In Europe, The Female Politicians Have Sex Scandals. Does This Make Them Ahead Of Us Or Behind Us?

Esther Addley at The Guardian:

Mrs Robinson — MP for Strangford, member of the Northern Ireland assembly, alderman of Castlereagh borough council and wife of Northern Ireland’s first minister — was a frequent customer of William (Billy) McCambley’s butcher’s shop in Ballyhackamore, east Belfast. His young son Kirk would help out in the shop, and first got to know her in the late 1990s when he was still at primary school.

Kirk McCambley, now 21, told BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight programme on Thursday night: “I always seen [sic] her coming in and out. Just knew her from an early age, through the butcher’s and through my dad.”

He could not have failed to have known, even at that early age, who she was. With Peter Robinson’s ascension in 2008 to first minister, the couple have officially become the “first couple” of Ulster politics, but have held that role for decades in loyalist east Belfast, where he has been MP since 1979 and a leisure centre is named after him.

Though the DUP leader has a buttoned-up public image, his wife has always been a more colourful figure, exuberant in her manner and carefully coiffed and heavily made up.

But no one can have anticipated that this decidedly odd couple – the devout Mrs Robinson, at 59, was old enough to be the then 19-year-old McCambley’s grandmother – would have an affair .

The relationship developed after Billy McCambley died in early 2008 and Iris promised to look after his only son. “She made sure I was OK,” Kirk McCambley told the programme. “Obviously anyone who has ever lost a parent knows that it’s an incredibly hard time, and she was there to help.”

Selwyn Black, Mrs Robinson’s former political adviser who turned whistleblower for the BBC exposé, told the programme the couple would take evening walks around Belfast, with Mrs Robinson at first taking a maternal, advisory role. “As for Kirk he is the other son I would have loved to have been a mother to,” she texted Black — the Robinsons have two grown up sons and a daughter.

But it was not to remain a mother-son relationship; by mid-summer 2008 the couple were having an affair.

It is difficult to overstate the shock Mrs Robinson’s admission on Tuesday provoked in Northern Ireland. Both Peter and Iris Robinson are vocal evangelical Christians from a deeply religious and conservative unionist culture.

Mrs Robinson’s transgression was the more astonishing given the controversy generated last year when she described homosexuality as an abomination on a par with paedophilia that made her nauseous. As the BBC programme coyly noted, the passage in Leviticus that she quoted contains similar sentiments about adultery.

Andrew Sullivan:

When I went on Ulster television for “Virtually Normal” in 1995, it was the first ever broadcast acoss Northern Ireland dealing specifically with the homosexual question. They invited ten openly gay people to be in the studio audience, and only three had the balls to show up. And so it is not that surprising that a leading politician in Ulster would respond to a brutal gay-bashing by criticizing the attack but adding that she nonetheless believed that homosexuality was an “abomination” and made her feel “sick” and “nauseous”. She believed that sexual orientation could be cured by psychiatry. She argued that

“just as a murderer can be redeemed by the blood of Christ, so can a homosexual…. If anyone takes issue, they’re taking issue with the word of God“.

She stated that homosexuality was worse than child abuse:

“There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”

You know what’s coming, don’t you?

The astonishing details of MP Iris Robinson’s affair with a 19-year-old – whom she had known since he was nine – have been laid bare today. Her lover, Kirk McCambley, now 21, owns a cafe in south Belfast and the visitors’ centre which houses the cafe was built by the council on which Mrs Robinson sits. The wife of the Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson helped Mr McCambley get started in business after first identifying a freshly developed council site on the banks of the river Lagan in south Belfast for his new venture and persuaded two local developers to stump up £50,000 in 2008 for catering equipment to kit out the cafe, Mr McCambley told the BBC. Astonishingly Mrs Robinson demanded a £5,000 kickback paid directly to her after her lover received the funding.

From the Mail.

Where there is Christianism, there is usually hypocrisy, corruption and abuse. From Haggard to Maciel, from the Vatican to the Swaggarts, from Rove to Limbaugh, the sheer gulf between their public moralism and their private failings is vast. That’s because they’re human; and they deserve compassion and understanding, the compassion and understanding they always, always deny to others.

Joe Windish at Moderate Voice

Dave Brockington:

Juxtapose these paragraphs from The Guardian article:

But no one can have anticipated that this decidedly odd couple – the devout Mrs Robinson, at 59, was old enough to be the then 19-year-old McCambley’s grandmother – would have an affair .

Mrs Robinson’s transgression was the more astonishing given the controversy generated last year when she described homosexuality as an abomination on a par with paedophilia that made her nauseous. As the BBC programme coyly noted, the passage in Leviticus that she quoted contains similar sentiments about adultery.

With this:

“And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson.
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
Woah, woah, woah.
God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray.
Hey hey hey, Hey hey hey.”

Pure gold.
It’s nearly enough to make me, of a (peaceful) nationalist bent, miss the days of Ian Paisley. Unfortunately, I’m no Paul Simon, and couldn’t get the following to somehow work:

“Where have you gone, Ian Paisley?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Dr. No has left and gone away.”

Joe My God:

Meanwhile Robinson’s young lover, now christened “Kirk Diggler” in reference to Mark Wahlberg’s horse-cocked character in Boogie Nights, has become an instant folk hero in the UK, becoming the subject of numerous Facebook fan pages, most of which were created to mock Robinson. British gay glossy Attitude Magazine is offering young Kirk the cover of their next issue, calling him “incredibly hot.” Additionally, a campaign is underway to make the 1968 Simon & Garfunkel classic, Mrs. Robinson, the #1 song on this week’s UK pop chart, aided by a radio request effort and an iTunes download promotion. Nobody beats the Brits when it comes to schadenfreude. Nobody.

Melissa Kite at The Telegraph:

The disgraced wife of Peter Robinson, the province’s First Minister, was unceremoniously dumped by the party her husband leads.

In a damning statement, a party official disclosed that she was preparing to stand down from public office and said the party had “no sympathy” for her.

Mrs Robinson has not been seen in public since news broke last week of her affair with Kirk McCambley, then 19, and her financial dealings with him.

Mr Robinson was also fighting for his political life over the scandal, which has sent shock waves through Northern Ireland. The couple are deeply religious and have always publicly professed their commitment to staunch protestant values, with Mrs Robinson denouncing homosexuals.

The DUP leader said on Saturday that his 60-year-old wife was too unwell to answer the mounting allegations levelled at her.

“I am not even in the position where I can question my wife about these issues,” he said. “Neither her solicitor or I would be confident about the responses we are getting to any questions.”

Mr Robinson had earlier admitted that his wife had attempted suicide after the affair.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Foreign Affairs, LGBT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s