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I know that, far from providing a sounding board, the Shadow Cabinet in these circumstances operates as a gag and a strait-jacket which suppresses real debate - Bryan Gould, resigning from the Shadow Cabinet over policy disagreements on Europe and the economy

This is a horrible profession which has never been held in such contempt. It is awful - John Osborne, receiving a personal award for lifetime achievement from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, when he almost collapsed on stage

We are talking about one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Shame on you - Alan Bleasdale to guests who barracked Osborne's speech

Nations which cannot feed themselves do not simply need aid. They need a severe dose of colonial rule - Sir Bernard Ingham

If you eat a dozen oysters, you feel more able to dance or kiss and do certain things later - Mireille Johnston, French food expert

The Tories were out there making political speeches and we were messing about with balloons - Teresa Pearce, delegate at the Labour Party conference, on the general election campaign

If capitalism depended upon Tory MPs, it would end about lunchtime tomorrow - Tony Benn

One of the most frustrating things for me is that I can't tell him about all this praise. He would have been stunned. He had no idea he was held in such esteem - Polly Toynbee on the tributes to her late husband, Peter Jenkins, the political commentator

When the Welsh come there will be holes among the hostas and when the Liverpudlians are here the fuchsias don't stand much of a chance - Simon Goodenough, curator of Ventnor Botanical Gardens on the Isle of Wight, on horticultural thefts

What she writes is pleasing, reassuring, to men: a view of the world in which women think only about men. Well, some do, of course - Fay Weldon on Jane Austen