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When the security service holds files on you and me, our complaints are unlikely to register. But when they fool around with the Peter Mandelsons and Jack Straws of this world, something may be done - Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information

If A-level standards have not fallen, why do I find myself able to teach so much of the present A-level physics syllabus from the old O-level textbooks? - Alison Joiner, teacher

As a rule I try to follow a healthy diet but I am afraid I'm addicted to fat and love British beef. BSE holds no terror for me because I know the risk and I am as likely to get it as win the National Lottery - Joan Bakewell, TV presenter

The Millennium Dome will be a monument that will define the age in which we live - huge extravagance, images valued far more than useful purpose, millions of pounds deployed in useless PR, broken contracts and neglect of the vast majority of UK citizens for whom the dome is a sick joke - Professor John Whitelegg, Liverpool John Moores University

Instructors training the future soldiers of the British Army to fight potential enemies know now what Wellington knew 300 years ago - you have to be cruel to be kind - Harry McCallion, barrister and former SAS member, on the news that Army instructors have been told to be nicer to recruits