While the world’s attention is focussed on my homeland, let us not forget North of the Border, where the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) now shares power with Sinn Fein. The new First Minister — who succeeded ‘Dr’ Ian Paisley — is Peter Robinson, a freshfaced apparatchik who might, in other circumstances, be confused with a New Labour Minister. As is often the case in Northern Ireland politics, official appointments are a family business with the Robinsons, and his wife Iris is an Assembly member and Chair of its Health Committee.
According to the Irish Times, a few days after Mr Robinson’s elevation to supreme power, Iris caused quite a stir by airing her belief that homosexuals could be “turned around” by psychiatry, and “redeemed by the blood of Christ”. Her views on the “abomination” of homosexuality were published on a week in which homophobic thugs attacked and badly injured a young man in Newtownabbey.
Mrs Robinson also confided her belief that Princess Diana was murdered (presumably by papists acting under the direction of the Duke of Edinburgh) to an interviewer from the Dublin newspaper, the Sunday Tribune.
How does that Simon & Garfunkel song go? Ah, yes:
And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you will know.
God bless you, please Mrs. Robinson.
Heaven holds a place for those who pray,
Hey, hey, hey