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Epitaph for the eighties? "there

is no such thing as society"

Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, talking to

Women's Own magazine, October 31 1987

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Margaret Thatcher No Society
No society: Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street, London, 1980, at the start of the UK's social affairs decade
Topic: views of society


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