1. Defining moments of the Thatcher years | Thatcher enters 10 Downing Street | 4 May 1979
“Where there is discord . . .”
Thatcher gets out of a government car, smiling and waving gracefully at the crowd, who are both cheering and heckling as she enters Downing Street for the first time after the Conservative election victory.
Sandwiched between policemen, she gives her first interview as PM to the BBC's John Sergeant by the steps of No 10. In measured tones, and seemingly oblivious to the vociferous shouts from the crowd, she delivers a quotation from Francis of Assisi and pays tribute to the late senior Tory Airey Neave, killed in a car-bomb explosion just weeks before the election.
Where there is discord, may we bring harmony; where there is error, may we bring truth; where there is doubt, may we bring faith; and where there is despair, may we bring hope.
In the words of Airey Neave, whom we had hoped to bring here with us, "There is work to be done."
It is telling that when Sargeant asks for her thoughts on Emmeline Pankhurst and her father, she declares that she owes "almost everything" to the latter but fails to mention any influence of the former.
Thatcher was an involuntary feminist, famously stating: "I owe nothing to women's lib." In her years occupying the single most powerful position of any woman in the world, she liked to portray herself as a conventional housewife who made breakfast for her husband every morning.
Tags: Margaret Thatcher