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

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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.

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Quotes Margaret Thatcher

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

—  Margaret Thatcher
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. Speech to Conservative Party Conference (14 October 1983) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105454

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

—  Margaret Thatcher
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. Speech to the Conservative Party Conference (10 October 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102777

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

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

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

—  Margaret Thatcher
Backbench MP, 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).’

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

—  Margaret Thatcher
Leader of the Opposition, 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. 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."

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

—  Margaret Thatcher
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. Speech to Federation of Conservative Students Conference (24 March 1975) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102663

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„We faced them squarely and we were determined to overcome…What has indeed happened is that now once again Britain is not prepared to be pushed around. We have ceased to be a nation in retreat“

—  Margaret Thatcher
First term as Prime Minister, Context: The battle of the South Atlantic was not won by ignoring the dangers or denying the risks. It was achieved by men and women who had no illusions about the difficulties. We faced them squarely and we were determined to overcome... What has indeed happened is that now once again Britain is not prepared to be pushed around. We have ceased to be a nation in retreat. We have instead a new-found confidence—born in the economic battles at home and tested and found true 8,000 miles away... we rejoice that Britain has re-kindled that spirit which has fired her for generations past and which today has begun to burn as brightly as before. Britain found herself again in the South Atlantic and will not look back from the victory she has won. Speech to Conservative Rally at Cheltenham (3 July 1982) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104989, regarding the Falkland Islands War.

„Rising crime is not due to “society”—but to the steady undermining of personal responsibility and self-discipline—all things which are taught within the family.“

—  Margaret Thatcher
Leader of the Opposition, Context: All over the country, particularly in our large urban areas, old people do go in fear and trembling as never before during either the lifetime of their parents or grandparents... we have been too ready to listen to those who believe that rising crime is due to things like higher unemployment, poor housing, poor pay. While it has always been part of Conservative policy to raise the standard of living of our people we must recognise that in the 1930's there were far more people out of work, far less prosperity and worse housing—but much less crime than now... Rising crime is not due to “society”—but to the steady undermining of personal responsibility and self-discipline—all things which are taught within the family. Speech to Conservative Women's Conference (24 May 1978) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/103696.

„It is that cycle that we have set out to break.“

—  Margaret Thatcher
First term as Prime Minister, Context: For years there was a widespread belief that we could have inflation and a high level of employment at the same time. For years there was a belief that we could secure more jobs if we were prepared to put up with a little more inflation—always a little more, it was thought. The experience of the past 25 years has taught us on the Government Benches that those beliefs were a most damaging illusion. Inflation and unemployment, instead of moving in opposite directions, rose inexorably together. As Governments tried to stimulate employment by pumping money into the economy they caused inflation. The inflation led to higher costs. The higher costs meant loss of ability to compete. The few jobs that we had gained were soon lost; and so were a lot more with them. And then, from a higher level of unemployment and inflation, the process was started all over again, and each time round both inflation and unemployment rose. In Parliament after Parliament, each new Government had a higher average rate of inflation and unemployment than the preceding Government. It is that cycle that we have set out to break. Speech in the House of Commons (5 February 1981) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104561

„You do not blame society. Society is not anyone.“

—  Margaret Thatcher
Second term as Prime Minister, Context: All my upbringing was to instill into both my sister and I a fantastic sense of duty, a great sense of whatever you do you are personally responsible for it. You do not blame society. Society is not anyone. You are personally responsible and just remember that you live among a whole lot of people and you must do things for them, and you must make up your own mind. That was very very strong, very strong. I remember my father sometimes saying to me if I said: “Oh so and so is doing something; can't I do it too?” You know, children do not like to be different. “You make up your own mind what you are going to do, never because someone else is doing it!” and he was always very stern about that. It stood one in good stead. TV Interview for Yorkshire Television Woman to Woman (2 October 1985) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105830

„Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State.“

—  Margaret Thatcher
Second term as Prime Minister, Context: Popular capitalism, which is the economic expression of liberty, is proving a much more attractive means for diffusing power in our society. Socialists cry "Power to the people", and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean— power over people, power to the State. To us Conservatives, popular capitalism means what it says: power through ownership to the man and woman in the street, given confidently with an open hand. Speech to Conservative Central Council (15 March 1986) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/speeches/displaydocument.asp?docid=106348

„To me consensus seems to be—the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects.“

—  Margaret Thatcher
First term as Prime Minister, Context: I count myself among those politicians who operate from conviction. For me, pragmatism is not enough. Nor is that fashionable word “consensus”. When I asked one of my Commonwealth colleagues at this Conference why he kept saying that there was a “consensus” on a certain matter, another replied in a flash “consensus is the word you use when you can't get agreement”! To me consensus seems to be—the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects.—the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner “I stand for consensus”? Speech at Monash University (1981 Sir Robert Menzies Lecture) (6 October 1981) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104712

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

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