Laurie Taylor Column

April 27, 2007

"Psychological testing for university posts is here to stay" - The Times Higher, April 20.

Now, then Mr Craddock, I'd like you to sit down over here at the desk. That's right. Are you quite comfortable?

Perfectly.

Excellent. Now, I'm going to place a black-and-white card in front of you. You may do whatever you like with the card. You may flip it, tilt it, or simply lay it down on the desk. You understand? Good.

Now, I'd like you to tell me what you see. Take your time. There's no rush. But when you do answer, try to speak in the direction of the tape recorder.

Right. Well, this big black blot up in the right-hand corner looks like a man. A very strong man. And he has a whip or a scourge in his hand. Yes, it's a whip. And he's bringing the whip down on the little blot below.

And what is the little blot below?

It's a pathetic cringing figure. Someone kneeling. With their hands in the air. Begging for mercy. But it's no good. Because the very big strong man is bringing the whip down on their naked defenceless body. Whack. Whack. Whack.

Good. And how about over on the left side of the card?

That's a group of prisoners. All manacled together. And they're being marched off by the big blot underneath.

And where are they going?

They're all going to this blot over here. To the execution yard. Look, you can see the guillotine and the blade. And the pools of blood. And the heads in the basket. Chop. Chop. Chop.

Thank you very much, Mr Craddock.

How did I do?

Very well, indeed. I'm delighted to confirm your appointment to the University of Poppleton as our new director of human resources.

Now, are there any questions you'd like to ask me?

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