Robinson expected to speak to the BBC this evening…

Regarding the, ahem, Gardengate, affair… In which the primary evidence still appears to be that he made no direct profit from the buying and selling of a ransom strip to his garden… (it should be noted that Mr Robinson has said that that was not the only access to the land, only the most convenient one, so the value of the land as ‘uilding land was not necessarily dependent on that piece of commerce)…

Update: Here’s the full interview

  • martin r

    What a thoroughly ignorant, rude, arrogant man we have as a first minister.

    If our political system is worth one iota, this man will have to go.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    And can Mr. Robinson keep his word of the time and release the terms-of-reference for the Queen’s Counsel who, Mr. Robinson says, gave him a clean bill of health on the ethics involving himself in the Iris Robinson loans case ? Did the taxpayers of Northern Ireland pay the fee for Mr. Paul Maguire ? If so, what was this fee ? And specifically how narrowly drawn (or broadly drawn) were the TOR ? These details are in the public interest and absolutely key to open government. Over to Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Sammy Wilson. If there is nothing to hide then let the light of day shine on the specifics in that case. Why is this information still not public ?

  • sdelaneys

    The arrogance and bullying of Robinson was breathtaking.

  • cynic47

    Why did an image if GA claiming he was never in the IRA keep flashing in my mind during the interview (Rant). No “Best Dad in the world” props tonight!

  • cynic47

    of GA

  • UlsterScotty

    Having just witnessed our First Minister expose to the viewing public the bully boy tactics which presumably he has heretofore deployed only in private, I am placing as large a wager as I can muster on Naomi Long to take East Belfast in the forthcoming election. I struggled to remember what his assertion that “a piece of land is valued at what Fred Fraser and I say it’s worth” called to mind, then it popped up; the Red Queen in “Alice Through the Looking Glass”.
    I wonder if HMRC and the Parliamentary Standards watchdog will see it that way.
    We really are through the looking glass here, people.

  • iluvni

    Its not too clear in my mind yet…but…apart from through the ransom strip, was there another site access route which wouldnt have required the Robinson house to be demolished?

  • Cynic2

    ….and I am sure that all those other access routes would have been sold to Mr R just as cheaply

  • Mrazik

    One simple question comes to mind: why did he buy the land?

    If it wasn’t for speculative or investment purposes, why?

  • bohereen

    Oh, God help us all. I know I keep saying the same thing, but these people are not fit for purpose.

    Robinson looked mad.

  • Driftwood

    Shocking interview.

    Trevor Ringland will be an excellent MP. As good in the commons as he was on the Rugby field.

  • jtwo

    In practice the other access point to the Robinson site would have involved demolishing his whole house or else have the access lane running right next to his kitchen window.

    And if the ransom strip was such an irrelevance why was it the access point on the planning app?

    He was careful not to deny he had done other favours for Fred Fraser.

  • Garza

    Was very uncomfortable hearing the interview on radio ulster.

    He came around as arrogant, bullying and condescending all the time, insulting the interviewer with it. Surely we need and deserve better from our elected representives.

  • Mrazik


    Watch it via the link above. Even more uncomfortable.

    Note also Jim A’s comment at the end of the written report.

  • Driftwood

    At least he didn’t include Mossad in the conspiracy against him. And why the dig at Trevor Ringland?

  • nick

    Seamus McKee will be in need of a stiff one after that. Indeed 2 G and T’s may be required.

  • Harry J

    peter robinson will still win east belfast easily. trevor ringland will join the rest of the ucunfs and fade into obscurity

    another few resignations and it will be reg who will be facing calls for him to step aside, anyone who listend to basil mccrae today on talk back will notice that he subtly accused reg of failing to provide leadership.

    Bye Reg, Bye Ucunf.

  • The Raven

    Harry, you may enjoy dancing on Reg’s political coffin. Frankly, as one from that side of the house, I’ll be breaking my no-voting policy JUST to vote against the DUP.

    I’m not the politics-watcher that many on here are. However, the arrogance, the disdain, and the sheer contempt that Robinson has shown over the past few months is enough to raise me from my voting stupor.

    I would frankly encourage everyone who may be a potential unionist voter to show up on the day and boot this miserable lot from their “largest party” status. In fact, I’d be happy enough to encourage any potential Shinner voter to do likewise.

    Petty? Probably. But the hubris that this shows is nothing short of stomach-churning. This man wouldn’t know the words “humble” and “contrition” if they came up and sold him a bit of land for a fiver.

