What's so special about you?

Date: 
Monday, 02 December, 2013

Back in 2005, the then MP for Henley Boris Johnson wrote in The Daily Telegraph:

'The real divide is between the entire class of people now reposing their fat behinds on the green and red benches in the Palace of Westminster, and the bottom 20 per cent of society - the group that supplies us with the chavs, the losers, the burglars, the drug addicts and the 70,000 people who are lost in our prisons and learning nothing except how to become more effective criminals.'

Last week Mr Johnson, now Mayor of London, returned to the 'them and us' theme, with a speech in which he mused on the inherent intellectual superiority of the ruling elites.

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

Now Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford has written a response in Strike! Magazine.

'The core beliefs of every establishment in history have always rested on one lie of superiority or another', Danny Dorling writes. He continues:

'From the very first priests of the world’s most ancient dominating religions, through to every monarch who believes they are ordained to rule, right through to those who have substituted the word genes for god and believe it is their superior little chromosomes that mean others should take orders from them, it is always a lie.

'So what’s the problem with the truth?

'The problem with any belief that we are pretty much all equal, that there are no special little Nicks and Boris’s just waiting to be discovered, is that once you begin to accept the thesis that we are all created pretty much equal you have to then start to question almost everything about the society you live in. You are also denied an obvious route to revolution, by saying: “follow me everyone, I know the way”. Your potential followers would simply retort: “what’s so special about you?”'