Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality

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Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality by Mind Map: Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality

1. Personality

1.1. Pros

1.1.1. Ladylike

1.1.1.1. "'The best description of Margaret is that she was always ladylike, sensible and serious,' said her classmate Gladys Foster."

1.1.1.2. "She was Hospitable, feminine, confiding, dysfunctional within her family, direct with her daughter's boyfriend and much more vulernable than I had realised."

1.1.1.3. "Margaret Thatcher had good manners."

1.1.1.4. "Her feminity, which she used as a technique when it suited her, was real."

1.1.2. Vulnerable

1.1.2.1. "Throughout her life she suppressed personal information, insecurities, emotions, and inconvenient truths behind a facade of carefully projected self-certainty."

1.1.2.2. "She was Hospitable, feminine, confiding, dysfunctional within her family, direct with her daughter's boyfriend and much more vulernable than I had realised."

1.1.2.3. "Beneath her outer carapace of simple certainties and self-belief there lay an inner level of insecurity and vulnerability."

1.1.2.4. "Realising that she had to live off other people's ideas, she was constantly seeking reassurance from intellectuals who would provide her with the philosophical fire- power she needed to reinforce her own instincts."

1.1.2.5. "As for her vulnerabilities, she rarely showed them outside her inner circle of core aides. She could be hurt by personalised criticism, by family worries, by condescension from arrogant parliamentarians and by rejection from people she wanted to be on her side of the argument but who were not."

1.1.2.6. "These weaker aspects of Margaret Thatcher's personality made her a gentler and more attractive figure to the handful of people around her who were in the know."

1.1.3. Strong Personality

1.1.3.1. "But on the big picture of politics it was the strength of her personality that made it possible to achieve what was thought almost impossible."

1.1.3.2. "Personality attracts votes"

1.1.3.3. "The paradox is that it was the clash of good and bad forces in her nature that gave the future Prime Minister such a formidable personality."

1.1.3.4. 'The strength of her personality continued to make both positive and negative impressions."

1.1.3.5. "Mrs. Thatcher: Very pleasant personality - good speaker - calm yet forceful delivery and very much to the point - Has a thorough grasp of politics - tendency to the right of centre - A fine brain - great 'appeal'. This lady should surely be in Parliament soon."

1.1.3.6. "He found Margaret Thatcher a punctiliously correct opponent, full of strongly expressed convictions."

1.1.3.7. "Her most important tool in wooing the electorate was her self-projection. Many voters did not warm to her personality, but an increasing number were won over by the strength of it. what you saw was what you got- an immensely hard-working, determined and professional political leader."

1.1.3.8. "The force of her personality sent out this message. The voters were far from sure that they liked her, but they sensed that they needed her."

1.1.3.9. "The reasons why she showed such strength in standing up to these pressures are to be found in the power of her personality. She was certain about her objectives. She had the character to stick to her guns. She surrounded herself with an inner core of staff and advisers who she felt were supporters and believers in her mission to restore Britain's pride as a nation. And she psyched herself up with adrenalin to the point where she positively relished being opposed."

1.1.4. Caring

1.1.4.1. "Having written to 250 of her colleagues asking them to stay at Westminster on a Friday to support her bill, she sent a second handwritten letter expressing her gratitude to more than a hundred of them who responded to her request and voted for it. She also thanked many of them personally."

1.1.4.2. "Margaret Thatcher had good manners."

1.1.4.3. "This style of aggressive arguing and personal bullying was reserved for just a handful of ministers and decisions- making officials at DES. Below this level, most of the middle- ranking and junior civil servants who engaged with their Secretary of State liked her. She was courteous, solicitous and at times rather motherly towards them."

1.1.4.4. "She worked hard at remembering the names of even her obscurest colleagues, often asking after their wives and children."

1.1.4.5. "This was not natural territory to her, but her solicitousness was appreciated. Several MPs, when they were having family or health problems, were touched to be sent handwritten notes from her."

1.1.4.6. "Endearingly, she had a great appreciation for the virtue of loyalty. Anyone who gave it to her received it back abundantly, particularly if they were going though a bad patch."

1.1.4.7. "At a personal level she cared."

1.1.4.8. "It was a little-known side of Margaret Thatcher that she was extremely considerate to the family needs of her staff."

1.1.5. Quick to Learn

1.1.5.1. "She was wise enough to suffer in silence."

1.2. Cons

1.2.1. Not Personable

1.2.1.1. "She was never an easy person."

1.2.1.2. "He found Margaret Thatcher a punctiliously correct opponent, full of strongly expressed convictions. However, at a personal level he assessed her as 'one of the few people I've ever met in life who seemed to lack a sing ounce of human warmth.'"

