Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heres to You Mrs Robinson

Regardless of what a relief it is to see a headline with teenage boy and sex in it without mention of a Bishop or Priest, the recent events in Northern Ireland are making waves in the press for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, Iris Robinson had at least one affair, which was hypocritical considering her public pronouncements that that "the government has the responsibility to uphold God's laws"

Yes, the use of political influence to help a lover was not the most astute thing to do for a politician

And Yes, acting in the capacity of a lobbyist/consultant and alledgedly accepting the sum of 5,000 without declaring it was wrong.

But these are human failings, greed and lust.
The sum - IF the allegation is true, is petty in comparison with the corruption of the Republics politicians, or Britains MP expenses.
Politics aside, it has tragicly resulted in her attempting to take her own life, and one hopes she and her family can come to terms with what is an essentialy private matter.

In fairness, a cafe owner out of his depth in a field of international political intrgue sounds more like an episode of Ello Ello

What is worst is that these relativly minor transgressions have threatend the Peace process.
At a time when the declicate issue of transfer of power in relation to policing from London to Belast is at issue, one has to ask who leaked the story and why?
Within the DUP - as in Republican circles - there is a break, those who want to move forward, and those who wish to remain in the past

There is another factor that has been overlooked in the salacious gossip.
It is apparent is that the current system engrains a sectarian, tribal, apartheid system.

Martin McGuinness is the Deputy Leader in a powersharing agreement, however - leadership has not been transferred to the Deputy but to a minor Minister, Arlene Foster, chosen for her loyalism (if you pardon the pun) to the leader of the DUP.

It is also tragic that what I would consider an actual threat to the peace process, the horrific bomb attack on police officer Peadar Heffron which has left him in a critical condition.

This was not a target of opportunity, this was carefully planned. Heffron is Catholic, a fluent Irish language speaker and a GAA Player.

He represents a positive, inclusive future for Northern Ireland.

This as opposed to the usual nepotism and tribalism of politics. In April 2009, both Iris and Peter Robinson came under fire after Commons MPs' expenses accounts were leaked to the press. The couple were branded "swish family Robinson" after claims that they were receiving £571,939.41 a year in various salaries and expenses, with a further £150,000 in salaries being paid to four of the couple's family members.
They seem to have combined the republics nepotism with the UK's expenses culture.

With this in mind - why is it that the politicians still insist on segragation, where only one of the Northern Groups can hold the position of leadership - and the sad thing is that if it were a UUP/SDLP coalition, one doubts very much the 6 week arangement would be any different.

Can they not move on, past the tribalism and the quagmire of the past and sort out more pressing issues, policing and the economy are two that spring to mind.
With all the good will in the world, from the EU, Britain Ireland and the US - this can achieve nothing if the leaders cannot move on from the past.

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