Friday, 15 January 2010

Here's to you Mrs Robinson

AS you probably know, Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson had an affair. The press went bonkers about it because, like in the film The Graduate, Mrs Robinson had got friendly with a much younger chap. This time it wasn’t Dustin Hoffman, but Kirk McCambley – who was 19 at the time. The fiery politician is married to Peter Robinson, head of the Northern Irish Assembly. Some claim that she was involved in financial wheeling and dealing too. Irate Iris is quitting the politics game, and her husband hasn’t managed to dodge the flak either. Poor Peter’s stepped down as boss of the Assembly for the next six weeks while things get sorted out. But is it fair? No! It’s easy – and dopey – to simply ogle an MP’s private life and pretend that it’s about politics. But why the hell should the Robinsons’ marital matters be splashed over the papers as if it’s the biggest story on earth? Iris’ affair is between her and her husband and should not be treated like an episode of EastEnders. And as for the financial stuff, unless we’re now all expected to grass on each other – and our partners – it’s unreasonable to expect Mr Robinson to be his wife’s keeper. Whatever you think of Iris, the current feeding frenzy is more about political journalists who can’t resist a bit of sex gossip. So they dress it up as “political” when 80 per cent of it is tittle tattle. After all, consider this: If a journalist’s wife was caught having an affair with someone else, would the journo resign? Of course not! So stop the hypocrisy guys. Happily, this fine paper took a much more balanced view. For fair reporting you can always trust Daily Sport. And as for my friends Peter and Iris, my advice is: “Don’t give up!”
LAST week I predicted Flash Gordon Brown would survive the Labour party “rebellion’” with ease. I’m pleased to report that – unlike some other pundits – I was absolutely right. The ill-fated coup by ex-ministers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt was about as successful as a papier mache submarine. Even the Titanic got further on its voyage before sinking – it lasted a few days, while the Hoon-Hewitt collective, hit their political iceberg after just 90 minutes. So Gordo’s still going strong in No.10, Hoon and Hewitt are in the doghouse and the doom-mongers have had to eat their words. However, I fear Gordon’s biggest challenge is still to come. Beating off a few disgruntled backbench MPs was easy enough – but seeing off Davey Cameron and his likely lads in the General Election could prove to be a little bit tougher. Still, the Conservatives were telling anyone who’ll listen that Labour is weak and divided so the Tories ought to win. But I’m not so sure. Last week’s developments showed Gordon’s a fighter and his Cabinet is indeed behind him. So the only real certainty from this episode is that Brown, Cameron and Clegg WILL lead their parties into the Election. Who’ll win is a prediction I’m not making – yet.
I BELIEVE politics and sport should be kept separate. Sadly, once again that hope was smashed by a shower of bullets when gunmen opened fire on the Togo football team bus. It carried top players like Manchester City’s Adebayor to the African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola. The ambush left people wounded and killed. The group responsible is called FLEC. They’re “rebels” fighting for independence for the small Angolan region of Cabinda. In truth, there are some real concerns about how the Angolan Government treats Cabinda. But murdering athletes is a total own goal. The Togo footballers have nothing to do with politics. The attacks raise worries about the safety of athletes, especially in the run-up to this summer’s football World Cup in South Africa. Older readers will recall the 1972 Olympics when terrorists murdered Israeli athletes. More recently, there was terror in cricket when the Sri Lankan team came under attack in Pakistan. When we kick off in South Africa, the focus must be football not politics. That way, regardless of who lifts the trophy on July 11, the tournament will bring the world together, not shoot us apart.
WE’RE through the worst of it folks – or are we? After weeks of frozen roads, closed schools, cancelled trains, salt shortages, abandoned cars and panic buying, the country began to thaw. Then a new deluge came down midweek and it was all white again! People are criticising how badly the UK coped with the snow and ice, but I think we did OK. Communities rallied together to look after the old and ill, while our emergency services worked 24/7 to help. In true Dunkirk spirit, we pulled through. It could even could lead to a reality show – “The Ice-Factor”. Amazingly, over in the USA, sub-zero temperatures didn’t stop folk from celebrating “No Trousers on the Tube Day”. This bizarre occasion sees thousands of commuters ride the tube in their undies Would that work here as a Government initiative? Well, it could be motivating. The hope of seeing Gemma Massey like that on the Bakerloo Line could increase the number of lads commuting to work on the London Underground when it’s below zero. It would certainly bring new meaning to the phrase “Boob Tube”!

1 comment:

  1. I'm failing abysmally to see any mention whatsoever in this article about some £50,000 of tax-payers funds being misappropriated.

    Shurely Shome Mistake?