The best quotes of 2013 | World news | The Observer
From the wisdom of Malala to badgers moving the goalposts, we look back at the year's notable comments


Our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters, can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
Barack Obama at his second inauguration as US president.

American cyclist Lance Armstrong finally confessing, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, to taking performance enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles.


You will no doubt have many questions but I believe we will need a few days to organise ourselves because this announcement has taken us all by surprise.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi reacting to the news that Pope Benedict was standing down.


I don't feel anything. I did what I did. This is what both the jury and the judge decided was a fair sentence. I decided there was absolutely no point in even thinking about whether that was fair or not. Lots of people thought perhaps it wasn't. But I knew from the beginning that sort of sentence meant a few months, and I knew that I would survive it.
Vicky Pryce, who along with her ex-husband, the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne, was jailed for perverting the course of justice over an arrangement a decade ago under which she took speeding points for the former Lib Dem MP. The trial exposed the couple's vicious divorce.


After the storm of a life led in the heat of political controversy, there is a great calm.
Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, in his address at the funeral of Lady Thatcher.


I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer. They can see my small scars and that's it. Everything else is just Mommy, the same as she always was.

I do not feel any less of a woman. I feel empowered that I made a strong choice that in no way diminishes my femininity.
Angelina Jolie writing in the New York Times, revealing she had had a preventative double mastectomy.

For here am I, sitting in a tin can. Far above the world. Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, singing David Bowie's Space Oddity from his own capsule in the space station.

He is a sensational person in every form. I am a director but I hardly do anything because we are winning all the time and it is all down to Sir Alex Ferguson. He would get up in the middle of the night and travel 300 miles if he thought there was a schoolboy that he could sign. He loves the game and we at the club have had nothing to do really.
Bobby Charlton on Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired as Manchester United manager after more than 26 years.


'It's the alternative Ascot, let's face it'
Mick Jagger on the Glastonbury festival, where the Rolling Stones headlined.


We need to get rid of the idea that you don't feed the trolls. Someone issuing rape threats wants women to shut up and get off Twitter We can't let them win.
Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned to have Jane Austen on the Bank of England 10 note, and was in July subjected to vicious social media trolling.

That last game will be the toughest game I'll play in my career, ever.
Andy Murray in July, after ending Britain's 77-year wait for a men's champion at Wimbledon with a nerve-jangling final game that lasted 13 minutes.

'Sometimes you have to put your balls on the line'
British Lions coach Warren Gatland explains his controversial decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll from the final decisive Test with Australia, which the visitors went on to win in stunning fashion.


I have personal meaning behind it but English roses are my favourite flowers and people are entitled to their own opinion. Personally, I've never really concerned myself with other people's body parts.
Singer Cheryl Cole responding to a wave of interest in her tattoo that covered much of her bottom and lower back.


Losing power is felt physically, emotionally, in waves of sensation, in moments of acute distress. I know now that there are the odd moments of relief as the stress ekes away and the hard weight that felt like it was sitting uncomfortably between your shoulder blades slips off.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard writing in the Guardian about Labor losing the Australian election.

My Dad loved Britain, he served in the Royal Navy, and I am not prepared to allow his good name to be denigrated in this way.
Ed Miliband, responding to a Daily Mail article on Ralph Miliband headlined The man who hated Britain. A Mail executive later admitted "mislabelling" the article.


I am not moving anything the badgers are moving the goalposts. You are dealing with a wild animal, subject to the vagaries of weather, disease and breeding patterns.
Environment secretary Owen Paterson, responding to an accusation that he was constantly changing the numbers of badgers needing to be culled.


I don't know why people have divided the whole world into two groups, west and east. Education is neither eastern nor western, education is education and it's the right of every human being.
Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai after winning the EU's Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg.

If you can't be arsed to vote, why should we be arsed to listen to your political point of view?
BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman interviewing Russell Brand after the comic said that he found the election process irrelevant. Paxman later described Brand as "irresistible".

'Boring snoring Rachel Reeves'
Another BBC Newsnight blunder, with its novice editor, Ian Katz, tweeting what should have been a private message about the shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, who was a guest on the programme.

The music business doesn't give a **** about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it's what YOU wanted and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, 'they' will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body, and you will find yourself very alone.
Sinead O'Connor writes an open letter to singer Miley Cyrus telling her she was being "pimped", after Cyrus said that her controversial Wrecking Ball video was based on O'Connor's Nothing Compares to U.

Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16% of our species have an IQ below 85. While about 2% have an IQ above 130.
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, at the Centre for Policy Studies, in a speech seeking to highlight the benefits of inequality.


I've lost a brother. My life is in a void, and I don't know who to turn to.
Ahmed Kathrada, a close friend and fellow prison inmate of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, at his funeral in Qunu, South Africa, this month.

'A busted flush'
Former director-general Greg Dyke's opinion of Lord Patten, the BBC Trust chairman, following the broadcaster's annus horribilis.

Why would he be jealous? I think he is looking forward to having me back. We will be dancing in the living room.
Abbey Clancy, winner of Strictly Come Dancing, saying that her husband, the former England footballer Peter Crouch, had no need to be jealous of her chemistry with dance partner Alijaz Skorjanec.