Mallie on Politics (Episode 6): Peter Robinson and ‘The Reptiles’

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The subject for discussion this week is: Peter Robinson and ‘The Reptiles’

John Wells in his ‘Dear Bill’ letters in the Thatcher era, depicted Denis Thatcher in Private Eye, as a man who despised the media, labelling them ‘the reptiles’.

First Minister Peter Robinson has yet to go as far this, however in a recent broadside against elements in the media, he argued sections of the Northern Ireland press are, in their commentary, damaging any hope of an economic recovery.

Should we treat The DUP leader’s attack on the media seriously? To discuss this topic I am joined in the studio by:

Gerry Moriarty: Irish Times Northern Editor


Dennis Godfrey: Former Director of Communications in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and special advisor to several Secretaries of State, including John Reid, Peter Mandelson, Shaun Woodward, Peter Hain & Owen Paterson.


Listen to the show below or download the MP3:


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Notable points for discussion are documented below:

(Times are indicated should you wish to listen to any specific point raised):

00.00: Introduction

01.47: Gerry – What was your take on Peter Robinson’s remarks in targeting the media so heavily?

06.23: Was he just being cynical?

09.14: Dennis – what stings politicians – what annoys them?

11.24: Do they get the christ they deserve?

12.57: ‘Horse-gate?’

21.56 Catholic Church – how not to deal with a crisis

24.04: How big an irritant is the social media to the politicians?

29.08: Conclusion

29.32: End


To listen to previous ‘Mallie on politics’ please click the following link:


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About Author

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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