Larkin described Belfast 8 weeks after his arrival there:
"A wide and cobble-streeted town, lined with frowning buildings in the late Victorian manner & some indifferent shops. I’m already fed up with anything called Ulster, Northern, Victoria, etc., also with the Irish male face (craggy, drink-flushed, with greasy black curls and a too-tight collar & the Irish female face (plump, bad-teethed, pinkly powdered, with a diamante lizard on the lapel)."
Jenni Russell (@jennirsl) - Fewer than 2% of UK students go to Oxbridge, but its graduates account for 59% of the cabinet, 1/2 of our diplomats, and 1/3 of BBC executives
She wrote in the Times:
"This time three years ago I had just spent a day lobbying universities to give a place to a working-class boy who had narrowly failed to make one of his grades. He had retaken his A levels by himself, while doing a temporary job, after terrible teaching at his sixth-form college. The first four universities I tried, including Queen Mary, his top choice, were completely implacable. His offer was AAB, and his results were ABB, and that was that.