"she was, Thatcher-like, to apply these same techniques of good housewifery to the finances of the kingdom"
Margaret Thatcher. 1990
Creative Commons AttributionMargaret Thatcher. 1990 - Credit: Jay Galvin

 Margaret Thatcher, first and, to date only, woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979-1990), compared running the British economy to managing a housewife's budget when she sought to reduce government borrowing.

Upon becoming Prime Minister she resolved to halt what she perceived as a national decline, with the de-regulation of the financial sector, the selling of state-owned enterprises and a more flexible labour market.  Although her popularity was, at the time, on the decline, Britain's involvement in the Falklands War in 1982 renewed support for her, until the late 1980s.

Nicknamed the "Iron Lady" in response to her hard line in dealing with the then Soviet Union, she also took tough measures to break the strength of the trades unions.  She resigned when her popularity declined over the controversial Community Charge and when her opinions on the European Union differed from others in her Cabinet. Although she returned to the House of Commons as a backbencher for two years following her resignation, she finally retired as a Member of Parliament in 1992, at the age of 66.