Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS, FRIC (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013) was a British stateswoman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the 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 held the office. 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.
Originally 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 1970 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 (particularly of the financial sector), 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 high unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her re-election in 1983.
Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987. During this period her support for a Community Charge (referred to as the “poll tax”) 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, of Kesteven in the county of Lincolnshire, which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. After a series of small strokes in 2002, she was advised to withdraw from public speaking. Despite this, she managed to prerecord a eulogy to Ronald Reagan prior to his death, which was broadcast at his funeral in 2004. In 2013, she died of another stroke in London at the age of 87.
1. If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.
2. The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.
3. Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
7. It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.
8. Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.
9. No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.
10. 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.
11. Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.
12. Ought we not to ask the media to agree among themselves a voluntary code of conduct, under which they would not say or show anything which could assist the terrorists’ morale or their cause while the hijack lasted.
13. The spirit of envy can destroy; it can never build.
14. If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
15. 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.
16. I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.
17. Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.
18. I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air.
19. If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.
20. It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
21. To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.
22.You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
23. 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.
24. The battle for women’s rights has been largely won.
25. I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.
Biography via: Wikipedia.