Peter does human again

Update Full version is up now.
Meanwhile, it’s back to human interest. Ulster’s answer to the Sun’s Jane Moore, Gail Walker – (no relation) – has landed an exclusive with the (partly) stood down First Minister. The Bel Tel is restricting access to paying customers for the time being. The harbinger of things to come? The sales boost if there is one should give some indication of Peter’s survival chances – not that Peter had any other reason for giving the interview other than falling for Gail’s famously persuasive charms. Perhaps Gail’s sympathetic reading of Peter’s Big Interview may have played just a small part. Not sure I agree there was no stage management but I accept that the pain looked very real. Declining to rant against Iris must also have come as a relief. From the BBC report:

“There are days when, were it not a case of getting up and getting on with things for the sake of your family, your instinct is just to get into bed, turn out the light, pull yourself into a foetal position and not come out again,” he said.

Am I starting to be told more than I want to know?

What did the Sunday World think it was doing? I’ve heard of rumaging in dustbins. But in the lad’s bedrooom…..

Were they trying to trump the Mail’s story?

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Boys a dear. This is just pure political gold dust! The poor man has been blinking at us with the eye of a lizard for decades and now we find out that he’s human after all (at least the acting world is safe!). There is a serious case to be made that he will ride (oops) this one out, not that I care, but that must be really bad news for both the DUP and UUP (ironically).

    Now if only the moderate parties weren’t making such a pathetic showing (last nights H&M was about as depressing a scene for ‘liberals’ lke myself as I can remember for a long time) – a real credible alternative adult democracy was on display…… sigh.

    Ho, hum, thought that getting the daughter in the act was another two edged tactic! Boy he’s not going to go quietly thats for sure!

  • Mr. J.

    Aside from a few choice ’emotional’ extracts, the rest of the interview reads like classic Robinson to me: detached, cold and very difficult to sympathise with.

    Aside from that, if there are more revelations to follow involving Peter and Co. that reflects his character as different to the one presented here, this interview is just going to do him and his party further damage.

  • “This is the part I have found most difficult.” .. Rebekah Robinson

    I’d have thought the suicide attempt would have been more difficult to cope with than what her father has been through.

  • Carsons Cat

    “Am I starting to be told more than I want to know?”

    Tough…. The media have been circling around the “human” aspects of this story all week yet constantly telling us that the private aspects are no-one’s business but the family’s. However, just in the “public interest” of course then more and more details are demanded about Iris Robinson’s suicide attempts and how the family dealt with all that.

    You can’t get all coy on us now Brian when these are the kind of details which the mob sorry, public have been demanding.

    Its easy to turn on the Sunday World journalists who might just take it that few inches further by actually rooting around in McCambley’s bedroom, but they’re just the physical representation of the kind of questioning specialised in by Nolan, the papers and even our “own” dear Mallie over recent times which were metaphorically rummaging around right through the Robinson household with their questioning insinuation and innuendo.

    The formula for Robinson criticism now seems to have been written to and fully signed up by the uneasy partnership there appears to be between the MSM and blogosphere now in Northern Ireland. If he doesn’t give details then he’s a cold b*stard who doesn’t care for his family. If he does give details then he’s either cynically using the media for some perceived advantage or he’s becoming some soft ball of mush who couldn’t possibly lead the country.

    But then, its all in the “public interest” don’t you understand. Frankly Brian I didn’t hear you complaining when people were musing over exactly what action he did or didn’t take after Iris tried to kill herself. Now you’re in no position to complain when he goes public on the effect its had on him.

    The truest line of all I read from his interview was that there appear to be journalists in NI (maybe even those I mentioned up above) who will see ‘mission accomplished’ in this story when they’ve got a funeral to report on.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “There are days when, were it not a case of getting up and getting on with things for the sake of your family, your instinct is just to get into bed, turn out the light, pull yourself into a foetal position and not come out again,” he said.”

