Summing up the morning – waiting for Peter

By lunchtime, doubts from across the political spectrum that Peter Robinson could survive hadn’t hardened into clear calls for him to quit. Quite a lot depends on whether he can find a temporary platform to stand on this afternoon when the talks with his lawyers are over. While he insists he will contest “unsupported “ allegations in Spotlight, he would be well advised in his own interest to withdraw any threat to sue the BBC. Politicians who sue in such circumstances seldom win the verdict of their peers and public opinion.

The DUP silence is loud but not yet deafening. According to Newsletter editor Dale Templeton many of the details of the money affair were new to Peter himself, so he will need time to reply. This I guess will also affect the timing of a meeting with DFM McGuinness, however insistent are Sinn Fein’s demands. In a Talkback discussion ( up soon in BBC iPlayer), Templeton and Belfast Media chief Mairtin O muilleoir agreed that revelations probably aren’t over and journalists will follow the money to see if the trail exposes a wider pattern of close relationships between developers and politicians. Templeton echoed the verdict of the morning, that Iris should resign from all offices immediately

“I’m amazed that Iris is still holding to her post and hasn’t resigned with immediate effect and/or hasn’t been suspended by the party.”

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O Muilleor reflected what is probably the present Sinn Fein position that they would like Peter to survive and would expect him to fight.

“People like a fighter but they also like a bit of contrition. The Robinson’s aren’t big on that. If he doesn’t survive I don’t think the institutions will survive.”

Templeton pointed to the” very significant” but overlooked ( though not by Slugger) statement of Lord Morrow, that the devolution of justice and policing “will not happen in the life of this Assembly. This probably set the scene for yesterday’s failed talks between Robinson and McGuinness. Although partly masked by the Robinson scandal, this is surely the big question. My own hunch is that while the survival of the Assembly is so intertwined with Peter’s position, the verdict on the Assembly’s future will be delayed. Update. The cancellation of tomorrow’s Sinn Fein executive meeting in Dublin is good news.
Why are so many overlooking the one heartening bit of news – decommissioning by the UDA. If they think the process is worth a candle, who are the main parties to disagree?

  • Dale Templeton?

  • Sam Semple

    Jeffrey as leader of DUP could do the deal on Policing and Justice in his honeymoon period.

    Jeffrey’s less likely to be frit of the TUV all the time too, with his appeal to middle class unionists.

  • Paul Doran

    A good move by SF. blaming the weather when a few calls or video linkage would have been grand, But the Public are nieave to this and can see what SF are at giving Peter R time to ponder.I give no credience to th UDA Thugs and their little public act the other day, Anyone can buy arms I am sure.

    It realy shows you how all these Public representative take Joe Public for granted, they take oaths of office to say they will uphold the law( so much for DUP and their rightous attitide.

    Imagine if this was a 59 year old man seducing a young teenage Girl, what a field day the press would have had, but becuae it is a woman!!!

  • The resignation of Iris from all positions held by her is imperative if Peter is to survive, that is the very least the public can expect, it must also happen before any further investigation. As for the UDA’s decommissioning, a non-event, few believe statements emanating from that organization, their mere existence being built on lies and deceit .

  • Driftwood

    Everyone outside their ghettoes lost interest in the UDA a long time ago, apart from the Sunday World.
    They had a banner something about ‘The John Gregg Initative’ or something, always nice to have a legacy I suppose.

  • Mr. J.

    Whilst I welcome the UDA’s announcement, as any removal of weaponry from NI is welcome, aren’t they coming to the party a bit late?

    For most other paramilitary groups, decommissioning has already taken place, and Northern Ireland is a relatively peaceful place, despite the dissidents best attempts to undo that.

    The UDA announcement would have been more meaningful 7 years ago, and I can see why it was eclipsed by the days other news.

