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"England as a nation is more than decadent; it is dead" - Dr David Starkey, radio pundit and academic.

"What we need is some latter-day gunboat diplomacy, a spot of retribution. We should be training our guns on French apples - or better still firing French apples back at them" - Teresa Gorman MP, Eurosceptic, on possible retaliation for the ban on British beef.

"The idea that if we were outside the EU we could somehow become a trading haven on the edge of Europe with all the benefits of that vital market of 370 million, while others fix the rules, is cloud-cuckoo-land" - John Major.

"Violent offenders should be sentenced to a five-year, non-stop TV diet of Chris Evans and Noel Edmonds. This TV-induced lobotomy would allow the criminals to re-enter society as vacant, child-like, malleable half-wits" - John Butcher, Tory ex-minister.

"What is this divine right that women claim, to have everything made smooth for them, never to be patronised or thwarted, or have to prove themselves?" - Libby Purves, broadcaster.

"There is only so much crostini one can write about without getting sick of tricked-up toast" - Emily Green, who has resigned as food writer for the 'Independent'.