(Grantham, United Kingdom, 1925 – London, 2013) British politician, Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990. Margaret Hilda Roberts studied chemical sciences at the University of Oxford and worked for four years as a chemical researcher. In 1951 she married Denis Thatcher, a top oil industry executive, who introduced her to politics. In 1953 she began studying tax law.

She joined the Conservative Party, of which her husband was already a member, and in 1959 won a seat in the House of Commons. Two years later she was appointed Secretary of State for Social Affairs, and then Minister for Education and Science, under Conservative Edward Heath . She abolished the regulation that ordered the free distribution of milk in schools, which provoked a wave of protests.

Considered the most energetic leader of the right wing of the Conservative Party, in 1975 she managed to displace Heath from the party’s leadership. Margaret Thatcher drew up a rigorous program to deal with the crisis in the British economy by reducing state intervention; its main postulates were, then, strict liberalism and monetarism. She also advocated cutting social services, and also advocated the renegotiation of the UK’s participation in the EEC and the abolition of union power.

Her program received the support of popular opinion, and in 1979 she brought the Conservatives to power by a wide margin, becoming the first British woman to serve as Prime Minister. During her government, she managed to reduce inflation and improve the value of the pound sterling. However, she reduced industrial production, with the consequent increase in unemployment, tripled since her rise to power. In addition, the bankruptcies of companies and banks proliferated. All this was due to the austerity that accompanied its administration, given that the objective of reducing inflation was a priority.

In 1982, Thatcher intervened forcefully in the Falklands conflict. His attitude was well received by British public opinion and that same year he again obtained electoral victory, this time with the largest majority achieved by a candidate since 1935. In 1984 he faced serious social conflicts, especially the workers’ strike. miners, which he repressed harshly. In October of this same year, during a congress of her party that was being held at the Brighton hotel, a bomb planted by a group of Irish extremist republicans -Thatcher supported the retention of Ulster by the United Kingdom- exploded, an attack from which she emerged unscathed. .

As head of government, she continued her neoliberal policy, with the privatization of state companies, education and social aid, the fight against unemployment and the limitation of strikes. Regarding the Ulster conflict, she promoted the opening of talks with the Republic of Ireland and reinforced anti-terrorist legislation. In 1987 she won the election again, but this time by a much smaller margin. Her rejection of the social and political union of the United Kingdom with Europe and the imposition of the regressive tax, the poll tax , provoked a generalized controversy that confronted her own party. She was left with no alternative but to resign from her; she was succeeded by John Major .

As well as being the first British prime minister of the 20th century to win three consecutive elections, Margaret Thatcher was the first European woman to serve as prime minister. In 1993, she published her memoir, which was a major bestseller. Her steadfastness in directing the affairs of state, her strict dominance over her cabinet ministers, and her strong monetarist policy earned her the nickname of the Iron Lady .

 

Phrases

-Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

-If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.

-If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

-To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.

-I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

-You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady.

-To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.

-The truths of the Judaic-Christian tradition, are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace, in the true meaning of the word, for which we all long. . . . There is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves.

-The facts of life are conservative.

-It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.

-Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.

-Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag.

-Of course, to be a mother and a housewife is a vocation of a very high kind. But I simply felt that it was not the whole of my vocation. I knew that I also wanted a career. A phrase that Irene Ward, MP for Tynemouth, and I often used was that ‘while the home must always be the centre of one’s life, it should not be the boundary of one’s ambitions.’

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.

-Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.

-There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors… I mean it.

-It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.

-I’m back… and you knew I was coming. On my way here I passed a cinema with the sign ‘The Mummy Returns’.

-You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.

-Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.

-I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.

-It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.

-I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

-To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only this to say, ‘You turn if you want; the lady’s not for turning.

-Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.

-Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

-There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.

-What Britain needs is an iron lady.

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd.

-I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.

-No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.

-If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing.

-For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defence in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions.

-A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

-Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become… habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.

-Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.

-It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-They’ve got the usual Socialist disease — they’ve run out of other people’s money.

-My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.

-Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes. Platitudes are there because they are true.

-I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.

-If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.

-The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.

-The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.

-What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.

-I too have a certain idea of America. Moreover, I would not feel entitled to say that of any other country, except my own. This is not just sentiment, though I always feel ten years younger – despite the jet-lag – when I set foot on American soil: there is something so positive, generous, and open about the people – and everything actually works. I also feel, though, that I have in a sense a share of America.

-There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.

-People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.

-Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.

-I never hugged him, I bombed him.
On dictator Muammar Gaddafi

Margaret Thatcher Quotes

-It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.

-Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

-I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!’ or ‘I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!’ ‘I am homeless, the Government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

-The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom.

-I just owe almost everything to my father and it’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.

-Whether it is in the United States or in mainland Europe, written constitutions have one great weakness. That is that they contain the potential to have judges take decisions which should properly be made by democratically elected politicians.

-Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.

-The defence budget is one of the very few elements of public expenditure that can truly be described as essential. This point was well-made by a robust Labour Defence Minister, Denis (Now Lord) Healey, many years ago: ‘Once we have cut expenditure to the extent where our security is imperiled, we have no houses, we have no hospitals, we have no schools. We have a heap of cinders.’

-If… many influential people have failed to understand, or have just forgotten, what we were up against in the Cold War and how we overcame it, they are not going to be capable of securing, let alone enlarging, the gains that liberty has made.

-…The larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone.

-Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.

-Whether manufactured by black, white, brown or yellow hands, a widget remains a widget – and it will be bought anywhere if the price and quality are right. The market is a more powerful and more reliable liberating force than government can ever be.

-I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

-There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.

-To be free is better than to be unfree – always. Any politician who suggests the opposite should be treated as suspect.

-During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it.

-We Conservatives hate unemployment.

-There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people’s lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth.

-It is one of the great weaknesses of reasonable men and women that they imagine that projects which fly in the face of commonsense are not serious or being seriously undertaken.

-To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.

-We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.

-…Conservatives have excellent credentials to speak about human rights. By our efforts, and with precious little help from self-styled liberals, we were largely responsible for securing liberty for a substantial share of the world’s population and defending it for most of the rest.

-If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.

-Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever.

-Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word.

-To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch. Don’t isolate.

-We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.

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