    Sounds like he’s depressed

  • alf

    I bought this rag today as i do every fri for the jobs, what a joke ! Must have been a serious meeting the night before, some of the pieces nearly made me throw up, journalism ? your havin a laugh

  • Carsons Cat

    “I’d have thought the suicide attempt would have been more difficult to cope with than what her father has been through.”

    Maybe a private tragedy is actually easier to deal with than all levels of the press rooting through your family life.

    Was she referring to just her father’s experience over the last few days, or possibly the level of musing and innuendo over the entire family’s (including her own) reaction to the suicide attempt? Perhaps it would be a little difficult if all and sundry were accusing you or even your father of leaving your mother to die on the kitchen floor before popping out to the office.

    Perhaps though you have some experience of the press hounding you to compare how it feels to coping with a family tragedy? I sure as hell don’t and I’m bloody glad.

    But hey, they’re just the family of some nasty unionist politician. They’re fair game after all.

  • alf

    its actually quite astounding what second rate rags will succumb too in order to gain an exclusive in trying to boost ever dwindling sales

  • Critical Alien

    Moving stuff

    “Sometimes, in the small hours, I bawl uncontrollably into a dampened flannel. At other times, I stare blindly at a blank television screen with a sinking feeling and drool falling from my lips. This is because I have feelings. In fact, I feel I have been completely vindicated as regards any charges of feelinglessness. I will sue if any further allegations to that effect are made. I’ll see you in court, through the tears in my eyes.”

  • Pigeon Toes

    Carson’s Cat

    They didn’t HAVE to give the interview. Indeed in the circumstances, it would be perfectly understandable that they would want to deal with this in um private.

  • alf

    Do one carsons cat, no one is buying it, just like the tele, they dug the hole and were living extremely comfortably in it until this point

  • Carsons Cat

    Pigeon Toes
    The “private” option has clearly been removed IMHO. Everyone was happy to speculate on and read about other people’s speculation as to how the family dealt with the medical circumstances around IR’s suicide attempt. Surely that’s a private issue is it not? Yet its fair game for Nolan to run nearly a full programme on the issue and even go far as to solicit alternative medical opinion from another doctor because the first one he had on didn’t give him the answer he wanted.

    The media rooting around in those issues is fine – but he’s supposed to sit back in silence? He may not have had to do the interview, but he had few other options in practical terms. Silence from him appears to now be simply taken as an admission of guilt.

  • This all reminds me of the “Back to Basics” era. But its about time there was a bit more scrutiny of NI´s politicos, they have had it fairly easy that way for too long. The expenses scandal was a good start and hopefully the Adams/Robinson stories is the start of a beautiful new relationship between electorate and elected. The lads and ladesses need to be reminded of who is boss – the people. rant over.

  • alf

    lol and wheeling the daughter out to give her full support in regional paper, what would that little piece of the jigsaw mean ?

    maybe the daughter wants some exposure before she runs for all three of her adulterous and theiving mums seats.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Carson’s Cat

    Cast your mind back about a week ago, who called the initial press conference?

  • Strange indeed that the leaders of the two largest parties in the north are having their private scandals dragged into the public eye.

    Stranger still that neither gentleman appears willing or able to give full and clear explanations.

    I think Peter Robinson will get through this. The claims are, for the most part, against his wife, and from what we know the one charge against him, can be put down to supporting his wife.

    Gerry Adams is in a weaker but still defensible position if when the answers to the questions posed are shown to prove that all he did was try to protect his family.

    It is riveting stuff and not without its black humour, but the allegations surrounding the issue of child abuse are by far the more serious.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Mr Cat, I think its a bit rich to say he’s damned if he says nothing, he’s damned if he spills his heart out. (paraphrasing)

    I don’t actually remember Peter giving much of an emotional insight at any time in the past few decades.

    If he had decided that as in the rest of his career his personal life is none of our damn business I would have more respect for him.

