What they said in '92
Compiled by Andrew Calcutt
Bosnians 'tortured with batons and fed to dogs'.
Times front page, 7 August
She may have had a gentle face and been a pretty young woman, but
the 18-year old Serbian would laugh in pleasure as she used broken bottles
to gouge the eyes from Bosnians at the Luka concentration camp in Brcko.
First sentence of Guardian story, 7 August
Almost all massacre reports in Bosnia's ethnic conflict have come
from second-hand sources or from individual refugees and have been difficult
or impossible to verify independently.
Oh, by the way...last line of Guardian story, 12 August
Scores of hungry Bosnians queuing for bread in Sarajevo were killed
or wounded yesterday when mortars fired from Serb-held positions overlooking
the city slammed into a crowded marketplace.
Guardian, 28 May
UN officials and senior Western military officers believe some of
the worst recent killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least
16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city's Muslim defenders - not
Serb besiegers - as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military
Independent, 22 August
Daily Star on Serb camps
To call the camps 'concentration camps' is a minimisation of Nazi
concentration camps, because not even the gulag camps could be compared
with the Nazi camps.
Veteran Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal
Pouring in food to relieve immediate distress will prolong the pain
of adjusting to free market economics.
Advice from the Times on famine in Africa
We have to do away with the old idea that strikers are national
heroes, fighting for a free Poland against communism. Poland is now a normal
country. Strikers' right to wave the national flag really ended with the
first free elections.
Polish deputy premier, Henry Goryszewski
The Stasi were guarantors of social peace.
Peter Michael Diestel, leader of Brandenburg Christian Democrats
In South Africa rioters regard the cool water as welcome relief.
Lieutenant-General J Swart (Internal Stability) on the joys of being water-cannoned
The market system is in fact characterised by a highly developed
but decentralised planning system, which successfully manages productivity
processes and service functions within the chosen area of activity.
The ANC discovers capitalist planning
As the troopers of the 18th cavalry took back the streets of Los
Angeles street by street and block by block, so we must take back our cities,
and take back our culture, and take back our country.
Republican Pat Buchanan declares 'cultural war'
The lawless social anarchy we saw in Los Angeles is directly related
to the breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social
As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits
in very nicely.
George Bush on his post-riots visit to Los Angeles
I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don't always agree
If people don't work, if they can work, they shouldn't eat.
A man who can smile in your face while he pisses down your leg.
Bill Becker, head of the AFL-CIO, on Bill Clinton
It has been an honour to be your grain of sand in this process.
Ross Perot on 19 per cent of the presidential vote
We both have our problems.
Princess Diana empathises with a male client at a counselling centre
The freedom to which these 'hippies' aspire is not the freedom of
mankind in a civilised society. It is the freedom of bandits or wild animals.
Fear of damnation was a message reinforced through attendance at
church each week. Loss of that fear has meant a critical motive has been
lost to young people when they decide whether to try to be good citizens.
Education secretary John Patten
We shall fight and win this election....
It is time for Labour.
Neil Kinnock launching his election campaign
John Major last night caught the unmistakable whiff of election
defeat and the looming prospect of a Kinnock government.
Guardian political editor Michael White, April-fooled by
the polls, 1 April
So long John. It was nice knowing you.
Sarah Baxter in the New Statesman, which came out the day after the
He should have been a candidate...in Wolverhampton, where his colour
would have been more appropriate.
Former Tory mayor Dudley Aldridge endorses Cheltenham's doomed black Tory
candidate John Taylor
The Revolutionary Communist Party has produced its analysis of the
general election. Working on the good old Marxist principle that every cloud
has a silver lining, it concludes that the Tories are facing 'a major crisis
of confidence' and will be hit by 'fragmentation' as the recession turns
to slump. Oh dear.
Sunday Times, May
Oh, what a shambles!...[the government's] authority was shaken and
its lack of political astuteness laid bare. For three days last week, effective
power passed to the 1922 executive committee of Tory backbenchers....Not
a single minister challenged the Sunday Times survey that said recession
was turning into depression.
Sunday Times, October. Oh dear
This department is about the people who are currently in work.
Employment secretary Gillian Shephard shuns the jobless
With the election behind us, with confidence coming back, Britain's
economic future is certainly brighter.
Norman Lamont, 13 May
John Major has embarked on an economic strategy designed to see
the British pound replace the German mark as the hardest and most trusted
currency in the European Community.
Sunday Times, 2 August
There are going to be no devaluations, no leaving the ERM.
Norman Lamont, 26 August
It's a cold world outside the ERM.
John Major, 10 September, less than a week before Black Wednesday
There is no question of any change in the central parity of the
pound against the Deutschmark.
Norman Lamont, 13 September, three days before Black Wednesday
Lamont pound victory: the chancellor won a spectacular victory over
the Germans last night...should ease pressure on the pound in currency markets...a
major boost for Mr Lamont.
Daily Express, 14 September, two days before Black Wednesday
Consumers and businessmen can now wake from that nightmare and start
getting on with the job again, confident of eventual recovery.
Times, 15 September, the day before Black Wednesday
The government has concluded that Britain's best interests would
be served by suspending our exchange rate membership.
Norman Lamont, 16 September, Black Wednesday
History is just a series of unique events.
Norman Lamont, October
The Sun salutes John Major as he heads back to Downing Street.
The Sun salutes John Major, 28 October
If the royal family doesn't change many aspects of its style, it
will simply disappear, like its relations did across the Continent.
Harold Brooks-Baker of Burke's Peerage
Our minds are not closed and the mines are not closed.
John Major postpones the cutting of 30 000 miners' jobs
Against the background of the market, we are quite clear that unless
the market changes, these collieries will close.
British Coal chairman Neil Clarke tells a commons committee what the result
of the government's 'full and open' inquiry will be
We can't afford to have people lingering around [in hospital] for
a recuperative holiday.
Health minister Virginia Bottomley
A cheap and cheerful service at one moment in the day for typists,
and perhaps a more luxurious service for the civil service and businessmen.
Transport minister Roger Freeman's plans for railways in the classless society
Waiting for the world economy to recover is beginning to feel like
waiting for Godot.
Barclays Economic Review
No, I have no regrets....My method and evidence have not been discredited.
Dr Frank Skuse, home office forensic scientist whose evidence helped convict
Judith Ward and the Birmingham Six
The blokes would go the full whack of eliminating these people if
they could get away with it.
Former British paratrooper on Irish people in Coalisland
Shoot first, ask questions later.
Sun editorial after the arrest of five Irish people later
released without charge
It's always difficult making predictions, especially about the future.
Sir Charles Powell, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher
One does not wish to have homosexuality in the armed forces, particularly
across the ranks.
Andrew Robathan, Tory MP
It's all about saving human life.
Merseyside chief constable Jim Sharples on police use of guns
Economical with the truth...shot through with corner-cutting and
Chief Inspector of Police Sir John Woodcock on police procedures
I can't see the sense in it really, as it makes me a Commander of
the British Empire. It would have been more sensible to make me a Commander
of Milton Keynes. At least that exists.
That's fine phonetically, but you're missing just a little bit.
Dan Quayle tells a schoolboy to spell 'potato' with an 'e'
These filthy books don't do any good.
Barbara Cartland on Madonna's Sex
Paul Gascoigne's 'message to the Norwegian people'
Reproduced from Living Marxism issue 50, December 1992