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Britain's Margaret Thatcher, in her own words

Famous quotes from political life of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's only woman prime minister who died Monday at age of 87

Reuters , Monday 8 Apr 2013
Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sits in the House of Lords awaiting the Queen's speech during the State Opening of Parliament in London, Wednesday, 15 November, 2006 (Photo: AP)
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"In politics if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman." - 1965

"I don't think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime." - as Education Secretary in 1973. She became Britain's first, and so far only, woman prime minister in 1979.

"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." - Quoting St Francis of Assisi, on her 1979 election victory.

"I am not a consensus politician. I'm a conviction politician." - 1979

"I don't mind how much my ministers talk, as long as they do what I say." - 1980

"We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty." - On the 1984-85 miners' strike which provoked some of the fiercest union opposition to her economic policies.

"We are not asking for a penny piece of community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back, over and above what we contribute to the community, which is covered by our receipts from the community." - At a European Economic Community summit 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." - At the 1980 Conservative Party conference to colleagues urging her to soften her economic policies which were driving up unemployment.

"Just rejoice at that news and congratulate our forces and the marines. Good night gentlemen. Rejoice." - To reporters in 1982 outside Downing Street after her defence secretary said Britain had recaptured South Georgia from Argentina.

"This is a day I was not meant to see." - To reporters the day after surviving a deadly 1984 Irish Republican Army bomb attack on the Conservative Party conference.

"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. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour." - To Woman's Own magazine.

"We have become a grandmother." - On the birth of her first grandchild, 1989.

"No! No! No!" At the House of Commons in 1990, the climax of an anti-European outburst that moved Geoffrey Howe to quit as deputy prime minister and deliver a resignation speech which called for her to be challenged for her job.

"I fight on, I fight to win." - In November 1990, after failing to win enough votes to avoid a second round in the Conservative leadership contest. She resigned the next day.

"It's a funny old world" - On her decision to quit in 1990.

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