C: Gript

Trinity discovers the Summer of Love – are quotas coming next?

As part of its bid to entice students to choose Trinners before the CAO deadline, Trinity College Dublin is stressing the fact that “At Trinity, we value the power of deep thinkers, and those who are willing to challenge the status quo.”

One would have assumed that the deep thinking part would be de rigueur  for any third level institution. The reference to challenging the status quo is perhaps moot. It certainly does not fit in with Trinity’s own historical legacy nor indeed its founding principles, although perhaps it could be argued that the Tudor desire to extirpate Catholicism and the Irish language – which was its purpose from the late 16th century – was challenging the old Gaelic status quo.  Some of the college’s alumni have never really lost sight of that objective to the present day.

A better notion of what they mean by challenging the status quo is conveyed by the graphics accompanying their pitch. Trinity still has the Berkeley library, and the posters owe a good deal to the aesthetics and world view of the Berkeley campus in California .. in the 1960s. Takes a while, it seems, for our left liberals to catch up on stuff which has failed in other places, or has even been abandoned.


The relevance of rap to any of the courses offered by Trinity or any other Irish third level institution is beyond me. It certainly has little to do with “lyricism.” And I struggle to imagine which course might be based around the ability of “queer performance” and video games to “evoke empathy and bring about social change.”

On top of all of that, there is a leaning on the part of some Irish educationalists towards “affirmative action,” and this would already appear to influence current practices. I have heard of a Leaving Cert student who believed that he lost out in an application partly because those chosen for a bursary or scholarship appeared to better fit within favoured groups. There is of course no way of determining that, but it is a growing perception, and one that fits in with the overall zeitgeist in which even commercial advertising, sometimes to a ridiculous degree, is clearly designed to “reflect a new diverse reality.”

In fact, it’s often not reflecting reality accurately at all. Not yet anyway, and if anyone was to claim that the actual demographic composition of Ireland was the same as that seen on TV and other media, they would be accused of being mad conspiracy theorists. And they would be correct.


Quotas in education are a more serious issue, and the experience of other countries would suggest that it is harmful. And not just to the putative “white privileged” or “supremacist” class into which some 18 year old might by happenchance to be born. In the United States, it has been accepted that Asian Americans who have a consistently high level of academic achievement were being actively discriminated against by elite universities such as Harvard.

The legal challenge to Harvard was backed in 2018 by the United States Justice Department during the Trump administration which accused the College of failing to demonstrate that it did not employ racial bias against Asian Americans, who comprised 22% of Harvard’s student body but less than 6% of the US population. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that “No American should be denied admission to education because of their race.” This, rightly, was one of the main bases for the black civil rights movement in the US in the 1950s and 60s.

Equally, of course, no person should be guaranteed admission to any institution on racial or other categorisations, whether they be actively designed to attack one particular group – as was the case in past discrimination against German Jews, Irish Catholics, American black people, women and so on – or allegedly on “social justice” grounds to favour one particular group because they fit in with a current and passing bias. The authors of all of this in the current context ought to be aware that all of this can just as easily be reversed in the other direction. Racialism is an error on no matter what grounds it is justified.

The reason for Asian American success lies not in their political or social power, but in the value placed upon education particularly among east Asian cultures, and the fact that their educational achievements have been reflected in economic prosperity. Some of this is frowned upon by the more simplistically “egalitarian” element of the liberal left who think that anyone who is “suffering” from capitalist imperialism is only getting a raw deal at school or elsewhere because other people work hard. Like the Korean students in South Los Angeles in 1992, or those who did not leave after what amounted to a pogrom against them in that year.

I went to a second level Vocational Educational College in Dublin that had one of the lowest levels of students entering third level in the 1980s, and the last time I checked it was still pretty much anchored near the very bottom.  Yet, the strange thing was, that the convent school to which all of our sisters and friends sisters went to punched well above its weight. And lads who went slightly further afield to one or other of the Christian Brothers schools also often went on to become teachers or to go to university.

Why was that? All of our families were more or less the same – what is now sociologically defined as “settled working” class. Which then, and now, would basically be families whose main earner(s) was in a permanent skilled job and owned or were buying their own home. A pretty tall order now this section of the proletariat.

The school produced all manner of eclectic entrepreneurs, writers, lads who were Olympians, played in All Ireland finals, and were professional and successful soccer players and musicians. And yet, the height of ambition for even those of us in the lofty heights of the “best class” was to be a postman or a bus driver or a welder like your Da or if upwardly mobile, maybe get some mediocre job in the civil service. All worthy ambitions, but that was the height of it. The nuns encouraged our sisters to strive for the heights. Our crepe-soled “career advisors” just saw us as joining the ranks of those slightly below themselves.

My point being, that the prevailing ethos among those with influence in the education system is a major factor in determining whether those who might qualify on merit are given an equal chance to bloom, or whether they are kept back by social engineering sleight of hand that, as the experience of the United States and elsewhere demonstrates, benefits nobody. Nor are matters advanced by replacing proper systems of teaching and research with tendentious nonsense based on subjective emotions, and the lower levels of popular culture.

Rap and video games, my proletarian arse.

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