Teach and Learn English

The Iron Lady

As much as I dislike British politics, politicians and their self-centred policies, I couldn't have overseen the fact of HER passing away. Next to Winston Churchill, SHE is one of the most recognized UK politicians. The Iron Lady. Margaret Thatcher. She was (in)famous for her sharp political brain as well as for a sharp tongue and her trademark was a no-nonsense verbal style which was called "handbagging". I have collected here some of HER most famous quotes.

"I don't think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime." - Thatcher speaking on BBC in 1973, when she was education secretary. Six years later, she was Britain's first female PM.

"They've got the usual Socialist disease - they've run out of other people's money." - Thatcher attacks the Labour government during an address to the Conservative Party Conference in 1975.

"They put guns before butter, while we put just about everything before guns. They know that they are a super power in only one sense - the military sense. They are a failure in human and economic terms."
Margaret Thatcher's take on Soviet Russia in a 1976 speech at Kensington Town Hall.

"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." Thatcher paraphrases St Francis of Assisi in her statement on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street after her election as prime minister in May 1979.

"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." - Thatcher stands firm in a speech to the Conservative Party conference in 1980.

George Negus: Why do people stop us in the street almost and tell us that Margaret Thatcher isn't just inflexible, she's not just single-minded, on occasions she's plain pig-headed and won't be told by anybody?
Margaret Thatcher: Would you tell me who has stopped you in the street and said that?
Negus: Ordinary Britons...
Thatcher: Where?
Negus: In conversation, in pubs...
Thatcher (interrupting): I thought you'd just come from Belize.
Negus: Oh this is not the first time we've been here.
Thatcher: Will you tell me who, and where and when?
Negus: Ordinary Britons in restaurants and cabs
Thatcher: How many?
Negus: ...in cabs.
Thatcher: How many?
Negus: I would say at least one in two.
Thatcher: Why won't you tell me their names and who they are?
An exchange between Margaret Thatcher and reporter George Negus on Australia's 60 Minutes.

Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"

"No-one would remember the Good Samaritan if he'd only had good intentions; he had money as well." - Thatcher, when quizzed on opportunity and inequality during a 1980 television interview.

"You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!"
Margaret Thatcher during a Press Association interview marking her 10th anniversary as PM

Some interesting coverages

Have you seen the amazing Meryl Streep in "The Iron Lady"?


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