    Surely even the most fervent supporter must be cringing a bit deep down….

  • Davros

    Cry me a river emo Pete.

  • Carsons Cat

    Pigeon Toes
    Wonder will the same attitude be taken to the “innocent victim” Kirk McCambley in all of this. Particularly were he ever to, for instance, sell his story.

    Open season on him then? Mind you – he wasn’t exactly too coy on Spotlight either. Yet to go back on topic – it would seem that Brian in writing this piece seems to take a different attitude to the press rooting around in his private life to the press rooting around in the lives of anyone who happens to have the surname Robinson.

    So long as hypocrisy is in the ‘public interest’ then its ok I suppose.

  • alf

    I doubt we are finished with the robinson money trail yet, the list of dodgy dealings and fanancial gains made by these two (3) through they’re public roles is just too murky

  • ding dong

    And for the third time the Robinson Family, contrary to popular demands tries to win the sympathy of the Nation!!

    Aided and abetted by the Belfast telegraph. variously described as a rag by the DUP supporters.

    yet again we are exposed to Peter “I’ve done nothing wrong” Robinson. After asking for privacy to help his wife and heal his marriage he’s out again 5 pages worth telling us about himself.

    Who ever is advising him is nuts, this story will die, you will devolve policing and justice and believe it or not the rest will be forgotten unless of course you keep it going Peter – you willnever have the last word

  • Pigeon Toes

    Carson’s Cat

    Read Oscar’s post at 18 as a fair summation of my feelings also.

  • alf

    Im sure you wish this whole episode would just disappear cat eh ? never to be talked of again, for the sake of the kids, Christ think of the kids

  • Carsons Cat

    Your hypothesis would be true had there actually been a distinction drawn between the “political” issues and the “personal” issues.

    What has happened though is that at the start the press thought there was something/enough there to finish P Robinson politically. Therefore there was a bit of high moral ground occupied initially where the press were terribly kind and said that some issues shouldn’t ever be the subject of discussion and should be left alone.

    They’ve fairly quickly realised that the political stuff didn’t add up to anything – and certainly not enough to get him out. Therefore the high moral ground was quickly but quietly evacuated and the focus came more and more on private stuff – hence the focus on the response to the suicide attempt etc etc etc.

    The only option you seem to have given him is that he had to retire from public life too – no matter whether he’s done anything wrong or not – simply because I Robinson’s actions are highly cringeworthy (which they are). The question is why though? Particularly when we were all told a week ago that the private issues had nothing to do with this and so long as the politically relavant stuff was dealt with then we’d all understand.

    But then we’re allowed to be hypocritcial aren’t we, we’re the public and that’s in our interest.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Carson’s Cat those “inquiries” and “investigations” haven’t finished yet..

  • Carsons Cat

    Pigeon Toes
    Indeed they haven’t, but there seems to be no real expectation now that they’ll find anything really juicy, or at least not against P Robinson anyway.

    You only need to look at the levels of story the press are chasing on the politically relevant stuff – its all fairly trivial stuff. They’ve got nothing so have reverted to the juicy, but personal stuff.

  • Pigeon Toes

    2.4 The Fraud Act 2006 came into effect on 15th
    January 2007. The Act states that a
    person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of any of the following:
     Fraud by false representation, ie if he dishonestly makes a false
    representation and intends by making the representation to make a
    gain for himself or another, or to cause loss to another or expose
    another to risk of loss;
     Fraud by failing to disclose information, ie if he dishonestly fails to disclose to
    another person information which he is under a legal to duty to disclose and
    intends, by means of abuse of that position, to make a gain for himself or
    another, or to cause loss to another or expose another to risk of loss; and
     Fraud by abuse of position, ie if he occupies a position in which he is
    expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another
    person, and he dishonestly abuses that position, and intends, by means of
    the abuse of that position, to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause
    loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

  • Carsons Cat

    Pigeon Toes
    10/10 for the detective work – but the Fraud Act would be a criminal issue and in all of the relevant, or even the lurid discussion there hasn’t been any real suggestion of criminal activities – even by Iris Robinson.

