God bless you please, Mrs. Robinson

The season of giving is still upon us; so as we share a moment to think about the worst affected by the BIG FREEZE this time of the year, think not of the plight of  the Peoples Republic of Cork, those forced from flooding businesses to drowned homes, nor of the ducks rescued in carriers more suitable for canines. No, do not shed tears for the ducks. For there was no such escape from the frostiness radiating from a particular home this festive season as temperatures dropped to a bone-chilling low in one Irish dining room.
“I love my wife”,  the First Minister of Northern Ireland said last week. Perhaps he was alone in this sentiment. Outrage gripped both sides of the border as a 60 year-old woman, First Lady of the North admitted to a salacious affair with the then 19 year-old youth whom she described as “the other son [she] would have loved to have been a mother to”.
The poster lady for Christian values had a long way to fall from the moral pedestal she spent a lifetime building, largely on the back of those she frequently dammed by her comments.
The focus of reports adequately assesses the reactions and fallout of the  £45,000 the young man received, the countless infringes of the Councillors Code of Conduct Rulebook that she herself is alleged to have breached in  assisting her teenage lover’s business venture, and her failure to declare such a pecuniary interest in the Lock Keepers Inn Café in Belfast. It also seems that there is little more need to discuss the political implications of the North’s First Ministers possible knowledge of such illegal dealings. Nor is it necessary to further contemplate the probable effect the affair could have on the devolution of Policing and Justice to Stormont. It would also be an affront to public intelligence to assume that any amount of shock ensued by further evidence that those in power may on occasion use their positions for self gain. As such I will venture none and assume that naivety has not sunk to astronomical proportions of stupidity.
So let us not be dragged into the duller repercussions of sex in and around affairs of state. Instead, remove politics from the equation and we have a script worthy of Albert Square or at the very least Carrigstown and rather, examine the infinitely more enjoyable examination of the often colourful court of public opinion.
The reception that greets a cougar is most intriguing, as the nation is not divided based solely on gender. Young men would high-five the now 21 year-old Kirk for bagging himself a MILF (and a GILF for that matter) and as she herself may be said to fit into the mould of such a mother and grandmother, they do not seem appalled by her actions. A relatively unpopular but to my mind poignant facebook group asks the most paramount of question; Iris Robinson- Would You? “Hell yes I could use 50k”, Andy writes, which is a most logical of responses from the younger male generation.
Whereas older men frown slightly on the fact that one of those young pups is taking a hot-fish from their proverbial over 50’s sea, the majority of women are outraged openly, which is warranted given her comment on the fact that she would have liked to have been his mother. However a smaller contingent of the fairer sex might admit that they too would not be opposed to the idea of a toy-boy. The cynic might make the assumption that the former are merely revolted by the emergence of a certain green-eyed fellow at dear Iris’ fortune.
How would we react if Mrs Robinson were a Mr Robinson? Speculate on public reaction to a man who made a death bed promise to his dear friend to care for his teenage daughter…and then began a sexual relationship with his ward. Loathed, physically disgusting, nauseous, shamefully wicked and a vile abomination to human kind might not be too harsh nor an uncommon view. Indeed, paedophilic tendencies could be levied against the man, who although innocent in a court of law, could be condemned as guilty by an unsworn jury of his peers.
Bill Clinton suffered for his feelings for a woman less than half his age. On that the politicians of the North were not so tight lipped; Ian Paisley quipped that they would “have to lock up their women” prior to Bill’s Belfast visit. Where is the lock and key for the young men that wander freely on the hunting grounds of any Irish cougar?
There is however one disadvantage to infidelity amidst women that even such a cougar as the prolific Mrs Robinson cannot avoid. While an adulterous man must simply shrug his shoulders saying ‘he enjoys sex’, the adulterous woman must explain her conduct.
Citing depression and medical illness, Mrs Robinson removed herself from public office early in the New Year.  “Psychiatrists may suggest that my mental illness was a significant factor explaining my irrational behaviour. I do not, in any way, question or doubt their judgement, but in order to master my life, I do not want to dilute the blame or resist taking full responsibility for my actions. I am completely ashamed and deeply embarrassed… though my medical condition was a factor, I was not, at this time, true to the values, I professed.” She justified and excused her actions in a solitary statement before retreating into hiding after the BBC Spotlight programme revealed the details. 
Should a horny 60 year-old claim mental illness for engaging romantically with a (rather attractive) 19 year-old? Or is it warranted because the 60 year-old is not male? She explained thatthe relationship was self destructive and out of character. No man would have to go so far as reveal medical problems to brush past a romp or two. So why did she sully her achievement as the island’s solitary cougar?
In earnest this is most definitely a private family matter, but the media and general consensus would most likely assert that public figures are fair game. One positive outcome has been overlooked in the scandal that erupted over the holidays- that Nationalists and Unionists agree on something; not one of their members wishes to speak openly about the relationship. And anything that keeps Ian Paisley’s mouth clamped could be classified as a good thing, could it not?
Iris may have humbly sought forgiveness from God and her husband (in that order), but nonetheless it seems that public opinion has the true final judgement.
But for the moment; here’s to you, Mrs Robinson, it’s still unclear if Jesus loves you, or God blesses you – but some of us salute you.