Loose cannons

March 15, 1995

Not short enough

"People's memories are amazingly short." — Mari-Ann Kelam, a spokesperson for Estonia's coalition government, which received only 5% of the vote in March 5 elections. The pro-capitalist coalition had presided over a big increase in inequality.

Days, weeks or years?

"For some time, there has been serious fraud, boasting and exaggeration in some units and localities, which has done much harm and which we must resolutely put an end to." — Chinese Premier Li Peng on the progress of "socialism with Chinese characteristics".

To dizzy heights

"I rose from the ranks of the proletariat, which I faithfully represented." — Israeli transport minister Yisrael Kessar, accused of diverting $28.6 million in Histadrut "trade union" funds into a 1992 attempt to win Labour Party leadership.

Stand up and shut up

"... the Prime Minister of Denmark ... warned after he was elected unopposed as president [of the UN World Summit on Social Development] that 'social progress will not be realised solely through the free market forces'. Representatives of big business insisted, however, that free market ideology was not negotiable." — Australian, March 8.

Lost appetite

"We have been inundated with invitations. We could spend $1000 a day going to these things. There are only so many lunches and dinners you can go to." — David Charles, chief executive of the NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association, on invitations to Labor and Liberal fundraising events. "Buying" tickets to fundraising meals allows the parties to raise funds that don't have to be reported under the state's Electoral Act.

How could you?

"We don't discriminate between political parties. We go to [fundraising] functions on both sides." — Tony Gentile, chief executive of the Australasian Soft Drink Association.

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