Talk:Margaret Thatcher

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Margaret Thatcher page.

Bus "failure" quote[edit]

A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.

This is almost certainly apocryphal. It has been attributed to Thatcher on numerous occasions, but: *** 1) There is no definitive source for the quote

2) There is some disagreement on the exact phrasing, and even on the age given (some sources say 30 rather than 26)

3) The quote has been attributed to people other than Thatcher

Basically, I don't buy it. If Thatcher had actually uttered this howler in a public speech, the Labour Party and the likes of the Daily Mirror would have absolutely decimated her. There's absolutely no way something so spectacularly snobbish and offensive would ever have passed without comment. 19:41, 24 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Further to the above, here's a Guardian article questioning the veracity of the above quote. 20:16, 24 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Economist on 30 September this year remarked that "Margaret Thatcher is reputed to have said [it] in 1986". However, Mrs Thatcher is unusual in that all her public utterances have been transcribed and put on CD-Rom and I am fairly sure it is not on there. It is always possible that she said it at a private meeting (say, for example, meeting Conservative MPs worried about the policy of bus privatisation). Sometimes the age is set at 30, not 26. However, the fact that many people attribute this to her means it should not be removed from the article. Even Brian Souter, the Stagecoach boss, attributed it to her in 1998 (Times reference available on request). Keep it in the 'attributed' section with a note that it is apocryphal and unverified, and may be made up. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 13:40, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further to that, a letter to the Daily Telegraph draws attention to the likely source. Have explained on the page. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 11:19, 2 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The letter to the Daily Telegraph disputing the attribution to Mrs Thatcher is attributed to Alistair Cooke and dated November 2006 but he died in 2004. Is this an error or is it a different Alistair Cooke? Dudley Miles 14 March 2007.

There is an historian with the same name, so maybe it is him.--Johnbull 00:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Alistair Cooke who wrote to the Daily Telegraph sometimes signed himself "Alistair B. Cooke" to make the distinction - he was at the Conservative Research Department for many years and is the party's official historian, IIRC. He is no relation of the American epistolarian. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 00:06, 15 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Or look for the source: Commons debates, 2003-07-02, col 407. Everything said in the two Houses in Parliament is recorded.

The problem with socialism[edit]

A quote attributed to Margaret Thatcher goes along the lines of

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money [to spend]."


"Eventually, Socialists run out of other peoples' money [to spend]."

There are a number of similar almost-quotes to be found on the Web, but I haven't found any authoritative sources. She may, in fact, have made the statement in various forms at different times. QuicksilverT @ 15:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update: Margaret Thatcher, in a TV interview for Thames TV This Week [[1]]on Feb. 5, 1976, Prime Minister Thatcher said, "...and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They [socialists] always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."

The quote was also said, multiple times in parliament during question time. TMLutas (talk) 16:31, 6 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


These require citations to adequate sources before being placed into the main article.

Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Margaret Thatcher. --Antiquary 18:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC) Reply[reply]

  • Every Prime Minister needs a Willie.
    • Referring to her Deputy Prime Minister William Whitelaw, and quoted in The Economist.
  • It's a funny old world.
    • Opening remarks to the Cabinet on 22 November 1990, announcing her decision to withdraw from the Conservative leadership contest.
  • 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.
  • Of course it's the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.
  • Of course, people tell me that I shouldn't gloat. Well, I am gloating.
  • One only gets to the top rung of the ladder by steadily climbing up one at a time, and suddenly all sorts of powers, all sorts of abilities which you thought never belonged to you— suddenly become within your own possibility and you think, "Well, I'll have a go, too."
  • People think that at the top there isn't much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top.
  • Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.
  • To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.
    If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
  • To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best.
  • We were told our campaign wasn't sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment.
  • When you've spent half your political life dealing with humdrum issues like the environment, it's exciting to have a real crisis on your hands. (On the Falklands conflict.)
  • You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.
  • You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
  • I think Essex Man will vote for a Conservative Government.
    • (April 1982) [2] <— DEAD LINK with no clear citation to early sourcing — and I can find no reliable attribution of this anywhere at this point — Kalki 2016·10·11

Quotes about Thatcher (unsourced)[edit]

  • The Prime Minister, shortly after she came into office, received the sobriquet as the "Iron Lady". It arose in the context of remarks which she made about defence against the Soviet Union and its allies; but there was no reason to suppose that the right hon. Lady did not welcome and, indeed, take pride in that description. In the next week or two in this House, the nation and the right hon. Lady herself will learn of what metal she is made.
    • Enoch Powell to Mrs. Thatcher after the Falkland Islands had been invaded by Argentina (3 April, 1982).
  • Pétain in petticoats.
  • A pity she did not understand them!
    • Enoch Powell on Mrs Thatcher's adoption of monetarist economic policies.
  • Don’t think of her as a politician. Think of her as a one-woman revolution – a hurricane in human form.
  • I love it when she became Lady Thatcher because it made her sound like a feminine pubic hair removal device.
- This Jo Brand one is from an episode of QI. Can't remember exactly which one though. - Burwellian (talk) 18:34, 8 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Beaten the Germans twice at their national game in the 20th century?[edit]

