A well-known quote by Margaret Thatcher. It's often misquoted or truncated. Here is the original version:

    "Too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it ... 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."

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Given what British society was when Mrs Thatcher took power, and what it is right now, one must admit that this speech was not mere philosophy: it was a political programme, in which the essentials of Thatcherism were clearly described. Today, saying that "there is no such thing as (a British) society" would be stating the obvious.

The worst thing is that Thatcherism has not only imposed an ideology: it has eradicated any alternative. Today's choice for the UK elector is between traditional Thatcherism (see William Hague) and flashy Thatcherism (see Tony Blair). Differences between the New Labour and the new Tories, if any, are scarce. Mrs Thatcher's vision has taken over British politics, and there doesn't seem to be any major change in sight for the foreseeable future.