The Iron Lady: Quotes

Quotes compiled by Stacey Tuttle

Click here to see a review of The Iron Lady.

Margaret Thatcher:  “We must never, ever give in to terrorists.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “If I can’t go out to buy a pint of milk then what is the world coming to, now really?”

Margaret Thatcher:  “We have always lived alongside evil, but it has never been so patient….  Western Civilization must be determined to root [it] out.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “It used to be about trying to do something, now is about trying to be someone.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “What I do think is a man should be encouraged to stand on his own two feet. Yes, we help people. Of course we help people, but for those who can do, they must just get up and do. And if something’s wrong, they shouldn’t just whine about it. They should get in there and do something about it. Change things.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “I love you so much Denis, but I’ll never be one of those women, who stay silent and pretty on the arm of her husband or remote and alone in the kitchen doing the washing up for that matter. One’s life must matter, Denis, beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children. One’s life must mean more than that. I cannot die washing up a teacup.”

Denis Thatcher to Margaret about her memories: “Are you looking back?  Don’t want to dig around too deep…never know what you might dig up.  You can rewind it, but you can’t change it.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “If the honorable gentleman would pay more attention to what I’m saying, rather than how I’m saying it, he might receive a valuable education in spite of himself.”

Margaret Thatcher’s Father, Alfred Roberts:  “We should encourage our children to aspire to achieve more than we did for they are the leaders of the future.”

Alfred Roberts:  “We conservatives believe in giving people the freedom and opportunity to fulfill their own potential.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “Someone must force the point.  Someone must say the unsayable, and none of these men have the guts to do it…  I will run…I will run. Just to nip at their heels and to make them reaffirm the principles on which the Conservative Party must stand.”

Margaret Thatcher regarding America/Americans:  “They are unafraid of success.  We are formed by our history. They are focused on their philosophy … what can be.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “Well it’s all very well to talk about changing my voice, Mr. Reece. But for some of my colleagues to imagine me as their leader is rather like imagining…I don’t know…being led into battle by their chambermaid…  Both my background and my sex…I’ll never fit in.”

                -Advisor in response:  “That’s your trump card.”

                -MT:  “I don’t intend to win, just to shake things up a bit.”

                -Advisor:  “If you want to change this part, they lead it.  …Never be anything but yourself.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “What? What am I ‘bound to be feeling?’ People don’t think anymore. They feel. ‘How are you feeling? No, I don’t feel comfortable. I’m sorry, we as a group we’re feeling….’ One of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas. Thoughts and ideas. That interests me. Ask me what I’m thinking.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become…habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become. My father always said that.”

Narration:  Margaret Thatcher was “the longest serving public figure of the 20th century.  The woman who changed the face of history.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “Gentlemen, if we don’t cut spending we will be bankrupt. Yes, the medicine is harsh, but the patient requires it in order to live. Should we withhold the medicine? No. We are not wrong. We did not seek election and win in order to manage the decline of a great nation.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but what kind of leader am I if I don’t try to get my own way, to do what I know is right?”

Margaret Thatcher:  “There are those who would say ‘hold back.’ There are those who would make us retreat. But we shall never give in to them. We shall never waver — not for a second — in our determination to see this country prosper once again.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “I will not negotiate with criminals or thugs.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “We will stand on principle or we will not stand at all.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “With all due respect, sir, I have done battle every single day of my life and many men have underestimated me before. This lot seem bound to do the same, but they will rue the day.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “There will be no appeasement.  This is a war.  It’s a war they started, but by God we will finish it…  I will write to each of the families [that lost a son] that no son will have died in vain….  Though much is sacrificed, in the end, right will prevail.”

Margaret Thatcher regarding taxation:  “If you pay nothing, you care nothing.”

Margaret Thatcher: “You are the backbone of our nation. Small firms, like Ludley’s Ice Cream. I passionately believe that it’s the growth of small businesses into large ones that is critical for Britain’s future. And the only way we will produce jobs, real jobs, jobs that sustain.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “Your problem is that you haven’t got the courage for this fight.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “It’s time to get up! It’s time go to work! It’s time to put the great, back into Great Britain!”

Margaret Thatcher:  “A crime is a crime is a crime.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “One must be brave if one is to take the wheel.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “If you take the tough decisions, yes, people will hate you today, but they’ll thank you for generations.”

Margaret Thatcher:  “All I wanted to do was to make a difference in the world.”