There is not less wit nor less invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought. – Pierre Bayle, philosopher and writer (1647-1706)
I just stumbled across this quote in the excellent daily email from WordSmith.org.
Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.
– Ben Hecht, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, director, and producer (1894-1964)
- Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. – Mignon McLaughlin, author.
- When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. – Confucius (551-479 BC).
- At the end of a long and probably very boring meal (at a formal dinner), (British Prime Minister) Macmillan turned to Madame de Gaulle and asked politely what she was looking forward to in her retirement. Quick as a flash the elderly lady replied: “A penis.” Macmillan had been trained all his life never to appear shocked, but even he was a bit taken aback. After drawling out a series of polite platitudes, – “Well, I can see your point of view, don’t have much time for that sort of thing nowadays” – it gradually dawned on him to his intense relief that what the old girl had actually said was “happiness.” – Paul Foot, in the essay A New Definition: The Quality of Life, British Medical Journal, VOLUME 321, DECEMBER 2000.
- The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life — the children; the twilight of life — the elderly; and the shadows of life — the sick, the needy and the handicapped. – Hubert Humphrey, Vice-President of the United States 1965-69.
- When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now, all I see are the dregs of the middle class. When will you middle class perverts stop using the Labor Party as a cultural spittoon? – Kim Beazley Snr to an ALP State Conference, circa 1970.
- Any time we kick the Prime Minister in the behind, we know who gets concussion, Senator Heffernan – Labor Senator Robert Ray to Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan during debate in the Australian Senate, 1999.
- If there was a university degree for greed, you cunts would all get first-class honours. – Australian Treasurer Paul Keating in 1985 after backbenchers had complained about having to substantiate, for tax purposes, their electoral allowances.
- If ignorance ever reaches $40 a barrel, I want the drilling rights to his head. – a political opponent on President George Bush.
- Just because he’s paranoid doesn’t mean there aren’t people out to get him. – Henry Kissinger on Richard Nixon.
- Everywhere I go around Australia people know that something is
wrong. – Liberal Party leader, Bill Snedden, on the hustings in the 1974 election.
- Lyndon, I’d feel a whole lot better if just one of them had once run for sheriff somewhere. – Reaction of House Speaker Sam Rayburn to Vice-President-elect Johnson’s description of the glittering talent of JFK’s inner foreign policy circle.
- In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. – Charles De Gaulle.
- ….he reveals that he has been a poor politician, a bad judge and a malevolent individual. – Gough Whitlam on Garfield Barwick (“Abiding Interests”, p44)
- We have no political prisons. We have political internal exiles. – General Pinochet, Chilean dictator, 1976.
- He is lofty, and I am eminent. – Gough Whitlam, comparing himself to Malcolm Fraser, 1975.
- It is the first time the burglar has been appointed as caretaker. – Gough Whitlam, 11th November 1975, following his Dismissal by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr.
- Some of us do not accept the Establishment myth that bad laws must be obeyed. – Tom Driberg, British MP, 1972.
- Violence is as American as cherry pie. – Stokely Carmichael.
- In a political fight, when you’ve got nothing in favour of your side, start a row in the opposition camp. – Huey Long.
- I have more influence now than when I had the power. – Gough Whitlam, 5 July 1997.
- Intellect alone is a dry and rattling thing. – Ilka Chase, American author, actress, humorist (1905-1978)
- During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. – George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)
- Whenever ‘A’ attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon ‘B’, ‘A’ is most likely a scoundrel. – H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)
- History is the record of an encounter between character and circumstances. – Donald Creighton, Canadian historian (1902-1979)
- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – The Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776
The quotations from the old site will all be migrated across over the next couple of days but it seemed appropriate to start slagging off journalists first!