Saturday, March 10, 2007

Whose Hand Have You Refused to Shake?

At a dinner party this evening we had a conversation about long term grudges - as you do! Someone then described the intense feeling of satisfaction they had when they encountered an enemy at a party and refused to shake the person's hand. I have to admit I don't think I have ever had occasion to do that. So whose hand have you refused to shake?


Anonymous said...

My stepmother's.

A lot of history there.

Anonymous said...

Ooh..crikey. I think it is normally pretty bad form not to shake someone's hand. I could even condone Jack Straw shaking Robert Mugabe's hand on the basis that if you are meeting such a villain then you are still expected to display common courtesy. Some people say that by shaking someone's hand you agree with their beliefs or condone their behaviour but this is simply not true.

Peace negotiations often have to take place between sworn enemies and simply because they shake hands doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to agree on a settlement.

Although I do recall that in the negotiation of the Good Friday agreement some parties wouldn't shake hands with Gerry Adams, even though he had shaken hands with Bill Clinton, if my memory serves me correctly ?

Anonymous said...

Shaking someone's hand has only recently been a gesture of courtesy. A couple of hundred years ago (perhaps longer; someone will know), it was a custom for men meeting to shake right hands to demonstrate that they had no weapon in them.

Of course, women have also shaken hands for around a hundred years now. I've never loathed anyone enough to refuse to shake their hand, but then, I've never been introduced to Tony Blair or David Cameron.

John Moorcraft said...

I would like to think I would never shake the hand of Frank Lampard! Unless of course he scores the winning goal for England at Euro 2008. Perhaps then his rehabilitation would be complete...

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Never done this myself.

I seem to recall (and I may well be wrong) that the late great Sir Keith Joseph attributed his conversion to monetarism to just such an incident.

-he was at a party in the mid 70's, (having just been chucked out of office with the rest of the Heath government), and England was at the height of the Great 1970's inflation.

Sir Keith recalled being introduced to (Sir) Alan Walters who point blank refused to shake his (Sir Keith's) hand, saying:

"I'm sorry you've been debasing the currency, I won't shake your hand"

Sir Keith was so taken aback that the next day he looked into the writings of the then very new school of monetarism, convinced himself of its merits and then went on to convince Mrs Thatcher its anti-inflationary theories.

The rest is....

What would have happened if Sir Allan had been just happy to talk about the weather?

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely nothing to do with Iain's question, but may re-kindle some memories of a time when unemployment was very much on the political agenda...

Remember "Boys from the Black Stuff"? An Alan Bleasdale televised play about some road layers who were out of work and trying to make ends meet? The first time it was shown on television, it was tremendously powerful and some of the characters were seared into our memories (Bernard Hill as "Yossa Hughes" - gizza job...etc)

One of the more memorable characters was a chap who was known as "Shake Hands." I met the real "Shakes" when I was a student in Liverpool.

He would challenge anyone to shake his hand and would deliver a bone-crushing grip in return - before ordering a drink for you both on his tab.

This chap was a real character who frequented such ale houses as "The Baltic Fleet" on the Dock Road in Liverpool.

Nowadays, "The Baltic Fleet" is a very agreeable establishment and a proud symbol of how Liverpool has changed in the past 30 years.

From the 1981 Toxteth Riots to the 2008 European City of Culture - it's been a long journey.

I just hope that people remember the role that Michael Heseltine played in that journey. This city owes him a huge debt...

Nich Starling said...

At the 1997 General Election Count in North Norfolk, David Prior refused to shake Norman Lamb's hand, even though David Prior had won.

It struck me as very small minded at the time and in some times when I was less enamoured with politics, that moment from Mr prior kept me going out canvassing and delivering when I might otherwise have not done so.

In 2001, when Norman Lamb won, he offered a hand to David Prior, who shook his hand this time.

Ironically, David and Norman get on well now and have a good working relationship in their positions.

It always taught me to try and be a good winner and a good loser. i think some people can be quite awful winners, and I try not to be one of the "rub people's faces in it" brigade, as a result.

Anonymous said...

The bloke that my fiance is having an affair with.

They don't know that I know.

Tonight in the pub.


Anonymous said...

Given recent events, I would ask how many Socialists would shake Maggie's hand? Other than to check for a pulse...

Gavin said...

I remember "Shake hands" from Blackstuff (ie, the TV character, I never realised it was based on a real person). One of the best TV dramas ever made, IMO.

Anonymous said...

going to stay anonymous:
Sorry to hear that. Maybe should be ex-fiance?

Anonymous said...

Tom Tyler - well remembered!

It was a superb drama and something that anyone who grew up in Liverpool in the 80s considers part of their personal culture (regardless of political viewpoint.)

