things I have learned from Margaret Thatcher

On being a woman

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

I owe nothing to Women’s Lib.

If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.

It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs.

On men

I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it.

One of the things being in politics has taught me is that men are not a reasoned or reasonable sex.

On geopolitics

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

On her own personality

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.

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.

If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.

On her political opponents

I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air.

If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn’t swim.

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.

It’s a funny old world.

This lady is not for turning.

To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.

To wear your heart on your sleeve isn’t a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.

We were told our campaign wasn’t sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.

On money

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well.

Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth.

There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.

Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.

On success

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and importance, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.

Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.

What Britain needs is an iron lady.

You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.


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