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Politicians beware: if Peter the Great can fall ...

As one who hoped to see elected those of demonstrable integrity in political life, I would like to heartily congratulate the people of East Belfast for doing the decent thing.

No matter how the defeat of Peter Robinson is spun, no matter how hard DUP acolytes try to blame Iris Robinson, the people of East Belfast rejected Peter Robinson - not Iris.

The perception of his extravagant lifestyle was despised. The image of a family business creaming thousands off the taxpayers was loathed and his arrogance ultimately determined his fate.

The DUP must be careful. The defeat of Peter Robinson was thought impossible going into this election; there wasn't the slightest concern that the people of East Belfast would turn.

They have sent a warning: pride goes before a fall. If the DUP think they can continue with Peter Robinson at their helm, well and good. But the people don't see it that way. This Parliament is unlikely to see out its full term. In fact, it may collapse a lot sooner.

Other voters may take heart from the East Belfast result and demand higher levels of propriety and integrity from our politicians. This being the case, humility and contrition over past excesses may still be required. Ultimately, the voters of East Belfast have begun to restore propriety in politics; they have set a standard for integrity and decency.

Other politicians beware. If Peter 'The Great' Robinson can be toppled, so can you.

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CLIVE KIRKWOOD

Belfast


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