Liverpool is still a hard city but is a very different place to what everyone thinks it is like.

Hate to sound like a PR person for the European City of Culture 2008 (I no longer live there) but I do believe that people should visit and see the place for themselves.

Anonymous said...


Before you have your Ovaltine, I think you should dust down your notes on the contribution that Michael Hesiltine made to the regeneration of Liverpool.

If he was to come back to this city as it is today, I think he would feel rather proud.

BTW I have a rather funny Derek Hatton story to tell, depending upon how this thread develops.

Anonymous said...

This thread is about refusing to shake hands with someone, which is of universal interest and we can all relate. (And equally, has anyone ever refused to shake hands with you?)

Please don't try to deflect it into a thread about Liverpool, which is of limited interest.

Anonymous said...

I've only been to Liverpool twice, but I had a very positive impression. Also I have several scouser friends, which reinforce my view that it's a pretty decent place. I hope to visit again in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Liverpool fact:

Fred the Weather Man from This Morning with Richard and Judy (which was based in Liverpool) is/was the partner of the Jimmy Corkhill character from Brookside (RIP) (also based in Liverpool)

Anonymous said...

Boomerang - The topic of the thread is: have you ever refused to shake hands with someone? And equally, I think Iain would agree is equally interesting, has anyone ever refused to shake hands with you.

It is not about Liverpool. It is not about Guadalajara. It is not about Seattle. It is not about Toronto. It is not about Guandong. It is not about Melbourne. Can you see the thinking here? It is not about provincial cities. It is not even about capital cities.

Anonymous said...

helllo verity,

I've always enjoyed your contributions, but on this point, I have to "lock horns"...

So Liverpool is of limited interest, is it?

I lived in this limited interest city from the age of 9.

I was a member of the YCs in the days that Anthony Steen represented the Conservatives in Wavertree. I then worked, as a YC, for Malcolm Thornton when he represented Garston and afterwards when he defeated Shirley Williams of the SDP in Crosby - previously a Conservative "safe seat."

A few years later I met Margaret Thatcher at a Finchley Conservatives "do" and she made the comment that there were no such things as " Conservative safe seats."

How right she was.

Liverpool has been a wasteland for the Conservative Party since then.

If we want to win the next ellection, the battleground is not going to be in the easily winnable seats.

It's going to be in the limited interest Liverpool(s)

Can we count on your support, Verity?

Chris Paul said...

It's the photos that do it. Poor Mr Lula for example. getting the bear hug of death from great satan jnr GW Bush. Wouldn't have mattered too much if not witnessed by the world's press.

Anonymous said...

Good question "me". Doesn't help when we have bought a house together. I hope it just fades out and we get back to when it all began. If it ends then I'll forget it when needed.

However, when I was a candidate for Hampshire County Council many years ago I even shook hands with the LibDem who beat me after (someone doubtless completely unconnected with him) had put out an anonymous leaflet saying that I had been a football hooligan and thug.

All that occured was I was on a family holiday and just happened to be on the same ferry as some thugs who were later arrested. I didn't even know there had been any trouble until I read it in the papers a week later but the LibDems play dirty.

Still shook his hand at the count and grinned (although in a TBlair insincere sort of way).

Anonymous said...

shake hands, verity says:

"Can we count on your support, Verity?"

Not on this thread, sweets.

Iain asked if one has ever refused to shake anyone's hand, which, as I said, is of universal interest. Anyone, living anywhere, even outside Liverpool, even outside Britain, even outside the EU, even living outside the entire Anglosphere of 2bn people, can relate to this question.

I am not interested in your provincial attempts to diminish and enclose the question to a fleabite. It's a very astute question. Tomorrow, a lot of people will respond to it.

And no, if you're so rude that you try to derail our bloghost's question, you cannot count on my support.

Anonymous said...

I would refuse to shake hands with Verity if the situation arose.

Anonymous said...

Liverpudlian - Sounds good to me, although it does presume that a hand would be offered.

Anonymous said...

I deftly avoided shaking the hand of Dave Cameron a month or two ago, at a function.

It was rather that I did not want to be photographed with him rather than full on snub mind, but still I disagree with almost everything he and his party stand for, so I was halfwau to a snub

Anonymous said...

And I would gladly shake Verity's hand. I have enjoyed your posts here, on Croydonian etc and always appreciate hearing your comments.

A 'virtual' handshake to you from here on The Rock.

The whole point of a thread is that it is a thread on a topic. That's the clue in the title.

Out of pure politeness I would probably shake Blair's hand if he offered it, but would certainly count my fingers afterwards.

I prefer "snedds" approach - if you feel uneasy about shaking a hand then discretely and politely make yourself unavailable. Confrontation is very ungentlemanly.

