February 26, 2015

Stability is all well and good - but we also need people to rock the boat

Posted in Irish Independent · 98 comments ·

There must have been a collective sigh of relief in the halls of Ireland’s well-heeled, fee-paying schools yesterday, when the case brought by Mary Stokes against the practice of schools reserving places for the sons and daughters of past pupils was kicked out of the Supreme Court.

Had she won, it would have caused mayhem in many schools.

Certain schools like to see themselves as maintaining societal traditions and as tradition implies something that is passed down, it’s not hard to see why they equate families with continuity. In fact, it may sound not very politically correct, but given that the admittance policies to schools is the educational equivalent of the school’s HR department, maybe getting the family to do your hard work for you isn’t that stupid on the part of the school. And, at least in the eyes of the school, it minimizes the risk that the tradition of the school will wither.

It isn’t just wealthy schools that adopt this approach. Most schools in the country use the family and family connections as the first filter when it comes to assessing who gets in and who doesn’t.

This may not be right, but it’s a fact. Therefore, we should deal with it. But what does continuity do to the dexterity of the society in the face of challenges?

Before we answer that, let’s go back to the foundation of many schools in Ireland.

In Ireland, and particularly in Dublin, the fee-paying, rugby-playing, hockey-playing secondary schools were largely set up to manage the transfer of power from the British to the Irish in the last part of the 19th century. The big Catholic schools were established to make sure there was a Catholic professional and managerial class ready for Home Rule when it came. They were set up precisely to make sure that the professional middle class was not exclusively Protestant when the time came.

The Christian Brothers schools, beneath the more swanky Catholic schools run by orders such as the Jesuits, were established to create a clerical class that could be deployed in the service of the new State and would feed into the elite Catholic class.

In fact, an interesting way to look at the 1916 Rising is not that it was a revolution of the Irish against the British, but that it was a rising of Christian Brothers’ boys against Jesuits and was all about who was going to run the place when the British legged it.

The Christian Brothers won and went on to control the civil service. Even though the fee-paying schools were set up to run the country, you won’t find many members of the fee-paying schools in the Irish public administration. After the Christian Brothers’ victory in 1916-1922, the fee-paying brigade went into the private sector rather than the civil service. They went into the professions.

I know: I went to one of the fee paying schools, had a great experience and made deep, life-long friendships. But I was aware at a young age that these schools were self-perpetuating institutions whose aim was to reproduce and bed down the next Irish officer class.

In this regard they are very successful and are not too different in their objective to the old-fashioned military schools such as Sandhurst in Britain or West Point in the US.

The key objective is to create stability and a class buy-in to the state.

But the problem with stability is that it rewards the stable man. He is the man who is respectable and who won’t rock the boat. The professional man is trained in a certain way of thinking, creating consensus and conventional thinking.

The economist JK Galbraith, in ‘The Affluent Society’, his study of 1950s America, described “conventional wisdom” as a way of looking at the world that has become so ingrained that challenging the convention becomes an affront to reasonable people rather than what it is – a practical attempt to question whether we are doing the right thing.

Conventional wisdom is an idea that has broad acceptance.

When ideas become accepted, these values and ideas can become so entrenched that they are rarely challenged.

It is at this point that they have achieved that unassailable state of grace. They morph into conventional wisdom. And even when facts are presented in opposition to the conventional wisdom, the facts are discounted.

For an idea to be accepted, it must be familiar. So it needs to be articulated over and over, by serious people like academics, members of the commentariat, senior civil servants, lobbyists, lawyers and powerful politicians.

Once an idea is familiar and accepted, it seeps into the ether and becomes a simple “truth”.

If we create a schooling system that is geared towards stability and rewards conventional thinking and a certain way of looking at the world, why would you expect the society to create dissenters? The tradition that we try to pass on is a form of societal ballast. It stops the boat from rocking at a much more profound level.

The Leaving Cert system reinforces convention by rewarding a certain type of brain and penalizing another. This is how you manufacture consent.

Whether she knew it or not, Mrs Stokes touched on something far, far deeper than prejudice against Travellers in the Supreme Court yesterday.

    • Hi David, this is a very good article, you write some very good articles but you also write some horse dung from time to time. Just wondering at the times when you do spread manure does this be on the request of the people who pay you to write (as in certain newspapers). Having bought and read some of your books which proved very useful for me, then I find it hard to believe that you believe some of the stuff you do write.

  1. All I can speak from is personal experience regarding this article.

    I went to a Christian Brother’s school, no interest in the place, couldn’t wait to get out of it.

