The ranks of wealthy people who might outwardly seem a bit dim “really aren’t as thick as pig shit” after all, according to London Mayor Boris Johnson in a speech about how one’s IQ determines economic status, as measured by his cornflake test.
Instead, a whole range of apparently-gormless celebrities, sportsmen and women, politicians, businessmen and other successful public figures are all actually dead clever, he said. So much so that they need to be given special help.
And though some rich people might appear to the rest of us as having a tenuous grasp of reality, Mr Johnson said this is an illusion fed by the burning, envious bitterness that drives economic growth in a healthy democracy.
But deputy prime minister Nick Clegg reacted with fury to Mr Johnson’s speech, pointing to his own succession of half-baked policy disasters as ample proof that you’re never too incompetent to get on in life.
Indeed, Mr Clegg said the Liberal Democrat party’s history should give people of all abilities hope, having spent several lifetimes in a state of irrelevance before rising, in 2010, to become the anonymous junior coalition partner of the most right-wing, Conservative-led government for generations.
No such thing as luck
Delivering his address to the third annual Paris Hilton Thinkathon event earlier this week, Mr Johnson said that you can’t keep a bright person down. Being successful, he affirmed, has nothing to do with luck, inheritance or accident of birth, race, gender or, indeed, any other form of advantage whatsoever.
Instead, he pointed to the innate IQ differences across the human ‘species’ which, when combined with great ‘spiritual worth’, is the main determinant of personal success and abundance.
To illustrate his point, Mr Johnson threw in several shining examples of this unstoppable combination at work: among them, all the members of the royal family, John Prescott, David Cameron, Posh Spice, Jordan, Noel Edmonds, that bloke who does the touchline interviews for ITV Sport, George W Bush and the Kardashians.
Meanwhile, if you’re one of the 16% with an IQ score below 85 then, frankly, cleaning toilets and living in abject poverty is pretty much all you’re fit for, he said.
He said: “The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top. Though, shake it too hard and some could end up on the floor, and then where would we be?
“Well, before you answer that, it’s a reflection of the inequalities that grow naturally in a modern society; and that, for one reason or another, the income gap between the top cornflakes and the bottom cornflakes is wider than ever.
“Or it could just mean you’re rubbish at performing simple domestic tasks. Take your pick.”