Rush-is-Right said...

I refused to shake hands after a business meeting with the (spit) Inland Revenue once.

They wanted my money, lots of it (hundreds of thousands of pounds), and they made up the rules as they went along to make sure they got it. Or so they thought.....

Scumbags the lot of them. Looking back it seems petty. But I certainly felt a bit better at the time!

If ever the situation arose whereby I was able to snub Kenneth Clarke in like manner I would grab it with both hands. Or should I re-phrase that?

Rush-is-Right said...

Geoff said... A 'virtual' handshake to you from here on The Rock.

I thought they had closed Alcatraz?

Anonymous said...


Hate to have caused any offence, as I am largely an admirer of your contributions to various political blogs.

My point is that governments are elected on a constituency by constituency basis - no matter how pretty / ugly / provincial their surroundings are.

I did my time as a YC in neighbourhoods that were far from conventional Conservative heartlands. In a few of the estates, you were just grateful to get out alive after a night's leafleting!

If we are going to see a Conservative government in the near future, it is going to be won in these ugly and provincial seats - not the safe seats in the South East of England.

Pax - Verity?

Anonymous said...

I refused to shake the hand of that pompus twat Iain Dale.

Anonymous said...

...closed Alcatraz?

Hmmm, I thought the guards hadn't been round for a while and the food was smelling a bit iffy.

Rush-is-Right said...

Shake hands said... I did my time as a YC in neighbourhoods that were far from conventional Conservative heartlands. In a few of the estates, you were just grateful to get out alive after a night's leafleting!

Well that certainly rings a bell. I used to draw comfort from 'The Card' of Arnold Bennett's novel who in similar circumstances would say to himself "They can't eat me!" Looking back though, I'm not so sure, perhaps I was taking a bigger risk that I thought at the time.

Anonymous said...

The two cathedrals in Liverpool are two of my favourite buildings in the entire world

Rush-is-Right said...

bj said... The two cathedrals in Liverpool are two of my favourite buildings in the entire world

BJ, I think you should get out a bit more.

Anonymous said...

Well,I think you're all up much too late.

Rush-is-right - Right on!

Geoff, I know it's awful, but I read that too. How could they close Alcatraz when Blair's government claim we don't have enough prisons and therefore have to let murderers and rapists out? I somehow thought Alcatraz would always be there for us.

Shake Hands - You are sincere and I wish you well in Liverpool, and in life as you are at least taking action. But the question posed by Iain, on his own blog, did not concern Liverpool and people should not have tried to derail Iain's topic. It's his blog.

Anonymous said...

I would withdraw my hand from any member of the British cabinet. The women's - Teresa Jowell, all those Pats - would be clammy and sincere. They would attempt to press their sweat into your palm. NO THANK YOU!

No shaking hands with imams, thanks. I would make certain I was the first one to decline.

Anonymous said...


I am ex-Liverpool and so is my wife. We are both alumni of Liverpool University and have fond memories of the city.

It is indeed a bittersweet place but it does have a great future. I can see a time when it returns some Conservative MPs again.

By the way, I'm still waiting for someone to push me on my rather funny Derek Hatton story. Come on chaps..

Rush-is-Right said...

shake hands said... By the way, I'm still waiting for someone to push me on my rather funny Derek Hatton story. Come on chaps..

OK SH. Consider yourself pushed. I'm available, and I've got big jugs.

Anonymous said...

Verity - unfortunately I'm not up "too late". I'm working in the office until 8:00am Gibraltar time so plenty more opportunity for blog commenting :-)

Not even any 18DS to watch at this time of night either.

I recently was delighted to shake hands with Patrick Mercer. Does that now make me a Bad Person(tm)?

Anonymous said...

A potentially fascinating thread derailed by oiks.

Gavin said...

I think we should leave it up to Iain to tell us what we may or may not decide to chat about on his blog post. How exactly do a few off-topic, non-offensive comments prevent anyone else from having their say on the topic?
Sorry, but I refuse to be told by a fellow commenter what I may type on here. There's no attempt or intention by anyone to "derail" the topic.

Anonymous said...

Geoff in the Gib - I would be honoured to shake Patrick Mercer's hand.

I wouldn't shake hands with Dave or most of the Shadow Cabinet on a bet. David Davis and William Hague, yes, would feel honoured. The rest of them would give rise to the same sense of repulsion as the thought of touching Tony Blair is beyond Nightmare on Elm Street.

Anonymous said...

Tom Tyler says: "Sorry, but I refuse to be told by a fellow commenter what I may type on here. There's no attempt or intention by anyone to "derail" the topic."

Why are you sorry? Why don't you just say, "I refuse to be told ...". What is this "sorry" politically correct garbage?