    “I’m in the business of helping people”…and the Lord must help those who help themselves…

  • joeCanuck

    Damn the BBC. Those of us abroad can no longer get these programmes.

  • PJM

    He’s gambling that his core vote is sufficiently solid that he can win out as a hostile witness. He comes accross as a totally unfit for office by merit of his personality even if he has done nothing wrong.His replies are unconvincing at best. I was undecided about whether the story was big news or not but after this I’m certain he has to go.

  • Harry J

    Harry, you may enjoy dancing on Reg’s political coffin. …

    yes i do, i cant wait to see the back of this insignificant little man. The only thing that is worse is who will follow..Basil ffs or McNasty

  • Bungditin

    In theory PR is correct in that there was another access option but he simply wasn’t prepared to sell his house for a fiver.

    I appreciate that the ransom strip was bought and sold for £5, but didn’t his next door neighbour’s garden, which is bigger and seemed to be able to accommodate a similar number of houses, sell for significantly less than PR’s – a difference of over £200,000? (please correct me if I’m wrong on that)- but if i’m not, perhaps what PR received over and above that of his neighbour reflected
    the true value of the ransom strip?

  • Impartial Reporter

    Tonight shows why I left the DUP – and why I will never vote for them as long as him and his ilk lead the party that worked for unionist people.

    I wish I could vote for the UUP, but I can’t. Nor can I vote for ‘yesterdays man’ and his TUV.

    How many unionists will ignore the election because unionism no longer exists in our parties?

  • bohereen

    I never voted for the DUP and I am not a conservative, big or small, yet if I don’t vote for anyone then……, well actually I have to vote as I believe it my duty.

  • ardmaj55

    GFASupp. ‘If he’s got nothing to hide….’ You could also add that Robbo would surely not want to appear just before an election, so obviously rattled as he was in this interview. Voters watching this will have noted the contrast between the perfectly reasonable questions and his hysterically paranoid answers. So it’s clear that he doesn’t want to be interviewed on this matter, but realised he had no option.

  • joeCanuck


    I trust that you are going down to your voting booth and spoiling your vote. You wouldn’t want to just hand it to a personator.

  • iluvni

    Why did he make such a fuss about Seamus McKee’s script … didnt he read from one himself the other week during his broken man interview.

  • Seosamh913

    Well in fairness to the FM at least now we know that it is certainly not just women he speaks to in that tone of voice so no need or McKee to go personalising it.

  • Ulster Dandy

    What a performance!?
    Robbo is panicking …and it showed. The electorate have to ask itself: who is the more trustworthy the FM or Seamus McKee?
    Robbo doesn’t need the BBC to smear his reputation he seems to have managed it all on his own this evening. No-one will believe he has nothing to hide now.

  • Just watched that estate agent Peter Robinson with Seamus McKee. My God, O.J. Simpson looked less guilty. I doubt a single voter in East Belfast who watched that will vote for a Robinson ever again. It should be played on continuous loop outside every polling station in the East on election day.

  • unionistvoter

    he needs another couple of weeks off

  • Harry J

    an excellent performance by Peter. the full interview shows the BBC report to be nothing but lies lies and more lies.

    Peter is in fighting form, little wonder wee reg wants him out of the way for the next 6 weeks.

    Bye Reg, Bye Trevor Bye Ucunf

  • Belfast Gonzo

    When the BBC films an interview with the subject in front of a black background, it’s for a reason. The images are starker, the focus is entirely on the face – especially the eyes – they look isolated.

    Robbo’s PR team made a big mistake letting him do this, although he would have come across badly regardless.

  • Bungditin

    Also just watched the PR interview and a number of questions require answers.

    1. did Fred Frazer have a history of hanging on to other useless pieces of land that denied access to potential back land development? I vaguely recall a wrangle a number of years ago over a ransom strip, sorry useless piece of land, he held on to in stroke city.

    2. How can PR be so sure that he had a free standing piece of development land if, as he confirmed, he didn’t apply for planning permission?

    3. For him to gain access on to Gransha Rd, could he provide within his ownership, the adequate sight lines required to ensure safe vehicular access into / out of his site? In an urban context this normally requires land from adjoining front gardens. Perhaps this explains why he didn’t apply for planning permission!

    I would suggest the next step for the BBC is to employ a roads engineer to verify PR’s claims that he “didn’t require anyboby’s land” to provide access to develop his land. They might just find that there would be more than one ransom strip, sorry useless piece of land, along the front of Gransha Road!

