A part of Straw's comments that is, inexplicably, not included in this article is that he opined that he did not immediately recognise Robert Mugabe because he was sitting in a dark corner. As this photo shows, there was absolutely nothing dark and gloomy about that area of the room; I watched the video of it on BBC2 Newsnight last night and I had no impression that the corner was suddenly illuminated for the handshake (by a flashbulb, for example), but was lit to a fairly high degree of ambient light throughout.
Does this room look dark to you?
I also heard some 'Sir' somebody or other on BBC Radio4 'Today' this morning suggesting that it was not always easy to distinguish people "because there were so many black faces around" at the UN! Amazing, outrageous, and a whole lot of other things forbidden by my rules on language in this blog! Mugabe has one of the best-known faces on the planet; the explanation simply does not wash! So much for this government's so-called ethical foreign policy! The desire not to 'make a scene' is no excuse - and of course, no 'scene' was necessary, simply a decision to walk away.