In Their Own Words


Go for an ‘Inchshort’?

“‘Subway Footlong' is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.” – Subway Australia’s response when a customer posted a photo on its Facebook page showing that the “Footlong” sandwich was at least an inch too short.


“This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.” – Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, on how to reduce government payments on medical care for the elderly.

Unlike the rest of us

“Fly-in fly-out workers don’t feel very much emotional attachment to their employers.” – Libby Brook, a researcher at Murdoch University School of Psychology.

Exploitable you

“Every school will be made to teach at least one priority Asian language … as part of a comprehensive embrace of the region aimed at exploiting its rapidly growing wealth ...” – Phillip Coorey in the October 29 Sydney Morning Herald, on the government’s Australia in the Asian Century white paper.

That didn’t do Gore any good

“He [Barack Obama] got more votes than we did. That’s how he won.” – Paul Ryan, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for US vice president.

Thinking ahead

“We won’t fight it because we need the savings as well [if elected to government].” – A federal Coalition MP, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on the Labor government’s mid-year budget.

Obligations of office

“This is all state property, and as the elected president, Putin uses it according to the law. What’s more, he’s obliged to, in many cases.” – A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, responding to reports that Putin has the use of several palaces, a luxury yacht and 58 helicopters and planes, one with a golden toilet.


“The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” – US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham [WP 30/8]


“This Republican Party base is white, ageing and dying off.” – Senator Graham.

Not quite

“Kofi, they’ve made an honest man of me.” – Colin Powell, at the time US secretary of state, speaking to then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan six weeks after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, when US forces briefly thought they had found the non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” that Powell and his boss Dubbya used as a pretext for the invasion.


“I could only be impressed by the resilience of this man, who had endured so much to argue for a war he clearly did not believe in.” – Kofi Annan on Colin Powell.


“The danger is she will be remembered not for her cold-heartedness and brutality but for being a woman entrepreneur in an emerging field dominated by men.” – A US academic on the murder of Griselda Blanco, former cocaine gang boss and convicted murderer.

In Their Own Words
The World