Irisgate roundup

My selection of recent MSM comment pieces about Irisgate divides up roughly into Ulster as Gomorrah (better not say Sodom) and Ulster still as Christ’s Little Kingdom. Brits, wouldn’t you know it, and Brit women squeeze a feminist line out of it. The natives are more shocked and sober. The palm goes to the Times’s Melanie Reid, who performs the columnist’s standby of stretching every line of comment to breaking point.

Everyone has missed the point about Iris Robinson. Why, instead of regarding her as a sinner, we should be celebrating Iris for her modernity, her spirit, her black lacy underwear and her sheer chutzpah in breaking centuries of convention


Iris far from alone it seems

Research found that 40 per cent of mature women would like to experiment with a toyboy, like Iris Robinson, wife of Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson

A Boston Mass blog notices that thanks to Iris, the theme song of the favourite movie of my youth is heading back up the charts.

Malachi who has never thought God was in his pocket, reflects on His role in the spate of text messages that so took Peter by surprise.

ex-BBC old mate Denis Murray enacted this piece on the BBC’s This Week before a bemused Andrew Neil and Diane Abbot. Fellow panellist Michael Portillo has his own bit of Belfast history we’ll glide over. I wonder if Denis isn’t overdoing the shock angle? Surely we know that just beneath surface, sexuality beats as strongly as a Lambeg drum?

Strewth. I wonder if people outside the province grasp just how cataclysmic all this has been


Also registering the shock of the faithful is Clifford Smyth. who has his own axe to grind against the DUP.

The DUP will either get rid of Peter Robinson or the voters will get rid of the DUP.”

Reformed Derry Prod ( but only from Drumahoe) Susan McKay does a pastiche of remembered rants.

There is abomination at the house of Robinson, and it is fortunate for Ulster’s first couple that most of us are less inclined to reach for the Old Testament than they are.

And finally an all too plausible last word from Marxism

Aside from being a farce in itself this development only further demonstrates the massive gulf that exists between the leaders of the Unionist parties and the protestant workers that vote for them

  • well yes but perhaps 40% of men if questioned would like to share a hot tub with the Canadian ladies soccer team……or maybe thats just me.

    Point is surely that we dont actually do it.
    I presume that if the 40% of women who want a toy boy went down to the City Hall with a placard saying “I want a toyboy”…they would quickly be satisfied.

  • slug

    This is getting boring Brian.

  • John K Lund / Lllamedos / Suchard

    I wonder if he wore that red beret in bed.Come back David Mellor all is forgiven

  • Turgon

    I have to agree. However, not like Brian to give political analysis when some cheap and nasty journalism can be dug up to allow him to throw a bit of dirt and make cheap vaguely sexualised remarks. How the mighty have fallen: sorry Brian but that is how it looks to me; pretty pathetic.

  • percy

    They’re real “Brits” the likes of melanie reid

  • Scaramoosh

    Good round up Brian.

    It does seem that the fact the wife of the great leader dared to stray, has served to open the venetian blinds on the bewildering desert of early-twentieth first century Ulster-protestant metaphysics.

  • Hibernicle

    From a south of Ireland perspective, the Iris affair is very much a case of “our Mrs Robinson is (morally) better than ye’re Mrs Robinson”

  • Pigeon Toes

    For all the high minded readers who are interested in the pursuit of due process, here is Castlreagh Council’s “Fraud and Corruption Policy”. (That doesn’t sound right) Fraud and Corruption policy.pdf&ei=PgZRS6L-L6Ky0gSrjNmvCg&sa=X&oi=nshc&resnum=1&ct=result&cd=2&ved=0CBQQzgQoAQ&usg=AFQjCNEHOkQpw2JGJ6rtKzK5yZDhSt9z7w

  • ben_w

    Of course, Turgon bemoans the cheap and nasty *journalism* — not the cheap and nasty corrupt, hypocritical behaviour that the DUP leadership has engaged in, but the act of bringing it to light.

    As for Melanie Reid, if Iris wasn’t a bible-thumping hypocrite, then you could celebrate the collapse of these people’s marriage and lives if you liked, I wouldn’t care. But given her disgusting lecturing about Biblical morality, she’s earned what she’s getting.

