As you know by now, Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister 1979-1990 passed away from complications from a Stroke suffered Monday, April 8, 2013. She had a history of strokes starting in 2002. While there are many touching tributes (and some not so touching ones, as well), I’ll simply say that my recollections of Thatcher as a teenager were mostly of her as Reagan’s “partner in crime” so to speak. It wasn’t until much later that I was able to appreciate her place among the great conservative voices of our time. To that end, I’ll let the “Iron Lady” speak for herself:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my Red Star chiffon evening gown. My face softly made up and my fair hair gently waved. The Iron Lady of the Western world. A cold war warrior, an amazon philistine, even a Peking plotter. Well, am I any of these things? … Yes I am an iron lady, after all it wasn’t a bad thing to be an iron duke. Yes, if that’s how they wish to interpret my defence of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life.” – 1976, speech to Finchley Conservatives
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” – 1965, speech to National Union of Townswomen’s Guilds Conference.
“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.” – At the 1980 Conservative Party conference
“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.” –Magazine interview.
“Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean— power over people, power to the State.”
– Speech to Conservative Central Council, 1986
“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.” – Thames TV This Week, 1976
“The choice facing the nation is between two totally different ways of life. And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark, divisive clouds of Marxist socialism and bring together men and women from all walks of life who share a belief in freedom.” – Speech in Perth, Scotland, 1983
“My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay; live within your means; put by a nest egg for a rainy day; pay your bills on time; support the police.” – The News of the World, 1981
“Consensus: “The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead.” What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: I stand for consensus?” ― Margaret Thatcher
“If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing.” ― Margaret Thatcher“There are significant differences between the American and European version of capitalism. The American traditionally emphasizes the need for limited government, light regulations, low taxes and maximum labour-market flexibility. Its success has been shown above all in the ability to create new jobs, in which it is consistently more successful than Europe.”― Margaret Thatcher, The Path To Power