quotes of the week

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The Independent Online
By being a Member of Parliament, I can tell you, I'm pretty middle class.

John Prescott, deputy Labour Party leader, mourning the loss of his working-class status

This is not a government that's limping along. This is a government that day in and day out has a sufficient majority to do the job that it was elected to do.

Brian Mawhinney, Conservative Party chairman, on the by-election defeat at Staffordshire South East

I was always a bit of an afterthought in Take That ... I was the fat, white one everyone pushed to one side so they could get a shot of Mark and Robbie.

Gary Barlow, heart-throb

Every time Mike turns or moves there's people out there who want to do their thing.

Muhammad Siddeeq, spiritual adviser to Mike Tyson, after a woman accused the boxer of sexually assaulting her in a nightclub

Let us make it quite clear that those who have done best out of the Thatcher decade will be expected to contribute most to repairing the damage.

Chris Mullin, left-wing Labour MP

The Government is now in desperate trouble. Middle England has rejected them, indeed humiliated them, in a seat where they genuinely felt they could win.

Jack Cunningham, shadow national heritage secretary

We have a certain amount of snobbery in England, and some people think it is not nice to have a gnome in your garden, and really I fight back against that.

Terry Major-Ball, the Prime Minister's brother, on whether he should take his gnomes with him on a trip to Australia

I find it incredible that people will complain so much about politics and politicians but when there's one active thing they can do to help change things, ie vote, they don't.

Eddie Izzard, comedian

No, we are not allowed to say "fee".

Comedian Lee Hurst when asked whether the F-word would be used on his forthcoming late-night TV show.

"I beg of people to let children fly, God, if they want to fly" - Lisa Hathaway, grieving mother of Jessica Dubroff, seven, who died in a crash during her record-breaking bid to fly a light aircraft across the United States.

There are a lot of people who hate Margaret Thatcher in Britain and in Ireland.

Nicholas Edsall, a history professor specialising in modern British history, on the choice of Baroness Thatcher for the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation's first statesmanship award.