Margaret Hilda Thatcher (Baroness Thatcher) was a British politician and stateswoman who was Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. She was the first female British prime minister and the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century. As prime minister, she implemented economic policies that became known as ‘Thatcherism’. A Soviet journalist dubbed her the ‘Iron Lady’, a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style.
Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford, and worked as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. She was elected MP for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his 1970 - 1974 government. In 1975, she defeated 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. Four years later she became the UK’s first ever woman Prime Minister.
Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high inflation and Britain's economic struggles after several years of socialist rule. Her political philosophy and policies emphasised deregulation, the privatisation of state-owned companies, and reducing the power of trade unions. Victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy resulted in her landslide re-election in 1983. She survived an assassination attempt by the Provisional IRA in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing and achieved a political victory against the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1984 - 1985 miners' strike. She stepped down as Prime Minister in 1990 to be replaced by John Major.
These are my 10 favourite inspirational quotes of Margaret Thatcher:
"Power is like being a lady - if you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
"If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money."
"It pays to know the enemy - not least because at some time, you may have the opportunity to turn him into a friend."
"If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."
"Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides."
"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?"
"Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they’ll become habits. Then, watch your habits, for they will forge your character. Watch your character, for it will make your destiny."
"There is no such thing as society. There is a living tapestry of men and women and people, and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate."
"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction."
To see hundreds more articles click here to visit our archive