Peter Robinson: “I think I have the right to be a bit down at times…”

In the wake of the extraordinary incendiary interview on BBC television involving DUP leader Peter Robinson and Seamus Mc Kee many questions have been raised about
Mr. Robinson’s state of mind. In the course of the interview with Mr McKee, Mr Robinson branded Reg Empey, Trevor Ringland, Michael Mc Gimpsey and Jim Allister ‘liars.’

Everywhere I go people are asking: “Has Robinson lost it ?” “So have you lost it. Peter ?” I asked.Gathering his thoughts, the DUP leader said:

“Can I say to you Eamonn – If anyone had a right to be down and despairing it would be me. I am the one that has to go over and see my wife after she has been stalked around
the streets of London when she is out on rehabilitation. I am the one that has to hold her when she is shaking and in tears – So I have the right I think, to be a bit down at times.”

  • socaire

    Eamonn, it wasn’t an extraordinary incendiary interview. It was how any red-blooded person would react to Shamus the Sheep dunging all over the good room carpet.

  • PACE Parent

    So neither Peter or the children made themselves available for Iris’s venture around the shopping streets. As Driftwood points out “You can fool some of the people some of the time……. “

  • Davros’re also the one who has go over there what with being a Member of Parliament

  • And the small matter of allegations about property deals? the expenses discussions of last year? the questions about employing family members? the threat posed by the TUV which came about as a result of the DUP´s “never, never, never” followed by “oh, alright then”……..
    Peter does have a right to be a down now and then, but maybe some of his troubles were caused by himself.

  • Michaelhenry

    peter robinson just has to bluff for another while,paisly snr will get a house of lords seat,so thats him and the wife sorted,mr robinson will also get a house of lords seat for a service rendered,but there is no spin on this earth that would get his wife a house of lords seat,there is no spin doctor or spin surgeon about that can sell this to the people.

  • LabourNIman

    I’m no robbo fan, but I got a lot of satisfaction watching him tear a strip for that half assed interviewer Seamus Mc Kee. Anyone who doubts that the BBC didn’t time the story to fit in with the election are very naive.

    Plus, like robbo, I truly do detest hacks and shock jock reporters.

    Is he wrong to admit that the last few months have effected him? No. Will everyone jump on him and claim he is unfit due to said feelings? yes

  • I don´t say he is unfit due to his feelings. But he may be unfit depending upon what the powers that be say about his actions. The electorate also has a say in the matter of his suitability for office…

  • RobertEmmett

    given the complete deference shown by our journalists, its refreshing to hear some accountability being squeezed from our incompetent leaders, even if its from a half assed interviewers.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Wifey had an affair with youngster, dodgy property deals and Unionist feud number 943 — a tad dispiriting for sure.

    Being behind murder of mother of ten, slaughter of nine innocents on Bloody Friday, hanging of a young volunteer in Long Kesh, allegations re hunger strikes, letting down your raped niece as well as your old comrades, death threats from those pesky dissidents…kind of puts things in perspective eh Peter?

    Give us a smile there’s a good lad.

  • Gerry Lvs castro said:
    “kind of puts things in perspective eh Peter?”
    — yes it does GLC, you are right. You could also have mentioned being a senior member of an organisation which murders around 2000 people and maimed god knows how many.
    Nevertheless, Peter appears to have a case or cases to answer.

  • GavBelfast

    Wonderful stuff, Eamonn, well done!

  • iluvni


  • Carsons Cat

    Nice try yet again – perhaps you need to make a video to accompany it.

    After all – not like he was convicted of drink driving or anything……..

  • RepublicanStones

    Of course he has the right to feel down, with the local poose with sharpened pitchforks baying for blood, his cougar….sorry wife playing around, and as other’s stated, another party leader with bigger questions to answer (less one ‘accusation’ from the grave) but the microphones are aimed elsewhere, Punt is entitled to feel a little bit peeved.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Don’t bring us Down with you Peter.

    The electorates slogan for Peter (If the parties can have slogans why not the electorate ?)

  • LabourNIman

    RepublicanStones – the press go hard on our mate Gerry? you must be joking, reporters don’t want to offend the american money..

  • jtwo

    Anyone hear McKee with Theresa May this evening. She was shockingly bad.

