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Barometer

Just how hard is it to sack a lord?

Plus: money laundering; drugs in sport; IQ and income

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

1 August 2015

9:00 AM

Safe house

Lord Sewel is unique in leaving the House of Lords in disgrace. Until the House of Lords Reform Act 2014, only a treason conviction earned you expulsion from the House of Lords, and that only since 1870. At least two peers have been executed for treason, Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, and William Maxwell, 5th Earl Nithsdale, but both well before this date.

— Thanks to the 2014 Act it is now possible to have your Lords membership terminated on two grounds: being jailed for a criminal offence with a sentence of more than one year, or failing to turn up for a whole session. But you cannot be ejected for non-attendance if prevented from attending through disqualification: by, say, an 11-month jail sentence.

Laundry list

David Cameron promised to crack down on gangs laundering money through London property. How much is laundered through the UK each year? Officials say…
£15bn: Serious Organised Crime Agency
£23–£57bn: Financial Services Authority, now defunct, 2013
£20–£40bn via gangs, plus £10bn through banks, lawyers, accountants, etc: Financial Conduct Authority, 2013

Sporting highs


Chris Froome won the Tour de France, denying any involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. Which sports have the biggest drugs problem?

% tests positive
Baseball/softball (2007) 7.8%
Cycling (2004) 4.6%
Curling (2007) 4.1%
Boxing (2003) 3.7%
Triathlon (2005) 3.4%
Archery (2005) 2.9%

Source: UK Anti-Doping

Smart money

A study found that five-year-olds with low academic achievement from wealthy families were more likely to be high earners aged 42 than poor children of high ability. Are IQ and income linked?

— In his 1972 study Inequality, Christopher Jencks found a correlation of 0.31 between IQ at the age of eight and income at the age of 43. 1 is a perfect correlation and zero is total randomness.

— In 2007 Jay Zagorsky of Ohio State University found that Americans with an IQ of 130 earned $12,000 more a year than those with an IQ of 100. Those with an IQ of 120 had assets averaging $128,000 while those with an IQ of 100 had assets worth $58,000.


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