The past twenty four hours has finally seen the Robinson Empire begin to put in place their plans to cover up of one of the most shocking corruption scandals for quite some time within the United Kingdom.
It looks very like poor Ian Coulter who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and his partner in crime, pardon the pun, Frank Cushnahan, will be left to take the blame for the failed scheme that if successful, would have seen £7 million shared out between the conspirators, influencers and fixers!
Gareth Robinson, who was first named on this blog on Monday evening, broke his silence on the NAMA investigation on Wednesday evening, forty eight hours after he had been first named. He denied his company had any link to the NAMA deal or the £7 million fixer’s fees. His comments are worth examining, because within them lurks the truth- hidden in plain sight. This is what he had to say in today’s Irish News;
“no representatives of Verbatim facilitated or were in any way involved in the sale of Nama assets to Cerebus. Neither the company nor anyone representing the company benefited from the Cerebus/Nama transaction nor did they ever expect to.”
The above statement by Gareth Robinson is true- Verbatim or anyone representing them did not stand to benefit from the sale. At no point in the blog was it alleged verbatim were involved in this shady scheme- instead it was the sole director of the company, acting in a personal capacity, as a fixer- with the powerful tool of his father’s influence- that stood to benefit.
Gareth Robinson undertook this ‘fixers’ role on the understanding that he would be funnelled, along with the First Minister, a portion of the £7 million that Ian Coulter diverted from Tughans into a personal off shore account.
The portion of the £7 million, believed to have been in the region of £1.2 million, earmarked for the Robinsons, never reached its destination. Tughans discovered that Ian Coulter had diverted the money and it was subsequently reclaimed. So when Peter Robinson says “I never benefited from the NAMA sale”, technically he isn’t lying, the question is had Tughans not rumbled Ian Coulter, would the First Minister have then benefited- the answer is yes!
The name of Sammy Wilson was also thrown into the mix today, it is claimed that Mr Wilson, and PIMCO- who had met with Peter Robinson- wanted a ‘closed sale’. The motive of Sammy Wilson is at this stage unclear and at this point in time there has been no definitive suggestion that he stood to benefit from any of the diverted funds, this is not of course to say that as the leaks continue to drip out that we couldn’t end up finding Sammy the streaker also stuck in the middle of this scandal.
Then there was also the revelation of the ‘solo run’ letter from Peter Robinsons OFMDFM secretary to NAMA, acting without the authority of the Northern Ireland executive or the approval of his partners in Government, Sinn Fein. What was the purpose of this and who stood to benefit? This is one of the smoking guns.
It has further been revealed, by political journalists this afternoon, that Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds held a ‘private’ meeting with the Prime Minister, David Cameron today. This meeting was not publicised and it is believed that the meeting was not in Mr Robinson’s capacity as First Minister, due to the fact that his Government partners, had not been informed.
DUP ‘Sources’ have begun briefing journalists that this hastily arranged meeting was about the Stormont House Agreement, as yet no ‘sources’ have been willing to go on record and therefore this leaves the clear perception that pro Robinson and Government ‘sources’ have begun to feed misinformation to their media contacts in an effort to dilute the true reason for today’s meeting between the two men who so ruthlessly kicked the late Ian Paisley out of his position within the DUP a number of years ago, and the British Prime Minister, who it is understood is keen to ensure the Robinson leadership remains intact for the benefit of the peace process.
It is not unreasonable to harbour suspicions that Peter Robinson sought the assistance of the British Prime Minister to make this scandal, and those relentlessly continuing to expose it both in public and the background, disappear.
There has been a growing revolt within the DUP over the past number of days, it was revealed on this blog last night that plans for a package to assist Gaelectric, a company also linked to Gareth Robinson, would have to be shelved by Jonathon Bell the DETI minister due to an open revolt amongst some DUP MLA’s who it was said would absent themselves from the meeting. Three out of the four DUP MLA’s sitting on the committee subsequently recorded their apologies at today’s 2pm DETI meeting.
The energy plans were stalled- for the time being. Questions should be asked about Gareth Robinsons ‘lunch dates’ with Gaelectric representatives and the purpose for this. What was promised and what was given in return?
I am led to believe that all the information I revealed on Monday night was also in the possession of Spotlight, but it is my understanding that some form of a legal injunction has been placed on BBC which prevented them broadcasting the name of Peter or Gareth Robinson. This injunction did not extend to any other media outlet.
It is understood that UTV are reluctant to pursue the Robinsons due to the threat of legal action, and given the tight financial situation within UTV due to their UTV Ireland project draining their financial resources, they are not prepared to go out on a limb and name the First Minister or his son, Gareth.
At 11:36pm on Monday night the DUP issued a blanket threat to all media outlets not to reference, refer to or even mention the existence of this blog. The blog has received over 36,000 views within the past 72 hours and has flooded the internet, yet the First Minister and most of the media have largely been reluctant to risk legal action by asking questions about the allegations raised within it.
The smoking guns are still smoking and the DUP is leaking like a rusty pipe, as the hours go on more DUP members are briefing and counter briefing. Some DUP members loyal to Robinson have been deliberately sent out to feed misinformation in an attempt to flush out the flow of information.
As the leaks continue to drip, the pipe comes closer to bursting- some would say the online dam has already burst. The media coverage and the street conversation about this scandal is at vastly different stages.
The empire is not yet at the stage of trying to strike back, it is merely trying to hide in plain sight, muddy the waters and maintain a silence under an increasing siege. Peter Robinson was unable to even put his name to the DUP statement issued welcoming the investigation- instead it was attributed to a DUP ‘spokesman’.
We are watching our very own version of the hit US series,House Of Cards, playing out in our little corner of the United Kingdom. It is remarkable to think that the FBI could potentially become involved and a former US Vice President is already tied to the scandal.
The stakes are high and if anything can be said about Peter Robinson, it is that he is a Machiavellian survivor that has the unique capacity to weather even the wildest political storms, ruthlessly wreck revenge on those who tried to bring him down and eventually come back stronger.
This time may just be different. The silence from the First Minister is startling and uncharacteristic, even in Peter Robinson’s darkest hours he came out swinging, this week he has lurked in his corner, posturing, clenching his fists and spitting fire- through third parties- at those he accuses of being involved in this “witch hunt” by an “unholy alliance between internal DUP members trying to bring down the leadership and those trying to wreck the peace process.”
It is beyond doubt that Peter Robinson will have drawn the danger of this alliance to the Prime Minister, undoubtedly seeking to use it as leverage to try and buy the support of the Prime Minister, if not in the cover up, then in the revenge mission dressed up as an essential clearing of the decks to “protect the peace process.”