In their own words

Swiftness

“Complaints are taken seriously and acted on swiftly.” — Ian Macdonald, NSW primary industries minister, on two Sydney KFC restaurants being fined for cleanliness and pest violations committed between May 2007 and February 2008.

Surprise

“You don’t always get what you pay for.” — Choice spokesperson Christopher Zinn, on the consumer organisation’s tests showing that expensive “high end” HDMI cables are no better than standard cables.

Some do?

“He really doesn’t like Malcolm.” — An anonymous Liberal MP on Peter Costello’s attitude to Malcolm Turnbull, quoted in The Australian, March 14.

Isn’t that part of the problem?

“There’s no safer investment in the world than in the United States.” — Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary.

Consistent

“This seems fundamentally consistent with the positions of the prior administration.” — Steven A. Engel, a senior lawyer responsible for detainee issues in the Bush administration, on the Obama administration’s legal arguments for continuing to hold prisoners at Guantanamo.

Best and brightest

“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the AIG ... if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the US Treasury.” — AIG chairperson Edward M. Liddy, on the company’s plan to pay US$165 million in bonuses to executives who lost hundreds of billions on complicated financial derivatives.

No demonisation

“The rest of us can’t afford to demonise every investor or entrepreneur who seeks to make a profit.” — US President Barack Obama.

Doing it hard

“It’s a surprise the list has gone down so much.” — BRW editor John Stensholt, on the fact that the total wealth of the 200 richest Australian managers and executives in this year’s BRW list has declined from $44 billion to $20.3 billion.