Someone brought one to my attention: "Job - security guard, £1.80 an hour, bring your own dog." Ted Rowlands, Labour MP, on low-paid work available at his job centre In the era of the soundbite and the tabloid, a stray remark, a poorly- judged phrase on a Sunday can build by Tuesday into a cacophony of disputation and a political crisis.

John Birt, BBC director-general, on the close relationship between Westminster and the media There is a growing strain of intolerance around Tony Blair. It is not enough for the leader to win and to be seen to win. His spin doctors want to create a schism.

Bill Morris, leader of the Transport and General Workers' Union Sand castles are all very nice but the tide has a habit of washing them away.

James Molyneaux, Ulster Unionist, calling for a new approach to the province's political future