Loose cannons



"If we inherited it, I guess we'd have to live with it." — ALP shadow treasurer Gareth Evans, pledging that Labor will not block or repeal a GST brought in by a future Coalition government.

Only the IMF is covered

"To reflect the new president's will to share the joys and sorrows with the people, rain or shine." — An organiser of the inauguration of South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, explaining why the ceremony was to be held in the open air.

To peace?

"Maintaining a major United States military presence in the Gulf ... will leave the Mediterranean and the western Pacific more vulnerable, [US] defence officials say." — Sydney Morning Herald, February 25.

The leader

"It's not about making independent decisions so much. It's being seen to be making the decision ..." Defence minister Ian McLachlan, on Nine's Sunday program, trying to explain what "decisions" about following the US into Iraq had to be made by John Howard, preventing him from making his planned trip to Malaysia.

I.e., foreign ones

"I don't think that the industrial workers of the planet should be required to pay, in effect, an indirect tax to sustain irresponsible banks." — Newt (that's the name of a reptile) Gingrich, US Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, posing demagogically as a bank-basher.

What do you mean, 'though'?

"Though the [Indonesian] army can be brutal and corrupt, it is probably the most reliable institution remaining in the country ..." — Economist editorial, February 21.

Promises, promises

"The Rev Fred Nile has threatened to quit the Uniting Church over its plan to enter a float in Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras." — Sydney Morning Herald, February 25.