    Didn’t care about their value and ideas, I don’t even know what they were or are to this day.

    Regarding religion, I frequently told them I didn’t believe their fairy stories but what could they do? – I was reasonably well-behaved and did alright in exams as some of the subjects were interesting.

    “Networks, self-perpetuating institutions and deep, life-long friendships”? – I wouldn’t recognize most of the people I went to school with (apart from one or two who I knew from the local area from primary school) and I don’t care what they are doing now or whose arse they are licking in some government department or MNC.

    “But the problem with stability is that it rewards the stable man.” – you’re right there David – as Roy Keane once famously said – “only dead fish go with the flow”. Not my scene.

    There’s a big bad world out there as an adult. School is best forgotten as it’s irrelevant now to my life.

    • EugeneN

      Sounds like you didn’t go to the right kind of school then. Mostly these elite schools are about networking. were you in a school like that you most definitely would need to keep in contact with your old school buddies.

    • pat.valleymills@gmail.com

      I would concur

      • With what pat? As usual, it’s hard to follow the threads in this blog.

        • pat.valleymills@gmail.com

          I am concurring with your comments. In my case I was at the N Ireland version of these schools where they wanted to make us all republicans . That is the N Ireland idea of what a republican should be.

          • Yeah load of shite. The best thing to do at school is to focus on learning, ignore the teachers and forget most of your ‘old school buddies’.

          • Apart from the occasional excellent teacher, we had one or two of those as I recall.

          • Adelaide

            From Mark Twain
            “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
            “The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.”
            “God made Idiocy, and then He made the School Board.”
            “A school is a jail for Idiots.”

        • Deco

          Spot on Adelaide.

          Education starts once you leave college, and start reading for yourself how the world works.

          The toughest education we ever receive, concerning being educated about human nature.

    • NDonnelly


      I don’t think Eugene is having a go, rather both his and your comments reinforce what David is saying.

      I went to a CBS too. David is saying those schools fed into a clerical class involved in governance and that was in their character. A major failing of that system is that it doesn’t create a culture of collaboration and imagination rather a “I must do well in the exam to get the good job ahead of my classmates”.

      While for me the people were dead on it and I am in passing friendly with many of them the CBS didn’t help build confident imaginative friendships that would assist me now – like you those who have made an impact seem to have gone on their own.

      I often come across gangs of men who went to those Jesuit type schools and have kept that network going through their career.

      I think that is the difference.

      When I look at all the advice to entrepreneurs it always says Network Well. CBS schools maybe are too driven toward the good job for kids to enjoy each others company and build collaborative relationships.

      I may be wrong about all of the above!

    • zapit

      So in other word what David said does not apply to you. Congrads, well done

      • Yeah but on reflection I should have fallen in with the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the article.

        And of my ‘old school buddies’.

        Otherwise known as a Psychic Prison, a subset of that being groupthink.

        Does it apply to YOU?

        I forgot I had even done a presentation on the Psychic Prison concept, thanks for reminding me.


        • Nothing like a bit of shameless self promotion:


          The Organizational Theorist Gareth Morgan first published his book ‘Images of Organization’ in 1986, in which, through the prism of eight metaphors, he attempts to describe the nature and complexities of organizations. A metaphor is a “figure of speech which makes an implied comparison between things which are not literally alike” (Webster, 1961). Morgan also uses the related literary devices of allegory and analogy to illustrate his theories. One such powerful metaphor is that of ‘The Psychic Prison’.

          Introducing Plato’s ‘Cave’ allegory, where confined prisoners cannot conceptualize the outside world, the author contends that people can become “imprisoned in” organizations through conscious and unconscious processes which have been created during formative phases and varied human experiences in their lives. The implications of these phenomena for organizations and the repercussions for individuals can be serious and profound; leading to negative outcomes for society as a whole and these issues require in-depth research, description and management for progressive development of both organizations and people.

          For example, the phenomenon of groupthink in organizations is of crucial significance. It occurs when organizational, social and cultural traps develop in groups, fostering a sense of “assumed consensus” (even in the face of contradictory evidence), alienating dissenting opinions, retarding problem-solving, inhibiting the expression of doubts and suppressing the conception, discussion and action of alternate options. Decision-making becomes skewed in such a scenario and can lead to negative, unethical or disastrous results. A prime example of groupthink is the recent financial crisis in Ireland where banking institutions and the Department of Finance believed in the “efficiency of financial markets” (Nyberg Report, 2011) to regulate themselves which ultimately proved detrimental to the entire nation.

