From one stupid man to others

Boy, are we stupid, you and I. How stupid? Well, I’ll tell you: if our IQ dropped another five points, we’d be cabbages. Really, there ought to be special schools for people like us. Perhaps there are, but we are too stupid to know about them.

How do I know we are all morons? Simple. Because I voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum, and so did many of you. And even those of you who didn’t, mostly but not exclusively for being ineligible, probably sympathised with that cause or at least didn’t dislike it too vehemently.

That settles it. For a recent study on 3,183 couples shows that intelligence and the likelihood of voting Leave are inversely proportionate. The cleverer the people are, the more likely they were to vote Remain. And if the spouses voted differently, it was always the cleverer one who voted the right way, which is Remain.

Since it has long been a prevalent conviction among the really clever people, the academics, that conservative – or, God forbid, religious – beliefs are a symptom of imbecility, this study proves them right. Turns out that among Britons in the top 10 percent of cognitive performance, 73 per cent voted Remain, as opposed to a mere 40 per cent among those in the lowest 10 per cent.

The study tested such cognitive functions as reasoning, numeracy and working memory. There must have been many other variables, but I can neither remember what they were nor count them nor figure out what on earth they might mean. I did tell you I voted Leave.

The researchers magnanimously acknowledged that clever people should never confuse correlation with causality. Yes, it was mostly idiots who voted Leave, but it’s wrong to deduce that they did so because they were idiots. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc and all that. However, there was that unspoken ‘however’ left hanging in the air…

Now, being irredeemably stupid, I strongly suspect that the same findings would be yielded should we be granted a referendum on homomarriage or mass immigration or trans virtues or welfare or high taxation or global warming or any other issue occupying the minds of really clever people, especially those working at universities and in the media. The bright people like Keir Starmer and Greta Thunberg would enthusiastically vote for. The retards like you and me would stupidly vote against, proving the clever people’s point.

Even a brief look at any study of people’s education, their reasons for voting one way or the other, their travelling patterns, preferred entertainment, religiosity and so on is bound to plunge any sensible person into despair. But this study – provided it was conducted in good faith – shows there is no hope.

For precisely the kind of people who ought to know better manifestly don’t. The conclusion one has to reach is that, the cleverer people are, the stupider their ideas. Or if you will, those cognitively superior are civilisationally inferior.

I am being ever so slightly facetious here. One shouldn’t really equate cognitive functions with intelligence. High cognitive ability makes it easier to develop intelligence, but it certainly offers no guarantee that it will be developed. Similarly, a good ear for music may be an essential quality for a musician but it’s a million miles away from being a sufficient quality.

Yet common sense is so called not because it’s widespread, but because it can belong to common people. The kind of people who go to work every morning trying to keep the wolf from the door, put food on their family’s table and a roof over their family’s head. Such people have no time to hone their cognitive abilities by contemplating whether or not a woman can have a penis or the state is justified to extort half of what they earn.

They tend to be patriotic, but in the undemonstrative British way. They don’t put their hands on their hearts whenever they see the Union Jack flying or hear God Save the King playing. They don’t usually scream “Put Great back into Britain” and they certainly don’t spend endless hours trying to understand England’s unique place in European history.

Why, they may even be unfamiliar with Cecil Rhodes’s maxim that being born British is winning first prize in the lottery of life. They just know that, much as they like to go to Benidorm or Ibiza for holidays, those places are too different. That doesn’t necessarily mean inferior – just different.

Those common folk may not ponder the seminal difference between the common law of England and the Roman law of much of the Continent, or one between proportionate representation and first-past-the-post, or one between royals riding thoroughbreds and those riding bicycles.

If they did ponder such things, they might not necessarily conclude that the English ways are better. But they’d definitely sense that the English ways are different – so much so that being incorporated into the continental polity would destroy the English ways. And that’s something they’d hate to see happening.

In that they are unlike those cognitively superior to them. Those jumped-up cognoscenti wouldn’t mind destroying the English ways. Come to think of it, they wouldn’t mind destroying the continental ways too, while they are at it. And they sense that the European Union, which the stupid people voted to leave, was an instrument of such destruction. That’s why they voted to remain.

