Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Wednesday September 29, 2004
In the long and undistinguished history of the ill-judged handshake, Jack Straw's clasping palms with Robert Mugabe probably ranks below Neville Chamberlain's greeting of Adolf Hitler, especially since the latter followed it with a "Sieg heil".
But the foreign secretary's political faux pas, at a party at the UN last week, came back to haunt him yesterday.
The Conservatives called the handshake a "scandalous betrayal", but of equal embarrassment was Mr Straw's excuse that he had not recognised the president of Zimbabwe because of the dark.
...Mr Mugabe replies, "Nice to see you," before asking an adviser, "Who was that?" When told the president, fresh from delivering a scathing attack on Britain during the UN general assembly, is seen creasing up with laughter.