  • Ulster Dandy

    Harry J your loyalty does you credit but the FM looked like a nutter. I know paranoia, suspicion and ad hominem attacks are considered de rigeur in DUP circles but Robbo is not the Big Man. The FM was looked like he was lashing out wildly. If these allegations are so easy to refute his lawyers would have been all over the BBC. Jim Allister, I note, has more or less threatened legal action if Robinson does not withdraw his remarks branding him a liar. Would love to see that one played out.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was written by William Shakespeare. That was about the only straight fact in that pathetic performance… do you think we all came down the Lagan in a bubble.

    Wonder how much Shakespeare Robbo has read?

    Everyone is a liar except Robbo, didn’t we hear that speech somewhere else this week…

  • GavBelfast

    I hope Trevor Ringland wins in East Belfast, but a Martin Bell-type candidate in sole opposition would be most welcome in this instance.

    A Tatton-style humiliation would be a joy to behold.


    You make me happy when skies are grey. You can only be a TUV-plant, but you’re too good now.

  • Seosamh913


    Indeed; as Robbo has quite clearly read it he’ll already be aware that two of the comedy’s central themes are deception and self-deception. Odd, that. Naturally, anyone with the audacity to query the FM’s probity and integrity in respect of these matters would have to be both a liar and/or a Provo, right ?

  • Harry J

    I hope Trevor Ringland wins in East Belfast,

    Trevor who? so tell me what politically has this guy done? he is even more worthless than Vance, who at least has run for office in the past

  • Bungditin

    Harry J – Trevor who…so tell me what politically has this guy done?

    Nothing…which is why this might just appeal to voters who are appalled at how DUP politicians have used their political position to line their own pockets!

  • Harry J

    Nothing…which is why this might just appeal to voters who are appalled at how DUP politicians have used their political position to line their own pockets!
    Posted by Bungditin on Apr 02, 2010 @ 10:49 PM

    oh please put your name to that then name the DUP politicans in question………please…please

  • Fabianus

    It was clever of the BBC to send Seamus McKee to interview PR. The contrast between the two could not have been starker: Seamus remaining the gentleman and Peter almost frothing at the mouth.

    You’d want to be in debt to Robinson (or he has some sort of hold over you) to wish to vote for him now.

  • Bungditin

    Harry J

    Short memory? Iris Robinson…or does she not count as she has been kicked out of the party for getting caught?

  • kelvin

    I am just wondering what Ian Paisley is making of this interview, or for that matter the DUP’s frontliners….

  • ardmaj55

    Bungitin. [18]
    Be afraid, Robbo. Be very afraid.
    The DUP got rid of Paisley Snr and Jnr. then they expelled your wife from the Party for the crime of being [apparently] clinically depressed.
    You’d better hope there are no DUP meetings before the election.

  • Harry J

    Iris Robinson…or does she not count as she has been kicked out of the party for getting caught?
    Posted by Bungditin on Apr 02, 2010 @ 11:10 PM

    so you mean DUP politican then not politicans.

    Glad you cleared that up

  • Driftwood

    Harry J/???/Paul -DUP sock muppet for slugger and elsewhere- please continue. Your predictions for the Euro election were desperately wrong and now pasted here.
    That’s ok, in the real world that ‘interview’ just confirmed what a lot of people are thinking.

    I agree that Reg is not a great leader, but he’s ‘normal’. Robinson was pathetic tonight and he will only win in East Belfast if Ringland doesn’t attract enough intelligent people out of apathy.

    You didn’t answer my question, on another thread, about what Rev ‘Dr’ Willie McCrea might think about two males sharing the same bedroom. Why is that?

  • Bungditin

    Harry J

    I think what you have just cleared up is an acknowledgement that corruption exists within the DUP. While you might be happy to accept that, by booting Iris out, this has addressed the problem, I for one, cannot accept that this is an isolated incident.

    I say this based on my previous posts disputing PR’s position in relation to the sale of his land, which I note you have not taken issue with, and the past contraversies over lobbying on behalf of private developers, which seems to be largely the preserve of the DUP.

  • Harry J, I’m still waiting on you accepting my bet from an earlier thread regarding the elections, whats the problem? I’ll even give you an uncalled for bonus and leave out East Belfast after Peter Five Quid’s own goal tonight!

  • Mrazik

    I say this based on my previous posts disputing PR’s position in relation to the sale of his land, which I note you have not taken issue with, and the past contraversies over lobbying on behalf of private developers, which seems to be largely the preserve of the DUP.

