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Friday, January 08, 2010

Here's to you, Mrs Robinson

Ok, let's leave the schadenfreude to one side for now. Iris Robinson is, apparently, an ill woman with a recent history of suicidal ideation.

Of course, she's now utterly ruined as a politician and probably in her personal life too.

Her husband, the first minister, is hanging on tenaciously after a heart-rending performance on TV. But with the fundie Free Presbyterian Paisleyite moralists in his party to answer to, not to mention more questions coming about his family finances, that may not last long.

So where does this leave us? What have we learnt?

Well, firstly we now have first class proof, as if it were required, that the DUP are NOT holier than thou. They are not more upstanding or of a higher moral calibre. They are just as prone to sin, sex, and screwing up as everyone else.

We also have evidence of the dual standards operating in terms of gender. If a 59 year old man, who had been entrusted with the care of a teenage girl by her dying parent, then went on to fuck the girl for a period of time, what do you imagine the headlines might look like?

If the genders were reversed, and it were Peter and not Iris who'd had the affair, he'd be pilloried in the streets of conservative, religious, judgemental Northern Ireland. In fact, his life might even be at risk.

No matter how ill Iris is or claims to be (now, ten months after her apparent suicide attempt), her mental condition cannot excuse how she manipulated and abused her relationship with a much younger man who was effectively under her guidance and care.

I don't think it's too strong to say she groomed this young lad. Looked at through the prism of gender reversal, the scale of her wrongdoing becomes clear.

Finally, we have the prospect, in a British general election year, of NI's three biggest parties all changing their leadership.

Gerry Adams has been fighting a rearguard action for sometime against those in Sinn Fein seeking a change of leadership. But revelations about his child-abusing brother have stuck fast, and will be hard for him to shake off. Plus, there is a lot more to come out about Liam Adams. So Gerry may be forced to step down sooner rather than later.

Peter Robinson, who does appear to have been seriously wronged by his wife's behaviour, is also on a knife edge. He must explain his involvement in his wife's financial shenanigans, which comes on top of criticism of their lavish expense claims - the 'Swish Family Robinson' tag.

And then he must talk the fundies in Unionism into forgiving and forgetting. Meanwhile the TUV will snipe from the wings, and recent DUP converts will sigh and return to the UUP fold. It seems like he is a dead man walking.

Only the SDLP actually are choosing to change their leader.

Now is a moment of transition and possibility for NI, but also a dangerous time therefore. And there are still a lot of guns out there, especially UDA ones, despite their little PR stunt this week.

So here's to you, Mrs Robinson, for blowing holes in all the known assumptions about Northern Irish politics. If you achieved nothing else in your political career (and you did achieve nothing else) at least your sordid abuse of a young man has led to a moment of potential positive change.

And that change involves the eradication of pocket-lining big house Unionism in its modern DUP form - the Swish Family Robinson with their massive expenses and multiple luxury homes, or their predecessors the Paisley clan, with their multi-million church and dodgy property dealings.

Can Unionists turn their backs on such representatives for good? Or how many more such sordid revelations of DUP improbity can they stomach?

Does spouting about Christ in front of a Union Jack really excuse the dodgy pocketlining and sexual predation on a young Catholic man in the eyes of Unionism?

Let's hope so.

PS: I'm surprised to see that www.DUPcougars.com has not yet been registered by some enterprising porno king.


Missing Neighbour said...

Karma can be a bitch sometimes. This is yet another eye opener for the masses (if indeed another one was needed). It just goes to show that it really is a dog eat dog world out there. We have had the Priests, Bankers, MPs and now born again God squad all caught preaching one thing to the plebs whilst filling their boots with whatever happened to tickle their fancy. If it wasn't so depressing it would be hysterical. The next time someone tells you how to behave, what to think and how you should be living, do yourself a favour and ignore them.

JC Skinner said...


Lupus Yonderboy said...

I agree