Azara Blog: Graphology and the Blair/Gate's doodle

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Date published: 2005/02/01

The BBC says:

Experts said some doodles revealed lots about Tony Blair - until it was discovered they were drawn by Bill Gates. So how seriously should we take the study of handwriting?

A flick through last weekend's newspapers should have been an illuminating experience for anyone interested in learning more about Tony Blair.

Graphologists - handwriting experts - had been invited by some of the press to analyse a sheet of paper containing doodles by the prime minister during a meeting at last week's World Economic Forum.

Some of the results made alarming reading. According to a graphologist consulted by the Times, Mr Blair's use of triangles represented a "death wish", symbolic, she said, of "the risk to his political career".

Elaine Quigley, a graphologist consulted by the Daily Mirror, thought the scribbles showed "the Blair Flair at work without the overlay of public performance". The circling of words was, she said, a sign of the prime minister's "quick mind and ability to turn on the spot and come up with a fluent answer".

Conversely, graphologist Helen Taylor, quoted in the Independent, found the badly formed circles revealed "an inability to complete tasks".

The only blot on the copybook came later when Number 10 disowned the doodles. The scribbles of this reckless, struggling incompetent were actually the work of fellow delegate Bill Gates, who as founder of Microsoft is possibly the world's most successful self-made businessman.

So-called handwriting experts are like many other so-called experts in Britain, just second-rate crackpots. The fact that some companies supposedly use these so-called handwriting experts to determine whether or not someone gets a job is just plain scary and is a complete abdication of corporate responsibility.

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