Inspirational Messages For LIfe

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Margaret Thatcher: A Source of Many Words of Motivation

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Margaret Thatcher In Salisbury July 2005


“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925 and died on 8 April 2013. Sadly some of her political opponents have made an attempt to disguise the extraordinary life of this tough woman, named ‘the Iron Lady’ by a Russian journalist, but her achievements will still be remembered by history.

She was born to Alf and Beatrice Roberts in a flat above one of his two grocery shops in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Alf was a Methodist preacher and an Independent alderman on the local council. Eventually he became the town Mayor.

Margaret went to the local school and received a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls School. She applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at Oxford but was rejected. Fortunately another student withdrew and Margaret studied for, and received, her degree. Her political career began at university, with the young Margaret becoming President of the Oxford University Conservative Association.

She began work as a research chemist and was selected as the Conservative candidate for Dartford in Kent. At the dinner after her selection she met the man she was to marry – Denis Thatcher. They married in December 1951 after Margaret had been beaten in two general elections.

This determined lady then studied Law and qualified as a Barrister in the same year as she gave birth to twins, Carol and Mark.

Once again she was defeated in another election before being elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1958. She rapidly made her mark in the Conservative party, working in the Ministry of Pensions before becoming the party’s spokesperson on Housing and Land. Other roles followed before she became Minister for Education in 1970. Throughout her career, Margaret was involved in economic and international discussions, attending lunches at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

In 1974, Margaret Thatcher succeeded Edward Heath as leader of the Conservative party. In 1979, after a loss of confidence in the Labour government, she became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.

During her time in office, Mrs. Thatcher’s determination and strength were obvious to all. In many ways, she was the last Prime Minister with charisma and a belief in her policies. Her strength was particularly reflected in her determination to disrupt the power of the unions, who many felt had been at least partly responsible for the country’s economic woes in the 1970s, in her attitude to the terrorists in Northern Ireland and the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.

In 1984, Mrs. Thatcher narrowly escaped a bomb attack by the IRA in the Grand Hotel, Brighton. Five others were killed. It was characteristic of the woman that when the attack took place, at 3am, she was still in her study working. She was due to give a speech to the Conservative Party Conference next day and duly gave it as planned.

Throughout her premiership, Mrs. Thatcher was instrumental in foreign affairs, including the break-up of the USSR.

After a remarkable 11-year period in office, during which she achieved many of her aims and made many friends and enemies, Margaret Thatcher faced one too many leadership challenges and had to resign.

Her strong personality has resulted in many anecdotes. Lech Walesa, former President of Poland, remembers some advice Mrs. Thatcher gave him: “Write down the 10 steps from where you are now to where you want to be.” But she also had a human side too; Left-wing politician Tony Benn recalled seeing her at the funeral of Labour MP Eric Heffer, “I thanked her for coming and she burst into tears. She had come out of respect for someone whose opinions she disagreed with.”

If you want to know more about this charismatic politician, visit the Margaret Thatcher Foundation website.


“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.”

Margaret Thatcher

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