  • Harry J

    did May even know how many women were running for the Tories?

  • Self pity is not an attractive trait in a politician. It’s not atractive anytime, but especially in a politician.

  • Robinson has played an absolute blinder since the revelations about his wife and although there is a human side to every political scandal it is hard to think of any politican who has survived such family/personal turmoil in the middle of dealing, as leader, with an issue as controversial for his party as the transfer of police and justice.

    Protocol warning: Please adjust your mindset
    For those of a particulalry tribal and/or sensitive disposition and those unable to judge an arguement on it’s merits please be aware that the term Unionist in my name is not an entrirely accurate reflection of my political views though it should also be noted that my paternal grandfather was a keen supporter of the Union and I am invoking the FIFA grandparent rule and am opting to call myself so. (I’m sure he would have approved.)

  • I’m most certainly no fan of Robinson and hopefully come election day he and his party will pay for both their arrogance and the various misdeamours they’ve committed…but this is still a statement which still bothers:

    “but the microphones are aimed elsewhere”

    Why has Adams walked away relatively scot-free from his sins?
    Because his electorate (unlike those who have and who may vote DUP) couldn’t give a fig what he gets up to, about what he’s done in his past?

    Or is it because Mr Mallie and Co are, for whatever reason, afraid to take him on in the same way that Robinson (on occasions) has been taken on? Are we, for example, likely to see a Spotlight programme investigating the ultimate criminals behind La Mon, Bloody Friday etc?

    While the answer to that last question remains “no” then the “journalistic profession” in NI deserve to be considered neither journalists nor professionals.

  • socaire

    What ‘sins’ are you referring to, oneill? Do you know something that the rest of us don’t? Or are you just regurgitating gutter press bile?

  • Driftwood

    Censorship now Mallie?

    Jeez Robinson must be putting a few quid into a brown envelope for you.

    But that’s the DUP way. Let’s all hope Iris, like Tiger, recovers from her ‘illness’ at the expensive ‘clinic’ we are all paying for.

  • oneill,

    the key difference between Adams role in the IRA and Robinson’s in relation to land deals is that the British government legitimised the actions of the IRA in the GFA and the insurgents are in government with the British praising the insurgent leaders as peace makers.

    Anyone who is charged with La Mon, Bloody Friday etc has a get out of jail card, you might not like it, or not be able to swallow it like Jim Allister, but that after all is what the GFA was all about.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Oneil, if pete doherty was to smack a journalist on the nose, it might almost make the front page, and get forgotten pretty quick, but if Sir Clif Richard were to do it then it would be a national disaster! peopel have different expectations.
    I dont think it will last forever though, remember if a “scandal” were to bring down Adams or Magennis up to now it would probably have brought the whole process down, it is moving past that now and I hope bit by bit they will pay some sort of account for their pasts.

  • “Or are you just regurgitating gutter press bile?”

    Problem, Socaire, is that even the gutter press have run away from what should be one of their main responsibilities in a democracy and that is the shining of the torch in areas where our political representatives don’t want it shone.

    “What ‘sins’ are you referring to, oneill?”

    Perhaps Gerry is indeed without sin…if that’s the case then he and his party should be happy to completely open their past record to Mr Mallie and Co. What stops them from doing that do you think?

  • socaire

    Maybe, like your bank account, it’s none of our business?

  • “Anyone who is charged with La Mon, Bloody Friday etc has a get out of jail card, you might not like it, or not be able to swallow it like Jim Allister, but that after all is what the GFA was all about.”


    It’s not a question of him being sent back to jail, it’s a question of why it is, apparently, no longer in the public interest to know what he got up to. I’m interested although I know he won’t pay for whatever he’s done.

  • “1.Maybe, like your bank account, it’s none of our business?”

    Whether I have overdrawn this month or not is my and my bank manager’s business.

    Call me reactionary if you like, but I reckon whether certain of our political leaders have ultimate responsibility for massacring innocents out on a social evening or in the city for an afternoon’s shopping, is moving onto a slightly different level of morality and is all of “our business”

    But yes, if your attitude is typical of the average SF voter I can see how Gerry is more than likely to perform as per usual next month.

  • Driftwood

    Is this not for another thread? I know (very personally)about Bloody Friday, and through friends about La Mon (also the murder of Joanne Mathers by the Derry terror chief at the time-guess who?)

