In quotes: Margaret Thatcher

  • Published
Media caption,

Memorable moments from Thatcher's arrival at Downing Street, to her departure from it

Baroness Thatcher was seldom one to hold back her views. Here are some of the things she said - and which were said about her.


"I love argument. I love debate. I don't expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me - that's not their job." 1980

"I am not a consensus politician. I'm a conviction politician." 1979

"I don't mind how much my ministers talk, as long as they do what I say." 1980

"Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. Where there is despair, may we bring hope." Quoting St Francis of Assisi, on her 1979 election victory.

"To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say. You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning." 10 October 1980, Conservative party conference


"Nobody would remember the Good Samaritan if he had only good intentions. He had money as well." 1980

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty." On the 1984-85 miners' strike

"There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families." 1987


"No woman in my time will be prime minister or foreign secretary - not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn't want to be prime minister. You have to give yourself 100% to the job." 1969, in opposition as Conservative MP for Finchley

"Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country." 1979, the year she became prime minister

"We have become a grandmother." On the birth of her first grandchild, 1989


"We are not asking for a penny piece of Community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back." At the European Union summit in Dublin, 1979

"We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels." 1988

"No! No! No!" House of Commons 20 October 1990, the climax of an anti-European outburst that moved Geoffrey Howe to quit as deputy prime minister and deliver the resignation speech calling for her to be challenged for her job


"I fight on, I fight to win." 21 November 1990, after failing to win enough votes to avoid a second round in the Tory leadership contest. She resigned the next day

"It's a funny old world." 27 November 1990, at her last cabinet meeting

"It was treachery with a smile on its face. Perhaps that was the worst thing of all." 1993, on the cabinet colleagues who had advised her to stand down.


"Home is where you come to when you've got nothing better to do." May 1991, six months after leaving Number 10


"She has the eyes of Caligula but the mouth of Marilyn Monroe." French President Francois Mitterrand

"She was always an attractive woman. She had not merely a film star's attractiveness; she could also behave like a film star when she chose to do so." Sir Bernard Ingham, her Downing Street press secretary

"This woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated." ICI personnel department assessment, rejecting job application from the then Margaret Roberts in 1948

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.