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2. Defining moments of the Thatcher years | First party conference as PM | 10 October 1980

“The lady’s not for turning . . .”

In a speech to the Conservative party conference in 1980, Thatcher responded to speculation that, in the light of rising unemployment, she was to make a political about-face with regard to her economic policies.

To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the U-turn, I have only one thing to say: "You turn if you want to. The lady's not for turning!"

The speech was received with a standing ovation and affirmed Thatcher's reputation as the "Iron Lady".

Thatcher acknowledged the ills of unemployment but reaffirmed her belief in her plans for the economy. She claimed other policy successes that included the initial changes in trade union law, the breaking down of monopoly powers, and allowing council house tenants to buy their homes.

Next: 3. The recapture of South Georgia | 25 April 1982

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