Family – such a nice word. The mind flashes to the back of cornflakes packets, squeaky clean and smiles all around the breakfast table. That’d probably be the sense of the word the DUP have in mind when they boast of the family atmosphere within the party. But there’s an equally famous type of family: the mafia family. That’s where guys wind up in the boot of somebody’s car or are garrotted as they sit and watch TV. At the moment, it looks as though the second of the two is dominant in the DUP.
But hold. You may say “Any party that downgrades Edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland can’t be all bad”. True. But then again, when the leader of the party, shortly after telling the world how happy the being-replaced ministers were, has to face the cameras again and talk about people who have the strategic vision of lemmings – whoa. Something not right. You watch Peter Robinson’s tired features and you think that perhaps all those supportive tweets he got from the likes of Nigel Dodds and Gregory Campbell were a fine example of a party that doth protest too much.
There was a time Peter Robinson seemed fire-proof. Any man who survived Irisgate and the question of the £50,000 that got directed towards his wife’s 19-year-old lover, any man who had to come on TV and give a moist-eyed account of himself with a buttock-clenching background card: “To the best dad in the world” – such a man looked as though nothing short of a nuclear strike would stop him.
Alas, no. Peter did something far more serious than his association with the Irisgate thing. When Paisley was interviewed by Eamon Mallie, he referred to his long-time lieutenant as ‘the beast’; but even that was bearable. It was when he reminded viewers that the party leader couldn’t hold onto his own seat – now that was the cruellest cut of all.
Seats. That’s what this is about. And ambition. Peter has lost his Westminster seat and a lot of DUP MPs and MLAs are feeling the wings of the Angel of Death flapping above them. If they go into a general election or an Assembly election with a leader who looks like a loser, it’ll be curtains for them too, they suspect. And then there are all those faces that nod and force smiles onto their faces as they stand behind him. If Peter isn’t having recurring nightmares about being bundled into the boot of an electoral car, then he hasn’t been paying attention. Do’t forget – that shower of tweeters told Peter they were right behind him. Scary.
It’s beginning to become less a question of ‘if’ and more a question of ‘how long’.
Twitter talking about cornflakes pAckets, inmy late schooldays ‘1969/70 they had cutout offamous historical figures,Lincoln,nelson Shakespeare et al, with strips to go thruholesAt the back. Robbo mist remember them he’ s older than me, and possibly imagining himself featured on some similar promo. But needed bother. Like his old boss, history will not judge him kindly
As usual Jude,you hit the nail right on the head,those so called supporters of Robinsons will still be smiling when they re putting him in the boot,its all about protecting their own wee corner,nothing about the greater good of society or where they are leading their people.Send us on the next “leader” of unionism and the whole predictable cycle will start again.
The DUP were always going to face huge problems once the Big Man disappeared from the scene.The manner of his departure was rather strange to those of us who watched him bigot (can the word bigot be used as a verb?) his way up the greasy (fleg) pole of power. Are Paisleyites more or less anti Catholic/Nationalist than Ian was in his HEY! day, or are true Paisleyites the peacemaker he ended up as? Paisleyism was always a cult, whether religious or political and Peter is definitely not a cult man. He knows the strains between the people who realise they must get on with the job and those who see the Scarlet woman of Rome everywhere. Nelson and Edwin are no great loss but their replacements are no better or worse. I see the hand of Paisley junior at work here, he may be a pale imitation of his old da but he must have picked up a few ideas over the years.
THIS IS SHERDY, NOT ME:
Something I noticed about those tweets was that quite a few of them vowed support for ‘the DUP leader’ rather than ‘Peter’.
Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it just seemed like resistance to the arm-twisting that obliged them to tweet, and then some of them were tweeted ‘on behalf of . . .’
This is Sherdy not me, reminds me of the Mike Yarwood Show And this is me!!! Showing my age there….
Yes , Jude..It’s that scene in the Godfather where the guy in the backseat of the car neatly loops the garrotte over the guy in the front ……look behind you…..
Family is indeed a nice word and once the name of Peter Robinson, aka ‘the best dad in the world’ is mentioned Perkie’s domestic thoughts automatically drift in the direction of, curiously enough, Mrs. Robinson.
No, not that Mrs Robinson, but yes, that Mrs. Robinson.
No, not that Mary Robinson, the one immortalized in an oil portrait by the oily, ingratiating Thomas Gainsborough and who was known in her day, curiously enough, as Sappho on account of her poetic skills-set which was likened to that of the original poetess from the island of, erm, Lesbos and also as ‘Perdita’ because of her skills-set as an actress in what was then known as ‘breeches parts’. Specifically, in the eponymous role as Perdita in ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by The Great Shakes. This play is partially set in, yes, Sicilia.
Is there a pattern beginning to emerge here?
Bogaimis ar aghaidh /Avanti/ Let us continue.
But yes, that, Mrs Robinson. Who can ever forget the way she gazed into the irises of the Irish Voter and seduced ‘m with the all the aplomb of an Anne Bancroft on an aphrodisiac, aka, a double Power.