  • Alias

    “Research found that 40 per cent of mature women would like to experiment with a toyboy, like Iris Robinson…”

    But they’d probably want the toyboy to be attracted to their wrinkles without having to cover the love nest in 50k worth of borrowed bucks.

  • If the DUP agree to a bye-election in this constituency then we can see how people wish to vote.

  • joeCanuck

    You wouldn’t be indulging in a bit of nudge nudge wink wink would you?

  • Slartibuckfast

    Say no more, sir, say no more.

  • PT, the NIAO has its very own National Fraud Initiative

    The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG;) has been given new statutory powers to conduct data matching exercises for the purpose of assisting in the prevention and detection of fraud. The new powers are contained in Articles 4A to 4H of the Audit and Accountability (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 as inserted by the Serious Crime Act 2007.

    Why the expenditure on two investigative processes when this allegedly independent one would have sufficed?

  • Pigeon Toes

    Looking at the Castlereagh initiative, one would have assumed that normal checks and procedures were already in place…

    Or is that me, once again assuming that our public *servants* do what *we* pay them to?

  • Pigeon Toes


    Very, very naughty…

  • PT, have you seen Slarti’s “Falls Mammaries”. It’s a wee cracker? It’s nearly as good as the Portadown News 🙂

  • Pigeon Toes

    No and google doesn’t produce the result either.

  • In all fairness to Iris, more power to her ankles (be they in the air or not) she showed a bit of gumption and more than a little liberation(we all love a liberator in our wee country, don’t we) after all, how many of us could put up with the boul Pete for 40yrs, besides he must have been a right miserable git when poor Iris had to go and get a few bob for to feed the wee un’s(or did Kirk feed her)

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Yeah I am getting bored of Iris now unless there are more salacious details to come (feed me I am ravenous)

    Is there no more horny 55/60 year old women married to high profile politicians with their tale to tell.

    Mind you Iris has set the bar pretty high.

    And as for the shenanigans of male politicians don’t even bore us with the details if it just any old affair.

    Iris is in Gold medal position and it will take an outstanding talent to overhaul the abombinable Iris.

  • joeCanuck

    A picture is worth a thousand words. ;o)

  • Banjaxed

    For my money. the aftermath of the ‘Irisgate’ affair is the most important aspect of this whole issue, for example, will Peter Robinson retain his authority and credibility as a leader once things calm down, which they inevitability will. However, in Matthew Parris’s article in today’s Times Online, he recalls the aftermath of an affair of 1979 in which you can almost see the shape of things to come in a Norn Irn context.

    The piece, although its main target is Tony Blair and his legacy, deals in a comparitive way with the affair of Jeremy Thorpe, the then Liberal Party leader and a married man, and his trial of conspiracy to murder his kiss-and-tell gay lover, Norman Scott. Despite being found not guilty, Thorpe’s star waned very quickly after the verdict and, 20 years after that, he was interviewed by Parris who, in a brilliant evocation of their meeting, goes on to write,

    “How bitter it must be, I thought, when still quite young, to find your life and career suddenly trapped — freeze-framed in a spotlight trained pitilessly on one episode, one story, one moment, as the realisation grows that from this day forward it always will be. The needle sticks. The same phrases repeat and repeat. Other lives move forward; new actors enter and quit the stage; but you will be left skewered, endlessly going over the disputed history of one brief period whose places, events, dramatis personae — every headline, every rumour, every explanation, accusation and denial — become worn by repetition, the fixed furniture of your mind, the unspoken thought in the minds of everyone you will ever meet, and the precursors to the obituaries you know already must all wheel around the same crux.”

    We already know what Blair’s legacy is, in his eagerness to wage war on the shoulders of George W Bush, but what will Peter’s be….?

  • The shoes analogy is very much à la mode. It’s been a big deal among Tory politicians for some time: cuddly Ken Clarke is Hush Puppies; catty Theresa May is “racy leopard-print kitten heels”. Stereotyping? Perish the thought.