1.2.1.3. "She appeared more forthright than friendly, combative rather than charming, and better at generating political heat than human warmth."

1.2.1.4. "Margaret Thatcher's speech in the Budget debate revealed one weakness - her inability to make a joke."

1.2.1.5. "She was strikingly attractive, obviously intelligent, a goer. But she didn't do herself any favours or win any friends. She tried too hard, in a slightly overbearing sort of way. She was invariably the first one of us in all the sessions to get to her feet and ask the opening question. Most of her fellow candidates found this habit off-putting: they thought her too keen by far, too pushy."

1.2.1.6. "But her relationships with her colleagues were less assured. "Life in the shadow cabinet and cabinet requires team players. She was a loner, strangely angular and intense in her non-collegiate approach."

1.2.1.7. "The Sun voted her 'The Most Unpopular Woman in Britain', and asked its readers, 'Is Mrs. Thatcher human?' The Guardian described the Education (Milk) Bill as 'a vindictive measure that should never have been laid before Parliament'. During debates in the House of Commons she was variously described by Labour MPs as 'the most mean and vicious member of a thoroughly discredited Government', 'Mrs Scrooge with the painted face' and as 'a reactionary cavewoman,' while Gerald Kaufman opined that she was to British education 'what Attila the Hun was to Western Civilisation.'"

1.2.1.8. "Even when she was doing well, she received limited plaudits because her style tended to alienate. Her forcefulness was her albatross. To many of her colleagues she was lacking in charm. She had much to learn from the Dale Carnegie school of How to Win Friends and Influence People. She could offend even those whose support she wanted to reciprocate."

1.2.1.9. "Did she have any true friend in whom she confided and trusted, apart from Denis? I suspect not."

1.2.1.10. "Margaret Thatcher's inner circle of staffers were professionally but not personally close to her."

1.2.1.11. "This was because she had no friends. Naturally she had legions of acquaintances with whom she was friendly, and a handful she trusted. But these were professional relationships. She could work with anyone if it served her purpose, but she relaxed with no one. She had no interests beyond politics. The concept of a disinterested personal relationship or a private hinterland was beyond her ken."

1.2.1.12. "She was too intense, too short on humour, too impatient, perhaps too womanly in a man's world to fully understand the changing moos of the parliamentary village."

1.2.1.13. "She seemed to have a mental block against ever saying she was sorry."

1.2.1.14. "She had no idea how to relax. She had no hobbies, no hinterland and no close friends with 'an old shoe' quality of comfortable familiarity. Recharging her batteries was a practice she had never heard of. She kept going at full throttle on a combination of extra adrenalin and extra work."

1.2.2. Naive

1.2.2.1. "She was pugnacious, full of simple certainties and shallow in her knowledge of the legislative process."

1.2.2.2. "She had a strong sense of mission, but a weak grasp of how best to accomplish it."

1.2.2.3. "She was too intense, too short on humour, too impatient, perhaps too womanly in a man's world to fully understand the changing moos of the parliamentary village."

1.2.3. Vicious

1.2.3.1. "On the other side of the coin her virtues far outweighed her occasional streaks of viciousness. Great men and women have their Achilles heels. Margaret Thatcher's failures of behaviour were painful to those on the receiving end of them. But on the big picture of politics it was the strength of her personality that made it possible to achieve what was thought almost impossible."

1.2.3.2. "As a well-briefed debater, Margaret Thatcher was formidable. But she could also be overbearing."

1.2.3.3. "She was pugnacious, full of simple certainties and shallow in her knowledge of the legislative process."

1.2.3.4. "Those who know her well detect a strong will, some might say almost a ruthlessness, behind her smiling apearance.'

1.2.3.5. "One problem was that she could 'never stop arguing,' according to the Crossbencher column in the Sunday Express."

1.2.3.6. "She was too loquacious. 'How she talked ... I believe that she honestly did not realize how irritating she was.'"

1.2.3.7. 'The flaw in Margaret as Education Secretary was the same flaw that became apparent in her as Prime Minister. Everything had to begin, continue and end with a vigorous argument. It is not always the best way of getting things done."

1.2.3.8. "Her flashes of bad temper were reserved for the high fliers. She saw many of them as ideologically obstructive. They saw her as a confrontational Home Counties lady who wanted to impose Tory radicalism on an area of national life that they thought was already well run by the prevailing educational consensus."

1.2.3.9. "This style of aggressive arguing and personal bullying was reserved for just a handful of ministers and decisions- making officials at DES. Below this level, most of the middle- ranking and junior civil servants who engaged with their Secretary of State liked her. She was courteous, solicitous and at times rather motherly towards them."

