Countdown: Our 10 Favorite Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Countdown: Our 10 Favorite Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Six years ago today, the world lost an incredible leader in Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013). The Iron Lady, as she was known, was a trailblazer in so many ways. She made history in 1979, becoming Britain’s first female Prime Minister and serving in that post for more than 11 years. She was an unwavering voice for freedom, free markets and limited government in a political culture that had long revered socialism. She challenged conventional wisdom fearlessly and silenced her detractors with her memorable wit. The world could use more great women like Margaret Thatcher. 

#10: “To me consensus seems to be—the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects—the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner ‘I stand for consensus’?” – Oct. 6, 1981,Speech at Monash University

#9: “Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.” – Oct. 10, 1975, Speech to the Conservative Party ConferenceVideo

#8: “All levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. But what the honorable member is saying is that he would rather the poor were poorer provided the rich were less rich. That way you will never create the wealth for better social services as we have. And what a policy. Yes. He would rather have the poor poorer provided the rich were less rich. That is the Liberal policy. Yes it came out. He didn’t intend it to but it did.” – Nov. 22, 1990, Margaret Thatcher’s last House of Commons speech

#7: “There is no such thing as ‘safe’ Socialism. If it’s safe, it’s not Socialism. And if it’s Socialism, it’s not safe.” – March 20, 1976, Speech to Conservative Central Council

#6: “Strength, not weakness, leads to peace.” – Dec. 30, 1988, Article for National Review

#5: “The whole history of negotiation with the Soviet Union teaches us that if you do something they want without insisting on something in return, the Soviets do not regard it as a kindness to be reciprocated, but as a weakness to be exploited.” – July 26, 1975, Speech to Chelsea Conservative Association

#4: “Defeat? I do not recognize the meaning of the word.” – April 1982, At the start of the Falklands conflict

#3: “No, I’m not a feminist…I think they’ve become too strident. I think they have done great damage to the cause of women by making us out to be something we are not. Each person is different. Each has their own talents and abilities, and these are the things you want to draw and bring out. You don’t say: ‘I must get on because I’m a woman, or that I must get on because I’m a man.’ You should say that you should get on because you have the combination of talents which are right for the job. The moment you exaggerate the question, you defeat your case.” – April 21, 1978, Interview for Hornsey Journal

#2: “To those waiting with bated breath for that favorite media catchphrase, the ‘U’ turn, I have only one thing to say. ‘You turn if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.” – Oct. 10, 1980, Speech to Conservative Party ConferenceVideo

#1: “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.” – May 20, 1965, Speech to National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds Conference