The death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher draws attention to a place many consider pivotal to her role as premier – the Falkland Islands.
The 74 days of war against Argentina in 1982 ordered by Thatcher is seen as a war of liberation by many on the Islands.
Speaking about Thatcher’s death, member of Legislative Assembly in the Falkland Islands Mike Summers said: “It’s a very sad day for the people of the Falkland Islands. Mrs Thatcher is obviously very well-remembered and well-loved for being the person who led the liberation of the Falklands in 1982.”
Recently-released papers from the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust show uncertainty from the government before the war, but Thatcher is still seen as determined by people living on the Islands.
“I never had any doubt of the outcome, simply because there was an extremely strong, very high principled leader in charge of the whole operation,” said Port Stanley resident Phil Middleton.
“She is, always will be the ‘Iron Lady’ to us and if wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be here today,” added Port Stanley shopkeeper Sybie Summers.
Having faced opposition from her cabinet, the 1982 conflict helped seal the image of Britain’s longest-serving and only female prime minister as unbending and uncompromising.
- “I don’t think there will be a woman prime minister in my lifetime.” – as Education Secretary in 1973, six years before becoming Britain’s first, and so far only, woman prime minister
- “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.” – Quoting St Francis of Assisi after her 1979 election victory
- “I am not a consensus politician. I’m a conviction politician.” – 1979
- “I don’t mind how much my ministers talk, as long as they do what I say.” – 1980
- “We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty.” – On the 1984-85 miners’ strike which provoked some of the fiercest union opposition to her economic policies
- “We are not asking for a penny piece of community money for Britain. What we are asking is for a very large amount of our own money back, over and above what we contribute to the community, which is covered by our receipts from the community.”- At a European Economic Community summit 1979
- “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.” – 1980 Conservative Party conference, to colleagues urging her to soften her economic policies that were blamed for high unemployment
- “This is a day I was not meant to see.” – To reporters the day after surviving a deadly 1984 Irish Republican Army bomb attack on the Conservative Party conference
- “We have become a grandmother.” – On the birth of her first grandchild, 1989
- “No! No! No!” At the House of Commons in 1990, the climax of an anti-European outburst that moved Geoffrey Howe to quit as deputy prime minister and deliver a resignation speech which called for her to be challenged for her job
- “I fight on, I fight to win.” – In November 1990, after failing to win enough votes to avoid a second round in the Conservative leadership contest. She resigned the next day
- “It’s a funny old world” – On her decision to quit in 1990