Gavin said...

LOL, Verity, you're a blast, gal. I like you.
You'd prefer me to say it to you Patrick Mercer style? OK:
"You, madam. Yes you with the mouth. Sit down and close the great hole of Calcutta, before I slap it shut, dame". Is that better? :))

Anonymous said...

I would like to shake Veritys hand. I could do with a holiday in the US right now.

Any English gentleman should shake the hand of anyone that puts theirs forward. Not too is simply extreamly bad form in any class of company anywhere in the world.

That includes Tony Blairs or Ken Livingstones or Gordon Browns or even that old bastard Castros.

However checking that the wedding ring is still there, counting your fingers and washing your hands well afterwards is perfectly acceptable and in the aboves cases very wise indead.

Anonymous said...

tom tyler - You are a very angry individual.

Anonymous said...

Tom, that is uncalled for. Let's keep this a civilised and enjoyable thread.

The Patrick Mercer comments are interesting ones. I for one think that although his comments were too easy to be spun out of context by enemies I don't believe he was in any way racist or incorrect. I have to respectfully disagree with Iain and CH on this as I believe he has been shoddily treated - but that isn't relevant here.

This does however lead to an interesting twist on Iain's question. Whose hand did you shake once and then regretted it afterwards because they fell out of favour?

There is always a camera around when you don't want one.

How about a nice photo of an up-and-coming MP shaking hands with that popular new German Chancellor in 1938? Or with the newly elected MP for Wolverhampton SW long before 'rivers' and 'blood' had been thought of.

It doesn't matter what the occasion - someone will always spin it against you politically when the moment is right. (And I did shake Enoch Powell's hand when he spoke at a meeting in Portsmouth just before he died. A great man. RIP)

Gavin said...

Verity, you have completely misunderstood my tone there. It was meant in jest, nothing more. Thought you would take it as such. But hey-ho, such nuances do not often travel well through a modem.
As you'll see if you happen to peruse my previous comments on here (and even on my own blog, where I have mentioned you once, I think) I like you and agree with 99% of everything you write on here. Come on, you asked for it with your "sorry" quip, I was just giving back as good as I got, but all intended in a jocular spirit.

Gavin said...

Whoops, forgot to say, I thought the "smilie" symbol [ :)) ] at the end of my post would be sufficient to signify my intended tongue-in-cheek tone.

Anonymous said...

Gary Powell - I don't agree, because by shaking their hand,in our world today, it is a form of endorsement.

That is my perception. I would be interested to hear the views of others because this is an interesting topic.

Knowing Hitler (I know, you can prove anything with extremes) could you have brung yourself to shake his hand, out of politeness?

Desite his having murdered millions in Cambodia, could you have shaken the hand of Pol Pot? If you could have brung yourself to do it, why? Could you have shaken the hand of the sleazy, secretive little dictators in the Eastern European segment of the now defunct USSR?

Would you have shaken the hand of Ceaucescu? If so, how would you have excused yourself in your own mind? Could you have shaken the hand of Ché?

At what point are our limits of daintiness outweighed against repulsion? At what point do we stop in the name of courtesy?

Anonymous said...

Interesting question Verity. I would shake Ché or Hitler's hand but only to distract them from the dagger I was about to swing with the other hand.

That, however, is the difference between your post and my previous comment. In your post you know what these people have done and you are making a (correct in my opinion) judgement. In mine we don't yet.

Mugabe was once seen as a great hope for Rhodesia. A British Foreign Secretary would have happily posed for a photo shaking his hand ("wind of change throughout Africa etc etc") but now we know he has become a power-crazed murdering maniac.

Jack Straw should be made to apologize to each one of Mugabe's victims one by one whilst standing on heated nails for shaking his hand.

Shaking hands is indeed a form of social acceptance and endorsement. I feel sorry for "going to stay anonymous this time".

Rush-is-Right said...

What does shaking hands mean exactly? Hello, I'm pleased to meet you? I acknowledge your presence? You can believe my good faith? Let's get this over with? I just don't know.

What I DO know is that when you do it, you take a firm grip, look the shakee in the eye and try to look trustworthy. And what it's all for I really don't know!

Anonymous said...

It can mean all and none of those things.

Also: Hi, I'm a member of a certain club.

Looking trustworthy is probably optional.

Anonymous said...

Geoff - Yes. The point of the post: would you refuse to shake hands with this person?

And, human beings being what we are, why would we find it so hard not to shake a proferred hand?

Even Mugabe or Che?

Would we be so frozen with embarrassment that we would proffer our hand anyway?

I know that I wouldn't. And I wouldn't shake Tony Blair's hand or David Cameron's hand. But it takes a will of iron not to give in at the moment.