          The origin of ‘The Psychic Prison’ phenomenon is traced to the human unconscious. Morgan describes a (non-exhaustive) list of psychological factors which contribute to the differing nature of relationships that people have with organizations, including theories of sexuality, family dynamics, mortality, anxiety and other, more obtuse hypotheses (such as ‘artefacts’, ‘archetypes’ and ‘shadows’) which have been propounded by renowned experts including Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. He concludes his dissertation by highlighting several strengths and limitations of the metaphor and praises the window of “critical thinking and awareness” of organizational issues that it opens while acknowledging that its complexity does not make it conducive to providing any “easy answers and solutions to problems” for managers.

  2. EugeneN

    This case was a Christian Brothers school in Tipperary though, so David took that ball and ran very far with it.

  3. E. Kavanagh

    If they are going to take public money to help pay for their teachers, it would seem that everyone should have an equal crack at getting in. Stokes was fighting the good fight.

    I wonder where the judge went to school?

    • Deco

      Ah yes….the judiciary…now that is a fascinating topic.

      I see the current government are using the judiciary as a quango, in which to stick their long term buddies. Just like FF did before them.

      We need new political parties, and candidates who will lift the carpet, and show us what has been swept beneath.

  4. douglaskastle

    Ha ha, I went to a fee paying school back in the day, it may have once upon a time been a gate way to jobs, but by the time I finished 20 years ago it was points in the leaving cert and on to college. Having gone to that school hasn’t come up much since then except when former class mates are playing rugby for Ireland.

    Interestingly, last year was our 20th anniversary of the leaving cert and thus leaving school. One guy from my year intrepidly tracked down about 80% of our year through email to organise a reunion. I was impressed, but I didn’t go because I don’t live near there any more, though I did hear that it was fizzle, maybe 10 turned up. I thought no more of it.

    That was until I started getting emails once a month every month and twice at christmas from the same guy who tried to organise promoting his financial services/management company. So maybe the networking aspect of the old school boys network is alive and well.

    • Haha hilarious. The ‘debs’ in our school got cancelled due to lack of interest, not that I was going to go in any case. Had already got the hell out of 80s Ireland by then.

    • Hope you told him where to stick his financial services. I’m sure you are well able to manage that aspect of your life yourself.

      As for the rugby players, it’s a pity they never did anything useful and meaningful with their lives.

      • Deco

        Interestingly enough, some of them were only good at rugger, and nothing else.

        And some of them were never any good at rugger, but they always talked about it, on a point of social differentiation.

        The Dr. Nausea character by Dermot Morgan, being an example.

        • #ruggerbuggerbores – there’ll 40,000 of them in the Aviva on Saturday.

          I made a bit of dosh selling over-priced tickets to a few of them.

          Lovely jubbly!

          • there’ll ‘be’ sorry.

            Got a bit excited at the thought of all the Euro notes appropriated from #ruggerbuggerbore D4 heads.

            It’s not even the sums involved, it’s the principle.

          • Deco

            Adam, that me smile.

            Entreprenuerial spirit trumps “old money” :))))

            They must have gotten the money far too easily, if they are throwing it around trying to make sure that they were at an event, for the sake of social status.

            They should have sweated harder for it – if that happened, they would appreciate it more.

  5. Mike Lucey

    Yeah, DMcD ran a long distance with the ball but also touched on quite a few home truths along the way.

    The club mentality runs in nearly all spheres of Irish live. In the past it was a ‘them’ and ‘us’ but since the opening of the gates to EU and other immigration its now ‘those’, ‘them’ and ‘us’.

    It looks like Mary Stokes’ only recourse is the European Courts. I have now doubt that she will find some ‘us’ legal eagles that will willingly take the shilling.

  6. DB4545

    I think the deeper issue that David may be alluding to is that for large pockets of our population our education system is not fit for purpose. The Jesuit networks or the CBS networks still largely educate our next generation of Citizens through rote learning. These networks may have helped their pupils get a slice of the pie in a small Island economy but they are woefully inadequate for equipping our children with the tools they need to prosper in a global economy . I don’t think senior cup medals or developing a rindabite/Dort accent cuts much ice with Google, Apple or similar corporations.They foster and reward creativity and the fact that Oisin or Orla played rugby or hockey is of little relevance. If you want a roadmap of where we as taxpayers might get the best bang for our buck with education reforms you could do worse than look at Ken Robinson or Tina Seelig on Tedtalks. Ken Robinson is an international adviser on education and Tina Seelig is a Stanford professor teaching creativity. Mark Twain said he never let his schooling interfere with his education and maybe we should’t either.

