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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  • dalai guevara

    Good to see we are making progress.

  • Gilbert White

    God knows what the Duke of Edinburgh thinks to this lordy cavorty business. One hopes he has not mentioned it to anyone.

  • Fraser Bailey

    Why doesn’t The Spectator lead a campaign to abolish the Lords? After all, everyone knows it is a corrupt and outrageous affront to democracy, decency and humanity.

  • Sean Grainger

    Nice to see archers get hopped up: does this cast light on the ludicrous Cecil episode? There can only be one Cecil in recent times and that’s Mr Parkinson.

  • Mr.Johnson Brown

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  • WTF

    Money laundering legislation is the biggest scourge of honest people these days trying to manage their assets as you have to jump through hoops to change address’s or withdraw your own funds that it begs the question would it be easier to put it under the bed.

    Over the past 20 years there’s been a trend where its very simple and easy to hand over money or assets to financial institutions for safe keeping but its a devil of a job to reclaim them years later. You need proof of ID including utility bills when you may not have them because you’re paperless or living with parents or friends. Changing address’s is a nightmare over what they will accept as proof of ID or the right to reclaim your own money.

    I’ve had run ins with several banks and investment companies over proof of residence and having just sold my Spanish villa, Spain is the leader of the worlds bureaucratic nightmare of paper work and legal skimming of your assets through the multitude of taxes they apply on anything and everything.

    Meanwhile of course, Drug dealers, Muslim Jihadists and Bankers have all manner of ways of circumventing money laundering laws which the honest person doesn’t have no wishes to use !

  • starfish

    A small point, William Maxwell, 5th Earl Nithsdale, was sentenced to death but escaped before execution