Rush-is-Right said...

verity said... But it takes a will of iron not to give in at the moment.

I think what it really takes is a few seconds notice. Given that, you can not only refuse to shake hands, you can also tell 'em what you really think about them!

Anonymous said...

Straw shook Mugabe's hand without (if I recall) realising who he was. It was an instinctive reaction that most of us would have if somebody unknown had proffered a hand to you or I.

I appreciated the point of your post and my answer is undoubtedly that I would refuse to knowingly shake those hands. And Jack Straw's hand too.

However I'm still with "snedds" on this. My innate politeness means that I'd rather avoid meeting with, say, Ken or Tony than put any of us in the position of having to react when I didn't extend my hand.

Declining to shake hands is a powerful statement because it has, as others have observed, become such an easy and natural thing to do at the beginning and end of most meetings. Declining to take part in the ritual is a snub far exceeding its actual relevance.

Gavin said...

I cannot think of any occasion on which I have refused to shake a hand offered to me, or on which anyone else so refused my hand.
However, I can recount a similar sort of occasion: Once I was a guest at a Xmas company party at a hotel. I was the companion of a former employee of that company who had since left and had set himself up as a competitor of that company (I was the management accountant for this new competitor). Me and my friend/boss walked in, and I went up to the bar to order a few drinks. I can only assume that someone from my boss's previous employer took offence at our presence there, because I stood for almost 30 minutes at the bar, and it became more and more obvious as time went on, that the barman would not serve me, he studiously avoided all eye-contact, ignored my "tenner-in-hand, waiting to be served" gestures, and he served others who appeared at the bar long after I was there, etc. In the end it became obvious, someone had told the barman that I was to be treated as "persona non grata" that night, due to company rivalry.
This I found deeply hurtful and offensive. I would have been OK had a barman politely told me "I'm sorry, Sir, but you aren't going to get served here this evening. Best for you if you quietly walk out of here and go elsewhere". In the end, me and my friend left, feeling humiliated.
Oh what joy it was to get my own back the next Xmas, when I was put in charge of organising the company party. I had it all set up for that same hotel, they were salivating at the thought of 200+ guests, so I insisted on visiting the hotel beforehand, whereupon I met the manager, shook hands, viewed the bar, dancefloor and rooms, told him how impressed I was, etc etc, then just days before the party, I paid another visit there, and I suddenly recalled last year's events to him, and cancelled the whole thing on the spot, booking it elsewhere instead, with the full approval of my boss.

Anonymous said...

Geoff - Declining to take part in the ritual is a snub far exceeding its actual relevance. No. It is a snub and it is relevant to the circumstances. As you say in a post above, it "is a powerful statement".


One of the most powerful statements of our age.

This is why I think Iain's thread is so interesting. Shaking hands is not a powerful statement. It's anodyne. Nothing.

Refusing to shake hands is very powerful. Why?


Anonymous said...

Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles

Gavin said...

As an aside, but pertaining in some ways to the post, I think it is very much to Iain's credit that he showed the utmost courtesy on 18DS last week to that odious left-wing smear-campaign merchant Sunny Hundal.
After the personal and politically motivated attacks Hundal launched upon Guido and Iain recently, well, if it was me, I would never have invited him on the programme at all.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Verity, my comment wasn't clearly phrased. I meant that declining to take part in the ritual is a snub far exceeding the actual relevance of simply locking hands. I also meant 'reality' rather than 'relevance'. My fault - sorry.

You mentioned much earlier in the thread that it was an old way of showing that your hands were free of weapons. That is also supposedly the reason that the Armed Forces salute although that tradition is much older because apparently it dates from a less hygienic time so physical contact was avoided.

So yes, I actually agree with you entirely.

It is a lot to do with power. Are you a powerful enough or strong enough individual to refuse a handshake? Watch world leaders who stand one step higher than the visitor they are greeting. Look for the symbolic arm either over the vistor's shoulder or round their waist. All signs of confidence and dominance. Interestingly, GWBush had this technique perfectly before he became President but Blair took a few years to perfect it. Look at photos of their first four or five meetings together - Bush always has far superior body language.

But the ultimate sign of dominance is the snub, which a refusal of a handshake is the classic example of.

(Verity, reading this back it seems patronising and it's certainly not meant to be like that in any way. It's general observations for everyone's comment only)

Anonymous said...

Yes verity I could and would. Inspite of Hitler being responsible for putting 3 dear friends and business associates of mine in concentration camps and murdering their entire families.

I know you are not a man so it may be difficult for you to understand this however.

Growing up and therefore hopefully becoming a man is partly not being intimidated by people and showing your personal standards even under the most trying of situations.

