Â“Are you thinking what weÂ’re thinking?Â” asks one of those painfully hopeful Conservative adverts, Â“I mean, how hard is it to keep a hospital clean?Â” An email doing the rounds shows the graffitied response, Â“Well, considering hospitals are full of people carrying highly infectious virusesÂ…Â”
ItÂ’s a shame Michael Howard hadnÂ’t checked his inbox on Tuesday. On a visit to a Neurosurgery hospital he neglected to clean his grubby mitts between shaking hands with two patients. In this election campaign it is ten times worse to have germs on your hands, than blood. It wouldnÂ’t matter if Tony Blair forgot to wash his hands - everyone is refusing to shake them anyway.
Even though Howard actually cleansed with alcohol three times during the visit, this momentary lapse seems destined to mark him, in toilet terms, as a walker not a washer.
But is he really different to any other bloke? Check out any gentÂ’s in the land: the only surface not coated in effluent will be the gleaming wash-basin. Although thereÂ’s no toilet roll, the soap dispenser is miraculously ever full.
Men donÂ’t wash their hands. WhatÂ’s the point? They only get dirty again. Some people drink their own urine, so a spot or two on our fingers canÂ’t hurt none. Personally I have more respect for those religious sects who wash their hands BEFORE they go to the toilet. TheyÂ’ve got their priorities right.
IÂ’m sure that even when male doctors scrub up pre-operation they pull that sarcastic face which says, Â“I wouldnÂ’t be doing this if my mum hadnÂ’t forced me.Â”
Because as kids it was drummed into us to lather up before and after doing everything, lest we were floored by some bizarre mixture of dysentery and the Black Death. Yet we quickly discovered, through eating mouthfuls of soil and cocktails of our own bodily waste that the truth is that dirt makes us immune to germs. So we just ran the tap for a while to appease our eavesdropping mothers and kept our hands in our pockets. No wonder when our only hand washing role model was Pontius Pilate? Not washing hands has harmed no-one. Washing them killed Jesus.
How about this trying this, Michael? Â“Are you thinking what weÂ’re thinking? ItÂ’s cleanliness in hospitals thatÂ’s causing MRSA.Â” YouÂ’d get 100% of the male vote and the money saved on antiseptic wipes could fund all your crazy tax cuts.