Politicians who represent opposed, even warring factions are often very unwilling to be seen shaking hands with each other. They either shake or they don’t and whilst not shaking, relations stay cold; peace deals tend not to get done.
Today’s invention is a way to transform this decision from a binary to an analogue one.
It consists of a telescopic tube with a false hand located at either end.
A pair of politicians can approach this tube, select how long they want their side to be and then grasp the hand adjacent to them.
In this way, an arm’s-length handshake can take place together with an indication of the preferred distance of each participant (for the benefit of their constituents).
It may be that if one side is close to a normal shake and the other is visibly standoffish, that public pressure is increased on the unwilling party, boosting the chances of an early coming together. The next shake should involve some change in the chosen lengths.
In any case, a certain amount of humour injected into the situation might even help to break the ice.