You don't have to go far in MI5 to get a black mark. It's a blame culture, Stalinist. If you step outside the party line you're viewed as not one of us and you might as well forget it.

David Shayler on life in the secret service

It took me several hours to shake off my intoxicated state, in which I would have been quite willing to let myself be ravished by the President, should he have asked.

Reporter Nina Burleigh, on playing cards with President Clinton

I know that I can speak for those who feel that they cannot speak out when I say this is no way to run a government.

Tam Dalyell MP on the appointment of Gus MacDonald as Scottish Industry Minister

It is not gay-bashing to uphold the authority of scripture. What will we do at the next Lambeth conference when people ask for blessings for union with their pet animals?

The Rt Rev Alexander Malik, Bishop of Lahore

Twice in the last month Peter Mandelson has been nice to me. That has to be a good sign.

Ken Livingstone MP, on the race for London mayor

Oh dear, I do hope that wasn't anyone important.

The Queen to international development secretary Clare Short, when her radio pager went off at a Privy Council meeting

I thought my 12 years of fighting the Trots was a closed episode. I had not realised it had been an adventure training course preparing me for being in the Department.

MP Frank Field, who resigned last week as Social Security Minister

This is our last chance. If they want to let us die, then let it be. We might be crazy, but we're going to fight to the end.

Albanian reporter Tahir Desku, speaking as the Serbs advanced in Kosovo

I'm considered a first-class soldier - I can blow up bridges, ski down mountains and freefall from the skies. But in my heart, I just want to be a woman.

Sergeant-major Joe Rushton, who after 17 years in the Army is set to become its first transsexual

Tony Blair is so afraid of facing Parliament that I'm surprised he has not announced the abolition of elected MPs as well as hereditary peers.

Tory peer Lord Tebbit

He wasn't wearing anything under the dress and had been walking round asking where Room 14 was.

An eyewitness to the attack at the National Gallery on Rembrandt's Self Portrait At the Age of 63, by a man who took off the dress he was wearing before using yellow paint to squirt a pound sign on the masterpiece

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