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

„We shall judge what British interests are and we shall be resolute in defending them.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech at dinner for West German Chancellor (Helmut Schmidt) (10 May 1979) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/104080
First term as Prime Minister
Context: It has been suggested by some people in this country that I and my government will be a “soft touch” in the [European] Community. In case such a rumour may have reached your ears, Mr Chancellor... it is only fair that I should advise you frankly to dismiss it (as my own colleagues did, long ago). We shall judge what British interests are and we shall be resolute in defending them.

„I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

The Times (1980), as cited in [Dale, 2012]
First term as Prime Minister

„We will stand on principle, or we will not stand at all.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Source: movie The Iron Lady

„Economics is just like managing your household.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Source: movie The Iron Lady

„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

„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

„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.

„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.

„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.

„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.

„There were times when I had to remind myself that our parents and grandparents brought us up without trendy theories and they didn't make such a bad job of it.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Women's Conference (24 May 1978) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/103696.
Leader of the Opposition
Context: Perhaps [the] most important reason for the fall in standards and increase in crime—the attack on traditional values. It is not surprising that sometimes parents have been confused about the endless advice and the many rival theories on how to bring up children. There were times when I had to remind myself that our parents and grandparents brought us up without trendy theories and they didn't make such a bad job of it. So it would seem that the tried and trusted values and commonsense application would lead to far better results than we are now experiencing. We must teach that each of us is a responsible person who can choose his own course of action and who has a duty to others to do as he would be done by. That morality is largely based on religious values. Cut the stem and the plant withers. That is why we have been so keen to keep religious teaching in our schools. To those who say that is indoctrinating children, I would reply—it is no such thing. It is a practical recognition of the truth that while an adult may, if he wishes, reject the faith in which he has been brought up, a child will find it difficult to acquire any faith at all without some instruction in the discipline of belief and practice.

„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.

„Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can't have one without the other. You can't lose one without losing the other.“

—  Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Conservative Central Council ("The Historic Choice") (20 March 1976) http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/102990
Leader of the Opposition
Context: There are others who warn not only of the threat from without, but of something more insidious, not readily perceived, not always deliberate, something that is happening here at home. What are they pointing to? They are pointing to the steady and remorseless expansion of the Socialist State. Now none of us would claim that the majority of Socialists are inspired by other than humanitarian and well-meaning ideals. At the same time few would, I think, deny today that they have made a monster that they can't control. Increasingly, inexorably, the State the Socialists have created is becoming more random in the economic and social justice it seeks to dispense, more suffocating in its effect on human aspirations and initiative, more politically selective in its defence of the rights of its citizens, more gargantuan in its appetite—and more disastrously incompetent in its performance. Above all, it poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can't have one without the other. You can't lose one without losing the other.

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