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There are genuine agoraphobics, who become panic-stricken out of doors. And those whose fears vanish as the betting shops open - Lord Tebbit, on benefit scroungers

I'll eat something out of the fridge with its sell-by date glaring back at me, salmonella winking at me in neon lights. But life's too short. I can't be worrying about salmonella when I'm worrying about hitting my high-Cs - Lesley Garrett, soprano

Virtually every foreign secretary I have ever served with in the past 30 years has fallen fast asleep in my presence - Lord Renwick, former British ambassador to Washington

People resent fat-cat businessmen with their noses in the trough, but they don't seem to resent fat-cat footballers earning more in a week than the supporter earns in a year - David Mellor, head of the Government's Football Task Force

Conductors should be back on the buses, packets of salt back in the crisps, clockwork back in clocks, and levers back on pens - Penelope Fitzgerald, author, expressing hopes for '98

Raw materials, cheap slaves and beautiful prostitutes - Alexander Prokhanov, `Izvestia' editor, on what should be portrayed in a new symbol for his country