    So, I might ask, your point it???

  • OscarTheGrouch

    I’m sorry, Mr Cat, but frankly you can’t honestly be trying to suggest that there’s moral high ground in the swamp of Norther Irish politics are you?

    We’ve had the lurid love scandal, which was fun but frivolous, we’ve had the financial scandal, which is fun and on going, and we’ve got the First Minister “knows about irregularities but doesn’t believe he is repsonsible for reporting it” story, and this one is just started – Peter did make a big point of the fact he has asked for these enquiries – you can hardly blame us they are not complete and still hanging around?

    Also the “Peter Robinson emotional turmoil/spurned husband” story, was going a bit stale, I can hardly think its the press’s fault that he has decided to do a ‘Hello’ magazine appeal (including his daughter) to try and ‘tell his side of the story’. Its hardly in character now is it? Is it?

    I would be more convinced on a personal level if he showed a bit more concern for his ‘mentally ill’ wife.

    As far as I can see the press has if anything ‘reverted’ to reporting a cringeworthy rather pathetic attempt instigated by Robo to appeal to the soap opera sympathies of the X-Factor brigade. I suspect as usual our politicians underestimate a very canny (if sometimes a bit barking) electorate.

  • Pigeon Toes

    I’m not suggesting that there was. I just wanted to highlight that particular piece of legislation.

  • Rory Carr

    This Peter ‘n’ Iris saga is growing increasingly to resemble the Peter ‘n’ Jordan saga which has been dominating much of the English press for… well, forfuckingever it seems! We had a little “will they or won’t they” tease on Nolan this morning with the news that although Peter was anxious to maintain his marriage he might find it difficult if there were to be “any further revelations”.

    I’m dreading the headlines to come over the rest of the year:

    “Will Peter dump Iris?”; “Peter dumps serial love-rat, Iris!”; “Iris: I still love him.”; “Iris: Robbo’s coldness drove me to other lovers.”; “Iris finds new love!!!”. “Iris and Peter to reconcile.” “Peter: I forgive her.”; “Iris: He was always MY First Minister.”

    Will there be any end to it? I completely empathise with young Kirk and already I am detecting a distinct “pain in the ballicks”, to employ the Belfast vernacular. However if the detail is juicy enough and there is sufficient of the comedy that is the human condition I will put up with it all for the sake of public mirth the satisfaction of which is a noble calling in itself and one not to be looked down upon or despised by those whose labour is limited to the serious side of life.

    The risks that some brave journalists are willing to undertake for our amusement and titillation are surely on a par with those reporting from the front lines of those dirty little wars in which the UK seems to feel a compulsion to endlessly engage.

  • Pigeon Toes


    I believe there is a phone vote tomorrow night straight after Strictly Come X Factor.

  • Mick Fealty


    Getting into dodgly legal territory there…

  • OscarTheGrouch

    I’m voting for Jedward for FM/DFM

  • alf

    why do you say that, every word is fact, and already printed in national press ? i fear you protest too much

  • Driftwood

    Dragging your daughter in to give political cover is never a good idea..

    The ‘interview’ in the Tele is an elongated press release. Cheesy and as full of crap as one of Gummers BSE burgers. The main picture in the Tele features a big union jack pillow with ‘God Save the Queen’ written on it.

  • Pigeon Toes

    I’ve had a really bad mental picture of X Factor auditions for all our MLA posts…

    So not good, but highly entertaining at the same time.

  • Turgon

    Carson’s Cat,

    I actually have a significant sympathy for your position here. There are enquiries to be had on the Robinson’s fanincial dealings. However, those are seperate to the lurid tabloid headlines which seem to have become the major focus of the current nonsense.