What about the 1990 quote attributed to Mrs. Thatcher, who upon being told that Germany had defeated England at football, or soccer, (which they did, of course) had allegedly replied, "They may have beat us at our national game, but we beat them twice at their national game in the 20th century.? --Matthead 22:03, 16 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This quote originally appeared, in slightly different form, in an English newspaper on the morning of the 1966 World Cup Final. In this report it is attributed to Vincent Mulchrone of the Daily Mail.

The remark is repeated whenever there is a football match between England and Germany. It is doubtful Margaret Thatcher ever said it in public.

The second verse of the Pink Floyd song Pigs is not about Margaret Thatcher, as some have suggested, but Mary Whitehouse, the TV campaigner. A simple reading of the lyrics would reveal as much, as the verse starts "Hey you, Whitehouse!"

The foregoing comment by (dif) has been moved here from the Quotes about Thatcher section of the article. ~ Ningauble 12:58, 23 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  The third verse is about Whitehouse, the second verse is about Thatcher.

Feminism did nothing[edit]

I found claims about Thatcher making a statement regarding feminism from an article by Rachael Marsden:

It says:

"Thatcher herself acknowledged that feminism did nothing for her"

This is clearly paraphrasing if it is based on something Thatcher actually said. I'm not sure about this though, if it is true or not. I have not been able to locate her saying something like 'Feminism did nothing for me' and I am not sure where to begin looking for it.

If she said something like this, I think it would be relevant to include it on the page.

If she did not, should we perhaps include a list of attributed quotes (paraphrased or not) which are not confirmed? Etym (talk) 08:21, 10 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is an article in the Spectator where Paul Johnson on 12 March 2011 says:

She said to me: ‘The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.’

Here is the link: [3]—This unsigned comment is by (talkcontribs) .

Thanks, I added it here. Cheers, DanielTom (talk) 15:04, 10 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thatcher quote misattributed to Edward Gibbon[edit]

I have seen a quote frequently attributed to Edward Gibbon about freedom and Athens. I mentioned it in more detail on his Talk page:

I'm wondering if it's worth posting the quote here, instead. It came from a lecture Thatcher gave at Hillsdale College in 1994, an edited version of which was published in Hillsdale's Imprimus magazine:

Not sure if it counts as something worth putting on her page, since it's really just a paraphrase of Gibbon. But it might be nice to have up there to set the record straight. --19:45, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

  • The "Athens" quote is misattributed to Gibbon, and Thatcher was wrong if she attributed it to him. It's actually a paraphrasing of something written by classicist and educator Edith Hamilton. A nice discussion of the matter is HERE. I agree that the quotation can be attributed to Thatcher, as long as it includes the information that she was misattributing the sense of it to Gibbon when it was really from Hamilton. - Embram (talk) 12:35, 14 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gratuitous slanders about Thatcher and Reagan – appropriate here?[edit]

Is there any limitation on the kinds and sources of "Quotes about Thatcher" that are appropriate for the main page? If there is no limitation, there is also no limit to the amount of hate-filled invective in the "quotations about" section for any well-known controversial person that could end up in Wikiquote. See, for example, the quotation (added this month) comparing Thatcher and Reagan with Adolf Hitler, supposedly from the liner notes of a rock album. Furthermore, the source for this quotation is listed as the liner notes of a rock album published in 2007, but the rock album mentioned is Black Snake Diamond Role, which was actually released in May 1981. - Embram (talk) 06:08, 21 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Secretary of State for the "Environment"?[edit]

Margaret Thatcher was never Secretary of State for the Environment; that was Peter Walker. She was Secretary of State for Education and named "Maggie Thatcher Milksnatcher," in left-wing circles for removing free milk from poor school children. 00:31, 3 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Excessive obscure quotes and pov pushing[edit]

These quotes by Praveen were recently added , the quotes are obscure and only published once in a news blog.

The quote is also in about 10 other wikiquote articles.

Badly sourced, fails WQ:CRITICISM, random quotes from non notable person on random news blog , no quotability, this is a high level article, needs verification and be sourced by a Secondary RS

This is a high level article. This article should have more quotes from books, rather than websites or newspapers, that have timeless quotability.


No quote about Pinochet, no quote about Mandela, no quote about Pol Pot and all dictators and genocidals she supported? Is there any rule about only adding criticism to socialism in this page? Dornicke (talk) 21:02, 14 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


oppose this would bloat the article 2006toyotacorrola (talk) 10:54, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]