The Department of Education has released a consultation green paper asking educationalists and teachers to consider the possibility chopping negative numbers from the national maths syllabus. Despite years of negatives emerging through simple "take away" sums, they remain a stubborn stumbling block, for all but the highest achievers, such as Jamie Cullen and Sophie Dhall.
"The problem of negative numbers is obvious" said Carol Vorderman, Tory Maths Czar, "they don't appear in Soduku or in Countdown, so why should they turn up at school?".
Research by the BBC has shown that negative numbers are responsible for up to 50% of the crosses on marked maths exam papers, thus the deletion of such questions entirely would thus almost double the mean IQ of the UK, to above that of Taiwan, in one go.
"I have never met a negative", says Carol,"but i hear a lot of negative things.... In my opinion any ban on use of negative numbers, or even on thinking about them, will sort out obvious problems with 'times' sums and 'sharing' sums as well. How can something positive be divided into negative parts? The current situation is just mad! We must have gone wrong somewhere."
Carol Vorderman is 67.