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January 28, 2010


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Labour Mps, telling other people how to live and micro-manage their lives? I don't believe it...ahem

Kay Tie

"Seen the waiting times for patients in Wales ?"

It's not just Wales. Waiting times are massively up everywhere. By 50% year-on-year.


"Lastly, I am extremely disappointed to read that "humourless loudmouths" had their comments deleted. regardless of the quality of their content, it strikes me as wholly inappropriate that a politician in the public eye would censor who may comment upon any issue, however trivial the issue. regardless of how much you may disapprove of their comments, to exclude them is abhorrent to our political process."

You may feel you have made a worthy point.
Yesterday some few dozen people were angry and hyped up because they thought a politician was going to try to ban handshaking.
The fact that the papers had it wrong and that the above scenerio was a complete fantasy didn't prevent a mini swarm of abusive people popping in.
Anybody with half a brain could have checked the facts or even read the blog and realised it was a joke.
When Dozens (sometimes Hundreds ) of swarmers descend on a site hurling abuse (that an average Eight year old would have grown out of) it's time to delete them.

As Paul pointed out , if they want to play games involving foul abuse , let them do it on countless other sites.

Your point seems to be
'As this is a site hosted by an MP everybody should be allowed to say anything they like without any regulation on abuse, language or offence to anybody'

Have you ever heared about standards?


From what I've seen, Tony Blair is blaming AQ and the Iranians for the post-war mess.
So, having taking us to war on the assumption that Saddam had dangerous links with AQ, the bigwigs didn't anticipate that they'd show up after he was overthrown?

That can't be right.


Seen the waiting times for patients in Wales ?


On the up .. just like the economy


'Bone crushing' hand shakes hurt because the knuckles are in line. A simple way of preventing the pain is to extend the index finger.

Kay Tie

"Whether MMR is responsible for autism or not'

MMR doesn't cause autism.

WiFi doesn't cause headaches.

Mobile phone masts don't cause cancer.

I do wonder about the correlation between autism and the kind of people who complain that MMR gave their kids autism. Could explain the moral panic.


So apparently the case for the Iraq war was overstated ?

I could understand it a bit on a CV but on a document that led to the killing of thousands somehow feels wrong ..


Another Labour triumph, the banning of handshakes. What's next? Pats on the back?

Seriously, man up and stop being such complete Nanny state led buffoons.

Concerned Parent, anti MMR

Vaccines are certainly one of our greatest inventions, but I certainly have my concerns, in particular with 3 boys, all subject to MMR vaccinations. The eldest had it as a baby, we are well aware (though keep it from him) that he is at the very lower end of the autistic spectrum, its there, perhaps only we as parents will notice. The middle son had his injection much later in age and there is no indication whatsoever, the youngest we are still trying to source individual injections. It appears the NHS has a contract with the MMR maker, its the financial contract that means we must have MMR rather than any health or admin reasons. I was also unhappy that MMR has mercury as a stabiliser and preservative.

Whether MMR is responsible for autism or not, what a shocking thing to do to a baby, inject it with mercury contaminated half dead organisms from three different diseases!

Simon Mallett

What's this about handshakes not being newsworthy, its a daily event for millions, and I agree causes some thousands discomfort and pain. I am well aware of my strength (ex farmhand and oilfield worker) and thus my handshake is a fixed mannequin like non-grip, no squeeze, no pain (hope the Duke of E appreciated it). Or for the ladies, a "gentle" man's touch. As to the less mannered who appear to take delight in other's pain, perhaps some mistaken sense of their own masculinity, yes, I've done the clear and unpleasant public cry of pain with my own clear public apology that my fingers were recently broken ... (actually I think it was just a torn ligament)

Matthew Ferguson

Hi Paul

I came across your article on the BBC news website and if people try this there is a simple way to fail it. It is a technique used in jiu-jitsu, all you have to do is point your index finger straight forward as if your pointing at someone and that alignes your knuckles. It means that whenever anyone tries to crush your hand it doesnt work because your knuckles are locked in alignment.

Hope this helps



(Annoyingly, the first time I tried to post this, I got an error, so this is a lot shorter and less carefully written... sorry.)

I suspect a large part of the reason for such a response is twofold - firstly, the comment "Who will be first person to be charged with assault by handshake?" is very subtle sarcasm. as a first-time reader of the site, without the addition of this note, I would've interpreted it as writen with very little in the way of humour.
Secondly, I suspect that it cuts a little close to the bone as being all too plausible... In the nanny state mentality which is sweeping this country, I suspect that an awful lot of responses were a backlash against the fact that it could so easily happen.

