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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Clearly not having learned from the furore surrounding Jack Straw’s handshake, Prince Charles has now grasped the hand of Robert Mugabe. Considering his luck lately, the poor fellow was bound to make some diplomatic gaffe, and if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly.

That said, it’s clearly not the best of ideas for the future King to be aligning himself with such people, but I do have a degree of sympathy for Charles, since he really couldn’t do right in this situation. Had he followed Ronnie Richard Corbett’s advice…

This was a golden opportunity to deliberately and very visibly refuse to shake hands with this man. To fail to do so was, frankly, stupid.

…then I think this would have looked somewhat inappropriate at the funeral of one of the most respected men in the world – a very solemn event.

One MEP said, according to the Beeb, that this was “flagrant breach of the EU travel ban”. This person clearly wasn’t very well informed – as a memeber of the European Paliament, one would expect that he’d know about important agreements such as the Concordat, which allows Mr Mugabe to travel through Italy to reach the Vatican, which is an independent state.

So, for once, I’m going to stick up for Charles on this issue, since I think he probably did the only thing he could in the circumstances. Whether the circumstance should have been allowed to rise is another matter, but surely not one for the Prince.

This 483rd post was filed under: News and Comment.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th December 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th November 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th October 2017)

Crap: A Guide to Politics by Terry Arthur (published 17th October 2007)

Jeff Randall’s 30 years of financial journalism (published 24th January 2014)

Labour cheats in election (published 4th April 2005)

Photo-a-day 71: Easter egg (published 14th March 2014)


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