  • [quote]“If he doesn’t survive I don’t think the institutions will survive.” [/quote] …. Belfast Media chief Mairtin O Muilleoir

    Oh please, you cannot be serious. A minnow is flushed away and you expect the sea to take notice. Get real, Mairtain, no one is indispensable, no matter how much they may see themselves as being vital. The arrogance in thinking otherwise is quite staggering and if that is the DUP view too, then it tells us all absolutely everything about the calibre and strength in depth of the executive members of the Party ie it is a sham political organisation with zero public office skills …… [as if we didn’t know that they are newbies to the game, already.]

  • cut the bull

    A song that may be heard in the next few days..

    And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know (he’s on the telephone)
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    (even those who lie and lay…hey, hey, hey)

    We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files
    We’d like to help you learn to help yourself
    Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes
    Leave the Stormont grounds, you’re on your own

    And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know (he’s on the telephone)
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    (even those who lie and lay…hey, hey, hey)

    Hide it in a hiding place where no one ever goes
    Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
    It’s a little secret, just the Robinsons’ affair
    Most of all, you’ve got to hide it from the kids

    Coo, coo, ca-choo, Mrs Robinson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know (he’s on the telephone)
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    (even those who lie and lay…hey, hey, hey)

    Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
    Going to the candidates debate
    Laugh about it, shout about it
    When you’ve got to choose
    Ev’ry way you look at it, you lose

    Where have you gone, Toy boy Mc Cambleyo
    A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (With a £50 grand present you’re not on the broo, woo woo woo)
    What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
    You’ve left a young boy and gone away
    (He’s a wise man today…hey, hey, hey)

  • tacapall

    “If he doesn’t survive I don’t think the institutions will survive.”

    …. Belfast Media chief Mairtin O Muilleoir

    Censorer in chief of andytown news, he would be better off doing a bit of investigative journalism himself and go about West Belfast asking the ordinary people do they think Gerry Adams should resign.

  • cut the bull

    I’m glad this Spotlight programme was shown. It restores peoples faith in real investigative journalism. It proves there are journalists out there with the balls to make good hard hitting programmes.

  • Echos

    Sam:

    Re: “Jeffrey as leader of DUP could do the deal on Policing and Justice in his honeymoon period. Jeffrey’s less likely to be frit of the TUV all the time too, with his appeal to middle class unionists.”

    Or Dodds. How can Robinson maintain the DUP’s Westminster vote (to occur in less than 5 months) in his haggard condition? (Ted Haggard anyone?)

    The UUP prodigals to return to the fold (15% of DUP vote) out of sheer disgust at the financial aspect, and the same portion of thumpers, morally outraged, to seek salvation with Allister.

    So Unionism splits three ways, possibly evenly. An assembly election with the same result leaves Martin as FM and Ritchie as his deputy?

    This is why the essence of Peter’s problem is political.

    DUP dynasticism to continue. Paisleys to Robinsons to Dodds.

  • Greenflag

    ‘If he doesn’t survive I don’t think the institutions will survive.”’

    The cemetry is full of ‘indispenable ‘ men and women .

    I don’t think the institution i.e the Assembly will survive but that’s nothing to do with Robinson’s political survival or not . In fact there might be a small plus in his non political survival for ‘unionism’ albeit of a temporary nature .

    Longer term the Assembly is a house of cards .

  • Mark McGregor

    echos,
    that cant happen. fm & dfm must always be 1 unionist 1 nationalist regardless of party strengths 2 cannot come the same sectarian pool

  • Danny Boy

    Can anyone tell me where to find this TalkBack discussion? I’m only finding endless rambling about airport car parks : )

  • Echos

    Well noted Mark. Maybe SDLP could re-designate ;>)

  • Scaramoosh

    Would Ian Paisley have survived if it had been Eileen?

  • Mrazik

    DUP dynasticism to continue. Paisleys to Robinsons to Dodds.

    Posted by Echos on Jan 08, 2010 @ 03:16 PM

    I think this whole affair resembles another sort of Dynasty – minus the shoulder pads of course.

  • joeCanuck

    oops. I stepped over the mark. Apologies, Moderator.

  • Who is DALE Templeton? Isn’t it Ian Dale and Darwin Templeton? Get it right Bertie.