Best quotes from Margaret Thatcher

Victor Mochere
12 Min Read

Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, also known as the Iron Lady, was a British stateswoman who served as 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 hold that office. As Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. Margaret Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. 

In 1975, she defeated Edward Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, and became Prime Minister in 1979. She resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990. After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher (of Kesteven in the County of Lincolnshire) which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. 

In 2013, she died of a stroke at the Ritz Hotel in London, at the age of 87. Although a controversial figure in British political culture, Thatcher is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers. Her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom and debate over the complicated legacy of Thatcherism persists into the 21st century.

Some of the best quotes from Margaret Thatcher are listed below.

  1. “A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.” – Margaret Thatcher
  2. “Any leader has to have a certain amount of steel in them, so I am not that put out being called the Iron Lady.” – Margaret Thatcher
  3. “Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” – Margaret Thatcher
  4. “Being prime minister is a lonely job… you cannot lead from the crowd.” – Margaret Thatcher
  5. “Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.” – Margaret Thatcher
  6. “Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.” – Margaret Thatcher
  7. “Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas.” – Margaret Thatcher
  8. “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” – Margaret Thatcher
  9. “Every family should have the right to spend their money, after tax, as they wish, and not as the government dictates. Let us extend choice, extend the will to choose and the chance to choose.” – Margaret Thatcher
  10. “For every idealistic peacemaker willing to renounce his self-defence in favour of a weapons-free world, there is at least one warmaker anxious to exploit the other’s good intentions.” – Margaret Thatcher
  11. “Freedom will destroy itself if it is not exercised within some sort of moral framework, some body of shared beliefs, some spiritual heritage transmitted through the Church, the family, and the school.” – Margaret Thatcher
  12. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” – Margaret Thatcher
  13. “I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.” – Margaret Thatcher
  14. “I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.” – Margaret Thatcher
  15. “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
  16. “I’m back… and you knew I was coming. On my way here I passed a cinema with the sign ‘The Mummy Returns’.” – Margaret Thatcher
  17. “I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.” – Margaret Thatcher
  18. “If you lead a country like Britain, a strong country, a country which has taken a lead in world affairs in good times and in bad, a country that is always reliable, then you have to have a touch of iron about you.” – Margaret Thatcher
  19. “If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.” – Margaret Thatcher
  20. “If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.” – Margaret Thatcher
  21. “It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.” – Margaret Thatcher
  22. “It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.” – Margaret Thatcher
  23. “It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.” – Margaret Thatcher
  24. “It pays to know the enemy – not least because at some time you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend.” – Margaret Thatcher
  25. “It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.” – Margaret Thatcher
  26. “It’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election.” – Margaret Thatcher
  27. “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.” – Margaret Thatcher
  28. “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.” – Margaret Thatcher
  29. “No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary – not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to be prime minister; you have to give yourself 100 percent.” – Margaret Thatcher
  30. “Of course, to be a mother and a housewife is a vocation of a very high kind. But I simply felt that it was not the whole of my vocation. I knew that I also wanted a career. A phrase that Irene Ward, MP for Tynemouth, and I often used was that ‘while the home must always be the center of one’s life, it should not be the boundary of one’s ambitions’.” – Margaret Thatcher
  31. “Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.” – Margaret Thatcher
  32. “People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.” – Margaret Thatcher
  33. “Platitudes? Yes, there are platitudes. Platitudes are there because they are true.” – Margaret Thatcher
  34. “The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.” – Margaret Thatcher
  35. “The facts of life are conservative.” – Margaret Thatcher
  36. “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.” – Margaret Thatcher
  37. “There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.” – Margaret Thatcher
  38. “There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors… I mean it.” – Margaret Thatcher
  39. “There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.” – Margaret Thatcher
  40. “There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people’s lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth.” – Margaret Thatcher
  41. “There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.” – Margaret Thatcher
  42. “To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.” – Margaret Thatcher
  43. “To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only this to say, ‘You turn if you want; the lady’s not for turning.” – Margaret Thatcher
  44. “To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.” – Margaret Thatcher
  45. “Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become… habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” – Margaret Thatcher
  46. “We Conservatives hate unemployment.” – Margaret Thatcher
  47. “We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.” – Margaret Thatcher
  48. “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” – Margaret Thatcher
  49. “You and I come by road or rail, but economists travel on infrastructure.” – Margaret Thatcher
  50. “You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.” – Margaret Thatcher
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Victor Mochere is a blogger, social media influencer, and netpreneur creating and marketing digital content.
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