The Best of the "Iron Lady"

by Bob Adelmann

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013 Photo Wikimedia Commons License:

Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013
Photo Wikimedia Commons

I’ve had a most pleasant time reviewing, sorting, reflecting on, and selecting the best of Margaret Thatcher’s pithy quotes, including perhaps her most famous one: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

But here are some others less well known but equally worthy of note:

Individualism has come in for an enormous amount of criticism over the years. It still does. It is widely assumed to be synonymous with selfishness…

But the main reason why so many people in power have always disliked individualism is because it is individualists who are ever keenest to prevent the abuse of authority.

She speaks to our present circumstances here:

If one generation is expected to carry an excessive burden on behalf of another, it will seek every means to avoid it. It will either demand that past promises are broken, or it will not work, or it will not pay taxes, or the most talented people will leave.

She anticipated the Cyprus crisis here:

The European single currency is bound to fail, economically, politically and indeed socially, though the timing, occasion and full consequences are all necessarily still unclear.

Whether she succeeded is open to question but her intent was clear:

I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society – from a give-it-to-me to a do-it-yourself nation, a get-up-and-go instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.

She knew who the enemy was and what the battle was being fought for:

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.

She knew the value of a good day:

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 a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.

Finally, she nailed the difference between the left and the right:

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.


A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *