They’re all out to get me!

Check out the BBC interview with a visibly rattled and irate First Minister here.

Helpfully..ahem..I’ve included some Robinson quotes from the interview below:

“Are you so dense that you’re not picking up the point I’m making?”
“I wish you knew how silly you sound in all of this”
“Shakespeare wrote a story about this- it was called Much Ado About Nothing.”
“I’m in the business of helping people…..if somebody asks me to help them I’ll help them, even you. I will help anybody that I can.”
“who does the BBC think it is?”
“the BBC have the ability to make Mother Teresa look like Cruella Deville”
“The BBC’s consistent pattern: they raise a smear and then they go to my political opponents and they ask them to comment so they can continue with their smear campaign”
“I did not receive one penny of advantage from that sliver of land”
“Reg Empey, Michael McGimpsey Trevor Ringland, Jim Allister and the BBC are all liars”

Go watch for yourself- and don’t forget the popcorn.

  • martin r

    Don’t ever call a QC a liar in public unless you are 100% sure that he is and you can prove it.

    In fact even then it’s probably not a very good idea.

  • DeargDoom

    Beyond arrogance.

  • Cynic2

    Time to go

  • Cynic2

    Who in the DUP thought this was a good idea?

  • UlsterScotty

    Echoes of that Norwegian football commentator! “Maggie Thatcher! Lady Diana!”. Have his meds been changed recently?

  • joeCanuck

    Bah; As I pointed out earlier, can’t get it over here. So thanks for the quotes, Chris. Gives me a flavour of how rattled and rude he is.
    Hopefully it will appear on youtube.

  • Drumlins Rock

    What about a politician who is im sure as good a friend of QCs as he is of developers?

    “I did not receive one penny of advantage from that sliver of land”

    that is the critical line, if ANY even minimal advantage for that strip can be proven then he has just dug himself alot deeper, alot of his reasoning hinges on the asumption that an alternative access directly onto the Gransha road could be created along where his garage currently is, that would be an issue for the planning service, it looks possible but noway certain, would like to consult an expert! HOWEVER even if that access was available then he would have had to demolish the garage and significantly reduce the frontage and privacy of his existing dwelling, and incurr considerable costs in doing so, therefore gaining access across the £5 strip would have saved him considerably more than a penny.

  • Alias

    “This piece of ground was of no value [i]to me[/i] whatsoever.”

    He qualifies his statement, since the land as clearly valuable to somebody if it was independently valued at 75k.

    Presumably, he avoids capital gains tax on the transaction by buying it and selling it (as part of the deal for his own land) for the same price. But that is something that the Inland Revenue should look into.

    Adding in legal fees for the purchase and sale, the cost would have been more than a fiver, so there are other questions there about why he would spend a few thousand that he knew he would derive no benefit from.

  • Mark McGregor

    He will be fine.

    The votes will fall on tribal lines – both Adams and Robbo will refer to mandate and unless the new RUC come calling both will be grand while annoyed.

    The electorate and fellow party members have declared the antics of this pair aren’t an issue – god help us all.

    Though it was a tiny bit ridiculous hearing McGuinness saying yesterday that Peter has questions to answer – aye, like you don’t.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    “To lose one MP in the family, Mr. Robinson, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

    That’s from another ‘story’ that Peter probably hasn’t read, but then again it was by Oscar Wilde before he took the cure…..

  • alan56

    Robbo looks seriously rattled here. He looks like a man doing the only thing he knows… going on the attack. This approach has worked throughout his political career and he is depending on it now.Problem is times have changed and it is more difficult to sustain. The ‘tipping point’ could be close

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mark rarely do politicians crumble and fall in a startling manner like Iris did, usually its a chip chip chip away, I think a good few chips have been knocked out of PR although hes not down yet they are getting past a patch up job, GA is not that far behind, but he might just get away with it, if more dosnt come out…

  • Bungditin


    Indeed…I refer to my point made in previous coverage

    “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!

  • joeCanuck

    He should change his name by Deed Poll to Kenneth Williams – him of the “infamy, infamy….” fame.

  • Greenflag

    They’re out to get Pope Benedict
    They’re out to get Cardinal Brady
    They’re out to get Gerry Adams
    They’re out to get Iris Robinson
    They’re out to get Brian Cowan
    They’re out to get Brian Lenihan
    They’re out to get Enda Kenny
    They’re out to get Gordon Brown
    They’re out to get Ian Paisley Jr
    They’re out to get House of Commons MP’s
    They’re out to get Fianna Fail
    They’re out to get President Obama

    And now they’re out to get Peter Robinson

    Sure why not 😉 I mean it would’nt be fair to leave the man out eh ;)?

    I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Robinson on his upcoming victories in the Westminster Elections and also Mr Adams .

    God won’t be helping anybody except the bankers , the IMF , Wall St , and the City of London .Shag the rest -they deserve what they get including the politicians they voted for 😉

    Carry on up the Bann/Lagan /Erne etc etc

  • West Sider


    how very dare you post a thing such as this on the Sluggish O Toole and Unionist Party site.

    People do strange things in the course of their lives and – to borrow from Davros Allister – a hard-nosed investor just sometimes sees and feels the light of the Lord and decides to let one go to help the God fearing millionaires in the Lord’s country.

    You’re going straight to Hell, boy, for believing otherwise.

  • Harry J

    oh dear all the little ucunfs are going mad tonight. Maybe theyre afraid of who will be next to leave there sinking ship.

    We shall find out soon enough. Robbo will easily win east belfast. Ringland will drift away, empey will be gone. Basil or McNasty will lead the UUP into its final years.

    All good.

  • Los Lobos

    Ain’t there something about the word “sliver” that makes you stop and think? It’s so similar to the word “Silver” that it conjures up Bibical stories of 12 coins being passed to a certaint deciple who’s love of money and power was greater than the love of his friends and comrades. Given that the DUP party was built on a hardline interpetation of the afore mentioned book is it not poetic that “St Peter” finds himself hanging from the BBC cross at this holy time of the year? Delicious irony, where else would you get it in such large portions?

  • kelvin

    I found this interview with Robinson not only embarrassing but quite disturbing…Robinson looked and sounded like a man having a major, and very public breakdown (and who could blame him to be honest?).

    I actually had to turn off this particular interview half way through because I found it much too difficult to watch. In all honesty, I can understand Robinson’s frustration but he really should not have agreed to participate in this interview in such an overtly stressful state, hence the paranoid and aggressive stance.

    Clearly, the man is under enormous personal and professional pressure and it seemed to explode during that interview. I actually feel quite sorry for him, but I think he seriously needs some space away from public life and the media – if anything, for his own health. The man does not look well (anyone notice the redness around his eyes, a sure sign of stress!) and his demeanour today was more to do with stress than arrogance.

    Can you imagine the personal and professional pressure he has been under in recent months: the fact that his entire personal and political life has been turned upside down and trampled upon by both the media and the public alike? – more often than not for public amusement.

    It can’t be easy to be under such huge public scrutiny (regardless of his role as First Minister) and to have your wife and her lover thrown in your face at every opportunity, as it was during this interview – that has got to hurt, not matter what. I don’t think that this interview was a demonstration of an arrogant and aggressive man, more an illustration of a man imploding with stress! He obviously needs a break and I can only assume that the constant media pressure and questioning about his personal life is hugely damaging and could quite possible endanger his health. I am not saying that the press should not question him in a legitimate manner, but I do think that people have to be very careful here or else something quite serious could happen. A quick investigation on Lexis Nexis of newspaper articles published since January on the Robinson’s is simply staggering and the fact that the press has dragged his children, particularly his daughter into this entire mess is indicative of the media’s concerted attempts to besmirch Robinson’s name and to engender unfounded allegations of scandal. As I said elsewhere, if the press throws enough mud then it eventually sticks and that it all that matters for the public.

    In any regard, we have no idea what sort of pressure he is under, or the harassment he is enduring from both the press and the public…it can not be healthy, as tonight has rather disturbingly illustrated.

    In this regard, I hope things work out for him in his personal life, and that he and his family can regain a semblance of normality and happiness. And, if he is innocent, I do hope that he can prove his innocence and that people will leave him and his family alone. I actually feel that since the Hillsborough Agreement, Robinson has been working very hard for this country and I would like to think, that if he is innocent, that he can continue to work for Northern Ireland and retain his position and political career.

    I actually hope that Robinson is re-elected and continues in his good, political work. Good luck.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    Kelvin – surely you mean that you want him NOT to be re-elected, as you clearly point out he is under terrible terrible stess and ‘ can not be healthy’. Poor man, and with his poor sick wife an all….

  • Salem

    who thought this interview was a good idea ? Peter is terrible and shows himself to be a bully !!

  • kelvin


    If he can manage the job then yeah, let him be re-elected – if he is innocent, all the more luck to him because I cannot imagine having your entire career destroyed by unfounded allegations…

    I don’t see why you have to be so cynical or unsympathetic – surely, one has some degree of sympathy purely on a personal basis with the man. You don’t have to like the man, but can appreciate the pressure he is under.

  • Kelvin, that was a thoughtful post. Watching the interview was deeply uncomfortable, but some points arise. The Peter Robinson who presented himself in early January as a broken man was not the same person who addressed journalists in a confrontational way a couple of days later and definitely not the confident and composed figure we saw at the White House last month. He certainly appeared on the edge last night, but he himself, rather than outside sources, introduced his daughter into the debate through a curious interview in the Belfast Telegraph. It’s hard to know how to judge him, but it is much harder to see how he can continue in his role.

  • JoeCannuck, have you tried the BBC NI news website, you may be able to watch it from there. Or try a UK proxy server.

  • D.A.

    Err Peter, if the land was of no value and wasn’t a ransom strip, why exactly did you want it?

    Go now, you odious little twerp.

  • What we need is a Newsnight special with Paxman taking on Adams and Robinson. Can’t see either having the balls to agree to it though, they know they’d be lambs to the slaughter.

  • Driftwood

    Kelvin is a DUP staffer who is striving to prop up the Robinson moneyfest. Along with HarryJ, Paul etc.
    Probably all the sock muppet names are Simon Hamilton, or someone employed by him at the taxpayers expense.

    As for Peter Robinsons’ daughter Rebekah, let’s see if any questions are asked about her marriage and separation from her ‘ex’ gay husband.

  • S in DC

    Like our Canuck colleague, someone please let me know if this pops up on YouTube. I’d love to see it.

  • joeCanuck

    I’ve tried that. Nothing works outside the islands any more. Used to be no problem. Now get message saying not available in your area.
    Thanks anyway for the suggestions.

  • dwatch

    [i]“Reg Empey, Michael McGimpsey Trevor Ringland, Jim Allister and the BBC are all liars”[/i]

    Why then don’t they prove they are not liars and sue Peter Robinson for ‘definition of character’ and false accusations. After all Ringland is a lawyer and they all have enought dosh to pay for legal advice.

    You know the saying ‘put your money were your mouth is’

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    So first it was supposed to be The Belfast Telegraph which, most of all, had it in for the Robinsons (and the Paisleys made the same ridiculous charge before that. More recently, it’s the BBC, which dares to question our First Citizen. There must be other candidates being readied for a new MOPE category (Most Oppressed Prods Ever) then…..
    And to repeat, in case it’s forgotten, when is Peter Robinson, going, as he stated, to release the terms-of-reference given to QC Paul Maguire for his “inquiry” into the two loans given via Iris Robinson, to determine Peter Robinson’s role or non-role ? How narrow (or broad?) were the TORs ? We are still waiting to hear. Why the lengthening delay ? And again, did the taxpayers of Northern Ireland foot the QC’s bill and, if so, how much was it ? They are entitled to know.
    Maybe Peter R and Gerry Adams need to found a “victims”-of-the-BBC-etc group.
    The arrogance of both these politicians is staggering. How impertinent and cheeky the meejah and any other so-called “critics” are! Lese majeste! Now they know how the Pope feels, one assumes. And there’s another suitable case for treatment…..

  • joeCanuck

    new MOPE category

    Here’s another couple:
    Most Oppressed Politicians Ever.
    Most Oppressed Pope Ever.

  • dwatch

    When is Reg Empey going to stand aside while
    there is an investigation into how Lord Ashcroft (Empey’s UCUNF sponsor) cheated the british taxpayer out of £100 million?

    [b]I won’t quit, says Peter Robinson[/b]
    But Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey said Mr Robinson should stand aside while there is an investigation into how he bought a strip of land from a developer for £5.

    [b]David Cameron ‘running scared’ over peer scandal[/b]
    Former Tory chairman Norman Tebbit also put the boot in, saying the truth about Lord Ashcroft’s tax status should have been revealed years ago. Mr Cameron’s allies are desperately trying to pin the blame on shadow foreign secretary William Hague.

  • Cynic2

    Robinson’s argument is that the ransom strip had no value to him as the site could have been accessed via the rest of his property ie past his house. So therefore he gained nothing.

    Forgive me, but if he had granted right of way past his house or through his existing site there were 2 issues:

    1 for 30 years Peter has been one of the most protected politicians in NI. His house has big gates. At one stage his house was guarded 24/7 and we assume that PSNI still ferry him around (presumably to protect him from enraged TUV supporters). So how exactly would he have granted that right of access?

    2 if you sell a house with a right of access through it, it’s harder to sell and the price drops dramatically. So the £5 ransom sliver of land would prevent a significant loss in value on the existing house

    In that context, Mr Robinson, pray tell us how was there no pecuniary advantage in the strip?

    Slivergate will run and run

  • Cynic2

    MOPE Most Oppressed Peter Ever

  • Impartial Reporter

    Most Oppressed Prat Eever?

  • the future is bright the future is orange

    To be honest, I’m struggling to find out what Pete has done wrong… Okay, the other guy and pete avoided paying capital gains tax – but, neither made any money either… Say robbo had paid 40k for it and sold it for 60k and paid no CGT, then, obviously that would be amiss. Obviously, a few favours have been handed it but it’s hardly earth shattering, although, please let me know if I’ve missed something!!!

  • the future is bright the future is orange

    ps, the interview is shocking lol.

  • Do you think Ian Jr …. and Paisley Snr, are miffed at having their dynastic line interrupted and usurped by an smart ass insider, who has abused the Party’s trust to enrich himself at their and their churchy followers’ expense?

    It certainly has shown everyone that their is no active credible alternative leadership to the present abortion of a Mr Bean clone/Tony Blair wannabe, and that makes it a lame duck political entity in these modern times of instant and brutal transparency and reverse engineering for deep packet inspection of shared thought and political text……. or deep packet inspection for reverse engineering of shared thought and politicised text.

  • cynic47


    What did he do wrong?

    He got sussed!!

    If the purpose of the interview was to clear his name I felt that all it did was raise more unanswered questions. Is there anyone in the DUP machine even remotely concerned about all this? If not the whole affair, and others, says more about the party than PR.

  • Bungditin

    Cynic2 – post 9
    There are serious doubts over whether PR, although he claims, could actually provide access through the front of his property.

    The DOE Vehicular Access Standards (DCAN 15)would suggest that such an access would need to be a minimum of 6m wide with 10m exit / entry raidii.
    The visibility splay required for an access such as this within a 30mph zone is 60m either side of the access. This would mean that PR would be required to have control of up to 120m of road frontage and to keep it clear of walls, fences, etc. This would undoubtedly require parts of his neighbours’ gardens….which he could no doubt purchase at a fiver a time!

    I don’t think he has thought that one through, before he categorically stated “I didn’t require anybodies land to develop my land”!

  • “Mr Robinson, can I ask you first, why did Fred Fraser sell you a valuable piece of land for £5?” ….

    A simple enough question to answer without going into a raving rant about something completely different. I wonder why he chose to do that?

  • Comrade Stalin


    As for Peter Robinsons’ daughter Rebekah, let’s see if any questions are asked about her marriage and separation from her ‘ex’ gay husband.

    That is a pathetically low remark to make about anybody. You’re a sad case.

  • Drumlins Rock

    hiya bungd, was thinking the same and did question it when it was raised in the BBC report, Im guessing that was included at the insistance of Peter lawyers. There is no way on earth that is a “worthless sliver” in fact I will put an offer of £1,000 for it on the table, equally silly compared to its real value, I actually think the £70-100K was on the conservative side, I guess that was before things went crazy.

    With regards to the entrance, if there were less than 6 houses an unadopted road is possible, but that in turn affects the value of the houses and rules out any adjacent land being developed, (which raises the issue that the “worthless sliver” was and is a ransom strip to all the other plots included in this deal) as for sight lines it depends on the width of the footpath, certainly he would not need a full 120M and the sighline to the right could probably be contained within his own property (at massive costs of rebuilding his boundary wall) if the footpath is less than 2m wide the sightline to the left is highly likely to require the neighbours boundary fence moved back, all rather complicated and expensive, certainly more than a fivers worth.

  • PACE Parent

    A simpler question as yet unasked: “Mr Robinson, can I ask you first, why did you ask Fred Fraser to sell you a non-valuable piece of land?”.

    To grow more DUP voting vegetables perhaps?

  • Comrade Stalin

    It was a disastrous decision by Robinson and/or the DUP to proceed with that interview. Accusation of lies, conspiracies, witchhunts and all the rest in the face of clearly questionable (not necessarily wrong – merely “questionable”) property dealings are not the way for someone to endear himself to the public.

  • Peter Robinson sounds like one of those Tory MPs who are going. He cannot imagine that voters think Ministers are not better than them, but actually our humble servants who should renounce all worldly goods to serve the poor. He thinks he has a right to personally profit from his political life – like Charlie Haughey.

    It isn’t a question of whether he has done anything illegal, but whether he has sold his soul to the Devil.

    Few outside the DUP, and not one single Green Party councillor would cosy up to developers without a single qualm, like the Robinsons have.

  • Bungditin


    Thanks for that…I agree that this is and was always meant to be a ransom strip!

    Presumably a simple desk top exercise with an OS map by someone with an understanding of vehicular access standards would give a reasonable indication of whether PR’s claims are (deliberately)misleading?

  • joeCanuck

    The window of opportunity for Robinson to sue the BBC for the libel arising from these obvious smears, thus demeaning his reputation, is closing fast. Your good name can only be damaged if you have one to begin with. That’s the reason Adams doesn’t sue for the things said about him.

  • Mrazik

    Harry J,

    You’re beginning to remind me of Comical Ali!

  • It was may be not a ransom strip that he [Mr Robinson] required for development and sale of his land, but it was vital to ensure and stop anyone else interested in further more comprehensive development of adjacent lands/back gardens, with a possible percentage of the sale of built properties on that land, going to the holder of that non-ransom strip.

    That is one hell of a benefit denied to an interested other, surely?

    What size was the part of the back garden sold by Mr Robinson for a very tidy £495000? Does anyone know? How many hectares?

  • andnowwhat

    Seamus Mc Kee, “Mr Robinson, why did Mr Frazer sell you the land for 5 pounds?”

    Peter Rodinson replied “RANT smear RANT smear RANT smear ETC.” But did not answer.

    Disguting and ill mannered behaviour towards Seamus Mc Kee

  • Garza

    About time our politicans got a grilling from the press. The politicans here have had it way to easy compared to down south or the mainland UK. Maybe thats because the press didn’t want to rock the boat in anyway while peace was being made.

    It seems peace here is secure enough for the press to find their balls again. About time!!

  • gmacor

    I had been approached by a developer for a strip of land and we were unable to agree a price. I sold the piece of land to a very close friend for £5. This close friend then sold it to a developer for what he paid. I should have been beside myself with rage at such an act of betrayal but I was not.
    At a later time I was also able to help the wife of my very close friend with a gift of 5000 £5 pounds.
    You may have great difficulty in making any sense of my largess but then you do not know the whole story.

  • andnowwhat

    Judging by Peter’s antics, Iris might have to get a double bed put in to her side ward

  • The wee gurrl is just beginning a career in the courts of the land (OK: of England).

    Just last week, as she narrated, she was emphasising to a client that never, under any circumstances, should he stand in the witness box and accuse the other side of lying.

    The opposing barrister managed, almost, to inveigle just that accusation.

    The wee gurrl’s client began, “I know my lawyer has told me not to say this, but …”

    At which point the Judge, no less, intervened to say, “Mr X: I think on this matter you should follow that advice.”

    Mr Robinson was clearly also in need of the wee gurrl’s input.

    Alternatively, this seems to be yet another occasion when Dennis Healey’s inherited Ulster commonsense, as evidenced in his famous First Law of Holes, should have been invoked:

    When in a hole, stop digging.

  • Procrasnow

    Well done Peter, attack the BBC, It’s the best form of defence.

    discrediting the whistle blower is another good defensive tactic

    I noticed that Peter on each question of the market value of this slither of land kept referring to the market value of his garden, not answering the question asked.

    Are there any more bits of land up there worth only £5?

    I wonder if Peter was value the land known as Northern Ireland as low as that slither of land?

  • Mrazik

    The “sliver” valuation makes the NAMA haircut look modest.

  • This story is going to run and run, and its implications seem to be growing with each passing day. The BBC deserves to be commended for sticking with it and putting forward the right person, Seamus McKee, to conduct the decisive interview. UTV, in fairness, has followed it up, and the coverage in the daily papers has ranged from the excellent to the patchy.

    However, one outlet, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE, seems to have swallowed Peter’s feeble Much Ado About Nothing reference and decided that the issue is not worth covering at all either last night or today.

    This is not down to resources, as RTE has been given the same Press Association report as UTV but decided not to use it.

    RTE has also largely ignored the difficulties of Gerry Adams, apart from the time when he abruptly arrived on their doorstep with the remarkable revelations about his father.

    This is all very puzzling, as RTE devoted plenty of attention to other northern developments but does not appear to be in the least concerned about the potential departure of the leaders of one or both of the two largest NI political parties. Can anyone shed some light on it ?

  • Greenflag

    malcolm redfellow ,

    The First Law of Holes does not apply in the land of holes -holy grounds- or holier than thou -saved by grace etc etc 😉

    As we have observed on occasions too numerous to mention when any party in NI digs itself into a hole there is a genetic predisposition to keep on digging deeper in the hope that the hole will get smaller when they emerge out somewhere in the antipodes 😉 ‘

    Healey’s bushy eyebrows and soft-spoken wit earned him a favourable reputation with the public. When the media were not present, his humour was equally caustic but more risqué:

    One of Denis Healey’s caustic comments seems so fitting for Ireland -North and South today -that it could be directed at the political parties , bankers , churches etc

    “These fallacies (pronounced like ‘phalluses’) are rising up everywhere”,

    he once retorted at a meeting of Leeds University Labour Society.

    We have no shortage of fallacies in Ireland these days 😉 But then some might say that was always the case except we we were less likely to admit it in bygone days.

  • granni trixie

    As a wee softie, I actually do have sympathy on a human level for a man in deep shit.

    But aside from covering myself with my better nature,won’t the interview go down with other behind the sofa moments?. LIke a rattled GA the other day or even the interview with LADY Di years ago.

    What about when PR asked Seamus him why he was reading questions off a page! I kept trying to read what was going on with SMcK. Had he drawn the short or long straw? One thing is for sure, the journalist will dine out on this for many years.

    I am also surprised that Sluggerites seem to keep losing track of the central issue: that the £5 strip matters because of what it implies about the Robinsons relationship with developer(s). This is what PR was probably trying to obscure in the interview.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I think your sympathy might lessen if you talked to people who have crossed swords with PR over the years, also questions and rumours have circulated for decades concerning his relationship with certain developers, I even heard them out here in the wild west, therefore who can blame the BBC for digging and digging, and now it seems Peter is busy digging too!

  • pinni

    The BBC is out to get Robbo. That’s why, everyday, everyday this week they have given pride of place on their bulletins and in their website top-story section to innuendo and the comments of his pathetically irrelevant political opponents.

    This report in the Newsletter is a little more objective.

  • Seosamh913


    The man’s FM and should be discouraged from imagining that this won’t continue. If he has nothing to hide then he should not be losing the run of himself on TV and playing this faux persecution complex card. Whether he likes it or not, he is in a job that requires intense media scrutiny, if he doesn’t care for that way of life or doesn’t have the temperament for it then he should consider an alternative career.

  • joeCanuck

    pinni, just a little more. The NL ignore many key points such as him calling people liars.
    Anyway, from the interview, Robinson says: “The people out there aren’t interested in the BBC’s smears”.
    If he truly believes that, then apart from everything else, he is self-delusional. Not a healthy thing for a Party leader, just before an election

  • granni trixie

    Pinni: Far be it from me to defend the BBC, but:

    do you, or do you not, think that it is in the public interest to know about PR/IR relationship with property developers? This matter has also been given legs by how PR has deal with questions ie blame the messenger.

    You might as well say that asking GA if he was in the IRA or questions concerning how he dealt with his nieces accusations about her father, is a media witchhunt not a legitimate line of enquiry.

  • OscarTheGrouch

    I’m writing this trying not to laugh out loud, how anyone can try and justify this behaviour (either pecuniary or personal) is incredible. And the ways of doing it… poor man is under stress, he bought some land for £5 and sold it for £5 he made no profit (actually he should make a stronger point – it was an act of altruism as he must have paid legal fees?….), attacking his poor family, he’s got a sick wife, its a BBC conspiracy, Seamus McKee is the Rotweiller of the media (actually he’s a great choice for our politicians – but honestly…), and the poor man obviously was an old mate of Mother Teresa, and see how well read he is – he’s even read a ‘story’ by Shakespeare.

    So folks out there in the DUP smoke screen camp, good luck with that!

    Now where is Gerry, I fancy some variety in my entertainment….

  • [quote][i]This report in the Newsletter is a little more [url=]objective.[/url][/i] ….. Posted by pinni on Apr 03, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

    pinni, that Newsletter report is just a collection of snippets from the broadcast. It adds absolutely nothing, which is most disappointing for a newspaper.

  • jtwo

    Oldhack surely you’re not suggesting the RTE desk in Dublin is getting poor advice from a certain back channel in Belfast?

  • Pigeon Toes

    “the whistle blower is another good defensive tactic”

    Ach now they would never do that…

  • I’m not really suggesting anything jtwo, just asking a question. I have been listening fairly regularly to RTE and Robinson does not seem to featuring on their bulletins at all so far today and the last reference to him on their website was more than 48 hours ago. Perhaps they will be embarrassed into an update at some stage, but failing to cover one of the biggest political stories of the year defies belief. Any weak legal concerns could not prevent them from at least reporting that Allister and Ringland have demanded a retraction from Robinson, while Empey is considering a similar response. It is by no means the first time that RTE has looked the other way during major political dramas in Belfast of late, and there must be some sort of explanation for it all.

  • PJM

    On RTE, my guess is that there are two reasons.
    1. The RTE narrative on the north is entirely ‘Peace Process’ related. If Robinson or Adams’s sutuations endangered devolution of P&J they would report it but they are not covering the election here at all. Even my political junkie friends are barely paying attention.

    2. This has been a huge news week in the south because of the economy and there is not a lot of room for what they see as a local political scandal.

  • jtwo

    And also Tommy would prefer not to rock the boat given his massive personal investment in getting SF and the DUP together?

  • PJM, there’s no doubt it has been a massive news week down south and no one would suggest that the Robinson case should lead the RTE bulletins. However, they have been able to find space today to cover power cuts in the north, and a dead eagle in Killarney, but not the imploding first minister. The RTE website suggests that nothing has been carried about Robinson since last Tuesday, which is verging on the astonishing. There has also been very little attention to the Gerry Adams saga, even though it is RTE which is due to screen the documentary about the Moloney book later in the summer.

  • Critical Alien
  • Critical Alien
  • PJM

    Fair points and certainly the coverage has been rubbish. The tendency in RTE has always been to deal with NI in terms of conflict or social stories but not to cover internal politics. They barely dealt with the SDLP leadership or the UUP-Conservative alliance either. It doesn’t help that their correspondant is very poor.
    I remember when I moved here from Dublin, suddenly realising that I knew next to nothing about current Northern politics – despite being a historian of the region – except what fitted the RTE framework.
    BTW: The Irish Times also gave this a small slot on page 5.

  • GFASupporterButRealist

    23: And also Tommy would prefer not to rock the boat given his massive personal investment in getting SF and the DUP together?

    Yeah, the breathless Tommy Gorman, power-broker between the DUP and SF and not just your ordinary journalist, oh know, but a fully-fledged peace-processor, doesn’t just not rock the boat; he’s an enthusiastic co-pilot! He’s a player! RTE’s Tommy wants to stay the course….better not to annoy Peter R or Gerry A; must be an OBE coming his way any day now, probably delivered by one of turncoat Tory Shaun Woodward’s two butlers or via the plethora of stuffed-shirt moguls from the DSFA (Dept of Sinn Fein Affairs) at Iveagh House. Tommy, another giant from RTE, which has the colossus of Charlie Bird, homesick Washington correspondent and countless other egomaniacs. Those RTE hacks. At least Seamus McKee earns his pay……Who wd have thought BBCNI and the Bel Tel would be the investigators of the year!?

  • kelvin

    Driftwood: Please, grow up. Just because I have shown a degree of support for Robinson, and just because I have tried to view this entire situation on a personal level does not make me a ‘DUP staffer’. I am not a member of the DUP, I am not a supporter of the DUP and nor do I have any other connections to the political parties here in Northern Ireland, so please grow up and don’t accuse everyone who has shown a degree of support for Robinson as being a ‘DUP’ member – as if there is some sort of conspiracy theory going on.

  • kelvin @ 07:58 PM:

    Surely the whole essence of this thread is Robinson’s assertion that:

    there is some sort of conspiracy theory going on.

    When the First Minister does an emotional strip-tease, toys-out-of-pram in all directions, wholesale denunciations that every named individual in sight is lying (except our boy), one has to marvel at any attempt to defend the indefensible.

    Good grief! I’ve just found a point of agreement with Driftwood! I’ll have to take another wee glass to recover.

  • Greenflag @ 11:35 AM:

    Sorry: I tried to respond to that one earlier: Virginmedia got in the way.

    An old man maunders on:

    You have Dennis Healey off to a T.

    In the February 1974 campaign, Transport House offered my campaign (“my” = the alter-ego of this pseudonym) two speakers: Manny Shinwell and Dennis Healey.

    We had the nonagenarian Manny in the safe Labour part of the constituency (we expected at best a few dozen: we lost count at over four hundred). He spoke, without notes, for over an hour and held his audience spell-bound.

