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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Smile you are on Candid Camera

I have come to the conclusion that Robert Mugabe is on contract to the TV programme Candid Camera.

He has been signed up to produce a long-running sketch for the revitalised show, whereby he appears at important events such as state funerals, weddings and official visits and then insists on shaking the hand of some dignitary, who in normal circumstances would not be seen within 100 miles of the obnoxious dictator.

For days afterwards the news media will be full of stories about how embarrassed the victim of this particular stunt is, how he or she was put in an impossible situation, did not realise what was going on etc. At the same time a succession of obscure politicians will be wheeled out condemning the victim for his or her stupidity/naivety/insensibility (delete as appropriate).

So far, Mr. Mugabe's victims have been UK Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw and the soon-to-be-married, Prince Charles. Both victims are alleged to have washed their hand immediately after the experience.

Incredibly, the obscure politicians fall for it every time and immediately reach for the telephone so as to rant at the nearest journalist. In the case of Jack Straw it was Shadow foreign secretary, Michael Ancram, whilst first off the mark to condemn Prince Charles was Glenys Kinnock MEP. I am particularly puzzled as to why Glenys did not have a go at Jack Straw at the time, given her exemplary record in slating African dictatorships. Perhaps, Labour Ministers get the benefit of the doubt whereas royalty does not.
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