Saturday, January 9, 2010

60 Year Old Born Again Christian Exemplifies Republican Family Values

File under - "You Can't Make This Stuff Up!" CENSORED VERSION
Ulster on brink over Iris Robinson sex scandal
Fallout from Robinson affair threatens to hand reins of power to Sinn Fein
The political sex scandal which broke last week in Northern Ireland is now threatening to wreck the country’s power-sharing deal. Revelations about Iris Robinson, an MP and wife of Northern Ireland’s first minister, could split her husband’s unionist party and even let Sinn Fein into power.
Robinson was 59 when she had an affair with a 19-year-old whom she helped start in business as a cafe owner. Yesterday she was dumped by her party, Ian Paisley’s fiercely religious Democratic Unionists (DUP), amid allegations of financial impropriety.
If the DUP should split over “Irisgate” it could even lead to Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, taking over as first minister.Robinson’s husband, Peter, 61, the current first minister and leader of the DUP, has now ordered an official inquiry into his own conduct. He says he is being undone by “insinuation and innuendo” and will defend the attacks on his character.
“I am not even in the position where I can question my wife about these issues,” he said. The DUP has given him a week to clear his name.
His wife, now 60, was previously known as an evangelical Christian and a member of the Free Methodist Church. She was notorious for attacks on homosexuality, which she described as wicked, sickening and an abomination.
She went on radio phone-ins to defend Mary Whitehouse, the morality campaigner, and told a Commons committee that “there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing children”.
Last week she had to admit that she had committed adultery with a teenager young enough to be her grandson.
“It had no emotional or lasting meaning but my actions have devastated my life and the lives of those around me,” she said. She also admitted that she’d asked friends to bankroll her young lover’s cafe venture.
Suffering from depression, she is thought to have escaped to Chamonix, the French ski resort which Elin Nordegren, wife of Tiger Woods, also chose as a hideaway after her husband’s affairs were exposed.
Details of her affair have emerged in a series of texts given by a former adviser, Selwyn Black, to BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme. It started in February 2008 when Robinson’s friend and butcher Billy McCambley died of cancer. As he neared death, she promised him that she would look after his only son, Kirk, 19.
There ensued a series of walks and heart-to-heart talks. During this stage of the relationship, Robinson sent a text that read: “As for Kirk, he is the other son I would have loved to have been a mother to.”
By June they were lovers and she was using her position as a councillor to spot a business opportunity for him — the sale of a former visitors’ centre on the River Lagan, which she believed McCambley could turn into a cafe. She also approached two businessmen whom she knew and got them to provide £25,000 each to fit out the premises, which was called the Lock Keeper’s Inn.
McCambley never met either of them and when Robinson handed over the cheque to McCambley, she allegedly demanded £5,000 as her cut. “She stipulated it was cash and as far as I was concerned that was all above board,” he said last week.
Robinson, who had been mayor of the borough three times and whose party controlled the council, voted for McCambley to be awarded the lease. In doing so she did not declare a financial or personal interest, a potential criminal offence. Contrary to parliamentary rules, she did not declare the money on the register of interests in Westminster, Stormont or Castlereagh.
One of the businessmen, multi-millionaire Fred Fraser, has since died. The other, Ken Campbell, a property developer, has denied any wrongdoing and has obtained a High Court injunction banning any mention of his business addresses. At the time that Robinson was asking him for money, she also allegedly lobbied on Campbell’s behalf for one of his building projects in her parliamentary constituency.
When the affair ended that autumn, Robinson demanded the money be paid back to her personally from the fledgling business, forcing McCambley to sell half of it. “It seems cruel but I am not going to soften until he has paid back the £45,000 and he has got until Christmas,” she texted.
She also lamented her affair with a text that read: “Everything is a reminder wherever I go. My home, my church, my car, my music and of course the roads we drove.”
As the deadline for repayment approached, she stipulated that there should be two cheques, one made out to her and one to the Free Methodist Church she attended, where the minister was Pat Herron, her sister-in-law. She also asked that one third of the profits of the cafe be paid into church funds.
Black, the former clergyman who revealed the texts, was asked to assist. Disturbed at being asked to act as a fixer in the affair, he said: “Where is God in all this?”
Robinson explained that she had proposed the payment to the church as “a gesture of giving something back. I never intended this to be a buy-off to God. It was an honest and honourable decision”.
Herron says that her church never received any money.
In December 2008, as the Robinsons were holidaying in their Florida apartment, Peter found out about the payments to McCambley, but not about the £5,000 his wife had kept. The first minister immediately insisted that the money be paid back to the developers.
When the couple returned home, the family found a letter from Iris to her former toy boy, in which the sexual nature of the relationship was made clear. Exposed, Robinson took a drugs overdose around midnight on March 1. Her husband spoke to a doctor on the phone, managed to bring her round and went to work.
He was taking questions in the assembly as Black phoned an ambulance to take Robinson to hospital. “I went to the hospital later that day,” he said in answer to questions on Friday.
The first minister has now announced an independent inquiry into the propriety of his actions, and whether he should have reported his wife to the assembly authorities.
He is pinning his hopes on the scandal subsiding within days. Whatever the outcome, the couple will hardly be missed at Westminster where their role in the expenses scandal earned them the nickname of “Swish family Robinson”.
Iris once tried to claim £300 for a Mont Blanc fountain pen — and both claimed the maximum food allowance, which amounted to £30,000 of food over a four-year period.
Robinson has already said she intends to resign as an MP, member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and councillor in Castlereagh.
It is still unclear whether throwing herself on a political funeral pyre will be enough to save her husband, or if the scandal will bring down the precarious power-sharing executive he leads at Stormont.
Meanwhile, the Lock Keeper’s Inn is not in the same league as Westminster restaurants, but it is still doing brisk business. For now, though, it’s mainly from journalists.
And here’s to Mrs R
There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing children (House of Commons)
I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality (Belfast Telegraph)
I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals — trying to turn away from what they are engaged in. I'm happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman (Radio 5)

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