    The Lady in my Life (you can take the girl out of the County Armagh, but hardly the County Armagh out of the girl) never fails with Delphic and acerbic remarks about “northern glam”. She was definitely not taken by several of the Iris outings: that curious militaristic beigy suit got particularly short shrift.

    Extrapolating the thread (as if I’d ever do such a thing), I was noticing that the London bourgeoisie indulged themselves in the recent ice-and-slush with wildly imaginative and unsuitable footgear and headgear.

    Anyway, if neanderthalers wore makeup, why should young-earthers be far behind? In passing (another aside), did everyone notice that recent story was a retread of a New Scientist article from March 2008?

    And, a starter for ten, why has this site (or my keyboard) suddenly started blanking out anything italicised?

  • blanking out?

  • Jaggers

    Malcolm/Site Admin

    I’m a relative newbie on here but I do find that my browser (Mozilla Firefox 3.5.7) does frequently crash in Slugger and generally I’m unable to access the site on my phone (Nokia E71) – the home page displays and then shuts down. To quote the man singing in the background just now “Same as it ever was”?

  • Rory Carr

    Good stuff, Brian.

    It was very thoughtful of Rachel Johnston to have “…emailed Portillo after his suicide last year” and it seems to have done the trick – he was looking fit and well sitting alongside the gorgeous, pouting Diane Abbot the last time I spotted him.

    Michael himself has long been considered coquettishly gorgeous and pouting among one section of London society as the remarks of my gay colleagues seemed to indicate but if Rachel Johnston’s claim to having joined him in a game of the old ‘in-out’ is to believed then she seems to be having more success at the conversion game than any psychiatrist or Christian preacher of Mrs Robsinson’s acquaintance.

    As my old da used to say, “If you want your boots soled and heeled, find yourself a cobbler”.

  • Nevin @ 12:03 PM:


    Now the HTML’s working again!

  • Jaggers @ 12:06 PM:

    That’s curious, because this morning I switched back from Camino to my preferred Firefox.

    On the other hand, those Slugger longueurs and crashes seem things of the past. You win some; you lose some.

    Equally, I have simultaneously been updating other software, so there has been processor overload.

  • Jaggers

    Thanks Malcolm,

    For gossip value, here’s Paul Berry’s response to Irisgate as reported in the Bel Tel:

  • Slartibuckfast

    So Peter ‘ended’ Paul Berry.

    Oh matron.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Will these Robinson scandals ever cease?

  • 0b101010

    Clifford Smyth? God-fearing, grassroots, loyal Orange transvestite Clifford Smyth? Who courted the media, family bedamned, to tell us all in a multi-part Tele special what we didn’t need to know about his sexual urges and to wave his barely-cold, dead son around in a disgusting plea for sympathy?

    Clifford and Paul Berry, like Iris, only have themselves to blame for their rampant hypocrisy and political downfalls.

    I guess people in glasshouses can throw stones, if they’ve already smashed all the windows.

  • Drumlins Rock

    still not Sunday is it yet?

  • joeCanuck

    No it’s not, DR.
    I’ve heard it whispered that God refused a request to have this Sunday postponed until after next THURSDAY.

  • Drumlins Rock,

    “still not Sunday is it yet”

    Ah, another Wee Daniel fan…
    Some disappointing news for you, I’m afraid. The Sunday Life have twittered this:

    Due to production problems our free Daniel O’Donnell CD will not be with next week’s paper and will come out later in the year instead

  • TellMeMa

    Re alleged big scoop on Sunday:

    Well, only 18 minutes or so to go (maybe 6 hours 18 minutes for the papers to arrive)

    I have a feeling many people on Slugger would have preferred a scoop to be about Sinn Fein rather than the DUP. Maybe it will be, but probably not as interesting as something related to Irisgate.

    Most of this blogging is about booing and hissing one side or the other, but Irisgate has a bit more than the usual “themmums”.

    Maybe the scoop was just a viral rumour and it won’t happen at all….


  • TellMeMa

    Zilch about scandal in the Sunday Times.

    Shall not give credence to any rumours in Slugger again.