MP for South Antrim had opportunity on Nolan Show to record his reaction to the sin of adultery’

    The priest politician of South Antrim is just being as hypocritical as some of the Irish RC Bishops . They are all the bloody same . A shower of unctious self serving shitehawks ;)! hanging like moronic monkeys from their denominational clapboard !

    Jesus may save but Mrs Robinson scores an own goal for the Pentecostalist tongue babblers .