    • DB4545

      Should read shouldn’t! Thankfully the spelling Nazis seem to avoid this site.

    • McGoo

      Nicely put. Similarly, in the UK, a public-school accent used to be a passport to highly-paid jobs, but now it’s an embarrassing liability and most who have one try to hide it.

      • DB4545

        The mockney accent has been going strong across the water for some time now from Michael Jagger to Lily Allen to Jamie Oliver etc. Our own crowd like to hide it well too when it suits. However the accent doesn’t cure brazen and unwarranted self confidence rarely backed up by ability.

      • coldblow

        I think it was Prof. Honey who wrote about accent and identified the three accents in England which are socially inferior: Cockney, Brum and Scouse. I have a London accent. A west midlands lorry driver, who said he was good with accents, who I spoke to in a Dublin pub years ago identified it, correctly, as south-east London. I hadn’t been aware until then that there was a difference. (For the uninitiated, south-east London is the unfashionable end of the city, where the trains stop early and there isn’t an underground.)

        I think social climbers will always be careful how they speak. Women apparently are more attracted than men by exclusive accents.

        I find that educated Irish people can accurately place my accent (socially if not geographically) and draw conclusions. In fact, it allows *me* to get the measure of *them*as I gauge their reaction. The less educated don’t get past the fact that I am English. In the latter category, Dubs are the worst – perhaps they think I sound posh. Nor do they seem able to deduct anything from the fact that my first name is Sean.

  7. sravrannies

    Off topic. Just viewed the video of David’s appearance at the banking enquiry – very powerful stuff David – well presented. I do hope they listen!


  8. Deco

    Actually, I think that the article is way off the mark in relation to 1916-1922.

    A lot of public “analysis” in Ireland’s media, is based on a confusion of “cause and effect”. Soemtimes this is deliberate. And sometimes this is based on confusion. Most of the time it is based on intellectual laziness.

    I don’t think that 1916 was one school type versus another. It was somewhat class based. And that is reflected in the schools that were attended. But if we wsh to see the actual cause, we need to see the background and rate of success under the British administration. Really the schools were are reflection of different aspriations, that were inherent in different elements in Irish society. The school types were the result of something deeper.

    But not entirely. A lot of it really had to do with one’s impression of the British empire. I know this sounds very obvious. Well, that is because it is obvious.

    The fight was about the entire belief system in the British Empire. For some people it was a pretence. For some people the British empire was lucrative. And for many it was a millstone around their neck. For an awful lot it was a scam that had been sussed. There were mixed emotions. These could all fit under the Home Rule party, as long as the Home Rule party promised to go in the agreed general direction. The Home Rule Party made promises that they could not keep. When they could found out, the melted. The Home Rule party believed in the British Empire more than the populace.

    The First World War casualty list changed everything. In WWI, the most enthusiastic idiots for war, were removed first. The sceptics remained, and stayed out. This is the case with all wars. Those that believe in killing as noble usually get involved, and do not return.

    Conflict causes more conflict. The civil war was in essence about power and property. The British backed one side. The side that respected property, and detested the rising internal competitors.

    The result of that was what caused a tenndency to prevent people from speaking up.

    In other words, we are still suffering from the outcome of the Irish civil war.

    • Adelaide


      Here is an alternative Irish history I’ve been mulling over. What do you think?

      One) The 1916 Rising was the Irish vs Gombeen Irish in British Uniform. Nothing more. The actual Brits hardly featured.

      Two) The Great Hunger or Famine was the Irish starved by Gombeen Irish for the Queen’s shilling. Again, the actual Brits hardly featured.

      Three) The so-called 800 year British Rule was nothing more than a longer version of number one.

      • coldblow


        I would recommend (as I often do) Crotty’s Ireland in Crisis. I mentioned his economic-determinist analysis of the War of Independence only a few days ago.

        In brief, and from memory, England conquered Ireland for strategic reasons and to profit from Irish land. (In England, unlike elsewhere in Europe, land was a scarce resource (in western Europe it had always been capital that was scarce) because you could make serious profits from it, originally from the wool trade).

        In Victoria’s reign the numerous potato-eating coolie class (who had dwarfed the propety owning elite and in whose shadow (and that of the French Revolution) the Irish elite reversed their earlier push for independence (Gratton’s Parliament) and looked for re-union with Britain, were exterminated. The Famine did this but changed economic conditions were dooming them anyway – the price of cattle exports to Britain went through the roof while the market for exported pigs (raised by said coolies) in the slave colonies disappeared.

