What Boris Believes About IQ

In this morning’s briefing the Prime Ministers’ spokesman Jamie Davies spent ten long minutes taking questions from Lobby hacks on Boris’ views on IQ. The repeated answer to all lines of inquiry was that “the Prime Minister’s views are well documented.” What are those views?

The best answer we have is from the speech Boris gave in 2013 to the Centre for Policy Studies, where he touched upon the subject. In the speech entitled What Would Maggie do Today?’

Boris said:

“No one can ignore the harshness of that competition, or the inequality that it inevitably accentuates; and I am afraid that violent economic centrifuge is operating on human beings who are already very far from equal in raw ability, if not spiritual worth.

Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16% of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2% have an IQ above 130. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top.”

The speech causes a furore at the time, with Boris having to defend his comments, claiming by way of explanation that “What I was saying, actually, is that there is too much inequality, and my speech was actually a warning, as correctly reported by many newspapers, against letting this thing go unchecked.” Which seemed to Guido at the time to be a bit of a reverse ferret…

The point fits with his regular refrain in contemporary speeches that ‘talent and brilliance is equally distributed across the country, but opportunity is not.’ Discussions of IQ are a minefield, the left explodes when it touches on race, whereas most of the right is deeply convinced that IQ is relevant to achievable outcomes. It goes to their respective fundamental beliefs in human nature.

Incidentally, has anyone noticed that “super-forecaster” Andrew Sabisky, whose musings have triggered this latest round of outrage, described Penny Mordaunt and Gavin Williamson as “morons“:

Guido wonders if the autistic Sabisky can forecast what their reaction will be to finding this out?

mdi-account-multiple-outline Andrew Sabisky Boris Johnson Gavin Williamson Penny Mordaunt
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