    Whilst Mrs. Robinson does need to face up to the issues re money etc. those relating to personal morality are no longer politically relevant: she has left public office. In addition how Mr. Robinson handled or now handles the family situation is not terribly politically relevant. That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be”


  • OscarTheGrouch

    14.“That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be”

  • OscarTheGrouch

    14.“That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be”

  • OscarTheGrouch

    14.“That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be”

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Sorry – technical issue – keyboard problem – will stop posting until sorted. Apologies.

  • ding dong

    That is a matter for the Robinson family and not for the public no matter how interested they may be”

    Agreed so peter would be best advised to stop making public pronouncements on a private family matter – it cuts bothways

  • Mr. J.


    You must understand that how Robinson handles his political issues is of interest to a section of the NI community, but how he handles his family issues is an object of fascination for a huge swathe of the population, and it is on how he proceeds here that he will ultimately be judged.

    It isn’t fair and it is unjust, but it is a symptom of the times we live in.

    Personally, I think he is finished, and his attempts to have a ‘heart to heart’ with the press after years of keeping his distance smacks of insincerity.

    Whilst I have no doubt we have some fine political minds on Slugger, but I wonder as to how in touch with Joe Public opinion some of you are. It seems to me that among my friends and family, few of whom are extremely politically minded, there isn’t a feeling of anger or a desire for an inquiry into the Robinsons financial dealings. They simply think that Iris and Peter are worthy of nothing more than derision. They have become a laughing stock and their credibility is gone.

    I think it’s possible that Peter might just hold on to his leadership, God knows he’s tenacious enough, but doing so will only highlight the divide between our politicians and the average person.

    I spoke with a member of the press whom I know personally regarding the potential of further information being released at the weekend. He was of the opinion that for a long time in Northern Ireland, the press were uncomfortable with reporting on our politicians private lives, particularly Unionist politicians, as they had contacts in business and elsewhere that could make life extremely difficult for the reporter that spoke out of turn. Resultingly we ended up with a MSM that acted as little more than a mouth piece for different political parties. He was of the opinion that things are changing, and that matters previously only explored in the tabloid press in the rest of the UK (think Stephen Milligan) would end up being de riguer here.

    As I have said before, such matters are not politically relevant, but when their exposure influences public opinion, and potentially changes voting patterns, one has to wonder if that statement still stands.

  • Rory Carr

    Don’t be such a spoilsport, Turgon. The political relevance or otherwise of Iris Robinson’s sexual peccadilloes is completely beside the point. What is at issue here is the supply of material to that most worthy and necessary of social demands – the public mirth!

    I am not joking either. The good people of NornIron have had to endure the misery that the Robinson’s have inflicted upon them for years with their dreary, puritanical (and as it turns out, hypocritical) strictures on social behaviour. Indeed, to use Iris’s own words, it would be fair to say that they were abominable. So we should now rejoice that the public have an opportunity to laugh, sing, snigger and make merry at their expense – they have earned it.

    But I suppose fellows like you feel a wee bit like Puritans after the Restoration – totally horrified at the public zeal for rude pleasures.

    The alleged financial irregularities may be the issue that most troubles our absent First Minister but, let’s face it, all that stuff is very dreary indeed and the detail often beyond the grasp of Joe Soap and what Joe wants and, I would argue, deserves is the stuff that he can understand, the basics of life, the down and dirty. You can be sure that Homer of The Odyssey and Homer of Springfield would both think so.

    I am also sure that Shakespeare would agree. You are a fan of Shakespeare’s are you not, Turgon?

  • Mrazik

    “Peter does human again”

    Well, humanoid at least, or something manufactured by the Tyrell Corporation…

  • Rory Carr

    Apologies for the “greengrocer’s apostrophe” in the second line of my second paragraph above. “the Robinson’s” should of course read simply, “the Robinsons”.

    See! I’m only human too, Peter.

