Those making hay on social media seem to genuinely believe that a sizeable majority of the public share their hate to such an extent that it is acceptable to exhibit it in public; to be proud of it, in fact.They must have forgotten that she returned an overall majority at three successive general elections and it wasn't till seven years later that voters swung away from Thatcher's party.
Whether one agrees with her politics or not, two things are pretty clear. Firstly, she was more popular than not and, further, as a frail old woman of 87 she had long become irrelevant to everyday life. 23 years have intervened since she was last in office - if her policies were that appalling to the general public they would have been swept away by now.
Mr Puddlecote Senior always had an intense and irrational (for me who didn't remember the times, anyway) hatred for Harold Wilson. If I'd heard the story of how Wilson changed attitudes from one of 'earning' to "you are entitled" once, I'd heard it a thousand times. But when Wilson died in the 90s, Puddlecote Snr acknowledged that he was a man of the people who had the interests of the country at heart, however misguided one may think his policies were. If he harboured private celebration, I didn't see it.
Contrast that with Tom Paine's experience today.
My tour of my local brewery is rather spoiled by our tour guide punching the air with glee at the news of Margaret Thatcher's end. What kind of human glories in another's death?Perhaps this woman forgets (or is not old enough to remember) that Thatcher's government introduced the Beer Orders in 1989 to try to protect her local brewery from the excesses of large, powerful breweries. Without Thatcher, it's possible she wouldn't be guiding visitors round that brewery today.
Thatcher wasn't a perfect politician as the Conservatives like to eulogise, nor was she universally disastrous as the left claim. She was a politician, so naturally prone to not pleasing all of the people all of the time. She did manage to please a majority of the country enough on three occasions though.
This isn't a defence of any of her policies. I find it incredible that there used to be rules on the amount of money which could be taken on foreign holidays, and am grateful that she abolished them. By the same token, the poll tax was a nonsense of the first water.
It's not Thatcher's death which makes me depressed tonight, it's the desperate disappointment that so many feel it is acceptable to post jubilant bile all over the internet and - in Tom Paine's case - proudly in person.
Former England hooker Brian Moore expressed it best today, in my opinion.
Those asking why I don't decry Thatcher & her divisive poitics & social agenda - because she died today and I'm not a c***.
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) April 8, 2013
The Tories are 'the nasty party', remember? Labour and the left in general are supposed to be compassionate and above political nastiness in pursuit of a greater human condition. I see none of that today. Just scary people who seem to have forgotten - or never possessed - common decency.
Dan Hodges has written about what the 'Labour movement' should be doing this week, but I don't reckon many are listening.
Ed Miliband should stock up on underpants.
Margaret Thatcher RIP.