Thatcher in her own words: Quotes from the Iron Lady

Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
Margaret Thatcher in 1984. Photo: Reuters

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been remembered as a pioneering stateswoman, and inspirational leader, and a skilled orator who used her sharp tongue to silence her many critics and delight her many fans.

Read: Margaret Thatcher - as decisive in her policies as she was divisive with her people

Here are some of her most famous quotes.

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.

– Speech at Conservative Party conference, 1980

There is no such thing as Society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.

– Interview 1987

On being a woman:

I've got a woman's ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.

– Speech 1975

Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.

– Election campaign, 1979

If a woman like Eva Peron with no ideals can get that far, think how far I can go with all the ideals that I have.

– Interview 1980

The battle for women's rights has been largely won.

On being the Iron Lady:

I stand before you tonight in my green chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved.

The Iron Lady of the Western World? Me? A cold war warrior? Well, yes - if that is how they wish to interpret my defence of values and freedoms fundamental to our way of life.

– Speech in 1976 after the Kremlin dubbed her the Iron Lady

On votes:

Votes do not fall from the trees like ripe plums. They have to be fought for.

– Private meeting of Tory candidates before the 1979 general election.

On terrorism:

That is the scale of the outrage in which we have all shared. And the fact we are gathered here, now, shocked but composed and determined, is a sign not only that this attack has failed, but that all attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail.

– Tory conference 1984, a few hours after the Brighton bomb that nearly killed her

On her cabinet:

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

– Interview 1987