    Posted by Bungditin on Apr 03, 2010 @ 12:08 AM

    If only that were true…

  • ardmaj55

    Seosamh [13] A Freudian slip from Robbo, that reference to Shakespeare, perhaps. I’ve read that as a struggling actor, WS was also a moneylender, which, if true, gave him his insight into human nature and the material for ‘The Merchant of Venice, at least. He has still not answered the question from the Iris affair, that if she really was on 24hr suicide watch, how was he able to agree with his Party to expel her for the crime of being clinically depressed, and still remain as leader?.

  • Mick Fealty

    There is a lot of focus on the style of the interview in this thread, but little on the substance. Of course that matters in the eve of an election.

    But I don’t think the FM is far wrong in terms what the BBC got right and wrong. There may be legitimate questions arising, but the case is not as strong as the Beeb would have us believe. The original five pound deal does not appear to be the same as the one originally presented.

    And Robbo may be right when he says the valuer cannot have been given the full facts of the case, before the Beeb ran with it.

    This story contrasts strongly, for instance, with the bizarrely hygenic way the Corporation handled specific allegations from a rape victim about the way the IRA handled her ‘case’.

    The BBC chose to hide the precise nature of those allegations
    and instead gave the IRA a right of reply. Further efforts to press home questions on those charges were then treated by derision by the movement’s leadership.

    Perhaps Brian was right back in January when he argued there was no evidence of any direct political motive to any of this… In which case, perhaps it is just good old fashioned liberal bias…

    There is an issue here, but it is not directly concerned with BBCNI’s journalists as such (they have corralled the cream of local talent in Broadcasting House), but with a byzantine editorial process whose results that are strangely arbitrary and vulnerable to legitimate accusations of bias.

    Far better to do what Newsnight in London seem licensed to do, and give the journalists back some of their freedom to go out and sniff out a good story, certain in the knowledge that building a diverse team that over time you will eventually be able to hit all around you.

  • Harry J

    I think what you have just cleared up is an acknowledgement that corruption exists within the DUP. …

    You said you were talking about Iris,I dont know anyone who defends what she has done. now if you have any accusations about any other DUP member i suggest you name them and yourself.

  • Harry J

    Robinson was pathetic tonight and he will only win in East Belfast if Ringland doesn’t attract enough intelligent people out of apathy….

    so the Ulster Unionists are saying the people of east belfast are stupid? or just not decent to vote uup?

  • Bungditin

    “You said you were talking about Iris,I dont know anyone who defends what she has done. now if you have any accusations about any other DUP member i suggest you name them and yourself.”

    Only if you assure me you won’t be donning a red beret and nipping round to wave a shotgun certificate. But in the meantime….

    Jeffery Donaldson for ripping off the tax payer with the expectation that it was appropriate for us to fund his “family” viewing?

    Any others you can think of Harry who had to return tax payers’ money?

  • jtwo

    Here’s Mick back on his reporting-of-Adams hobby horse again which again betrays the fact that despite running a quasi-journalistic operation he has never been a journalist.

    If an organisation has done the original work on the story, know all the facts, the pitfalls, the nuances then they go in hard and direct. If they’re following up someone else’s primary work and have none of the original sources, documents and interviews they report the denial. That is the convention the world over – a position arrived at through experience and one in evidence over the latest Robinson story.

    But of course it’s so much easier on a blog when you can put
    out anything you like without doing any checks up to and
    identifying sexual assault complainants against their will and then pretending it isn’t a big deal.

    And surely Julian O’Neill was given the freedom to sniff out the story in this case just he was in the developing Nelson Street/Gilligan story. And I seem to remember Spotlight’s Dara McIntyre sniffing something out at the end of last year too.

  • I’m no fan of Robinson or the DUP, but unless someone can make this story stand up, surely his irritation is at least understandable?

    That was a ridiculously brittle performance, but as far as I can see (and leaving aside what may be a good question from Bungditin – comment 21, above) he’s not done anything wrong.

    There’s something of a Prisoners Dilemma gripping all politicians at the moment. There’s a huge focus on relatively minor fiddles that are often sins of omission as much as they are of commission. They all know that it’s doing no-one *that* much good and that it’s just going to increase the rate of abstention.

    They just know that – if they don’t indulge in it it as much as their opponents do – they will suffer in the short-term.

    By any standards, this is not a corrupt country by comparison with almost any other country in the world or any other point in history. This is all the equivalent of playing the man and not the ball but on a grand scale.

