“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

Tags: Conservatives, Margaret Thatcher, UK politics