Death of the Iron Lady

Death of the Iron Lady April 9, 2013

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.

From Margaret Thatcher in quotes – Iron Lady’s most famous phrases | The Sun |News:

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.”

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  • CW2
  • Carl Vehse

    Here are some more quotes from Margeret Thatcher, from a John Hawkins column:

    “They’ve got the usual Socialist disease — they’ve run out of other people’s money.”

    “If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.”

    “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.”

    “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… There is no such thing as society. There is 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.”

    “Whether it is in the United States or in mainland Europe, written constitutions have one great weakness. That is that they contain the potential to have judges take decisions which should properly be made by democratically elected politicians.”

    “…The larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone.”

    “To be free is better than to be unfree – always. Any politician who suggests the opposite should be treated as suspect.”

    “During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it.”

    “Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag.”

    “…Conservatives have excellent credentials to speak about human rights. By our efforts, and with precious little help from self-styled liberals, we were largely responsible for securing liberty for a substantial share of the world’s population and defending it for most of the rest.”

    “Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever.”

    “Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.”

  • Gene Veith

    Good ones, Carl. Thanks for those.

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