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John Major is like Midas in reverse. Everything he touches turns to dross - Frank Dobson, Labour's employment spokesman

I am only just getting used to being more popular than John Major - Arthur Scargill

Government is not just a matter of drawing your salary and riding about in your car and hoping for the best - Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary

What has happened is a development of what was in the Government's mind. We have to listen to what people say - John Major

As soon as a group of the more obviously stupid Tory backbenchers allied itself with young aristocrats and show-business personalities and the usual chorus of opportunistic bishops, we knew that the old terrors were stalking the land, disguised as guilt and sentimentality about the miners in their dreadful employment - Auberon Waugh

We do not need a peace envoy, thank you very much - Sir Patrick Mayhew, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on Bill Clinton's plan to send an envoy to Ulster if he is elected president

New Age travellers are no more than a bunch of unwashed, benefit-grabbing, socialist anarchists who deserve a good slap and a wash - Bob Dunn, Conservative MP for Dartford

The Church of England is not backward in commenting on public affairs, but as far as religious matters are concerned its silence is frequently shattering - Dr Graham Leonard, former Bishop of London, remarking that it was the Muslim community which protested about the puppet of Jesus Christ on 'Spitting Image'

Love her or loathe her, we have yet to lay her ghost - Julian Critchley, Conservative MP for Aldershot, talking about Baroness Thatcher

It could be argued that the reasons for the BBC's overall decline are not unconnected with its obsession with youth - Richard Ingrams, editor of 'The Oldie'