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Margaret Thatcher: quotes by and about the Iron Lady

To celebrate the life of Margaret Thatcher, and her bold leadership, we’ve compiled 30 of her most inspiring quotes and a handful of quotes about her and her style. May one of the strongest leaders of all time rest in peace.

margaret thatcher

margaret thatcher

Rest in peace, Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher passed away today at the age of 87, serving as the first female British prime minister. From 1979 to 1990 she held the PM title, and was well known as the “Iron Lady,” as her Conservative Party leadership earned her both enemies and admirers. Regardless of political affiliation, the world has been a better place, not just for women, but for leaders of all gender who have the right to a backbone in part because of Thatcher’s own strong will.

To celebrate her life, let us look back at the words of Thatcher herself:

  1. Economics are the method; the object is to change the soul.
  2. In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
  3. Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.
  4. 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.
  5. It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.
  6. The woman’s mission is not to enhance the masculine spirit, but to express the feminine; hers is not to preserve a man-made world, but to create a human world by the infusion of the feminine element into all of its activities.
  7. I owe nothing to Women’s Lib.
  8. Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
  9. The wisdom of hindsight, so useful to historians and indeed to authors of memoirs, is sadly denied to practicing politicians.
  10. There is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.
  11. If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
  12. I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.
  13. 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.
  14. If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.
  15. I’m extraordinarily patient provided I get my own way in the end.
  16. To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.
  17. Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.
  18. 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.
  19. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 when you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.
  22. I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.
  23. After almost any major operation, you feel worse before you convalesce. But you do not refuse the operation.
  24. Do you think you would ever have heard of Christianity if the Apostles had gone out and said, “I believe in consensus?”
  25. 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.
  26. You cannot have the dream of building up your own fortune by your own hopes, your own hands, and your own British guts.
  27. Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
  28. Let our children grow tall, and some taller than others if they have it in them to do so.
  29. You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.
  30. All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail. It must be business as usual.

Quotes about Margaret Thatcher

  1. She approaches the problems of our country with all the one-dimensional subtlety of a comic-strip. – Denis Healey
  2. In Margaret Thatcher’s view, her sex is an irrelevancy, and she is annoyed by people who make too much of a fuss over it. – Allan Mayer, biographer
  3. Margaret Thatcher’s great strength seems to be the better people know her, the better they like her. But, of course, she has one great disadvantage – she is a daughter of the people and looks trim, as the daughters of the people desire to be. Shirley Williams has such an advantage over her because she’s a member of the upper-middle class and can achieve that kitchen-sink-revolutionary look that one cannot get unless one has been to a really good school. – Rebecca West
  4. The thought that she might not be right has never crossed Mrs. Thatcher’s mind. It is a strength in a politician. – Labor Party deputy leader Ray Hattersley
  5. Although a populist, she is the ultimate argument against the contention that a political leader needs, in her person, to be unpopular. – Hugh Young, biographer

Thatcher’s famous Iron Lady speech

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