And Here’s To You


“And Here’s To You…” Meet Iris Robinson, a Member of Parliament in Northern Ireland who’s involved in a nasty financial scandal. But first, to appreciate the relevance of this faraway kickback case, consider the following brief exchange between Robinson and a radio interviewer:

Stephen Nolan: Do you think that homosexuality is something that is shamefully wicked and vile?”

Iris Robinson: Yes, of course it is, it’s an abomination.”

This came after she’d agreed that homosexuality makes her nauseous and should be loathed. These and other recent statements were seen as so incendiary—perhaps a hate crime under
British law—that the Police Service of Northern Ireland opened an investigation into Ms. Robinson’s affairs, which is when they came upon the financial impropriety. Oh, the case involves a real estate deal and the solicitation of £50,000 from developers and failure to report this business interest as an MP. But the fun part is that the funds were being solicited on behalf of a
nineteen-year-old Irishman named Kirk McCambley with whom Ms. Robinson was
having an affair! As luck would have it, the devoutly Christian, gay-baiting Mrs.
Robinson (as she’s now universally called) is a married woman whose husband is
the recently installed first minister of Northern Ireland. (He could be in
trouble for not reporting what he knew about the financial affair.) The
sordidness of the sexual fling can be gauged by a few facts: Mrs. Robinson has
known Mr. McCambley since the latter was nine, a neighborhood kid whose mother
had died: “I worked at the butcher’s. … She looked out for me and made sure I
was OK.” When Peter Robinson found out about the affair, his wife tried to
commit suicide. And when it was over, Mrs. R. demanded a £5,000 kickback from
Kirk McCambley for helping to arrange the transaction (he’s now the proud owner
of the Lock Keepers Inn). People have been clamoring for Mrs. Robinson to
resign, and so she will, according to a statement: “due to mental ill health.”