A Dutch obssession. One of those norms and values all foreigners have to adopt in order to be truely integrated.

The Dutch shake hands all the time. You walk into a party full of strangers and you are expected to introduce yourself and shake hands with everyone there. When you come back form holiday, you shake hands with your office colleagues. Of course, if you are female, you do a lot of kissing as well. Far too much forced contact for my liking.

Mind you, people in Britain think my children are extraordinarily well behaved because they shake hands with grown ups.

Holland's horrible former integration minister Rita Verdonk used to go out of her way to be seen at places where Muslim men will refuse to shake her hand. There always seemed to be a photographer with camera at the ready as well.