    Knowing our man, we arranged the Healey meeting in the safe Tory end. To this the young Tories turned up in droves, expecting to barrack, heckle and disrupt. As if. It was a masterclass in oratory and crowd management. After 49 minutes e’en the rank of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer. To their credit, they clapped him off the stage.

  • dwatch

    I think Kevin has a point. One does not have to be a DUP or Robinson supporter to work out a hate campaign of sour grapes and bitterness is going against the DUP Leader and his family.

    In fact many more East Belfast voters may turn out to give him a sympathy vote to help him win the election by many thousands majority over the UCUNF candidate Trevor Ringland

  • joeCanuck

    Do you know what the bookies odds are, perchance? Serious question to anyone who knows.

  • dwatch

    No, but Robinson has held East Belfast since 1979. My supposition is the odds are still in his favour even with the recent media onslaught against him and his family. My guess would be 2 to 1 on for Robinson with 2 to 1 against for Ringland.

  • Driftwood

    i wouldn’t disagree with your outlook re; the bookmakers. Though the demographics of East Belfast are changing, Robinson will be favourite.
    Rugby is not a No.1 sport in Ballybeen etc but Ringland will attract former Alliance voters and he’s a smart cookie. They may see that Long hasn’t a mission and vote for a party that can win. That said the TUV will struggle (especially if the PUP stand)so I expect a DUP hold. That may not translate across the province but there’s several weeks to go. It will be nothing to do with a ‘sympathy’ vote though. Just habit.
    ps Whatever happened to Bill Craig? Is he dead or what?

  • Comrade Stalin

    They may see that Long hasn’t a mission and vote for a party that can win.

    Do you want to put money on Long beating Ringland in the poll ?

  • joeCanuck

    Bill Craig: Not dead, lives in Bangor area. Last seen in the public eye early 80’s I believe. Someone claimed on another blog last week that he had become a public drunk and nuisance even discharging his PP weapon in the street. That likely should be taken with a sack of salt.

  • Driftwood

    Go for it CS
    A tenner to the charity of your choice, or slugger. Based on who wins the seat. If Robinson wins-void- but we’ll go 50/50 on who takes the seat if he doesn’t.

  • Drumlins Rock

    what about Purvis and Vance? who will take the most Robinson votes? i would go with purvis.

  • PJM

    Ladbrooks are offering 1/4 that PR is elected. 4/1 on Ringland. No idea how good their numbers are.
    I don’t know the constituency but based on the past results, I’d have thought Ringland would make a dent in the Alliance numbers given his appeal to the same class base and similar political profile. Robinson’s strategy seems to be to shore up his core vote even if he drops to his previous low of 42% he’d be fine.

  • granni trixie

    There is no contest re the profile of Naomi and Trevor Ringland: she has come through the ranks from a primary school in E. Belfast to being currrent Lord Mayor. She is an experienced local councillor and MLA wheras his profile is within sport and (fair play to him) trying to make a difference in reconciliation. He has little experience even within the UU party and is sure to suffer from UU/Tory baggage. Naomi has
    much greater voter recognition thanb he and is regarded by many as having the best chance of Alliance winning the seat since Oliver Napier was within hundreds of doing so.

  • granni trixie

    BTW, should have added. Do the sluggerites above think we came up the Lagan in a bubble and dont notice their strategy to big up TR, who has only a slight chance, to disguise the fact that Naomi is the person the DUP and UU ought to fear?.

  • No we really are into the realms of an Alliance wet dream.

    At the last election, she polled just shy on 19%. Couple that with unfavorable boundary changes, and Naomi is hardly a serious contender for MP.

  • Garza

    Quick question if Naomi Long wins East Belfast will she be quitting her other 3 jobs?? Or is she going to quadruple-job?? Thats even more jobs that Sammy Wilson.

    I know she is the Alliance’s standard bearer and everything, but no person could do 4 jobs.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Garza, I believe if Naomi wins East Belfast she’ll step down as an MLA (in common with other Alliance candidates).

    Driftwood, I don’t call a tenner putting your money where your mouth is. £100 says that Long beats Ringland. Benefit to the Simon Community. You on ? I think you’re onto a loser, not because of the candidate but because of the party. If Ringland was standing as some sort of independent moderate, then I’d be worried.

    joe, I believe that Bill Craig lives in a nursing home at this point. He was interviewed about five or six years ago by Peter Taylor, and was clearly fading at that time.

  • joeCanuck

    Thanks for that update on Bill Craig. He was a thoroughly nasty man. I hope he has mellowed with the years.