        Home Rule was the challenge of the owners of capital (livestock) against the owners of land (hitherto the Ascendancy).
        WW1 was the catalyst. Substantial landowners (now predominantly native Irish) were prospering as never before. They did not see why they should sacrifice their sons in a war for Empire nor why their taxes should go to support the new welfare state in Britain (Ireland was by now overwhelmingly middle class – with the death or emigration of the coolies, the shrinkage of native industry and general emigration of the ‘outsiders’ in society).

        • coldblow

          The point of about cattle is that where livestock is raised the size of the rural population supported by this is much lower than with tillage. Where land is held at now cost and title is perfectly secure then you can disregard the interests of the people.

  9. Deco

    There is a problem with regard to the private sector in Ireland. It is opposed to any form of meritocracy.

    In the middle part of the last century the state was more driven by meritocracy than the private sector.

    That lack of meritocracy (also visible in much of British commerce at the same time) was at the root of serious underperformance in the Irish private sector for decades.

    The managerial elite were underperformers. They had a culture that reinforced ineptitude, and emphasized standing, and pecking order. This also occurred in Britain. It bankrupted Britian, and the IMF moved in in the 1970s.

    Something similar happened eventually in Ireland also. Just look at the “leadership” in AIB, and BoI.

    We have a rot in our society, and it is within the private sector.

    The solution is competition. Comeptition will clean out the incompetents.

    Except….the gobsh1t€s running Ireland’s main political parties have decided that the existing firms need to be bailed out, and the market needs to be consolidated so as to reduce competition.

    Gombeenism is still rife. It is a complex way of “business”. At it’s core is power, market manipulation, price rigging, and preventing the free flow of information.

  10. Deco

    I suppose no old school network discussion would be complete without a mention of the phenomenon of the various suave, well connected, investment scheme investment “experts” who circulated Dublin one decade ago.

    Many of them relied on old school networks, to find their victims.

    People who regarded most of the working class (both urban or rural), as not to be trusted, or to be allowed into their lives, handed over their entire net worth (plus borrowings) to well accented posh boys, who were prominent on the charity event circuit. [ it seems to be the done thing for an Irish gombeen gangster, to appear superficially generous - a form of image compensation for their "business" model ].

    All because they were reinforced with a certain set of assumptions in school.

  11. Deco

    CBS/Vocational school boys don’t network. They compete. That same ethos is not necessarily an institutional thing. If we look at the Irish in America, we can see that it can exist outside of CBS/Vocational schools.

    It is boarding school boys that network, and avoid competing. In fact they have an ethos of “circling the wagon”. Do they behave within an old school British ethos ? I think that it is deeper than the schools. I think it is more a case of being in a privileged position, and knowing how to protect that privileged position.

    Ireland, we need to smash such privileges. That is what the Irish civil war was really about. Making sure that people knew their place. It was about the ordering of society.

    Of course the losers got into power in 1932, but they seem to have monumentally missed the opportunity. Land reforms were limited. There was a serious attempt at industrialization, along the conventional terms of the day. But, there was a depression in progress at the time, so very little could actually be achieved.

  12. my experience of schooling was that 75% was a waste of time.

    All instruction received could be delivered and absorbed in a 3 year period rather than 12.
    i spent my first weeks in school reading books under the desk top as I could already do what was instructed in the first months and was bored out of my tree.
    Reading anything that comes my way, that is of interest to me, has remained a lifetime habit.

    Bullying was a major part of my school life. Being the victim of and responding to the abuse.

    The first two years at elementary school in an english working class area with council housing families living close by left me an outsider, not a part of the local pack. Interestingly I was ridiculed and beaten up by older boys in part because I had an Irish name. I was also given the third degree when I tried to talk about the Irish famine. Just like their parents, they did not want to know.

    Finally, my father,who held down two jobs and worked from 8am to 9pm, and left in the morning before 7am and returned at night after 10.30pm, tired of my complaints and taught me to fight. All was done in the name of the string of heavyweight world champions of Irish descent. From John L Sullivan “I can lick any man in the world” onward.

    That day I learned two valuable lessons. first I took on the bully and down him with a single punch. Challenged again down went the second. Thirteen fights took place that day and I finally lost the last by agreeing in my growing arrogance to wrestle rather than box!!!