Irish Voter: For God’s sake. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Irish Voter: You’re trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: (laughter) Huh?
Perkie has not the slightest reluctance in admitting that he was seduced hook, l. and sinker and that it was one of the highlights of his distinguished career in the kaffir ranks of the Civil Service the day Mrs. Robinson was inaugurated as the Free Southern Stateen’s first ever Bass Baritone Prezzie.
He was on duty that day of days in the upper storey of Dublin Castle, a Castle Catholic among many, keeping one eye on the room which had been transformed into a broadcasting studio for the day and one eye on his Koo-koo-ka-choo (his pet name for Herself).
The only hitch occurred when the son of the runner up candidate (even mature recollection fails to recall his name) stood in front of the TV monitors of the Radio na Gaeltachta unit. Instead of being in the VIP section of St. Patrick’s Hall (as the earlier polls has confidently forecast) he was instead consigned to his day job as a roving reporter with some commercial radio station or other. His mood was probably not the best.
And when the hellobes yelled at him to ‘bog a thoin’/ ‘move his ass’ he dug his heels in even further. Only a last second intervench by U Thant Warbeck prevented what could have been a real party spoiler of a Donnybrook. On cue, Perkie poked his head out the top window in time to witness Mrs. Robinson review the guard of honour down below in the court yard in that distinctive stiff-backed, high-kneed mechanical head-nodding walk of her’s which we all came to be so captivated by during the course of her glorious yet guillotined tenure in office.
(Check out the fillum footage of that game-changer of an inaugural occasion, not least the six top wide open windows of the Castle, with the lace curtains fluttering outwards in the gentle even feminine breeze. Perkie’s love-struck countenance can be just about glimpsed poking out the fifth window from the left).
When one wrote the Irish Voter was smitten ,one ought to have written, the Irish Floating Voter. And this is where Peter Robinson could enter the reckoning if ever a remake is made of ‘The Graduate’. He would be a natural shoo-in for the role, gradualism being his trademark as a politico.
A scene could be arranged in the remake, with PR in the role of Benjamin Braddock (played in the original by Dustin Hoffman. One can easily imagine PR saying in that dismissive tone of his: Hey, Dusty, you’re off, man. No more turkeys from you). Clad in his wet suit, diving mask and flippers, PR in the role of the Irish Floating Voter could rendezvous with Mrs. Robinson, in say, Muff, County Donegal. Secrecy would be a sine qua non in this Sine Fein-endangered territory.
Hide it in the hiding place where no one ever goes
Put it in your pantry with your cupcakes
It’s a little secret, just the Robinsons’ affair.
Both PR and Mrs. Robinson would discover a commonwealth of shared interests. An enthusiasm for Real Estate, Georgian Dublin and/or Viking Dublin, for starters. Anything Irish, that is to say, as long as it is not harping back to the myth of Leprechaunland.
PR would no doubt have experienced great difficulty in restraining himself from throwing his sweaty nightcap in the air in approval of President M. Robinson’s barefaced refusal to wear any headgear in the presence of Old Red Socks.
Apropos of which, Mrs. Robinson reminded us all of her maiden name, Bourke / de Burca when she chose, and in full keeping with the time-honoured protocols of diplomacy to wear a Burka when being granted an audience with the booty-shaking Sheik of Araby.
PR would surely have high-fived his nearest friends (if such there be) that unforgettable time when MR guillotined her own term of office in the minuscule post of Prez of the FSS with a reprise of those lines from her previous illustirous role as ‘Perdita’:
‘Being now awake, I’ll queen it no inch further
But milk my ewes and sheep’.
She was as good as her word: stealing out of the Arus under cover of darkness she did a runner – and she has been milking the system ever since. Having, for the purest of altruistic motives, taken a route which has led her to her current illustrious position, in keeping with the global reach of her vast and immeasurable talents, as World Ambassador to Planet Uranus. This was done, coincidentally, on the advice of her trusted PR (no relation, but could have been) at the time, the shepherdess known as Dorcas, which is Leprechaun for ‘Darkness’.
Where have you gone, Joe di Maggio?
Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
‘Joe di Maggio’ in this instance, Esteemed Blogmeister, is code for Mafia. Or in the context of the Free Southern Stateen the, yes, Nafia. The Nafia, in short, is everything which is anathema to the two Robinsons, PR and Mary. The sooner She returns from Uranus and He does a runner (see above) South to join forces, Ireland fettered will never be better together or free of the Nafia of Nationalism. PR to be in the role of the new Koo-koo-ka-Chuchulain.
God bless you, please PR and Mary Robinson
Heaven holds a place for those who, erm, prey.
(Housekeeping: the origin of the surname Braddock is Bradach, which is Leprechaun for ‘stolen money’. All the more reason why there ought to be some real urgency surrounding the remake of ‘Mrs. Robinson’. Irish fillums have been getting a bad press of late from Paddy the Englishman. It is time to straightarm the J. Arthur Rankers and other doubters.).