Not confronting your most evil adversaries with stile and confidence is the act of a childish coward.

An act that will only encourage your foe into thinking you dont have the mature backbone to clearly and ruthlessly deal with them.

The playground bully will almost always back down when faced with a person of character and confidence.

One way that a man shows this to another is by shaking hands firmly while pulling the otherperson towards them and looking them straight in the eye.

This I would do to the devil himself if I was ever to meet Ken Livingstone in person.

This may be a cheap point but it may give a clue as to why Iain seems not to understand, and why he needs it explained to him.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I can't even decide where to begin disagreeing with your post.

Shake hands with Hitler? My grandfather survived a Concentration camp (which is a bit of luck for a few people - not least of whom is him. Me too, I suppose) for the 'crime' of possessing a crystal set radio and distributing the BBC news around occupied Jersey.

He would never speak of what he saw. Shake hands with Hitler? The thought disgusts me.

Not confronting your most evil adversaries... Sounds like a comic book. Mao and Che were not comic book characters.

One way that a man shows this to another... Sounds like a poor attempt at intimidation to me. A dignified principled statement made by specifically declining to attend an event which would put you in a position to have to greet (say) Blair is one thing. shaking hands firmly while pulling tends to get you shot by the security contingent.

Not shaking hands is a powerful statement. Avoiding a handshake is a much weaker statement but a statement nonetheless. However it can also be the polite and dignified option.

One way that a man shows this to another and but it may give a clue as to why Iain seems not to understand

Oooh, I really hope I have misinterpreted the inference behind those comments.

I would continue but I only have an hour left in the office and am going to go Cameron-esque and limit my Electron-Footprint.

Anonymous said...

Good call.

Just recently, I had an operation on my right hand, which meant that I couldn’t shake hands with anyone.

The shift in communication response was considerable when I either waved the bandages or tried to shake with the left hand, (which would have been wrong in certain countries of course)! I even felt that I hadn’t ‘connected’ with the person in front – which seems trivial, but still uncomfortable – and I wasn’t looking for sympathy either!

Verity is right to want the answer here, because a handshake is such a powerful display of communication that it should never be insignificant or squandered.

I think I actually need to ‘touch’ the person somehow, as a sign of good feelings and warmth. You soon know if the person who shook your hand is feeling the same way.

Anonymous said...

mirthios said...
Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles

Excellent choice, I would merely add to it that, as a great fan of Princess Diana, I would never curtsey to Camilla or Prince Charles and will put up black, mourning crepe if Camilla ever becomes Queen.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

If this "Greener skies" policy turns out to be true, I shall be looking for opportunities to refuse to shake hands with Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Goldsmith. It may be ungentlemanly, but it's more polite than throttling them as they would so richly deserve.

Anonymous said...

Abu Hamza

Anonymous said...

I was in a Muslim country recently and women there often refuse to shake hands. Clearly worried that slight touches would unleash burning desires which I wouldn't be able to control. Rather insulting really, but it's their country I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Tom Paine said...
If this "Greener skies" policy turns out to be true, I shall be looking for opportunities to refuse to shake hands with Messrs Cameron, Osborne and Goldsmith.

Why should the aviation industry not pay tax on its fuel and VAT on its purchases as all other industries do?

Why should civil aircraft be exempt from VAT?

Why should the 12% of UK, mostly low-income, taxpayers who never fly and the 50% who don't fly in any one year subsidise frequent flyers who hop to and fro between their second homes overseas?

Why should vastly rich aviation be given huge tax and VAT priviledges which no other industry has?

Why should aviation be exempt from the 'polluter pays' principle which all other industries must abide by?

Why should aviation be encouraged to squander our dwindling oil resources - and on the wealthiest in society?

Why should tax exemption, a temporary measure introduced 60 years ago to help the aviation industry recover after the war, be sustainedas an unfair trading advantage in the 21st century/

There are no such things as cheap flights. We all pay extra tax for these. They cost the taxpayer many £billions each year. However, frequent flyers, who are mostly in the high-income group, recoup this extra tax through their flight savings.

Make frequent flyers pay the true, oil squandering and environment damaging cost of their cheap flights - they can afford it.

Auntie Flo'

Raedwald said...

It's strange to remember that shaking hands was within my lifetime considered as a rather vulgar lower middle class affectation.

I remember in Suffolk in the 70s an elderly earl, the holder of a WWI MC, gazing at the outstretched hand of a new acquaintance with as much puzzlement as if he were being proferred a small turd, his own hands remaining firmly clasped behind his back.

Anonymous said...

Looking back to Verity's post at 10.52 pm last night - she's right about the "weapon" connection.


I believe that barristers and Members of Parliament do not shake hands with each other because "they know that they are gentlemen" and so have no need to demonstrate the fact that they are not shielding a weapon in their hands.

