Margaret Thatcher, the only female Prime Minister of Great Britain, who held office from 1979 to 1990, died yesterday of a stroke at age 87. Mrs. Thatcher was the British equivalent of Ronald Reagan, with whom she worked closely, standing up to the Soviet Union and challenging the welfare state with free enterprise policies that led to an era of prosperity.
To honor her memory, to learn about her contributions, and to treat yourself to an interesting movie with a stunning performance by Meryl Streep, watch Iron Lady. (OK, it got mixed reviews and annoyed some conservatives, but I enjoyed it, and it won Streep a much-deserved Oscar for Best Actress.)
After the jump: Margaret Thatcher quotes.
Being powerful 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.
To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.
It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches.
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.
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.
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.
If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.
Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.
We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.
“I stand before you tonight in my . . . chiffon evening gown,” she said in a 1976 speech to the party faithful, “my face softly made up and my fair hair gently waved, the Iron Lady of the Western world. A cold-war warrior, an amazon philistine, even a Peking plotter. Well, am I any of these things? . . . Yes, I am an Iron Lady . . . yes, if that’s how they wish to interpret my defense of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life.”
When the [coal] miners responded [to her conservative policies] by going on strike, she portrayed them as “Marxists” who wanted “to defy the law of the land in order to defy the laws of economics.”
And then there was this advice to George Bush I in the days before the Gulf War:
“This is no time to go wobbly, George.”