    Brendan O’Neill fairly nailed this question for me here:

  • Comrade Stalin

    I rewatched the interview from the start again, following what Mick pointed out above. If you take out Robinson’s bad temper and rants, essentially he refutes pretty much every allegation that McKee puts to him. When you boil it down, there’s nothing to show that Robinson benefited from the transaction other than an apparently unsubstantiated suggestion about capital gains tax.

    Robinson has a reputation for being incisive and having full command of all the facts in a situation. If you look past the ranting, that’s what you see here. The allegation put by the BBC that Robinson somehow derived some kind of corrupt benefit from the transaction would, if Robinson had been thinking a little more clearly, justify a formal complaint. In particular, the allegation that the BBC misled the land valuer and concealed this detail from the public is very serious. I suspect if these points had been made somewhat more clearly Robinson would have come out a lot better.

    As it stands right now, though, it’s quite difficult now to take this man seriously as a statesman or political leader, less because of what may well have been a relatively innocent transaction/favour between friends, and more due to the nasty, short-tempered and unlikeable person shown to the world in that interview.

  • ardmaj55

    Comrade, I would be inclined to agree about the flimsiness of the case against PR in last night’s performance, if it were an isolated case, but we have already seen a staged ’emotional’ TV performance three months ago, at a point when PR didn’t know the spotlight on iris was to be shown the next night. He was convincing for 24 hours.
    Now we find him in a synthetic rage about perfectly reasonable questions which had been put privately to him in the weeks before. Yet he acted as if he was hearing them for the first time. Robinson is wasted in politics. He belongs on the stage.

  • Comrade Stalin


    You’re wrong about a few things there. Firstly, Robinson did know that the Spotlight on Iris was being shown the next night, and he referenced this fact in the interview. That before, the night before the show, was an attempt to blunt the impact of the programme and present himself in a sympathetic light. Iris’ announcement about stepping down from public life was also put in train as soon as Robinson became aware that the allegations were in the process of becoming public.

    Secondly, I don’t think Robinson acted as if he was hearing the allegations for the first time. In this interview he mentioned directly about how the Mirror had run with this story a few months ago.

    I don’t think Robinson’s anger here is synthetic. It’s real, real enough to be damaging. It’s not completely misplaced either; McKee incessantly interrupted him in the course of putting across his point, and kept putting allegations (especially the one about Robinson being present in the council chamber whenever that particular planning matter was being discussed) which appear to have been untrue, given that McKee backed away from them. Did you also notice the inner city Belfast accent creeping through at times ?

  • ardmaj55

    Comrade. In the case of the declaring in council, of conflict of interests, I’m not fully up to speed on the changes depending on whether a subject is due to be discussed, but is then not. I take your point about the january interview. I’m sure i heard that BBC had brought forward without warning, the spotlight to get the element of surprise.I’m not clear about which of the two men were letting their inner ciy accents show. Did you mean Robinson? Mckee must have made a bit of a hash of his question on council if he had to back off again. I still have the interview on disc that PR gave to H&M a couple of years ago, that was even more testy.

  • Alias

    What you really need is a universal code of conduct that applies to all elected officials in public life rather than a mess of different codes that apply to different offices. The code should be robust and cover more than acceptable standards of conduct, but should also cover general fitness for office in respect to qualifications and proven ability or lack of. Admittedly, that part would be controversial but at some point folks are going to have to accept that if you allow the parties to nominate morons for public office then you will end up with a state run by morons – see a bankrupt Ireland for the consequences of this. There should then be a ‘political ombudsman’ who can investigate alleges breaches of the code and coordinate any required inquiries with the relevant state agency and manage the process from initial complaint to public conclusion.

  • Gonga Din

    As an ex DUP voter from the Shankill rd after watching this interview by Seamus Magee (BBC R/U )with Mr Arrogance Robinson the man has to stand down,Lets look back a while ago when Paisley jnr was in the headlines with that very honourable chap Sweeney form the north coast regarding property/rent so on, Og was hung drawn and quartered by his truely and the rest in the BIG DUP BUBBLE.
    Well for years these rat bags wound good working class Protestants up,they help put them in Northern Ireland jails,its about time they got their comeupins.
    Slap it right up the Robinsons, starts with B and ends with DS.

  • Drumlins Rock

    personally I dont think the BBC have did an proper in depth investigation, and thereby have failed to present this case in as strong a format as they should have, the key to the whole thing is, what was the land worth, and why did Fraser basically give it to PR. I personally believe it was key-land to enable the development of the whole plot, and as such was extremely valuable to the developer, which then raises the issue why would PR sell it for a fiver? The BBC do have questions to answer, like why had they not did their homework better and allowed Peter to bully his way through the argument.

