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When I am portrayed as a saint I say, 'How ridiculous.' When I am painted as a black-hearted villain, I say, 'That's not the whole picture either' - Terry Waite, former Church envoy and Beirut hostage

The Conservative Party has got rid of its eccentrics and is taken over by PR and advertising people. The Labour Party is losing its mavericks and finding a sullen army among the politically correct. In both parties a fatal spirit of obedience is taking over - John Mortimer, playwright

I don't need servants, I just need peace - Phil Collins, pop star, after going into self-imposed exile in Switzerland

Children are abused in various ways as morality and reason are thrown out of the window in pursuit of selfish adult ends - Nelson Mandela, urging the world to punish the abuse of children in war

I am like the Duchess of York. Can't afford to carry on. Which of us should be saved for the nation? - Austin Mitchell, Labour MP

Their cumulative incompetence caused Hell on Earth. They have shown no remorse - Ron Lipsius, King's Cross fire victim, on London Transport

Parliament is about as sexy as a late afternoon in a men's club in Pall Mall - George Walden, Tory MP