Margaret Thatcher Quotes

Damien Hall djh514 at YORK.AC.UK
Sat Jun 12 10:53:08 UTC 2010

> 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?

That was certainly about when it became a cliché in UK politics. Granted, I
was only 15 at the time, so Thatcher's resignation and the events leading
up to it are my first major 'where were you when' time - I wouldn't
necessarily remember any previous occurrences. Since then, however, that
phrase has certainly been one of the choice ways of referring to a
recently-former Government official being out of office, or of hinting that
such a person might soon have to consider resigning: commentators say
things like 'She might find herself spending more time with her family'.


Damien Hall

University of York
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
YO10 5DD

Tel. (office) +44 (0)1904 432665
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