    First lesson as a 7 year old. No matter your success, stick to your strengths and do not be inveigled into a position of lessor strength by backslappers and back stabbers.
    Second lesson. As I recovered from my defeat the jubulent crowd had gone off with the new conqueror. Never, I thought, follow the crowd or believe a word they say.

    Bullying ceased but I only had a few friends and was still not a part of the crowd, and nor did I wish it so.

    Moving to a new school caused the same problems. but a couple of well delivered shots to the nuisances solved that problem in the first days.

    Then as a teen I arrived at the fee paying so called “public school”.
    There for reasons to long to present here, I was subjected to a campaign of abuse by senior boys, the prefects. For no reason I was over the end of the bed and beaten 14 times in 11 weeks by morons exercising (abusing) their authority.

    This was resolved over the year by extracting my revenge on the rugby field. Many was the rib that was heeled out with the ball in a ruck, and many a head was cracked while delivering a handoff!! Barbarism reigned. Appealing to the rule of law or higher authority yielded no results. Not much has changed over the years it seems. The bullying was institutionalized.

    Individualism is thoroughly discouraged in the schooling system. Adherence to the status quo is de rigueur.

    Schooling is a statist propaganda machine. Fortunately I can still think which is more than can be said for the majority.

    No wonder the elite easily manipulate the public and public opinion. Suckers all. Not that it does me any good as we are ruled by majority opinion however manipulated it may be.

  13. http://tidbits.com/article/15443

    Golden Apple. A watch that appreciates with time.

  14. “Daily Bell: The schools are certainly less tolerant these days, and you’ve written a good deal on that as well as the more general authoritarian state. Why, in particular, does the school issue concern you so much? – See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/exclusive-interviews/36103/Anthony-Wile-John-Whitehead-Combat-Federal-Authoritarianism-With-Human-Action-and-Local-Activism/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2#sthash.eVPeBBCR.dpuf

  15. European stability is in the small print. There is no legal way a state can be expelled from the EU or EURO

    “In summary, Athanassiou says in his 2009 paper:

    – that before the Lisbon Treaty of 2007, there was no legal way for a member country to exit from the European Union (EU), and even though there is now (Article 50), it would be still legally problematic;

    – that a member country of EMU (in the Euro) could not exit the Euro without exiting the EU;

    – that “no right of withdrawal from EMU was ever intended to exist“;


    • Mike Lucey

      Tony, I came across this las t night, ‘The Birth of Organic Money!’

      I did a quick calc and see that the guy intends a huge premium, over 100% markup!

      Still it just shows the way folks are thinking ;-)

      • Mike
        One gram is worth about $40 US so it is not a good way to save or spend in my opinion

        Better to use one ounce silver maple leafs that easily slip into a pocket and are currently priced at about $16.50 US and the premium is only 7% initially.

        Then again use Hugo Salinas Price method of having no inscribed or stamped value on a coin. Just the weight and purity.
        Then by announcement or protocol the value assigned to the coin is always higher than the spot price. For example the organization using the coin does the following

        Every Sunday the trade value of the coin is adjusted to be at least 20% higher than the spot value. Only moves if the spot goes up and not if the spot goes down as the trade value of the coin never decreases.
        The adjustment will move in $5 increments to avoid too many adjustments. Over the last three years there would have been no change!!

        • michaelcoughlan

          I cant see how this would work. The arbitrage issue would close the price. I would buy coins in canada for 16.50 and get goods to the value of 19.80 in wherever.

          • No you would not as the coins are not “Canadian mapleleaf” but a national coin or an official coin of whatever organization it is and they are undenominated coins with only the weight and purity thereon.

            A Canadian maple leaf is legal tender for $5 and so does not circulate.

            Value of spot in Canada is $20.74 CAD as itreflects the falling canadian paper ponzi money.

  16. SMOKEY

    Daivd was so powerful speaking yesterday. Reminded me of the reasons why I admire him and his ability so much. He is at his best in front of an audience. Confident, and full of theatrical delivery, even while telling something as boring as the truth.
    As for family first in schools? It is the one thing that keeps this country going.
    If I couldnt send my kids to the local school because someone who doesnt embrace a settled way of life gets priority, I then have to send my kid further down the road to a school to whom he has no connection. POLITICALLY CORRECT BULLSHIT should be eradicated from all decision making in ALL ASPECTS of life and politics. Life is not fair, the world needs losers and scumbags too. Keeps things ticking over.

