Margaret Thatcher: A life in quotes

Key comments from Britain’s first female prime minister.

“I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” – as education secretary in 1973

“People from my sort of background needed grammar schools to compete with children from privileged homes like Shirley Williams and Anthony Wedgwood Benn.” – as Conservative leader in 1977

“Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope.” – on her election as prime minister in 1979

“We are not asking for a penny piece of community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back, over and above what we contribute to the community, which is covered by our receipts from the community.” – when negotiating the European community budget rebate in 1979

“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.” – to the Conservative conference in 1980

“Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines. Rejoice.” – announcing the liberation of South Georgia during the Falklands war in 1982

“They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours.” – in an interview in Women’s Own in 1987

“It is ironic that just when those countries such as the Soviet Union, which have tried to run everything from the centre, are learning that success depends on dispersing power and decisions away from the centre, there are some in the community who seem to want to move in the opposite direction. We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them reimposed at a European level with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.” – in the “Bruges speech”, 1988

“The president of the [European] commission, Monsieur [Jacques] Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted the European parliament to be the democratic body of the community, he wanted the commission to be the executive and he wanted the council of ministers to be the senate. No. No. No.” – in a debate in the Commons in 1990

“I fight on. I fight to win.” – after the inconclusive first ballot in the Tory leadership election, 1990.

Culled from: http://m.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-quotes






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