  • kelvin

    I would tend to agree with Comrade. I think that this story has been blown way out of proportion, and Robinson certainly has a right to be both angry and frustrated but he should have tried to keep his cool. Had he remained calm, I truly believe that Robinson would have come out of the interview quite well. In addition, McKee’s hectoring and tendency to interrupt Robinson could be viewed as having added to the First Minister’s frustration because it was rather annoying…

  • jtwo

    The Mirror did not run with ‘this story’ a few months ago. They had one fact (a £5 transaction with Fraser) but due to a lack of curiosity or whatever made no further inquiries when the DUP gave them minimal info about the nature of the transaction.

  • Bungditin


    I do agree, though its not too late for the media to research, and perhaps disprove his forceful, and often repeated assertion that he could have developed his site via his own site without the need for neighbours land. I don’t know how he can make such a claim without ever having sought planning permission? If his assertion turns out to be untrue, it clearly blows his claim of the ransom stip being a worthless piece of land out of the water!

    By the way, it seems there is no footpath along the front of his house, just a grass embankment, about 1m wide at its narrowest and even narrower immediately along the neighbours frontage, where the critical splay is required. Also on a steep hill where traffic speed may be a concern.

    This is an issue that, if followed up properly, might just show him up for what he is accusing every one else of!

  • clancy

    “This story contrasts strongly, for instance, with the bizarrely hygenic way the Corporation handled specific allegations from a rape victim about the way the IRA handled her ‘case’.

    The BBC chose to hide the precise nature of those allegations
    and instead gave the IRA a right of reply. Further efforts to press home questions on those charges were then treated by derision by the movement’s leadership.”

    Mick, the sexual abuse cases you refer to involve active criminal investigations-might there not be a fear at the Beeb about delving too deeply at the moment without getting into murky legal waters? If the BBC had persisted their line of questioning, some of the same “Peter has been persecuted” crowd would be claiming the organization was deliberately trying to give Liam Adams and co. legal ammo by prejuidicing the trial!

    I know that Mick has commented several times in recent weeks about the Robinson coverage while “other” politicians are given a “bye ball”. But consider news coverage on Norn Iron in the bigger scheme beyond the past three months. The coverage of the unionist side of things, whether its been investigating its murkier aspects or just reporting on it period, has paled in comparison to the articles, programmes, and books investigating republicanism or Adams/McGuinnes particularly.

    The McConville murder, not to mention Adams involvement in events like Bloody Friday, has been given quite a bit of coverage over a period of YEARS. I’ve ordered, but haven’t received, the Hughes book. From the excerpts I’ve seen, some details are added about Jean McConville but I don’t know that there is anything that hasn’t already been well-covered over the years.

    This in no way gives Adams a free pass or excuses the actions that have been alleged, but fresh news about some politician’s alleged misconduct is always going to get a bit more space than “old news”.

  • ardmaj55

    Gonga din. I go along with that totally. The DUP are, and always have been out to exploit their own community, Robbo is a generation younger than Paisley, and took his cue from him. the same can be said of SF and Provos on our side.

  • Mick Fealty

    Clancy, then they should have dispensed with the utility of giving the IRA a response to a detailed account from the victim of her handling by the IRA, which they had in their possession (but did not publish) as a piece of ‘primary evidence’.

    Of course, the waters were pretty muddied around that time, as a result of some legal complications concerning one of the cases reported by the Tribune. But there were no such complications regarding the other: which was the only case relating to the right of reply given the IRA.

    All I’m saying is that it is bizarre to give any organisation (never mind an illegal one) a right of reply to a statement the same state broadcasting organising saw fit not to publish in the first place. In effect it places the rights of the group above the ongoing suffering of the individual victim.

    As for the Robbo story, the biggest aspect of it I’ve seen so far is Robinson’s intemperate response to the questions. There is not the slightest breach of the law proven (as yet) even after all those months of digging. Communal suspicion is not enough to bang someone to rights. Whether by blogs, or the MSM…

    Don’t get me wrong by the way. I don’t think the BBC should try to be impartial. They should try to be pluralist and give each side an equal bashing. At the moment what I see is some heavy air punching against Robbo and strangely defensive editing decisions viz a viz the integrity of the IRA.

  • Mick Fealty

    Well that seemed to have stopped the conversation in its tracks…