Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sat Jun 12 01:24:38 UTC 2010

I have three questions concerning Margaret Thatcher quotes.  Perhaps Garson or Victor or others on this list might enjoy the challenge of answering some of them:

1.  The Yale Book of Quotations sources Margaret Thatcher saying "In politics if you want anything said, ask a man.  If you want anything done, ask a woman," as "Quoted in People Weekly, 15 Sept. 1975," with the note "Thatcher is said to have used this in a 1965 speech."  Can anyone provide any precise pre-15 Sept. 1975 citations quoting Thatcher saying this?

2.  British politician Norman Fowler wrote in his resignation letter to Thatcher, Jan. 4, 1990, that "I have a young family and for the next few years I should like to devote more time to them."  Thatcher responded, "I am naturally very sorry to see you go, but understand ... your wish to be able to spend more time with your family."  Was this really the first instance of a resigning politician referring to spending more time with his or her family as an excuse for resigning?

3.  The Cat's Pyjamas: The Penguin Book of Cliches states, "The key quote of the 1980s must be There is no alternative.  It was used by Margaret Thatcher on several occasions in the 1980s about her economic policies."  Can anyone identify the earliest or best-known example of Thatcher using this?

Fred Shapiro

The American Dialect Society -

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