Margaret Thatcher quotes

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Margaret Thatcher

Birthdate: 13. October 1925
Date of death: 8. April 2013
Other names: Margaret Thatcherová, Margaret Hilda Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to have been appointed. A Soviet journalist dubbed her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be known as Thatcherism.

A research chemist before becoming a barrister, Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his Conservative government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition and became the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.

On moving into 10 Downing Street, Thatcher introduced a series of political and economic initiatives intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation , flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher's popularity during her first years in office waned amid recession and increasing unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her decisive re-election in 1983. She survived an assassination attempt in 1984.

Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987. During this period her support for a Community Charge was widely unpopular, and her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership. After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013 she died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. Always a controversial figure, she has nonetheless been lauded as one of the greatest, most influential and widest-known politicians in British history, even as arguments over Thatcherism persist.

Works

„There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (14 October 1983) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105454
Second term as Prime Minister
Context: Let us never forget this fundamental truth: the State has no source of money other than money which people earn themselves. If the State wishes to spend more it can do so only by borrowing your savings or by taxing you more. It is no good thinking that someone else will pay – that ‘someone else’ is you. There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money.

„I shall never stop fighting. I mean this country to survive, to prosper and to be free“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Federation of Conservative Students Conference (24 March 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102663
Leader of the Opposition
Context: I shall never stop fighting. I mean this country to survive, to prosper and to be free... I haven't fought the destructive forces of socialism for more than twenty years in order to stop now, when the critical phase of the struggle is upon us.

„We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to the Conservative Party Conference (10 October 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102777
Leader of the Opposition
Context: 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.

„Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Often attributed to Thatcher, but originally said by Jesse Carr, head of Teamsters Union Local, in Newsweek, Vol. 88 (1976), p. 77
Misattributed

„In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man; if you want anything done, ask a woman.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to members of the National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds, delivered at the Royal Albert Hall (May 20, 1965) ; as quoted in Why Women Should Rule the World, HarperCollins (2008), Dee Dee Myers, p. 227 : ISBN 0061140406, 9780061140402 . The Margaret Thatcher Foundation http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/101374 gives the following additional information : MT spoke on the theme ‘Woman – No Longer a Satellite.’ The Evening News report of this speech is the origin of a phrase often attributed to her : ‘In politics, ... (etc., as above).’
Backbench MP

„The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to the Conservative Party Conference (10 October 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102777
The last sentence is widely paraphrased as "The trouble/problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
Leader of the Opposition
Variant: They’ve got the usual Socialist disease – they’ve run out of other people's money.
Context: And I will go on criticising Socialism, and opposing Socialism because it is bad for Britain – and Britain and Socialism are not the same thing... It's the Labour Government that have brought us record peace-time taxation. They’ve got the usual Socialist disease – they’ve run out of other people's money.

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„We may have equality of opportunity, but if the only opportunity is to be equal, it is not opportunity“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech in the House of Commons (24 November 1976) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/103146
Leader of the Opposition
Context: The word “equality” is often used, but, wisely, rarely defined. The moment one tries to define it, one gets into great difficulty. For example, it cannot mean equality of incomes or earnings; otherwise, we would not need more than one union. Indeed, we would not need one union. If we are to have opportunity, we cannot have equality, because the two are opposite. We may have equality of opportunity, but if the only opportunity is to be equal, it is not opportunity.

„I would have been happier had he also found a series of intelligent answers“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Conservative Political Centre Lecture (11 October 1968) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/101632
Backbench MP
Context: One of the effects of the rapid spread of higher education has been to equip people to criticise and question almost everything. Some of them seem to have stopped there instead of going on to the next stage which is to arrive at new beliefs or to reaffirm old ones. You will perhaps remember seeing in the press the report that the student leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit has been awarded a degree on the result of his past work. His examiners said that he had posed a series of most intelligent questions. Significant? I would have been happier had he also found a series of intelligent answers.

„It is a fight about the very foundations of the social order. It is a crusade not merely to put a temporary brake on Socialism, but to stop its onward march once and for all.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (8 October 1976) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/103105
Leader of the Opposition
Context: I call the Conservative Party now to a crusade. Not only the Conservative Party. I appeal to all those men and women of goodwill who do not want a Marxist future for themselves or their children or their children's children. This is not just a fight about national solvency. It is a fight about the very foundations of the social order. It is a crusade not merely to put a temporary brake on Socialism, but to stop its onward march once and for all.

„For us, it is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters. It is what you are and what you can do for our country that counts.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (12 October 1984) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105763
Second term as Prime Minister
Context: In the Conservative Party, we have no truck with outmoded Marxist doctrine about class warfare. For us, it is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters. It is what you are and what you can do for our country that counts. That is our vision.

„It is our duty, our purpose, to raise those banners high, so that all can see them, to sound the trumpets clearly and boldly so that all can hear them.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Central Council (15 March 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102655
Leader of the Opposition
Context: I do not believe, in spite of all this, that the people of this country have abandoned their faith in the qualities and characteristics which made them a great people. Not a bit of it. We are still the same people. All that has happened is that we have temporarily lost confidence in our own strength. We have lost sight of the banners. The trumpets have given an uncertain sound. It is our duty, our purpose, to raise those banners high, so that all can see them, to sound the trumpets clearly and boldly so that all can hear them. Then we shall not have to convert people to our principles. They will simply rally to those which truly are their own.

„The National Health Service is safe with us“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (8 October 1982) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105032
First term as Prime Minister
Context: Let me make one thing absolutely clear. The National Health Service is safe with us.

„Our friends from Eastern Europe reminded us that no force of arms, no walls, no barbed wire can for ever suppress the longing of the human heart for liberty and independence.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (12 October 1990) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/108217
Third term as Prime Minister
Context: The toppling of the Berlin Wall. The overthrow of Ceausescu by the people he had so brutally oppressed. The first free elections in Eastern Europe for a generation. The spread of the ideas of market freedom and independence to the very heart of the Soviet Leviathan... Our friends from Eastern Europe reminded us that no force of arms, no walls, no barbed wire can for ever suppress the longing of the human heart for liberty and independence. Their courage found allies. Their victory came about because for forty long, cold years the West stood firm against the military threat from the East. Free enterprise overwhelmed Socialism. This Government stood firm against all those voices raised at home in favour of appeasement. We were criticised for intransigence. Tempted repeatedly with soft options. And reviled for standing firm against Soviet military threats. When will they learn? When will they ever learn?

„Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

TV interview for Thames TV This Week (5 February 1976) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=102953
Leader of the Opposition

„What we face is a threat to our whole way of life“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Conservative Party television broadcast “Winter of Discontent” (17 January 1979) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/103926
Leader of the Opposition
Context: If the past is any guide, what has happened this winter could happen again next winter and the winter after that and so on and so on. What we face is a threat to our whole way of life... The case is now surely overwhelming, there will be no solution to our difficulties which does not include some restriction on the power of the unions.

„Socialists don't like ordinary people choosing, for they might not choose Socialism.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Party Conference (13 October 1989) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=107789
Third term as Prime Minister
Context: Imagine a Labour canvasser talking on the doorstep to those East German families when they settle in, on freedom's side of the wall. "You want to keep more of the money you earn? I'm afraid that's very selfish. We shall want to tax that away. You want to own shares in your firm? We can't have that. The state has to own your firm. You want to choose where to send your children to school? That's very divisive. You'll send your child where we tell you." Mr President, the trouble with Labour is that they're just not at home with freedom. Socialists don't like ordinary people choosing, for they might not choose Socialism.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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