London Mayor Boris Johnson has caused fellow Conservative Party members to distance themselves from the outspoken elitist after remarks he made during a speech at the Margret Thatcher lecture, where he condemned stupid people to ultimately fail in life.
During his speech he pointed out that “as many as 16 percent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 percent have an IQ above 130,” suggesting that one in six will not be successful during their lifetime.
Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to reproach the remarks and said during a visit to Beijing, China, that Johnson was not speaking on behalf of the Conservative Party: “I will let Boris speak for himself.”
“I think it is very important that we do everything to say that we maximize people’s opportunities to make the most of their talents. I believe in equality of opportunity,” Cameron said.
Both Cameron and Johnson attended the exclusive boarding school Eton, near Windsor in England. It has educated 19 British Prime Ministers and generations of aristocracy, and is often referred to as the chief nursery of England’s statesmen.
“No one should be held back by not being able to get the training, the education, the skills that they need,” Cameron said and added: “Everyone has their own way of putting these things and I will leave Boris to talk for Boris.”
The Prime Minister is not the only high profile politician to give Johnson the cold shoulder. George Osborne, the Chancellor, said the London Mayor was wrong to suggest the some people are just too stupid to get on in life.
“I wouldn’t have put it like that, I don’t agree with everything he said,” Osborne said and continued to voice similar opinions as Cameron with a small twist: “It is impossible to achieve equality of outcome, but you should be able to achieve equality of opportunity wherever you come from.”
However, Johnson didn’t stop there. The Mayor went on to suggest that grammar schools should be revived to enable the brightest “cornflakes” to rise to the top of the packet.
IQ, short for Intelligence Quotient, is a score derived from a series of standardized tests designed to establish intelligence. The first of these tests, called the Binet-Simon test, was first introduced in 1905 and was developed to identify intellectual disability in school children.
During the past century the IQ-test, as we commonly call it today, has been used to weed out job candidates from certain positions, keep people out from particular universities, and has led to the ridicule of thousands who’ve scored poorly.
Today there are plenty of scientists who are convinced that the IQ-test is out-dated and discriminatory, and that a wider array of tests are necessary to determine a person’s mental capabilities.