I don't often comment on current affairs but there's been a lot of stuff floating round the web and TV in the last week or so about Iris Robinson's alleged fraud and sexual shenanigans with a teenager 40 years her junior. Depending on what you read, the context varies from her "influencing" local building planning decisions and getting kick-backs to her moral hypocrisy in condemning gays as "abominations" and worse than child molesters and quoting Jesus and the Bible while, at the same time, having a sexual relationship with a 19 year old boy and giving him £45K raised from builders to start his own business and then demanding it back. It's a very convoluted story that I've just watched on the BBC 'Panorama' programme but it seems that adultery isn't a cardinal sin any more. When will Bible-bashers learn that it'll come back to haunt them one day? It also seems to now appear that she also shagged the lad's dad before he died two years ago.
Much as I'd like to say 'so what?' it's none of my business who a 59 year old sleeps with, the money is the problem and also the fact that she's a paid representative of the people spouting dangerous hypocrisy, paid for by me. Who does she think she is to raise money due to her position to buy a toy-boy when I'm paying her salary?
It seems she had three jobs - a Westminster Member of Parliament (whose salary I, along with every other tax payer, pays), a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (not sure if I pay her salary for this but I suspect I contribute to it since Northern Ireland isn't fully devolved) and is a local council member able to make and lobby for planning decisions (I assume salary is paid locally for this). Her husband Peter is also a Westminster MP and Northern Ireland MLA and, on top of that, is the First Minister - except he's now had to step down. Between them, they're paid several hundred thousand pounds from the public purse, from tax payers money. As such, they have to sign up to codes of conduct, codes that obviously Iris (at least) didn't think really applied to her. Why are MPs allowed to have other jobs - or, at least, other jobs paid from the public purse? How on earth can they be expected to do all three in a professional way, no matter how good they are or how many hours they put in each day?
OK, we can all snigger at the sexual shenanigans and her name reflecting the story of 'The Graduate' when Mrs Robinson seduced a young student Dustan Hoffman. After the excesses of last years' expenses scandals, why on earth should we be surprised to find more politicians with their snouts in the trough? But the real issue here is the future of power sharing in Northern Ireland. The arrogance and lust of one woman steeped in her own righteousness and hypocrisy might cause the collapse of a government and, in the worst case, set back the peace process in Northern Ireland a decade or more.
I shouldn't laugh but I saw this on David's blog and thought I'd nick it...