Loose cannons


Business drum

"When all the tom-toms run through the business community, they all say the same thing: 'We hope this government gets up again'." — Paul Keating taunting the Liberals in parliament on September 23.

Scientific communism

"I think it was a divine miracle. Scientists who dismiss it are talking nonsense. Most of them are atheists and Communists." — Vishnu Hari Dalmia, president of an Indian Hindu extremist party, on statues of the Hindu deities which have taken to drinking milk offered by worshippers.


"I feel completely calm. The more the evidence piles up, the more I am convinced it lacks all foundation." — Giulio Andreotti, seven times prime minister and political boss of Italy for many years, on his trial on charges of being part of the Mafia.


"Why should I risk a billion-dollar industry on rats pressing a lever to get nicotine?" — Unnamed Philip Morris executive to Victor DeNoble, a scientist fired by the company when his research began to affirm the addictiveness of cigarettes. Philip Morris, then facing a liability lawsuit, suppressed the research.

New South Africa

"We are not going to take treatment like that from people with IQs much lower than ours. These people haven't even been to university." — Would-be Brakpan town councillor Stephanie Stieler, who resigned from the ANC when she found she'd been listed at number eight on the ANC's candidate list for the November local government elections.

Pssst, Paul: Remember?

"Reminding Labor of its origins, Ms George said that the ALP in the lead-up to the election could not forget it was in power purely to represent the interests of the workers." — Sydney Morning Herald report of Jennie George's ACTU coronation speech.