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We are not asking the nation to wear hair shirts and start living off lentils - Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, on the need to curb wasteful lifestyles

I felt like one of those doctors in a soap opera on American television, where I was watching the monitoring of a patient's heart and I knew the patient was dead - Norman Lamont, former Chancellor, describing his feelings on Black Wednesday

If you are so focused on tennis, other parts of your brain must die. I was just too normal. I wanted to have girlfriends and get drunk - Mark Moreso, a one-time would-be tennis champion, who regularly beat Tim Henman but pulled out of the circuit

Motherhood as fulfilment for women is the last sacred cow and it's about time it was whacked on the barbie - Kathy Lette, Australian novelist

Physical perfection is now elevated to an importance once reserved for eternal salvation of the soul. A society which worships perfection of form instead of inner goodness is itself ugly and disfigured - Ann Widdecombe, Tory MP

In 33 years and more membership of the Labour Party, I have never experienced the kind of intolerance I have felt in recent months - Llew Smith, Welsh MP at the centre of a disciplinary row over Labour's devolution policy