Northern Ireland

Former DUP first minister Peter Robinson writes self-help book: 'Witty Putdowns and Clever Insults'

Peter Robinson's new book, 'Witty Putdowns and Clever Insults'
Peter Robinson's new book, 'Witty Putdowns and Clever Insults'

Former Stormont first minister Peter Robinson has written a self-help book entitled Witty Putdowns and Clever Insults. 

The book is billed as the "quintessential guide" to being able to "elevate your conversational prowess, become a maestro at delivering sharp-witted comments, and acquire the skills to protect yourself from hurtful verbal blows".

Published on Thursday, the 179-page publication tells readers they can "master the art of witty putdowns and clever insults and become the life of the party, even if you've always struggled with jokes".

Written by the ex-DUP leader, it adds that readers can "conquer social battles in no time, or protect yourself from verbal jabs".

“Contrary to popular belief, delivering razor-sharp put-downs is not exclusive to the inherently witty,” a blurb for the book reads.

“It's a craft that can be honed with the right guidance and ample practice.

"Likewise, swift replies are not always the product of spontaneity but can be prepared in advance.

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“By building an arsenal of put-downs and insults, you can always stand ready with a fitting retort, regardless of the scenario.”

The blurb asks a number of questions, including, "are you tired of feeling dumbstruck and underprepared when targeted with a verbal affront" or "ever wished you could light up the room with an intelligent, witty comeback instead of fumbling for words?".

It goes on to state that readers can "gift yourself the power of wit and resilience" through the book.

It also features quotes from several Northern Ireland politicians, including Sammy Wilson, Ian Paisley and John Hume.

The release of the book, priced at £16.99, was announced by Mr Robinson's former DUP colleague Dame Arlene Foster.

In a post on X, Dame Arlene said that Mr Robinson hoped that readers "will give it an honest rating".

"An honest 5-star one would be really great," she added.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the book features several anecdotes, including one from Mr Robinson's former DUP colleague Sammy Wilson.

The former East Belfast MP recalls of how at an "annual get-together” Mr Wilson held up a magazine which reported how former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is a keen environmentalist.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson gets a mention in the book. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
DUP MP Sammy Wilson gets a mention in the book. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

“I read that Gerry Adams talks to flowers and hugs trees,” Mr Wilson said.

“Yes, he’s a tree hugger.

"I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, given how often he has been handled by Special Branch.”

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is also mentioned in the book, with Mr Robinson describing how the current DUP leader possesses a “calm equilibrium that seldom savages but consistently seeks to conquer through reason”.

A number of social media users have already voiced their views on the newly published book.

Former DUP special advisor Tim Cairns said he was shocked when he heard about the publication.

"At first I genuinely thought this was a joke," he wrote on X.

Irish News columnist Tom Kelly also appeared surprised and replied to Mr Cairns' post with "you were not the only one".

Another social media users wrote: "This can’t be real", while another added: "He didn't display any of that when I interviewed him".

But DUP MP for Upper Bann Carla Lockhart also wrote on X that she was "happy to promote" the book, which she said was from "one of the sharpest minds ever to grace Northern Ireland and UK politics".