In Tribute To The Iron Lady: The 25 Greatest Quotes From Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher has left us.
Other than Winston Churchill, she was the finest leader to come out of Europe in the last century. She helped Britain recover economically, she stood shoulder to shoulder with Reagan against the Soviet Union and she set a fine example not just for Brits, not just for women, but for everyone to follow.
If we had more leaders with Margaret Thatcher’s heart, courage and wisdom, this would be a different, better world.
As you read these quotes from one of the towering figures of the 20th century, you’ll see why.
25) “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
24) “I too have a certain idea of America. Moreover, I would not feel entitled to say that of any other country, except my own. This is not just sentiment, though I always feel ten years younger — despite the jet-lag — when I set foot on American soil: there is something so positive, generous, and open about the people — and everything actually works. I also feel, though, that I have in a sense a share of America.”
23) “They’ve got the usual Socialist disease – they’ve run out of other people’s money.”
22) “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.”
21) “If you want to cut your own throat, don’t come to me for a bandage.”
20) “Constitutions have to be written on hearts, not just paper.”
19) “I never hugged him, I bombed him.” — Thatcher on dictator, Muammar Gaddafi
18) “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.”
17) “It is always important in matters of high politics to know what you do not know. Those who think that they know, but are mistaken, and act upon their mistakes, are the most dangerous people to have in charge.”
16) “I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!’ or ‘I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!’ ‘I am homeless, the Government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first… There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”
15) “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.”
14) “A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag.”
13) “Whether it is in the United States or in mainland Europe, written constitutions have one great weakness. That is that they contain the potential to have judges take decisions which should properly be made by democratically elected politicians.”
12) “The defence budget is one of the very few elements of public expenditure that can truly be described as essential. This point was well-made by a robust Labour Defence Minister, Denis (Now Lord) Healey, many years ago: ‘Once we have cut expenditure to the extent where our security is imperiled, we have no houses, we have no hospitals, we have no schools. We have a heap of cinders.’”
11) “…The larger the slice taken by government, the smaller the cake available for everyone.”
10) “Whether manufactured by black, white, brown or yellow hands, a widget remains a widget — and it will be bought anywhere if the price and quality are right. The market is a more powerful and more reliable liberating force than government can ever be.”
9) “To be free is better than to be unfree — always. Any politician who suggests the opposite should be treated as suspect.”
8) “During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it.”
7) “There is much to be said for trying to improve some disadvantaged people’s lot. There is nothing to be said for trying to create heaven on earth.”
6) “Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag.”
5) “It is one of the great weaknesses of reasonable men and women that they imagine that projects which fly in the face of commonsense are not serious or being seriously undertaken.”
4) “…Conservatives have excellent credentials to speak about human rights. By our efforts, and with precious little help from self-styled liberals, we were largely responsible for securing liberty for a substantial share of the world’s population and defending it for most of the rest.”
3) “Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever.”
2) “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”
1) “Of course it’s the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.”
A New Visions Commentary paper published August 2013 by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court NE
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