  • Turgon

    Rory Carr,
    I will not comment much more save to say that I have never got over the end of The Protectorate and the death of Our Chief of Men.

  • Rory Carr.

    How people love the apostrophe. Ive given up on them since I got ‘twitterised’. Have you seen what twitter does to the poor old apostrophe??

  • I read the interview in the Irish Independent today – here’s the link which seems to be broken at the moment –

    Another example of the partition paradox!

  • A PhD thesis there sometime, Pippakin: “Twitter and the Death of the Apostrophe”.

  • Marcionite

    Are people and journalists (figure of speech, the Ven diagram of the two do overlap) really so gullible and easily taken in?

    Iris is not depressed. Its a charade to avoid prosecution hoping to cite ‘being not of sound mind’. Peter engineered all this as damage limitation. Isn’t it obvious ?!?!?!?! No wonder they all get away with it when we have a large proportion of the press(not all) as sycophantic and taking them at face value

    I have it on very very good source that this story will go into supernova in the coming weeks. I cannot repeat what I have been shown as I like my house too much but my word, I am still scraping my jaw of the ground. ITs nothing like I’ve seen before. House of Cards is nothing compared to this.

    Ok, I’ll give one cryptic clue : one UDA cheif had a special friend if I put it like that.

    Here’s another : those who cure friends of dorothy believed in taking hair o’the dog.

    That’s just two of many revelations to come

    And its not just the Robinsons this time either but it adds to their plight too.

    My source is a very trusted person who is in a privilaged position but watch the tabloids over the coming Sundays.

  • Nevin

    And theres more! heres me lol and omg!!!!

    Not that anyone should think for one second that my deteriorating English means Ive lost sight of the main issue.

  • Jaggers

    “the impact of Iris Robinson’s infidelity with a teenage lover had also taken a physical toll on him, losing more than two stone since he learned of her adultery.” – Is this the same Peter Robinson claiming £400 per month food allowance?

  • seamus friel

    Selwyn is next for the journalists. They have been very slow. Who was his boss in the City Council? Did that person have a connection with Iris and her views? With whom is Selwyn in a relationship? How did that come about? Who was her previous partner? How was he viewed at UU?
    Why did he leave? The journalists are probably asking these questions now.
    More importantly why has no politician asked for a full enquiry into the Robinson’s finances for the past 20 years with access to all bank accounts everywhere and all financial dealings?
    They have left it to journalists to demand these things.
    Sinn fein of old would have demanded such an inquiry. Now all they are fixated is keeping Stormont going at any price. Are they so in love with power ?( well the very limited amount that the DUP has allowed them in that uneven relationship. ) We have seen the DUP demand an enquiry into Gerry Adam’s role in the Liam Adam’s affair whils SF were supine about the Robinson Financial scandal. They need to rediscover their cohones!!!!

  • Mr. J.


    I think that the journalists are busy looking into other things if the whispers I’ve heard are anything to go by…


    Judging from his interview, he’s probably spending the lot on Kleenex, renting Love Story from Xtra-Vision and Ben and Jerrys.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “Selwyn Black is son of the late Griffith Black, who owned a butcher shop at Bridge Street, Cavan.. The late Griffith Black and his family moved to the North in 1962 due to Griffith’s involvement in the meat business there.”

  • Framer

    Robbo must have a lot of time on his hands if he is spinning with Gail Walker.

    A question about the missing £5,000 was not asked nor about his opinion on his wife’s obsessive anti-gay remarks.

  • Iris Robinsons anti gay remarks are clearly indicative of the woman and her extreme views on everything, up to and including, obviously, the acceptable age of the lover of a woman of a ‘certain’ age.

    No one seems surprised by her emotional/mental problems and if it is the case that her difficulties were known, why on earth did no one do anything to prevent this catastrophic fall from grace.

    Her husband may have been busy but he is reaping the reward for his ‘busyness’ now.