Stranger than fiction

Here’s a vignette from our local scandal that you may have missed. Well, I laughed:

A best selling crime writer has appealed for people to stop emailing him about the Northern Ireland Robinson scandal.

Last week it emerged that Iris Robinson, the wife of First Minister Peter Robinson, and an MP herself, had cheated on him and tried to take her own life.

She also obtained £50,000 from two developers so her lover could set himself up in business, which she failed to declare to a parliamentary authorities.

There has been phenomenal interest in the story, which Yorkshire author Peter Robinson has found himself distantly connected to.

More used to writing about the adventures of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks on the streets of the fictional town of Eastvale, Mr Robinson has been sent condolences about his wife’s behaviour.

And I’m sure the bestselling crime author appreciates the sentiment?

Writing on his website Mr Robinson, the pen behind the Inspector Banks novels, thanked people for the offers of sympathy, before stating the obvious.

“I must stress that I AM NOT Peter Robinson the politician, Northern Ireland’s First Minister,” he wrote.

“I would have thought InspectorBanks.com would be the first clue, as would even the most cursory glance at the site, but I guess people who send rude and insulting emails or push religion at the vulnerable were not, alas, at the front of the queue when the brains were handed out.

“Please, cease and desist!”

One can empathise with his position. Indeed, it’s an occupational hazard for the Norn Iron fan of crime fiction to carry around a Peter Robinson novel, because you have to keep explaining that, no, the first minister hasn’t developed another string to his bow. Even people you might have expected to know the Inspector Banks stories get confused:

Mr Robinson is not a stranger to Northern Ireland and has appeared at the Belfast crime bookshop No Alibis.

Owner David Torrans said that there had been confusion among some clientele when he visited then.

“He was here 18 months ago and he is the only crime author we have had to include a photograph of on the flyer.

“People were phoning to ask if Big Ian (Reverend Ian Paisley) was appearing as well.”

It doesn’t help, either, when your books have titles like this:

Anyway, it’s a common name. I wonder if this guy is getting any similar mileage out of it.

5 Comments

  1. harry monro said,

    January 14, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Iris has made it onto the pages of Perez Hilton, I’m in awe

  2. Daphne said,

    January 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Perez Hilton calling Iris a whore?!? There’s a saying about kitchen implements covered in soot that leaps to mind.

  3. EddM said,

    January 14, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    In my class at school there were two Robinsons and a Robertson. I don’t think any of them are involved in the Stormont politics though. But you never know …

  4. Craig said,

    January 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Perez Hilton’s vitriol is no surprise. After all, he did describe Carrie Prejean in not so pleasant terms (which I won’t repeat here) when she expressed her views on homosexuality during the Miss California competition in 2009, in a far milder and more moderate manner than Iris Robinson did. Which is not to say that Prejean is an angel herself.

  5. RobM said,

    January 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I believe the author Robin Cook used to have similar problems with his namesake. He had to resort to extreme measures in the end…


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