Loose cannons


Sack the voters

"I am disappointed with Parramatta." — Wendy Jones, Liberal candidate in a by-election for the NSW state seat of Parramatta, after suffering a 10% swing against the government.


"An intentional reactor accident releasing a radioactive cloud should not be considered prudent public policy." — US member of Congress Ed Markey, commenting on a 1965 experiment in which the Atomic Energy Commission deliberately caused a cloud of radioactive gas to float over Los Angeles.

But not untrue

"It is a highly irresponsible statement." — Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir's response to a public statement by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif: "I can confirm Pakistan possesses the atomic bomb".

Concerned, again

"I am very concerned that the Liberal Party has again failed to live up to its long-standing commitment to the individual, to inclusion and to represent the broad range of attitudes and views of Australians in the 1990s." — John Hewson after being sacked from the Liberal front bench for supporting the government's plans to override Tasmania's anti-gay laws.

Single, not narrow?

"He [Liberal leader Alexander Downer] has shown that he is strong and disciplined and single-minded, and he is making the decisions, and he is calling the shots and he has my 100% support." — Liberal deputy leader Peter Costello on the boss's sacking of Hewson.

And ambition

"You will always remember certain people, but the National Party represents best what I believe in. And it does serve the rural community." — John Bjelke-Petersen, son of Sir Joh, on his plans to stand as a National Party candidate. In 1989, when Joh was sacked by the Nationals, John swore he would only ever stand as an independent.