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Margaret Thatcher in quotes

8 April 2013

2:36 PM

8 April 2013

2:36 PM

“I don’t think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime.” – 1975

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

‘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.’

‘If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.’

‘I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.’

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


“If a Tory does not believe that private property is one of the main bulwarks of individual freedom, then he had better become a socialist and have done with it.”

“No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.” 

“Economics are the method; the object is to change the heart and soul.” 

‘I don’t mind how much my ministers talk, as long as they do what I say.’

‘I am not a consensus politician. I’m a conviction politician.’

What she really said about society:

‘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.’

Her statement on the European Council summit in 1990:

‘No! No! No!’

Following the IRA’s attempted assassination attempt “It was a lovely morning. We have not had many lovely days. And the sun was just coming through the stained glass windows and falling on some flowers right across the church and it just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see.” To Ch4

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Show comments
  • HJ777

    Whatever views anybody has of Margaret Thatcher’s policies, there is one thing they cannot deny.

    She was determined to pick up this country by the scruff of its neck and turn its fortunes around. In this respect, she was the most courageous and honest politician of the post war era.

  • Simon Semere

    ah yes the ‘no society’ speech, can’t say that one was wholly accurate. Her delivery was so powerful she could probably get away with saying anything.

    • HJ777

      In fact, it was an interview, and she was making exactly the opposite point hat most of her critics accuse her of.

  • UlyssesReturns

    I refer all those on the left and who choose to pour out their bile on these pages to Dan Hodges’ excellent words in today’s Telegraph.
    They’re watching us now. Forget the petty definitions about Old
    Labour or New Labour, Blairite diehard or Miliband revolutionary.

    Everyone on the Left is being scrutinised today. Does the compassion
    we claim to be our driving force extend to the passing of a frail
    87-year-old woman?

    Does the Labour movement’s dignity and discipline enable us to mark
    with appropriate solemnity the death of a former Prime Minister who
    successfully secured three independent mandates from the people?

    Do we have the basic good grace and wisdom to set aside – for a short
    time – our political differences and acknowledge, however hard it may
    be, the achievements of the first women to hold the highest office in
    our land?

    For all our sakes, I hope we do.