1.2.3.10. "During debates in the House of Commons she was variously described by Labour MPs as 'the most mean and vicious member of a thoroughly discredited Government'."

1.2.3.11. "Even when she was doing well, she received limited plaudits because her style tended to alienate. Her forcefulness was her albatross."

1.2.3.12. "To a minister she felt was ineffective, she could be insufferably rude."

1.2.3.13. "You see, she deals in creative destruction to make her point."

1.2.3.14. "But so many of them are well remembered that there is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher could display an unpleasant edge to her style of leadership. Its saving grace was that she mostly reserved her bullying for people of her own size."

1.2.3.15. "The abrasive side of her nature could hurt those who got in her way or whom she took an immediate dislike. her penchant for instant judgement led to many unfairnesses. 'I usually make up my mind about people within thirty seconds and 99 times out of a 100 I'm right',"

1.2.3.16. "She was straight, direct, and tactless - probably the most tactless woman I've ever met in my life."

1.2.3.17. "A tough lady! Highly opinionated, strong willed, cannot admit that she doesn't know something."

1.2.3.18. "Margaret not only starts with a spirit of confrontation but continues with it right through the argument. It is not a style which endears and perhaps even less so when the challenger is a woman and the challenged is a man."

2. Family Life

2.1. "She was not unduly neglectful of her father, but he became a low priority in her life. She was too preoccupied with her career to give him much of her attention. The same complaint could have been levelled at her by any other member of her family."

2.2. "When I look back, I have no doubt that my mother's political ambitions - and the single-mindedness which she pursued them - eclipsed our family and social life."

2.3. "Whatever the temporary disappointments, she achieved her goal. Yet there was a price to be paid for it, which she denied at the time: her family life suffered. In several conversations with friends during her retirement years, Margaret Thatcher lamented that she had not devoted more of her time and energy to the upbringing of Mar and Carol. In 1995 she even went so far as to say to Sir Michael Spicer: 'If I had my time again, I wouldn't go into politics because of what it does to your family.... Margaret Thatcher was always driven by ambition. She put her career first, and her role as a wife and mother second. She put country before family: that was the way she was made."

2.4. "During her first five years in Parliament, Margaret Thatcher's career in public life advanced, but her family relationships deteriorated."

2.5. "She dismissed the notion that women should have to sacrifice their professional lives for their husbands and their families."

2.6. "Denis also worked hard. But his wife's obsession with her duties was becoming more than he had bargained for."

3. Influences

3.1. Father

3.1.1. "'Well, of course, I just owe almost everything to my own father,' she said, 'I really do. He brought me up to believe all the things I do believe and they're just the values on which I've fought the election...'"

3.1.2. "her relationship with her father was the force that shaped her character and inspired her ambition.

3.1.3. "As a father, lay preacher and mentor he was by far the greatest influence in laying the foundations on which she built her life.

3.2. World War II

3.2.1. "The Second World War, and the events in Germany leading up to it made a seminal impact on the life of young Margaret Roberts. In this period the seeds of her strongest instincts were sown, which later influenced her decisions and attitudes as Prime Minister. Her passionate patriotism; her admiration for the armed forces; her affection for the Jews; her suspicions of Germany; and her reverence for the Anglo-American alliance are all traceable to her formative experiences as a Grantham teenager."

3.2.1.1. "This Mrs. Thatcher will go places. She is bright and a good looker. She seems to have a thing about the RAF."

3.2.1.2. "She appointed more Jews as cabinet ministers than any previous prime minister in British history."

3.2.2. "The reassuring presence of the American military may have contributed to Margaret's lifelong enthusiasm for good UK-US relations."

4. Political Career

4.1. Icon of Freedom

4.1.1. Iron Lady

4.1.2. "She became an icon of freedom to the peoples of Eastern Europe."

4.1.3. "She restored national pride and economic strength to Britain. These were such momentous achievements that she would have been inhuman not to have been tempted towards some feelings of vaunting self-aggrandisement."

4.2. MP

4.2.1. "She was the youngest woman ever appointed to ministerial office."

4.2.2. "She appointed more Jews as cabinet ministers than any previous prime minister in British history."

4.3. Leader of the Oppositon

4.4. Prime Minister

4.4.1. "If she sounded like a Little Englander it was because that was her character. She saw everything through the prism of British interests, a position she and the majority of her electorate thought was entirely right and proper for a British Prime Minister."

5. "She made a big impression on me by being wonderfully frank and vigorous in her arguments."