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The IRA believe they have done a mighty thing by taking their weapons out of commission. Don't kick the dog to see if it's asleep.

Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein

If any of you rail companies get cold feet you know where to hand in the keys, because when it comes to railways I'm no virgin.

John Prescott, Deputy Labour Leader

I don't want to do everything different, only better.

Gerhard Schroder,

new German chancellor

We have gone from super Marxists to supermarkets in just 15 years.

Rhodri Morgan, Labour MP, on the sponsorship of the Labour conference by Somerfield

I happen to like cats, and fat cats to me raise in my mind the feeling of cuddlesome warmth.

John Edmonds

Trade union leader

It would be a disaster if we ended up with some tidy quota system of blue collar, working-class, northern, horny-handed, dirty-overalled people to have in our party, as opposed to having a selection system based on merit.

Peter Mandelson,

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

London is becoming increasingly diverse, and I accept that our officers are not fully equipped to deal with the increasingly rich diversity of the wonderful city they police.

Sir Paul Condon,

Metropolitan Police chief

President Clinton is our first black president. He displays every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone- playing, McDonald's and junk food loving boy from Arkansas.

Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winning Afro-American writer

What is the world talking about bombing these young innocent men for? They should be bombing Slobodan Milosevic in his own home.

Serbian woman on the prospect of Nato airstrikes on Serbian forces in Kosovo