Something tells me that this rather gallant code belongs to a previous time...

Anonymous said...

Do any of the frequent flyers who are complaining about the Green Skies policy give a thought to those of us beneath their flight paths?

Do they ever give a thought to hard working people of Heathrow whom, noise measurement tests for the Night Flights court case showed, are woken 16 times a night by the noise of flights?

Do they ever smell the polluted air in Heathrow and feel concern for the many thousands who are forced to inhale those noxious fumes every day?

Do they feel any guilt about those who's homes and villages will be demolished to make way for yet another runway at Stansted?

I doubt it.

My once sleepy part of Old Harlow and many hundreds of rural Essex villages have been turned into the flight path from hell by the massive nd increasing subsidies to the aviation industry since nulab came to power.

If frequent flyers are happy about this, fine. But common decency, fairness and rationality demand that you must PAY for it!

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

I can confirm Shake Hand's assertion that MPs do not shake hands with each other for the reason he gives.

Anonymous said...

verity - oh, the irony that you are telling other people off for 'being rude'...and being 'oiks', when you are the rudest oik I have ever encountered...

Anonymous said...

I have never failed to shake a hand offered to me even if offered by someone dislikable; first because either the handshake has been offered in another's social world where any person present is guaranteed by the host, or has been offered in my social world, in which case I am the host and owe every courtesy. It's up to me to think where I am going and to think who I am inviting.

The kissing thing that has spread steadily is not governed by the same rules at all. With that avoidance is the rule and a handshake is very useful for inhibiting it.

Andrew Allison said...

I have never refused to shake anyone's hand either. I did shake Tony Blair's hand on the night he won the election. I was there at the count and he was walking towards me, with a dazed expression. We looked at each other, and I shook his hand. Under the circumstances it seemed the decent thing to do.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of being hung drawn and quartered I have a terrible admission. I once refused to shake the hand of the Princesss of Wales.It was a large gathering and we wern't all stood in line I just said no thanks. I don't think she minded. Or knew.

I am new to this site and am addicted.

Who is Verity???

Anonymous said...

There have been one or two occasions when I have not offered my hand, or a hand has not been offered to me. But shaking hands with individuals can tell you quite a lot.

By contrast there have been several individuals whom I would have gladly shaken by the throat. That can speak volumes...

Anonymous said...

In France friends shake hands when meeting for the first time that day. Very agreeable and very civilised.

Anonymous said...

I would love to be one of the photo-op crowds on TV, awaiting the handshake of the Prime Minister. I would extend my hand just a little, and then swiftly withdraw it.

That is, unless I had some sinister curse that I could only rid myself of by passing it to someone else through a handshake! Having said that, I am sure that our whiter-than-white PM would have no qualms about passing it on himself!

Vol Abroad said...

I always refuse to shake hands with people when I've got some kind of nasty cold or 'flu. That's because that's the way such germs are transmitted rather than thru the air.

It always amazes me how offended people get when I refuse to offer them my snot ridden grip. I know I've just sneezed into my cupped hands. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

verity is just Iain's alter ego, an uber-bitch based on Ann Coulter and Janet Street-Porter, used to create frustration at her rampant right wing moonbattery, anger at her bitchiness, and thus treble the number of posts to the site, thus feeding the traffic figures the advertisers like so much.

Hope that clears things up...

Anonymous said...

PJ you shouldn't really take offense if a woman in a Muslim country doesn't shake your hand. I don't think Muslim women are behind that non-tradition.

Anonymous said...

FR - Abu Hamza. Funny! I don't like the French habit of shaking hands with all their colleagues each morning. By the time they've all finished shaking hands with one another, it's time to close for the two hour lunch. In some offices, they kiss one another's cheeks as well. When I lived in France, I had a French friend who started a new job and she said, "Thank God they only shake hands in the morning. You don't have to kiss everyone."

Jess The Dog - you are very sly. Are you sure you're not a cat? I like the bit about the feint. Trick Tony into thinking you want to shake his hand! You could use the same technique with Dave. They are both over-eager.

I have seen photos of Janet Street-Porter, and I know she's a lefty, but I've never heard her speak, so have no idea what she sounds like. I will be keeping it that way.

I would refuse to shake hands with that muslim bint who joined the Met and then refused to shake hands with Ian Blair at the passing out. Frankly, he should have shot her.

Little Black Sambo said...

I think we are wandering from the point ... ANYWAY, I have visited Liverpool only once in my life and, having heard that the people are so friendly there, I was disappointed that no one in the street offered to shake my hand, nor did I see them shaking hands with one another. I forget the name of the street.

