If you are among those who read this, you already know of the death of former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. We remember Margaret Thatcher along with President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, as the three leaders who brought about the fall of Soviet communism. This is accurate. It is correct to see that as leadership that destabilized the Soviet Empire. But equally as important is the difference each leader made internally.

Margaret Thatcher at Camp David near Thurmont, Maryland, America - 22 Dec 1984

Mrs. Thatcher’s situation was that the United Kingdom was nearly as pitiful and hopeless as it is today. There was no evidence the British public were ready for anything other than the dole. Steve Forbes put it this way Monday:

It’s hard to appreciate today how desperate Britain’s condition was before Thatcher took office.  Its economy was a laughing stock, the perennial sick man of Europe.  Strikes were endemic and union bosses effectively governed the country.  Her Conservative Party had long ago made its peace with the welfare state and the ethos of high spending and high taxes.

Forbes allowed that previous Tory Prime Minister, Edward Heath, “wanted to revive Britain, he hadn’t a clue how to do it.” Thatcher had a clue she had clear vision and she had political skill. One thing more she had a “titanium spine.”

She was one of the most quotable figures of the twentieth—or any—Century. Enjoy these 17:

  • “In politics, if you want something said, ask a man; if you want to get something done, ask a woman.” (1965)
  • “There are dangers in consensus: it could be an attempt to satisfy people holding no particular views about anything. … No great party can survive except on the basis of firm beliefs about what it wants to do.” (1968)
  • “The Russians . . . . know that they are a super power in only one sense—the military sense. They are a failure in human and economic terms.” (1976 Whereupon the Soviets dubbed her the “Iron Lady”) 
  • “I would just like to remember some words of St. Francis of Assisi which I think are really just particularly apt at the moment. ‘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.” (1979 Upon becoming PM)
  • “You turn if you want to; the lady’s not for turning.” (1980 to the Conservative Party)
  • “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
  • “I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.”
  • “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.”
  • “The fact that we are gathered here, now—shocked but composed and determined—is a sign not only that this attack has failed but that all attempts to destroy democracy will fail.” (1984 after IRA terrorist bombing)
  • “I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society — from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.” (1984)
  • “There is no week, nor day, nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves, and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. Tyranny may always enter — there is no charm or bar against it.” (1984)
  • “We can do business together.” (1984 to Gorbachev)
  • “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well.” (1986)
  • “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.” (1987)
  • “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing.” (1989)
  • “No, no, no.” (1990 To the question should the UK join EU currency)
  • “Ronnie and I got to know each other at a time when we were both in Opposition, and when a good many people intended to keep us there. They failed, and the conservative 1980s were the result. But in a certain sense, we remained an opposition, we were never the establishment. As Ron once put it: the nine most dangerous words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’ As usual, he was right.” (2002 Ronald Reagan Eulogy) 

Hat Tip


ABC News,  Politico,  Business Insider,  New Zealand Herald

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson: a mature Christian who understands the sweep of history, the unique role of America and these times clearly and precisely.
This entry was posted in Character, History, Liberty, World Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s