You know, if you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn’t you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing!

Interview for Press Association (10th anniversary as Prime Minister). 3 May 1989

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More from Margaret Thatcher

I had applied for a job in 1948 and was called for a personal interview. However I failed to get selected. Many years later, I succeeded in finding out why I had been rejected. The remarks written by the selectors on my application were: “This woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated!”

Quoted by K. Sathyanarayana in The Power of Humor at the Workplace (2007)

I personally have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that that death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty.

TV Interview for Channel 4 A plus 4 (15 October, 1984)

It was a lovely morning. We have not had many lovely days. And the sun was just coming through the stained glass windows and falling on some flowers right across the church and it just occurred to me that this was the day I was meant not to see.

TV Interview for Channel 4 A plus 4 (15 October, 1984), referring to the Brighton bombing in which the IRA attempted to assassinate her.

I believe that the royal family are a focus of patriotism, of loyalty, of affection and of esteem. That is a rare combination, and we should value it highly.

Statement in the House of Commons (24 July 1990)

We must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.

Speech to the American Bar Association (15 July, 1985)