The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blair doodle last laugh

London, Jan. 31: As Prime Minister, there is no escape from the investigations of Fleet Street's finest.

Even a casual doodle by Tony Blair is likely to be examined for what it reveals about his inner thoughts. Except that, it seems, newspapers got the wrong man.

Which is what happened last week, when a reporter from the Daily Mirror got hold of notepad jottings from a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, at which Blair appeared on a panel with Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Bono and Thabo Mbeki.

The Mirror obtained an expert analysis and on Friday published its scoop, claiming the jottings revealed Blair as 'a bit of a daydreamer hoping for the best'. It quoted Elaine Quigley, a graphologist, saying: 'He is struggling to concentrate and his mind is going everywhere, but he knows he will get to the bottom of the problems in time.'

The following day, The Times, with its own handwriting expert, claimed the jottings revealed 'an aggressive, unstable man who is feeling under enormous pressure'. Another paper claimed the scribbling was by someone who was 'not a natural leader'. Which was all quite fun for those involved until Downing Street put out a statement yesterday stating Blair had nothing to do with it.

Instead, the aggressive, distracted incompetent analysed by experts was Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who could make a case for being the most successful businessman the world has known.

It went on: 'We look forward with amusement to explanations by a variety of psychologists and graphologists of how various characteristics ascribed to the PM on the basis of the doodles, such as 'struggling to concentrate', 'not a natural leader', 'struggling to keep control of a confusing world' and 'an unstable man who is feeling under enormous pressure', equally apply to Mr Gates.'

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