Famous People Margaret Thatcher – British Prime Minister
Talk about the first female British prime minister, or simply the ‘Iron Lady’ who was popular for reducing the power of trade unions and privatising government owned industries. Yes, that must be Margaret Thatcher. A lady who compromised nothing in politics and had a strict leadership style. Her conservative policies popularly known as Thatcherism were the basis of her government. . She was the only British prime minister in the 20th century to win three consecutive terms and, at the time of her resignation, she was Britain’s longest continuously serving prime minister since 1827. She accelerated the evolution of the British economy from statism to liberalism and became, by personality as much as achievement, the most renowned British political leader since Winston Churchill.
Margaret Thatcher was born in October 13, 1925 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England to a local business man. Her father, Alfred Roberts, was also a member of the town council and he introduced her to conservative politics. She studied on Oxford University where she studied chemistry at Somerville College. In the university, she became the leader of Conservative Association where she was actively involved.
She graduated from the university in 1947 and worked as a chemist in Colchester, Essex and Dartford. She was ready to step into the political lime light and contribute to society. From 1954 she practiced as a barrister, specializing in tax law. In 1951 she married a wealthy industrialist, Denis Thatcher, who supported her political ambition. The couple had twins, a son and a daughter, in 1953.
Foray in politics
Two years after her graduation, she vied for a public office. Though she lost, she gained publicity since she was the youngest female to venture in politics. She quit and went to study law where she became a barrister. She stepped back into politics with her new status where she won a seat in the House of Commons. For many years she represented the constituency of Finchley in the North London Borough of Barnet. Clearly she was on the rise to her political carrier.
In 1970, the Conservative party took her to office and she was appointed as the Secretary of State for Education and Science by the then Prime Minster, Edward Heath. She abolished the free school milk scheme in order to cut on the government expenditure which came to be known as ‘Thatcher, milk snatcher’. She fell apart with the prime minster due to her approach on various issues as she was criticised by the opposition.
In 1974, the Labour Party won. Heath leadership in the Conservative Party was in doubt and Thatcher was the obvious replacement. In 1979, the Conservative Party took back the government having won an election after a vote of no confidence was passed against the Labour Party. Thatcher became the prime minister in the Houses of Parliament and was the first woman to hold that position.
Her leadership was marked by privatisation of industries, reduced power to trade unions, less direct tax on income and higher indirect tax among other. Her leadership was challenged and she resigned as the prime minister of Britain.
Thatcher articulated her stand on issues strongly with no fear. Below are some of the famous quotes she made during her regime.
“Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction”.
“Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country”.
“To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches”.
“I just owe almost everything to my father and it’s passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election”.