Robinson faces a political rather than a legal problem…

Well after days and days of rumours we have some concrete details. Or at least some pretty stiff accusations. Peter Robinson has said he can answer them directly. He should at least be given the chance to be heard. But if yesterday’s testimony on the sex end of the story looked good, the BBC’s case looked just as bad. But I think of all the early analysis, Splintered Sunrise sketches out the political (as opposed to strictly legal) problem for …

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Why did Robinson leave calling ambulance for 8 hours…

One of the hot topics on the live blog last night was the events of the night of Iris’s attempted suicide… It took eight hours for the ambulance to be called, and it was called by Iris’s special advisor, Selwyn Black… Not Robinson himself… That will undoubtedly be one of the questions for the First Minister this morning, and one he had better have a good answer for (like, perhaps, he did not actually know at the time)… Mick FealtyMick …

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Kelly equates Liam Adams question with his own paramilitary background…

My analysis on Robinson shortly. First, I’ve just heard an extraordinary attempt by Gerry Kelly to side step a question about whether he was in the poor place criticising Peter Robinson given the allegations surrounding Gerry Adams and his protection of a brother he believed guilty of child abuse. He tried to shift the subject other people’s obsession with his own paramilitary background (a rather unwise choice of consonance), the interview petered out shortly afterwards… If the BBC can put …

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Did Peter break any rules?

From the BBC News report of the Spotlight Special The programme said that while he pressed his wife to return the money, he failed to tell the proper authorities about the transaction, despite being obliged to act in the public interest by the ministerial code. Questions arise whether Mr Robinson himself breached any rules ( his lawyers deny it ); whether his alleged failure to report his wife’s conduct was unethical, or excusable because he is said to have urged …

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The money questions redux from the Beeb…

I’m still on duty on the live blog… but here’s a recap from the Beeb on the money question… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Robinson on Spotlight Live Blog…

Spotlight on Iris Robinson Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

On Slugger’s cautious approach…

There’s lots of little snippets of gossip on the net, on some of the ancillary detail of this story. There is even an appreciation page on Facebook to one of the people being touted as Iris Robinson’s lover (98 fans last I looked). David Cochrane on Politics.ie has lots of little bits and pieces on the story and Twitter is full of wit and comment. We’re holding fire till the programme’s gone live… If you are in Siberia (at least …

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Spotlight showing 10.35pm…

I’ll keep you posted, off to watch UTV… UPdate: It goes out at 10.35 tonight… See this thread on Politics.ie Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

What may be have been missed in the clamor

Very interesting little snippit buried in an Irish News story today. Lord Morrow told the paper: “There will be no devolution of policing and justice during the lifetime of this assembly….it is not going to happen and that is it. It will not happen before the general election or the assembly election. It is not an issue.” Seems a little out of the blue, and odd clarity to a policy position that has up until now been a little hazy, …

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Donaldson mentions a ‘young man’…

Just been on Talkback where David Gordon, Stephen King and myself stood around in the metaphorical corridor speculating on what exactly the BBC Spotlight programme… In the run up, Jeffrey Donaldson mentioned a ‘young man’… referring to the man Iris had had the affair with… Speculation in the rumour mill on this has been rife on this and I pretty sure several of the names people have mentioned to me are not the right target (warning: speculation on this can …

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Iris pursued by gay activist?

Interesting spot on Pat Kenny now, Eamonn, Mark Devenport and Stephen King… Kenny alleging that there has been a gay activist on Iris case ever since the abomination accusation… Eamonn saying that the money question is the important one… I’ll be on Talkback later on… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK …

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And now the fall-out

How remarkable that the leaders of both Northern Ireland’s two main deeply divided parties have been engulfed in personal scandals they’ve been concealing for some time. It would hard to make up more dramatic evidence of how mores and lifestyles in Northern Ireland have changed even in the puritan parties. Adultery in the DUP! Confessions of dire perversion in Sinn Fein! To be fair – and what else can we be? – and to deploy natural human sympathy, the Adams …

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Iris – the statement…

IRIS Robinson’s statement in full… AFTER Christmas I announced that I did not intend to seek re-election for any public office. I did this to allow the party and my colleagues to make preparations and move forward. However, I also indicated that I would want later to explain what lay behind my decision.“I have had physical health problems for most of my life but very few were aware that over recent years those medical problems were both physical and mental. …

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And what the Robinson story was really about…

Peter Robinson will come on to the TV tonight to give his story in advance. Given statement comes outside the standard right of reply terms offered by the BBC, expect the Spotlight Special programme to be fore-grounded to later tonight or tomorrow in which the fuller details of the story are likely to emerge. The core of Robinson’s statement is to the effect that his wife has been having an extramarital affair, and that he is preparing to stand by …

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Senior political hacks have been summoned to Dundela…

For what, they’ve been called to the DUP party headquarters in East Belfast, we do not know… But I suspect we’re going to find out soon… Update: None of the Belfast print media have been invited. And the press office is disclaiming any knowledge that anything is happening there. But we understand that the BBC are parked outside the building. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and …

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Fever pitch at Stormont…

David Gordon has a piece on the feverish speculation over the fate of the Robinsons that’s got Stormont in a tizzy. After a day and a half of looking for the cause, I’ve come up with little that’s fit to report, other than the speculation revolves around a Spotlight (not Panorama as previously reported) programme scheduled in two weeks. But no one, and I stress no one, I have spoken knows what’s planned for that programme. What we do know …

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How can Shaun Woodward speak of possible success being just around the corner?

Shaun Woodward who is coming back to Northern Ireland later today wants an urgent meeting with Peter Robinson. Officials in the Northern Ireland Office are in touch with sources close to Mr Robinson to try to arrange a meeting. A spokesman for Peter Robinson has said his boss is remaining at home this week attending to family matters. The government is in a race against time to try and establish if the DUP leader has any intention of convincing Martin …

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On Adams, we are still being asked to believe not what we see but what we are told we should see…

Given the amount of stick Peter Robinson is getting from the MSM, I’d hate think what would have happened to him if it had been found he was shielding a brother he suspected of child abuse, and promoted him through the party ranks, and then persuaded a senior party front bencher to lie about it afterwards. If you read nothing else today, read Suzanne Breen’s excellent account of how Gerry Adams lied about his brother Liam’s role in the party …

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Governments have between the 4th and the 8th of January to save the entire political process…

Many Northern Ireland Assembly members still sucking the bones of the turkey have no idea that within less than two weeks their careers as politicians may be finished. When Monday dawns the British and Irish governments have just fours days to shore up the entire political process. A Sinn Fein team has been beavering in the background preparing a dossier. That paper is essentially an evaluation of the merits of continuing in an administration with the Democratic Unionist Party. The …

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