  17. Central bankers are up to their old tricks. Nothing really changes. King World News puts out interviews that inform the public that is in direct confrontation with the information peddled by MSM and their sycophants. They cannot handle the truth reaching the light of day.
    King World News site disabled after GATA interview

    Submitted by cpowell on 09:12AM ET Friday, February 27, 2015. Section: Daily Dispatches
    12:14p ET Friday, February 27, 2015

    Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

    The Internet site of King World News appears to have come under disabling attack shortly after posting an interview last night with your secretary/treasurer. As of this hour it’s impossible to gain access to any KWN material. We’ll keep you posted.

    CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
    Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

  18. Even though the headline number of the total commercial net short position [in silver in last Friday's COT Report] has declined by nearly 14,000 contracts since January 27, the concentrated net short position of the eight largest shorts has hardly budged—and remains over 65,000 contracts. This is still a manipulative position on its face since it represents more than 325 million ounces and 40% of world annual production, an amount unequalled among all commodities. Reviewing the dismal earnings reports by those companies that mine silver, I have uncovered not a one holding any of the 325 million oz. held short by the 8 crooked COMEX shorts. Excepting JPMorgan, I doubt any of the other seven big shorts own much real silver, even though the concentrated short position represents more than 30% of all the silver bullion in the world. This is simply preposterous and illegal. – Silver analyst Ted Butler

  19. coldblow

    This is an interesting article and it deals with one of David’s favourite themes, albeit in a somewhat different way. I agree with some of it but not all.

    David champions the lads having a laugh at the back of the class, those who kick against the system and unwilling to conform, who I think he sees as a pool of innovative, entrepreneurial talent.

    I counter this with my own favourite theme and describe it as typical extrovert behaviour. The thing is, in my observation extroverts are highly conformist and indeed enforce the consensus. I think it might be clearer if one can understand that present day conformity poses as unconformity.

    David made his own basic position clear in the Generation Game, where commenting on the Jagger Generation’s victory in the culture wars (divorce etc), he said “They were right and they won”, or something like that. This is surely conventional wisdom nowadays (or its close cousin, as Peter Hitchens puts it, received opinion).

    Extroverts, such as Sarah Carey, seem to believe in equality of outcome in education and oppose ‘elitism’. Peter Hitchens, on the other hand, one of the very few genuine social conservative commenators I am aware of in this part of the world, supports grammar schools where bright children from all backgrounds get the opportunity to progress as opposed to a current sham system in England of comprehensives where entrance to the best is determined by income, in so far as parents can afford to buy a house in the catchment areas. The wrongness of conventional wisdom is Hitchens’s most central and most regular theme.

    I never went to a private school (though I was in that lucky generation or two who could go to grammar school) but I think they should have the right to admit and exclude as they see fit.

    Yet David is right about his insiders-outsiders analysis of Ireland, something shared it seems by Joseph Lee and Raymond Crotty.

    “The Leaving Cert system reinforces convention by rewarding a certain type of brain and penalizing another.”

    I think it favours introverts (half the population, at least relatively. Any changes to liberalize it will be at their expense and benefit the jack the lad extroverts by diluting educational content and blurring the structure, thus playing to their strengths.

  20. michaelcoughlan


    good article. The education system is not fit for purpose. People are over qualified, under skilled and loaded with debt when they come out of third lrvrl.


  21. Stability induced here with oerganized chaos. do not believe anyone about anything.
    The only constant is corruption


  22. mcsean2163

    I went to a vincentian school, can’t say I can empathize with the above at all.

    There seemed to be many currents in school, rugby, academic study, science, debating and charity. Obviously rugby was massive. 6 years was too long for me and I drifted a bit after a good junior cert.

    I still keep in touch with some of the guys, (a lot of whom are very nice) but have never used any school contacts to get a job.

    So , I am a person that does not fit into David’s analysis.

  23. michaelcoughlan

    @adam byrne.

    Hi adam. I want to start on the journey finding out more about bitcoin. I had a wallet one time about 2 or 3 years ago and had bought 1 bitcoin from the bitcoin 24 exchange just before it went down. They stole my 100 euro and i couldn’t get back the tiny fraction of a bitcoin either i had left over.

    I want to embrace the technology though and see if I can incorporate it into something I am getting involved in.


    • We should arrange to meet then Michael. Much easier than doing it by email etc.

      March is best for me – on the road from April for the rest of the year.

      Bit of networking there lads. What school did you go to Michael? Terrible article. So 20th century.

