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Feel-good factors are fragile and illusory things at the best of times. It suits the media to tell us that we're feeling much better as a nation because Tony Blair smiles a lot. Euphoria is nice but reality is better - Lisa Jardine, Professor of English at the University of London

Often people use feminism as a dirty word. To me it's a compliment - Anna Coote, special adviser to Harriet Harman, Minister for Women

This is not a time for gloating - Ann Widdecombe, former prisons minister, when asked about her erstwhile boss Michael Howard coming bottom of the Tory leadership poll

In the past we had none of the nonsense that has been going on here for the last six weeks. We did not take anyone out to lunch or drinks. We thought they were capable of making their own minds up - Sir Edward Heath, former prime minister, on his party's leadership election

I'm very frivolous, impatient and impulsive. I'd rather read cheap thrillers than Shakespeare - Sir John Gielgud, actor

To know that the charts, which are supposed to be the representation of popular taste, have been discredited in whatever way is a great disappointment. It means there's no Santa Claus. You can't believe in what you used to love - Paul Gambaccini, broadcaster, on allegations that the pop charts are hyped