Much attention in Northern Ireland has focused on the degree to which Sinn Féin representatives have had their snouts stuck in the Westminster trough, despite their ‘principled’ abstention from Parliament. Justifiably so. Though Shinner expense claims hardly reveal anything we could not otherwise reasonably have deduced. Republicans’ objection to British sovereignty in Ireland has rarely impeded a sense of entitlement to squeeze every Great British pound from the hated Exchequer.
Not that DUP attitudes are strikingly dissimilar, albeit that their starting point is somewhat different. The overweening sense of entitlement is still a defining characteristic.
Hence the Daily Mail’s report that Robinsons Iris and Peter are costing the taxpayer almost £600,000 per year.
The double, triple, quadruple jobbery of Democratic Unionist politicians is well worn territory. Clearly the people of Northern Ireland are getting short-changed by their representatives, particularly at Westminster, with the locus of the ‘ourselves alone’ coalition lying well to the north and west.
But Mr and Mrs Robinson also claim a double helping from the controversial second homes allowance, despite living together as a married couple.