      • michaelcoughlan


        I went to a convent school in clare. The article only touches the surface though. The modern 3rd level system in particular is not fit for purpose. Courses are created with fancy names to appeal to people who are misguided into believing they will lead to well paid jobs afterwards. Many of these courses are worthless and are just there to take money from gullible students and parents alike.


        • DB4545

          I’ll give you a concrete example of the “education” industry. I was speaking to a recently retired senior academic. He said there’s approximately 700 slots for people to study psychology in the usual prestige institutions in the State. There are 18 real jobs in psychology at the end of it with a further 12 jobs available in the advertising industry for the really bright ones in this State. That’s 670 people who have no prospect of accessing the profession studying degree level courses. They have no realistic opportunity of employment in the field in this State. If they choose to emigrate another Country reaps the benefit at the expense of Irish taxpayers. I’m told it’s repeated in many other areas. Sure it keeps nice middle-class lecturers in well paid taxpayer funded jobs. But at what cost to the State and at what lost opportunity cost to taxpayers who get to foot the bill for this obscene waste of resources? Move to student loans. Nobody will waste a single cent of their own money if there’s no prospect of employment at the end of it and they’ll therefore choose a course which makes them employable. It ain’t rocket science.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Adam.

        I posted on your blog. I will leave my email there. Can’t do March. Would prefer email anyway. Going to Holland as part of an Entrepreneurship erasmus programme with Enterprise Ireland.


        • Well, email me with your initial questions Michael –

          adamabyss @ hotmail.com

          I don’t have a lot of time but I’ll do my best.

          Quicker to impart a lot of information face to face.

  24. “People don’t believe in this kind of science, nor do they believe in the academic system and university degrees that produce it. Over time this skepticism must deepen and lead to further sociopolitical and economic dysfunction.”
    – See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/36120/Monsanto-Laments-Dwindling-Faith-in-Science/?uuid=6F800609-5056-9627-3C5071902B060BF2#sthash.l8yzVoR9.dpuf

    • I was in Greystones today Tony and thought of you. Saw the place where we brought my little girl for ice cream.

      Did the Bray to Greystones walk and back, at a brisk pace. Now for a well deserved pint of pale ale – it’s been a while.

      All the best Tony.

      • That was a lovely pleasant day and I appreciated the effort you took to drive down and spend some time. Dominique had a lot of fun along the beech as I recall and we spent a cordial couple of hours.

        The Greystones to Bray return is a stretch. Good walk. Very scenic.

        Good memories, Adam

  25. Another lovely sunny day in Victoria. The only place in Canada with a half decent climate!!

    • Daniel Waxonov

      and we won’t forget the whales Tony… quite astounding how pods communicate with one another across oceans ! makes ya think what potential People might have.

      and no line rental !

      and plz don’t forget,wear sunscreen.

      • Ah yes, sunscreen.
        Never heard of a farmer getting skin cancer. Out in all weathers. Fishermen either.

        The problem is the sunscreen. City slickers white as cream wanting a tan in 24 hours.

        The chemicals in the sunscreen are poisons to the body and slathered all over the largest organ of the body. The skin.
        Sunscreen prevents burning but little else. No chance for adjustment to sunshine. Our forefathers we in the sun for millions of years and no problems.

        Studies show close correlation with skin cancers and use of sunscreen.

        I’ve never used sunscreen. If the sun is too much I cover up.
        For the same reasons I do not use deodorants. I leave the natural bacteria which are wholesome and clean. I wash with water and a little soap now and then.

        no BO and no cancer. Stay natural.

        It was a good 20 mile sail on Sunday and rained the last hour to remind me it is in fact Winter.

        • deja vu

          i lived in India for four years and never wore a drop and no problems whatsoever…as always,the devil’s in the detail..how True is that!The indistinguishable,welll,almost.

          So you’d some gigantic shadows for the last hour Tony? much the same here…sweeping in! Reminds me of a band name and poster i was asked to create once for a friend.After much time with tin-foil hat off and thinking cap securely fastened,i recommended they choose the name “Storm”.

        • deja vu


          Certainly not,as you ask,enough time yet, but my aren’t we becoming more ‘observant’ deja vu.


          Say what you like Tony, but you gotta hand it to those Teletubbies – they knew how to live


          06.05hrs …i’d say i was on the uisce beatha, but haven’t had a drop in months.

          good night Ireland

        • Lived in the Caribbean for 10 years (moving back forever in 5 months time – yippee!) and never wore sunscreen – waste of time. Like Tony says, cover up when it gets unbearable. But Tony, about that no deodorant policy, meant to say… hahaha. Just kidding.

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