    Eamonn Mallie is desperatley trying to drum up support for Peter Robinson by appealing to ‘the Tiger Woods defence’ ie ‘illness’. No actual facts about the accusations. And various people have been declared ‘liars’.

    My first comments were removed because I was skeptical of Mallies’ propaganda. Probably this too. No man playing or libel. just healthy skepticism. But, like Scientology, the DUP cult is fearful of the sunlight of reason and FACTS.

  • Driftwood

    To add oneill
    The DUP and SF both appear cult like in their attiudes. Thus the veneer of ‘unity’. Glad that the CU’s, SDLP and Alliance do not behave in such a Soviet manner.

    McCrea and Robinson were today claiming that these parties were in the pocket of the 3 mainland parties. This is possibly true.
    But the DUP (since January-for obvious reasons)are in the pocket of SF. hence the ‘best mates’ stuff which will be sidelined during the election, to reoccur on May 7th.

  • oneill,

    “the public interest to know what he got up to”

    We know exactly what the IRA got up to and we know exactly who the leaders were – what exactly is there to know?

  • Cynic2

    Damage limitation Eamonn. Did he have an onion with him?

    The silence of his senior party members after that interview was deafening

    The Developers’ Unionist Party tag is sticking. the political party vultures are circling and perhaps its time Peter spent more time with his family.

    Damn, no, he can’t. To do that he’d have to stay in office and , except for Iris, they all work for him. What a dilema

  • Comrade Stalin


    Glad that the CU’s, SDLP and Alliance do not behave in such a Soviet manner.

    The CUs are just after overruling the local constituency associations in at least two places and parachuting in outside candidates loyal to the “new” party. I can’t think of anything more resplendent of the a Soviet manner.

  • kelvin

    Maybe Peter Robinson was just being honest? Obviously anyone in his current position would be feeling mightily depressed given the personal trauma that he and his family have suffered in recent months…why are we all so cynical?

    Anyway, Peter Robinson does not appear to have done anything wrong, he has not engaged in any illegal activity and to be honest, I think his relationship with Fred Frazer pales into insignificance in comparison to the allegations being levelled at Gerry Adams and yet everyone is so consumed by Robinson including the other political parties who are really trying to flog the land deal as a matter of life and death (well, not quite but you get my meaning…hopefully). My point is, I think the land deal is being blown totally out of proportion – obviously Robinson has questions to answer but nothing illegal has occurred, to the best of my knowledge, in relation to the land deal.

    Anyway, back to the original message. Does anyone here seriously think that Robinson has been living a life of perfect harmony for the past few months? Do you think that he has been totally unaffected by the turmoil in his family? So many people seem to doubt Iris Robinson’s condition and yet many in the past have mentioned her tendency towards depression – why should we doubt her condition? Just because she was photographed walking around in London does not mean that she is healthy? – To suggest that she is healthy simply because she looked well represents a terrible and profound ignorance of mental illness, which by and large has no physical manifestation.

  • joeCanuck

    But who would have thought that street walking would be part of her therapy?

  • Mick Fealty

    Driftwood, it was man playing precisely because there was no argument, just a personal attack. Just keep it up and you’ll get that long overdue Yellow Card…

  • Driftwood

    Why? There was a fawning reference to an elected representative. I took issue. obviously there was an inference to the author. Obviously it’s your site but I disagreed with the premise, and accused the author of being a propagandist.
    Yellow card for dissent maybe, but I thought this site was to allow such challenge.
    Maybe not?

  • Lionel Hutz

    I’m no robbo fan, but I got a lot of satisfaction watching him tear a strip for that half assed interviewer Seamus Mc Kee. Anyone who doubts that the BBC didn’t time the story to fit in with the election are very naive.

    Plus, like robbo, I truly do detest hacks and shock jock reporters.

    Is he wrong to admit that the last few months have effected him? No. Will everyone jump on him and claim he is unfit due to said feelings? yes

    Posted by LabourNIman on Apr 08, 2010 @ 08:52 PM

    what nonsense. McKee played an absolute blinder. By not in engaging in the attacks Robbo made, by not reacting to personal he made the man look like a lunatic, and a self obsessed manipulative one at that. He also asked allthe right questions which couldn’t be answer. Robinsonwas getting beaten and it annoyed very much.

