Loose cannons


Only BMW drivers are human?

"My wife is not obliged to withdraw from the human race because you will attack her." — Victorian treasurer Alan Stockdale, replying to opposition questions about his wife being given free use of a BMW for a year; he said she won it as the door prize at a ball they attended.

Common knowledge

"It was common knowledge within the ALP that there were irregularities. When I left Colston, I passed on my concerns to a number of senior ALP politicians. They were ignored." — Jim Paterson, who worked for (then) ALP Senator Mal Colston in 1988.

Friendly persuasion

"The tax police have guns and know how to use them." — Russian tax office advertisement trying to convince people to pay income tax.

That should do it

"If you earn a lot of money and do not have private health insurance, you will be letting the country down." — Health minister Michael Wooldridge, announcing the theme of a planned government media campaign to solve the health care crisis. If it works, perhaps they'll try one on the theme of income tax.

Of course

"Sydney would put a moustache on Mona Lisa if there was money in it." — John Andrews, architect of the American Express Tower, upset at plans to refurbish it.

Can keep a secret

"The CIA's credibility has suffered in this effort." — CIA official Robert Walpole, admitting that 20,000 US troops might have been exposed to chemical weapons when the US military blew up an Iraqi arms depot after the Gulf War. The CIA had known since 1986 that the depot contained chemical weapons, but hadn't told anyone.