Talking tough: Margaret Thatcher on 60 Minutes

How tough was Margaret Thatcher? Have a look at this 60 Minutes interview from 1985, in which the "Iron Lady of Britain" lives up to her nickname

How tough was Margaret Thatcher? Have a look at this 60 Minutes interview from 1985, in which the "Iron Lady of Britain" lives up to her nickname. At the time, Prime Minister Thatcher was under fire from critics and flailing in public polls-- yet she was positively unflappable in this interview, expressing confidence in her conservative politics and the need for "a firm hand" in her leadership of Britain.

Mrs. Thatcher on critics who accuse of her of a lack of compassion:

"How quite absurd! Those people who talk most about compassion are often those people who define compassion as getting the state to spend more on their particular interest."

On her low performance in public polls:

"It's not the job of a politician to do only those things which you think will be popular."

On the socialist experiment in her country after World War II:

"Somehow, people began to look to the state for their standard of living, to the state to solve their problems, rather than solving them themselves. My job has been to turn that around."

On the winning personality of President Ronald Reagan:

"I think he's marvelous, as I told you. I'm his greatest fan. We each have our own style. You can't change it. I haven't the slightest intention of changing mine. After all, it hasn't done me so badly so far."

On whether she ever feels like quitting:

"I don't want to pack it in for quite a time yet. Maybe you don't like the style, but I still think a firm hand is needed."

Lady Margaret Thatcher died today. She was 87.


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