A journalist from the Soviet press first coined the term Iron Lady, intended as an insult to the British Prime Minister. The relationship with the then USSR started early, upon winning the leadership of the Conservative party, Thatcher told a packed hall in 1976 about the USSR
“dictatorship of patient, far-sighted determined men bent on world dominance and acquiring the means to become the most powerful imperial nation the world has seen.”Margarette Thatcher
The view on the USSR did not change when 2 years later Thatcher became Prime Minister
The Iron Lady nickname stuck and became synonymous for much of the Thatcher Years. This no wavering approach was good depending on which side of the argument you were on and possibly how old you were. The Iron Lady credentials worked well perhaps for the end of the Cold War, Falklands conflict, maybe questionable on the Poll Tax which was tremendously unpopular with the UK population. It boils down to what qualities you want in a leader of a country with 55 million + people population and your politics and what you feel is right or wrong. and that is yours alone.