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who said what

'It strikes me that the toys Peter Mandelson played with as a baby were not as intellectually stimulating as the taxpayers would hope.' Suzie Tall in a letter to the Guardian, 18.2.98 'One of the great purposes of civilisation is the acquisition of fastidiousness.

Why have chipped mugs? There are no arguments in favour of chipped mugs.

I repeat no arguments in favour of chipped mugs. I have no mugs on the premises.'

Stephen Bayley. Sunday Telegraph, 22.2.98 'A narrow strip of gentility in a seething, crime-infested slum.'

Stephen Bayley on his street in Kennington, south London. Ibid.

'I am tempted to torch their Datsuns, but perhaps that's unwise. Anyway, I have a drawer full of new Mercedes badges.'

Stephen Bayley speculating that his neighbours have removed the small chrome badge from the bonnet of his Mercedes. Ibid.

'I count every day a loss that I am not in France.' Stephen Bayley. Ibid.

'This makes mehopeless with misery. The bloody cleaner has swept the knob off this television. She has rubbed it off with her characteristic insolence and incompetence.'

A small domestic difficulty chez Bayley. Ibid.

'There are many maids with many mops. And they all look quite happy doing it.' Colin St John Wilson on how the British Library is kept clean. Guardian, 20.2.98

vital statistics

A total of £58.8 million has been 'positively committed' to the Millennium Dome project, the government said this week. Another £60 million is subject to final negotiations. The target is £150 million.

The government has admitted that private sector Dome contributions will be offset against tax, and may mean a net loss to the taxpayer (or a subsidy for the Dome) of £50 million.

The RICS housing survey for the three months to the end of January saw prices rise across the country except in the North-west. The biggest increases were in the South-east, where prices of flats are picking up.

The Black Country Development Corporation processed more planning applications than any other similar body in the fourth quarter of last year - and did it quicker. Some 92 per cent of applications were decided within eight weeks.

Japan is to lend Russia £917 million to help finance housing for decommissioned army officers.

London's Jubilee Line Underground extension will have 118 escalators in its stations - compared with 270 on the whole of the rest of the system.

The Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine has borrowed 87 works of art from national collections to display in his apartments, being refurbished at a cost of £650,000.

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