Speeches, Interviews & Other Statements

Complete list of 8,000+ Thatcher statements & texts of many of them

1973 Mar 5 Mo
Margaret Thatcher

TV Interview for BBC1 Val meets the VIPs (too inexperienced to be Prime Minister)

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Document kind: TV Interview
Venue: Unknown
Source: Thatcher Archive: transcript (extract)
Journalist: Valerie Singleton, BBC, chairing
Editorial comments: Extract only. 1230-1730 "Lunch and recording at the BBC" (appointment diary). MT answered questions from a studio audience made up of children. The programme was broadcast on 7 March.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 539
Themes: Education, Secondary education, Women, Executive, Leadership, Autobiographical comments, Famous statements by MT

Would you like to see a woman Prime Minister? Mrs. Thatcher

I think it depends on who the person is. I don't think there will be a woman Prime Minister in my lifetime. And I don't think it depends so much on whether it's a man Prime Minister or a woman Prime Minister as whether that person is the right person for the job at that time. And it's very difficult to foresee what may happen many, many years ahead. Val

Do you think it's what you were saying earlier, just prejudice in the mind of the public, or do you think … Mrs. Thatcher

Not wholly … Val

… or do you think it's because women don't have the desire to become Prime Minister? Mrs. Thatcher

… let's be. It's not wholly prejudice, let's be fair. I don't think we have enough women with the same range of experience in politics as men have had. And it is important, whoever becomes Prime Minister, that they've had quite a wide range of experience in top political jobs. And we haven't yet worked up sufficient women … Val

Graham Hill said last week he didn't think there'd ever be any women Grand Prix racing drivers, because they weren't aggressive enough. You don't think that's the reason do you? Lack of aggression in women? Mrs. Thatcher

I wouldn't say that I was guilty of lack of aggression sometimes. Val

Roger, would you like to see a woman Prime Minister? Do you think it would be a good idea? Roger

Well, I dunno. It would certainly be a new thing … to see. And it might change some of the ideas. But it would depend on whose side, and whether she'd seen enough action … Val

So when it's time for you to vote you wouldn't mind voting for a woman if there was somebody there that you thought was … could … Roger

…suitable for the job. Mrs Thatcher

But Roger, there are one or two women Prime Ministers in other countries of course, in India, in Israel, and in Ceylon. They've got women Prime Ministers, and seem to have done quite well with women Prime Ministers, so I don't think we've failed as a sex.

2nd Section

Eileen Conroy

If you were given the chance to become Prime Minister, um, do you think you'd be able to make it, you know, do you think you know enough about politics to be one? Mrs. Thatcher

(Laughs) My goodness me, it's a pretty penetrating question, isn't it? I would not wish to be Prime Minister, dear. I have not enough experience for that job. The only full ministerial position I've held is Minister of Education and Science. Before you could even think of being Prime Minister, you'd need to have done a good deal more jobs than that. Val

Mrs. Thatcher, thank you very much indeed for being our guest today. APPLAUSE