In their own words


“He says the most appalling things and can’t understand why people get upset. He has no empathy. He’s got narcissistic personality disorder.” — Former Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson on Malcolm Turnbull, his successor as Liberal Party leader.


“It never went through shadow cabinet and it never went through the party room … Malcolm [Turnbull] used to at least run things through the shadow cabinet.” — An anonymous Liberal Party frontbencher, upset by current Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott’s surprise change of immigration policy.

Economic recovery

“The Fortune 500 largest US companies slashed a record 821,000 jobs last year, even as their collective profit soared more than three-fold to $US391 billion ...” — Sydney Morning Herald, April 15.

One-way growth

“Its not that the poor are actually getting poorer, it’s just that they are not enjoying the same gains from growth that the top are.” — Australian National University economist Andrew Leigh, co-author of a study which found that pay of CEOs of Australian companies rose twice as fast as pay of workers between 1993 and 2009.

Of the jungle

“This agency conducts its counter-terrorism operations in strict accord with the law.” — CIA spokesperson Paul Gimigliano, commenting on a report that the CIA has been authorised to murder a US citizen who is a “suspected terrorist”.

Humble, like me

“Kevin [Rudd] is somebody [with whom] I probably share as much of a world view as any world leader out there. I find him smart, but humble.” — US President Barack Obama.

The bright side

“Nature has a way of helping the situation.” — BP spokesperson John Curry, hoping that oil-eating microbes will eventually clean up the mess BP has created in the Gulf of Mexico.

But it made it look like they’re trying

“We cannot be confident that it will work.” — BP chief executive officer Tony Hayward on the company’s failed efforts to place a dome over its massive oil leak polluting the Gulf of Mexico.

Stop press: dog bites man

“The rich have come through the recession with flying colours ... The rich are doing very nicely.” — Philip Beresford, compiler of the London Sunday Times’ list of the wealthiest people in Britain, commenting on the country’s 1000 richest people having increased their wealth by £77 billion last year.

Silver lining

“They [smokers] die early. They actually save us money.” — Liberal Senator Nick Minchin, defending the Australian tobacco industry.

Or even ahead

“Where there is money involved, especially large sums, corruption is not far behind.” — Aroon Purie, editor in chief of India Today, on the Indian cricket scandal.

Sub-prime governments

“Lending more money to already over-borrowed governments does not solve their problems.” — Carl Weinberg, a US economist, on the European Union “rescue package” for insolvent EU governments.

Developing relationships

“It’s been more about developing relationships with the key players in the party, the organisation, the fund-raising sector and the parliamentary wing.” — Michael Photios, vice-president of the NSW Liberal Party, explaining the “strategic advice” which the Australian Hotels Association is paying him for.

Looked over Jordan and what did I see?

“... [I]t’s basically just raw sewage and agricultural chemicals.” — Mira Edelstein, of Friends of the Earth Middle East, on the River Jordan.