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Margaret Thatcher

b 13 October 1925

British Conservative politician, first woman Prime Minister (1979).


No woman in my time will be prime minister or chancellor or foreign secretary ... Not the top jobs. Anyway, I wouldn't want to be prime minister. You have to give yourself 100%.

Sunday Telegraph, 26 October 1969 on becoming shadow education spokesperson


The battle for women's rights has been largely won.


I owe nothing to Women's Lib.


Home is where you come to when you have nothing better to do.


The Prime Minister is stealing our clothes but he is going to look pretty ridiculous walking around in mine.



In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want it done, ask a woman.

In People (New York) 15 September 1975


Pennies don't fall from heaven. They have to be earned on earth.

Observer, 18 November 1979


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

Observer, 27 January 1980


To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catch-phrase, the U-turn, I have only this to say. 'You turn if you want to; the lady's not for turning'.

Conservative Party Conference,  Brighton 10 Oct 1980


It is exciting to have a real crisis on your hands, when you have spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment.

Scottish Conservative Party Conference, 14 May 1982 about the Falklands war


Now it must be business as usual.

Spoken on the steps of Grand Hotel after it was bombed by the IRA, quoted in Times 13 October 1984


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

Woman's Own, 31 October 1987


No generation has a freehold on this earth. All we have is a life tenancy - with a full repairing lease.

Conservative Party Conference, 14 October 1988


We have become a grandmother.

Times, 4 March 1989


Advisers advise and ministers decide.

House of Commons, 26 October 1989


I fight on, I fight to win.

On failing to get enough votes in the first leadership ballot, 21 November 1990


Every prime minister needs a Willie.

Of William Whitelaw, Guardian, 7 August 1991


In my lifetime all our problems have come from mainland Europe and all the solutions have come from the English-speaking nations of the world.

Times, 5 October 1999


Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the Marines ... rejoice!

On the sinking of the Belgrano, 1982


I applaud strong government, but not overweening government sustained by cronies, ciphers and a personality cult.

Said of the Blair government, June 2001


Never speak on a subject about which the audience knows more than you do.


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