Margaret Thatcher Poster

Quotes (52)

  • If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.
  • Capitalism only works by spreading to more of the population what used to be the privileges of the few.
  • Free choice is ultimately what life is about.
  • Good conservatives always pay their bills. Unlike socialists, who just run up other people's.
  • I would never be prepared to give up our own currency.
  • The enemy is socialism and the Labour Party.
  • It is exciting to have a real crisis on your hands, when you have spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment.
  • [the source of her famous (or infamous) quote "there is no such thing as society"] I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand "I have a problem, it is the Government's job to cope with it!" or "I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!" "I am homeless, the Government must house me!" and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.
  • [on her successor as Prime Minister, John Major] I don't think I was unkind to him. I supported him a lot--I chose him!
  • I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.
  • No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions. He had money as well.
  • That has been a bit of a problem for the Conservatives--Mr. Blair [Tony Blair] and the Labour Party sound too much like us.
  • Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be--you cannot lead from a crowd. But with Denis [husband Denis Thatcher] there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend.
  • I am profoundly concerned about unemployment. Human dignity and self-respect are undermined when men and women are condemned to idleness.
  • 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.
  • [on Conservative colleague William Whitelaw, aka "Willie"] Every Prime Minister needs a Willie.
  • I think sometimes the prime minister should be intimidating. There's not much point in being a weak, floppy thing in the chair.
  • The Russians said that I was an iron lady. They were right. Britain needs an iron lady.
  • Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
  • There will never be anybody else so compelling as Enoch Powell. He had a rare combination of qualities all founded on an unfaltering belief in God, an unshakable loyalty to family and friends and an unswerving devotion to our country. He was magnetic. Listening to his speeches was an unforgettable privilege. He was one of those rare people who made a difference.
  • [on self-respect] Self-regard is the root of regard for one's fellows.
  • The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.
  • If you do not have charge of your own currency, you do not have charge of your own freedom. The idea that we should give up our own currency is utterly repugnant and I do not think many people would want to give it up. The moment you go to Europe - it's an awful thing, it's a spineless thing.
  • [at the 2001 Conservative Party conference] On my way here I passed a local cinema and it turns out you were expecting me after all, for the billboards read: The Mummy Returns (2001).
  • [on the need for a law to prevent the promotion of homosexuality, which became Section 28] Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay.
  • [on the resignation of Harold Wilson as Prime Minister in 1976] I gave Mr. Wilson a little piece of advice. It was just a suggestion but one I felt was in his interests and those of the country he's led to its present pass. "Go", I said, "and go now". It's always gratifying to be listened to.
  • [on the miners' strike of 1984-85] I must tell you that what we have got is an attempt to substitute the rule of the mob for the rule of law, and it must not succeed.
  • If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn't swim.
  • Our party is the party of equality of opportunity.
  • I am happy that my successor will carry on the excellent policies that in fact have finished with the decline of socialism and have brought great prosperity to this country, which have raised Britain's standing in the world and in fact have brought about a truly capital-owning democracy.
  • Some socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a state computer. We believe they should be individuals. We're all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is quite like anyone else, however much the socialists may pretend otherwise. And we believe that everyone has the right to be unequal. But to us, every human being is equally important. A man's right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master, they're the essence of a free economy and on that freedom all our other freedoms depend.
  • People from my sort of background needed grammar schools to compete with children from privileged homes like Shirley Williams and Anthony Wedgwood Benn (Tony Benn).
  • I firmly believe in law and order and in standing up for authority, otherwise we should have no free society.
  • [in 1975, after being elected leader of the Conservative party] I am going to have to make it quite clear that Britain is a place where those who have ability can use that ability and if they're successful they can stay here. So many of our successful people intend to go overseas. We want to build a country for successful people here and we use their success to help others. I firmly believe that those who work harder or who have greater ability should get greater rewards and keep them and that as they prosper themselves, so they should prosper others. If you're prepared to save I think you should get some benefit from that.
  • [on the Housing Act 1980, which gave five million council house tenants in England and Wales the right to buy their house from their local authority] It was Anthony Eden who chose for us the goal of "a property-owning democracy". But for all the time that I have been in public affairs, that has been beyond the reach of so many, who were denied the right to the most basic ownership of all--the homes in which they live. They wanted to buy. Many could afford to buy. But they happened to live under the jurisdiction of a socialist council, which would not sell and did not believe in the independence that comes with ownership.
  • [on proposed British integration into the European Union] No, no, no and never.
  • [on the meaning of consensus] 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.
  • My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day's work for an honest day's pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.
  • "To borrow and to borrow and to borrow" is not Macbeth with a heavy cold. It is Labour Party policy.
  • [on being dubbed "The Iron Lady" by a Soviet journalist] If that's how they wish to interpret my defence of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life--and by "they" I mean that somewhat strange alliance between the comrades of the Russian Defence Ministry and our own defence minister--they're welcome to call me whatever they like.
  • [on the caucus of the party eventually challenging her leadership] Treachery with a smile on its face.
  • [on entering 10 Downing Street for the first time as Prime Minister] Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. Where there is despair, may we bring hope.
  • [her written tribute to Sir Jimmy Savile on This Is Your Life (1955)] So many Great Britons have had a touch of eccentricity about them and Jimmy is truly a Great Briton. Miner, wrestler, dance hall manager, disc jockey, hospital porter, fundraiser, performer of good works, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and Knight of the Realm, Jimmy, I and millions more salute you. God bless and thank you.
  • [to Salman Rushdie and his wife, on the fatwa] Nothing can really be done until there's a regime change in Tehran.
  • [on the birth of her first grandchild] We have become a grandmother.
  • My mother used to say that without our monarchy we would be just like . . . Belgium!
  • [in a 1973 interview] I don't think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime.
  • [In view of the widespread speculation about opinion in the Prime Minister's household concerning tobacco advertising, will the Prime Minister give her own views on that matter?] I do not smoke, and I do not answer for opinion in my household on any matter. I answer only for this Government's policies.
  • Nowadays there really is no primary poverty left in this country. In Western countries we are left with the problems which aren't poverty. All right, there may be poverty because people don't know how to budget, don't know how to spend their earnings, but now you are left with the really hard fundamental character-personality defect.
  • You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
  • Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.
  • [UFOs] Get your facts straight, and don't tell the Public.