Margaret Thatcher In Her Own Words: Her Most Memorable Quotes And Speeches

By Morwenna Ferrier - 7 December 2014

Features Editor


On the 4th May 1979, Margaret Thatcher climbed out of her car, smiled at her onlookers (many of them heckling) and entered Downing Street for the first time after the Conservative election victory. Until her deaprtture in 1990, she was the longest continuously serving prime minister since 1827 and the only woman to have held the position. She also passed several notorious acts, including the implementation of the poll tax and was nicknamed the 'milk snatcher' for removing free school milk for the over seven’s as part of budget cuts. For that reason, she was largely polarising as a leader. Still, she gave some pretty rousing speeches....

1. ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony; where there is error, may we bring truth; where there is doubt, may we bring faith; and where there is despair, may we bring hope’ - In her first interview on the steps on No 10 given to John Sergeant, 1979

2. 'You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning!' - At a rousing speech at the Conservative Party Conference, 1980

3. 'If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman' - In a speech before coming to power in 1965

4. 'We've beaten the Germans twice and now they're back!' - Reportedly said on Germany's reunification, during EC-summit in December 1989

5. 'With all due respect, sir, I have done battle every single day of my life and many men have underestimated me before. This lot seem bound to do the same, but they will rue the day' - On leading a nation to war in the Falklands

6. ‘Pennies don’t fall from heaven – they have to be earned here on earth’ - Speech at Lord Mayor's Banquet  on 12 November, 1979

7. 'I will never be one of those women, who stay silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen doing the washing up for that matter’ - On the role of women

8. Margaret Thatcher on mine strike day 258: ‘A new birth of leadership’.

10. After 11 1/2 years in power, Margaret Thatcher was forced to resign by her party.


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