Anonymous said...

shake hands [10.33] It used to be the case that barristers did not shake hands, but nowadays they all do.

I would refuse to shake hands with anyone who comes from, has any connection with, or even makes a passing reference to, Liverpool.

Trubes said...

true blue says-Verity I would have been glad to shake your hand but after the rant about Liverpool hmmm! Methinks old Shake Hands is right ther`s a certain buzz in Liverpool right now , in fact tomorrow I shall be shaking hands with a shadow tory minister; thats certainly something to shout from the rooftops about!

Trubes said...

Trumpeter Lanfried :Why wouldn`t you shake hands with a person from Liverpool,are you scared should some of our good humour and generosity may rub of on you ?
The Duke of Westminster is happy to shake hands with Liverpudlians and I`ll wager a bet he`s more noble than you ! Are you one of the Queen`s heralds ? With a pseudonym of Trumpeter you must be full of wind ! Toot Toot !

Anonymous said...

Inexplicably, one of the poshest department stores in Mexico - it has branches in most of the big cities, and a huge store in Mexico City itself and is very expensive, is called Liverpool. I can only imagine that it must have started during the Beatles era and that the founders had never been to Britain.

Personally, I would refuse to shake the hand of whoever named the store.

Anonymous said...

Blimey. BBC Have Your Say contributors are going ballistic over these proposals.

'I thought you were a breath of fresh air, Dave, but you've become just a bad smell' is fairly typical of the response.

Back to the drawing board perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Jess The Dog said...
I would love to be one of the photo-op crowds on TV, awaiting the handshake of the Prime Minister. I would extend my hand just a little, and then swiftly withdraw it.

What amazing self discipline. Personally, I think I'd slap Blair if he tried to shake my hand.

Auntie Flo'

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps give him (Blair) a really nasty Chinese Burn.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 6:11 - Which thread on the bbc? I can't see it. Perhaps it's been taken off?

Anonymous said...

The Chocolate Orange Inspector said... Which thread on the bbc? I can't see it.

Its this one Chocolate Orange Inspector:�

Anonymous said...

On a related issue, I have always thought it would be extremely difficult to bow down to the monarch, so I think that if I am ever invited to the palace (an admittedly unlikely scenario) I would have to refuse the invitation. Does anyone else share this uneasiness or am I talking out of my arse?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link. People do seem to be a bit contemptuous of Dave and his policy du jour.

Anonymous said...

Verity 2:00 :-
'In some offices, they kiss one another's cheeks as well'.

For clarity - Upper or Lower cheeks?

shergar said...

Mr Rush-is-right. That's a noble looking bird in your avatar. Is it yours?

Anonymous said...

the deposed king of Greece. ar*hole.

Anonymous said...

I have just read this blog from start to finish and I can't stop laughing. Verity really Iain's alter ego?

Please tell me the truth people

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:04 - Iain and Verity do not know one another.

Personally, I think the dreadful, preachy Rachel North is Iain's alter ego. Iain is reasoned, calm and a bit of a libertarian. Rachel North is a controller and speaks in the royal "we". Never "I".

Maybe this is a secret side to Iain's character - although,on reflection ... nah!

Rush-is-Right said...

I have seen photos of Janet Street-Porter, and I know she's a lefty, but I've never heard her speak, so have no idea what she sounds like. I will be keeping it that way.

Verity, believe me, she sounds just like she looks. Don't go there.

Rush-is-Right said...

Shergar 9.42

When you ask of the Eagle Owl, 'is it mine' you imply that anybody could presume to own or possess such a magnificent animal.

I do not own it, although it does visit me from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Rush Is Right - Owls are wonderful. We don't have them here. Iguanas aren't as wonderful as owls, but they are very appealing nevertheless,in their own way. They are rather intense,but being lizards, they are not as advanced as birds. That's a long way back in the advancement queue.

But they're dopey and sweet and they can pay attention to one point for hours on end. They think if they stay incredibly still, that means you can't see them any more. So they will freeze, with one foot raised and their head unmoving, for perhaps 20 minutes and then their little lizard brain tells them to make a dash for it.

Some of them have beautiful markings. And some get well over a yard long, which you cannot say for an owl.

Trubes said...

Verity we have Owls in Liverpool ,not encountered any lizards to date and hav`nt managed to shake hands with an Owl but will try next time I meet one in local woods !

Anonymous said...

As a compromise post to get us all back on track;

1. I'd never shake hands with Liverpool. Because that would be an abstract personification of an urban settlement, not because I'd fear for my jewellery.

2. Not shaking hands with Hitler: ah, but surely instead you could offer him your hand, then do a Allo Allo salute, then offer him your hand, then do the little salute, and keep that going until he gets annoyed and walks off in a huff.