Loose cannons



"I can come over here, get what I want and save a minimum of 50%. I'm not doing any more to Canada's economy than it's doing to me." — George Mathers, an unemployed Canadian, asked why he was one of the tens of thousands crossing into the USA to do their shopping since Canada and the US signed a free-trade agreement and Canada imposed a goods and services tax.

Not so great

"I'm sick to death of going to London with a begging bowl. The new Europe has many small, independent nations while we remain the worst treated colony of Great Britain." — Kathleen McAlorum, a councillor and Scottish nationalist from the city of Motherwell.


"I knew one of those cops. He seemed to me to be a pretty reasonable bloke to our faces, but look what he called us behind our backs. How can you trust any of them now?" — Mick Mundine of the Aboriginal Housing Cooperative after the ABC's Cop it Sweet documentary.

Old fashioned

"My plan will create more millionaires, but they will only make money the old-fashioned way — by investing in our people and our products. What I want to do is offer everybody more opportunity and demand more responsibility." — US Democrats' presidential contender Bill Clinton.

Rotten politics

"In our system a candidate buys votes and then has to steal to get the money back. The greatest enemy we have is not communism, it is rotten politics." — Chamlong Srimuang, head of Thailand's Palang Dharma (Power of Virtue) party.

Everything you want to be

"The monarchy stands for everything you want to be. You want to have children you can be proud of, then something like this happens ... the reality of Fergie comes up smack against the ideal of the queen. She's betrayed the ideal." — Vernon Bogdanor, reader in government at Oxford University.

The future

"What attracts people to the Cossacks is their self-confidence. Unlike the politicians, the Cossacks are confident that they know the future. To them, the future lies in the past, so the past must be brought back." — Russian historian Sergei Brusin on the revival of the Cossacks, a Russian-chauvinist paramilitary caste of the tsarist empire.

Even toxic

"Poison can be venomous." — Rose Hancock, widow of multimillionaire Lang Hancock, on family quarrels over who gets what.