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I certainly have never been against corporal punishment in schools. I have always regarded it as a very useful deterrent - Gillian Shephard, Education Secretary.

There is still another 9lb to go and time is running out. If all else fails, I shall have to consider amputation - Michael Mates, Tory MP, who is nearing the deadline of a competitive slimming campaign.

Nelson would not have commanded even a rowing boat if judged by the politically correct standards of today - Michael Stephen, Tory MP, discussing the Wrens at sea controversy.

He's a national hero and a role model for youngsters and if it is true that Gazza beat up his wife, then sending him to represent England overseas can only give the impression that wife-beating is acceptable in the UK - Sandra Horley, of the women's rights group Refuge, on footballer Paul Gascoigne.

Having spent the last 10 years in the filthiest business in the universe, it's a pleasure to announce the end of the Stone Roses - the singer Ian Brown reporting the demise of the Manchester-based pop group.

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