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I do not believe that the threat of longer and longer periods of imprisonment across the board will deter habitual criminals. What deters them is the likelihood of being caught, which at the moment is small - Lord Chief Justice Taylor, attacking a Tory conference speech by the Home Secretary, Michael Howard

The last of the gentleman politicians - Sir David Steel on the passing of Lord Home

The whole country is yearning for a public school prime minister who knows how to hold his knife and fork properly - Auberon Waugh on Tony Blair

She is obviously the Quentin Tarantino of the middle classes - Charles Denton, BBC head of drama, on the spate of Jane Austen adaptations

Bin, bin, bin. All those demands for funds to put deserving people through drama, law or art school, bin. All those befuddled requests to explain what fuck-me shoes are, bin. All those 20-page hand-written screeds explaining the meaning of life, bin. All those reproaches for things I didn't say, bin, glorious bin. All those demands for my favourite poem, recipe, book, colour, into my big new shiny black garbage bin ... Calloo callay! - Germaine Greer gives up answering letters