Lastly, I am extremely disappointed to read that "humourless loudmouths" had their comments deleted. regardless of the quality of their content, it strikes me as wholly inappropriate that a politician in the public eye would censor who may comment upon any issue, however trivial the issue. regardless of how much you may disapprove of their comments, to exclude them is abhorrent to our political process.


Generally Paul, on most issues you're preaching to the choir.

Afghanistan - nothing that the UK does will change the outcome positively for Afghan people - HMG however need a narrative particularly with the number of fallen to counter accusations that it was futile and to concoct an exit strategy that doesn't look like defeat; therefore the game continues to serve the needs of politicians.

Wakefield's work was discredited - fine, but I'll never forgive Hart for claiming MMR was "proven" safe. If HMG hadn't been trying so hard to push MMR as against individual vaccines, (I assume for the public heath objectives of R), take up might not have dropped as much. Personally I chose MMR for my daughter and separate Measles and Mumps on a different timescale for my son. The effort and expense this took makes me want to hit any minister who talks about "choice" in the NHS.

I have reservations about the response to swine flu, but at one level we were lucky this was a mild strain. If this had been the same as 1918 perhaps the drug stockpiling and vaccination strategy would have been necessary. Unfortunately as in all things there are costs involved, like stockpiling road salt - store too much and you're wasting money - too little and lives are at risk.


To be honest, I'm far more bothered by those passive-aggressive handshakes, when the proffered hand is held out at anything other than a vertical, as if having their hand on top somehow makes the owner inherently superior.

I'll accept if from the Pope or the Queen, but everyone else can just do it properly.


Is there anything worse tht a wet lettice handshake?


I did think that quite funny and quite illustrative of the BBC Wales coverage ..


Made the lead page with featured item when job losses were just in a list ..

Mind you at least The Tony Blair Show is all over the front page - I wonder if they'll ask the only question that really matters

'Did you exaggarate the details in the intelligence dossier to support going to war ? Yes or No ?


I find it amusing to hear of a politician moaning about bone crushing handshakes when the first politician I ever shook hands with (Ron Davies) was a bone crusher.


"Yet the subject that provokes greatest interest is handshakes"

I have a pet theory that people have *interest* in the big topics, but only feel comfortable publicly commenting on things that they fully understand; especially these days when comments can theoretically be preserved ad infinitum for anyone to see.

Commenting on an important, but inherently complex topic like the war, is risky ground since someone with more facts at their fingertips or more experience of debating the issue can quickly make you look like a complete idiot or even *gasp* force you to change your view. In a pub, it's no problem; in a public forum, it's humiliating - especially if the "victor" is ungracious about it.

But a topic like handshakes is nice and safe. Everyone knows what they are, what they mean, and can have as valid a view as the next person, even without a thorough grounding in the History of Etiquette.

I think the theory could be expanded to explain why more people vote in reality TV shows than elections, but I won't do it right now.

Kay Tie

"All on the day when Tony Blair is giving evidence."

The Daily Mash nails it today:


Paul Flynn

Would you believe it? Serious blogs about a major change of policy on Afghanistan, an investigation of world importance on the WHO, an the exposure of disgraceful conduct by a doctor have been the subjects of this blog for the past two days.

Yet the subject that provokes greatest interest is handshakes. It was a minor tailpiece to a serious article and the final punchline was a joke. After the initial response from outraged bonecrushers who express their masculinity by inflicting pain, we now have some thoughtful comments.

All on the day when Tony Blair is giving evidence.

Kay Tie

Handshaking injuries are an occupational hazard for politicians:


One wonders why they haven't been forced to do a risk assessment and had the practice banned as a result. Or do our heath and safety at work laws not apply to MPs?

In the absence of paternalistic regulations, perhaps Paul should adopt Bob Dole's technique (he couldn't shake hands because of a war injury): he would carry a pen in his right hand.

Roger, Dinmore

I have an old friend, who I avoid handshaking. Known him since he was 16. He did a 9mth army commission and 16 or so years in the RAF. EVERY time I meet up we have the same thing. Makes my knuckles ache. As you say, nothing I say modifies his first grip. It seem like he's trying to dominate or make a point, thats how it seems, which is unlike him in evey onther respect. He just doesn't get it. I have sensed occassionally a tempering of his grip, but it may be his age now.
It occurs to me that, as we all hate the wet fish version, it must be their fear of not giving one like that, that is the cause is the aberation.


Never truer words spoken, I hate being advised (forced) to give Superman like handshakes at job interviews and the likes.


i wish if there is an image of this hand shaking business or photo of it.

Some people still believe coming from conspiracy theory that this type of hand shake could be originated from freemasonery! what do you say?

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