Not only that, but those who had parlayed their cognitive talents into political prominence threw the entire weight of state propaganda behind the Remain vote. Everyone was sure the cognitively challenged masses would be easily swayed – that’s why they were given the vote in the first place.

In the unlikely event those imbeciles who wanted England to remain England were to opt for leaving, their vote would be for ever negotiable. Had the vote gone the other way, it would have been eternally chiselled in indestructible stone.

I’m not questioning the setup of this study, its results or the integrity of those conducting it. I do question the reasons for conducting it. Every study of this kind is undertaken to confirm or disprove the existing hypothesis. Yet anyone who has ever had any experience of opinion research (and I had plenty during my 30 years in advertising), knows how often the existing hypothesis skews the results.

That holds true even for scientific experiments, with philosophers of science aware that different researchers often produce different results with exactly the same test equipment and under exactly the same test conditions. This without any conscious attempts to introduce bias.

In this case, the cognitively blessed sociologists set out to prove that only the cognitively impaired would ever vote for something as imbecilic as Brexit. I’m not saying they cheated to get the result they wanted. I am saying, however, that they didn’t have to cheat. Their own prejudices came into play unbeknown to them.

Actually, when the referendum was announced, I was sure Remain would win the day. Knowing the fanatical attachment of the Cameron government to the EU bureaucracy, I couldn’t imagine they’d go to the polls thinking the outcome was uncertain.

Now I’m ashamed of having underestimated the British people. And even more ashamed of having overestimated our cognitively advanced officials. Never again.

9 thoughts on “From one stupid man to others”

  1. I do hope there will be an adequate number of stupid people in France to vote Leave if a similar referendum is ever held in that great nation. Frexit would be a lovely outcome.

  2. I was interested to see how “cognitive ability” was measured, so I looked up the article.

    It seems that participants in the survey were set five “cognitive tasks”.

    First, respondents were invited to try to remember a list of ten words. I can’t think of ten words that everybody would find equally memorable, so I don’t see how this test can be trusted.

    Secondly, they had to name as many animals as possible in one minute. Not everybody has heard of the same number of animals, and it isn’t clear how such responses as “leviathan” and “pro-Palestinian marcher” were evaluated, so I don’t see how this test can be trusted.

    Thirdly, they had to subtract 7 from 100, then 7 from 93, then 7 from 86, etc. This is certainly a plausible way of testing how good the respondents are at simple mental arithmetic.

    Fourthly and fifthly, they had to do some other simple sums in their heads.

    So I conclude that people who are good at mental arithmetic are more likely to have voted Remain than people who are good at other things. But my conclusion is of little value because, like you, Mr Boot, I’m a knuckle-dragging, straw-chewing, Leave-voting retard.

    The article goes on to say: “These measures of cognitive function have previously been successfully used in studies (for example) regarding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.” If only Stalin had known that what all dissidents have in common is a lack of facility in simple mental arithmetic, his life would have been made much easier!

  3. How dare you question the conclusions of the clever people! This reminds me of Thomas Sowell’s writing on what he calls Knowledge and Notions and the difference between specialized and mundane knowledge. It is well worth reading. Lowes Dickinson wrote of the clever people, “beside being prejudiced, they suppose that the fact they are [the clever people] gives their prejudices value.” That seems to sum up the situation fairly well (assuming that one is capable of calculating sums).

    I am capable of subtracting 7 from any single-digit number greater than 7 (and from many two-digit numbers!) and I did not vote Remain. Of course, I was not asked to vote as I am not a British subject (or is it now “citizen”?). Had I voted, it would have been Leave. And 86 – 7 = 79. Put that in your study and smoke it!

  4. “Why, they may even be unfamiliar with Cecil Rhodes’s maxim that being born British is winning first prize in the lottery of life. ”

    Being born American in the 20th Century. Undoubtedly true too.

  5. “I was interested to see how “cognitive ability” was measured, so I looked up the article.”

    Give the test to Donald Trump and Joe Biden boy. See what the results are.

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