Peter’s reasonable explanation…

8 01 2010

It looks like there is broad consensus that Iris is in the wrong. But what of Peter?

There’s lots of talk about Ministerial codes, but I wonder if people aren’t getting too technical and too legalistic too soon. The desire for justice should not settle on an overly enthusiastic reading of the Ministerial code and overlook Peter Robinson’s reasonable explanation for his actions.

While the debate continues whether Peter met his obligations under the Ministerial code, I feel the FM can argue that by demanding repayment of cash he in effect acted within the spirit of the law (& Nolan) and upheld the public interest.

Is it not correct to state that his actions moderated the behaviour of his wife? Couldn’t Peter argue that his timely intervention actually prevented impropriety?

How can we hang an individual on minutiae when the net effect of his actions (getting the money returned and involving solicitors to ensure propriety) was to minimise disgrace, and to promote openness, honesty and accountability? Didn’t Peter Robinson in fact uphold the Nolan principles?

Given the myriad of conflicting loyalties he faced, could Peter not say that he successfully navigated the moral maze of public duty and family loyalty – the result being that a greater disaster / affront to democracy was averted?

If Iris has no defence, I think Peter certainly does and that it should be fairly heard.




5 responses

8 01 2010
Alan in Belfast

I’m pretty sure that there could be a strong moral defence for blood being thicker than water and to have “made mistakes” in a bid to support his wife and ameliorate her error of judgement.

May wash with party and public; may not wash with standards’ inquiries.

11 01 2010

Hi Alan – yes, i suspect standards inquiries are relatively unforgiving nowadays (after the expenses row etc). i wonder what the potential penalty might be? Though even a slightly less than perfect standards inquiry – irrespective of infraction – prob means the end.

9 01 2010

Fair point. Clearly a very difficult situation.
But I wonder what else will emerge?

11 01 2010

have only read about half the sunday so far – and, well, the detail is appalling. Eg. Sunday Trib mentions more affairs.

The property developers angle really needs chasing up. Someone mentioned that there will be an extended Panorama screened this week with more details on the scandal.

12 01 2010
Pigeon Toes

Given that Castlereagh Borough Council will also be undergoing “investigation”, this undoubtedly cast scrutiny upon the actions of their Ex Chief Executive Mr Adrian Donaldson.
Mr Donaldson, is now the Chief Executive of The Policing Board, which may have further ramifications if the “investigation” shows any impropriety. (in my experience it’s unlikely).

The post he left i Castlereagh has remained empty since March with rumours of DUP committee members blocking the appointment of candidates they deemed to be “unsuitable”….

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