Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady

By John Blundell | Go to book overview

24. MEN

“I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very
rarely change it
.”

Other than Denis three men dominated Margaret Thatcher’s life and three others deserve a gold-plated mention too. The three who dominated are her father Alf Roberts, her great domestic ally Sir Keith Joseph Bt. and her great overseas ally President Ronald Reagan. The three who deserve the gold-plated mention are Sir Alfred Sherman, Sir Alan Walters and Lord (Ralph) Harris of High Cross.


Alf

“My father was a Rotarian. The Rotary motto ‘Service above Self’
was engraved on his heart.”

“I am sure that he never imagined that I would eventually become
Prime Minister. He would have wanted these things for me be-
cause politics was so much a part of his life and because I was so
much his daughter.”

Alf (as we saw in earlier chapters) was extraordinarily important. He was the foundation on which she built: “I owe almost everything to my father” she once said. He was the one who taught her the importance of integrity. “He taught me that you first sort out what you believe in. You then apply it. You don’t compromise on the things that matter.”

-181-

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Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • List of Acronyms ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Protocol xiii
  • Table of Contents xv
  • Preface 1
  • Introduction 11
  • 1- Childhood 17
  • 2- University 25
  • 3- Launching 35
  • 4- Elected 45
  • 5- Opposition I 53
  • 6- Education Secretary 63
  • 7- Reflections 71
  • 8- Leader 77
  • 9- Opposition II 83
  • 10- Power 89
  • 11- Liberating the Economy 93
  • 12- Privatizing the Commanding Heights 99
  • 13- Selling off Public Housing 107
  • 14- Going to War 113
  • 15- Beating the Miners 121
  • 16- Reforming the Unions 127
  • 17- Battling the I.R.a 131
  • 18- Befriending America 137
  • 19- Kicking Down the Wall 141
  • 20- Dealing with Brussels 147
  • 21- Resignation 155
  • 22- Retirement 165
  • 23- Family 173
  • 24- Men 181
  • 25- Her World 191
  • 26- Ten Lessons 197
  • Postscript- What Remains to Be Done 207
  • Appendix I- Table of Margaret Thatcher’s Elections* 209
  • Appendix II- General Election Results from 1945 -2005 210
  • Further Reading 211
  • Index 213
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