    Look at Maillies q and the response. Robinson is so self serving. He’s not really self pitying, his wife will be right as rain come June, you’ll see. The answer is very revealing and worth posting

  • Driftwood and MU,

    My original point, before I got diverted, is how “journalism” here decides on its targets. In an open society, the MSM should be going after any politician whose actions or utterances don’t meet the democratic norms- in NI they quite clearly don’t. It puzzles me why they don’t.

    Apart from that, no problem with Robbo and Co being put on the spot, long may it continue.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Eamonn Mallie thought a while back that his “brutal” questioning of Robinson might have been his last interview. I’m glad to see he’s still in the saddle 🙂

    I suspect Robinson is already regretting doing that McKee interview.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Well it’s got to be unlikely that mckee will get another interview. Lol. Or maybe peter should stop doing presiden-relaxing-at-family-home-with-two-and-a-half-kids-and-a-Labrador-puppy style interview. No-one really believes he is human. Personally I think he is actually a dalek. Close your eyes and listen


    You reap what you sow in life Peter and your crops are ready to come in! Your and your wifes problems stem from greed, lust and corruption (the vary sins you damned many others for in the past)!
    You and your ilk have lied, bullied and cajoled people for the last 40 years and sent many to their graves on both sides of the political divide so don’t know look to the same people because your web of deceit has came crashing down around you!
    A day of judgement will come for us all one day, your suffering may be only just beginning Peter!

  • FitzjamesHorse

    “Everywhere I go people are asking: “Has Robinson lost it ?” “So have you lost it. Peter ?” I asked.”

    You couldnt make it up.

  • Critical Alien

    “I have the right I think, to be a bit down at times”

    In life, yes. In office, no. Something this lot over here don’t get. They’re functionaries. they have a role. If anything prevents them from playing it significantly well, to the extent that they cannot perform their functions, they have a duty to leave.
    This is not solely directed at Peter. We have had Gerry lately too saying he would slope off to therapy when he had the time. Was he saying he was so traumatised as to be unfit for office? Why stay, then? If it’s bad enough to require professional help, presumably it’s bad enough to impair function. I suppose it’s pervasive, actually, and probably down to Blair’s “pretty striaght kind of guy” crap. We don’t elect “guys” we elect functionaries.
    Why we as a citizenry are expected to put up with very human realities on a very public stage is beyond me.
    As a human I require 8 hours rest. As an employee I’m required to labour for 8 hours. As an employee it behoves me not to let these human and functional roles overlap. I’d be fired if they did. But politicians are allowed to take up the functions of office as humans not as functionaries? Surely a category mistake. A shot-putter can’t ride a bike as a shot-putter. As soon as she saddles up, she’s a cyclist. What would it even mean to cycle as a shot-putter? The roles are separated by function. How can politicians then appeal to their humanity to excuse their lack of preofessionalism?
    Am I being a bit Spartan here?

  • YelloSmurf

    As I have said before, we need to separate the personal for the political. Personally, I feel very sorry for him. I have family members who suffer from depression and I know that watching someone to whom you are close go through that is intensely difficult. This, I think, has been exacerbated in the Robinson case by certain elements of the media who either do not appreciate the personal strain on him and his family, or don’t care.

    On the other hand, I have no sympathy for him politically. He has questions to answer and he has failed to answer them. Given how he must feel about the media generally at the moment, it is perhaps understandable that he is not answering their questions, but the public deserve answers about his relationships with developers and the bizarre way in which he has conducted his business dealings. Answers are especially important given that there are allegations of planing corruption flying about all over the place (not just in Castlereagh).

    In addition, according to his colleagues, he was rude, dismissive and pig-ignorant even before his current personal problems, so the McKee interview is not a bad reflection of his general attitude.

    All in all, his professional record isn’t wonderful and we should judge him on that rather than trying to seek advantage from his ver

  • YelloSmurf

    y difficult personal situation.

  • kelvin

    Joe Canuck: “But who would have thought that street walking would be part of her therapy?”

    Actually, therapy employed to help those suffering from depression typically involves activities such as ‘street walking’ in order to enable the participant to ‘re-integrate’ into society and face their fears.

  • socaire

    I see a lot of posts disappearing for some reason …………