It is something for which I have braced myself for years, the squalid joy that would follow the death of Margaret Thatcher.
That’s not to say, however, that I am not stung by the scenes that have soiled British streets these last few days.
Sad ghouls who probably think decorum is a nightclub. Gormless teenagers who weren’t even alive when Thatcher was in no. 10, holding up posters suggesting that we rejoice at her passing. Fools with champagne bottles, oblivious to the fact that there is such a thing as trying too hard.
This isn’t to say I expect hypocrisy at the passing of a controversial figure. I have no problem with Labour MPs who were unwilling to subject themselves to the recall of Parliament to mark the former Prime Minister’s death. That’s not rudeness, it’s consistency.
Nor did I have any problem with Gerry Adams’ comments on his old adversary. Whether you agree with them or not, they were, again, consistent and, while bitingly critical, they were civilly expressed. If Adams subsequently spent the evening quaffing champers and discharging party poppers, he was at least sufficiently considerate to do so in private.
Yet, as tasteless as the street celebrations were, my abiding reaction is bewilderment. Does the Left have any idea how bad and indeed ridiculous it now looks?
Margaret Thatcher has been out of the political arena for 20 years. Seizing on her death in this way is as pitiful as seizing on 1966 as a bellwether of the current state of English football.
Had they really wanted to make a hard-hitting response to the death of Margaret Thatcher, the smart play for the Socialist Worker brigade would have been to ignore it completely. To meet any request for comment with something along the lines of, “She wasn’t a nice lady, she’s been irrelevant for two decades and we have more important things to be getting on with.”
Alas, you only have to look at some of the photos at the first link above to realise that subtlety probably doesn’t come easily to people like these.
And what a spectacular own goal it all is – the so-called caring, compassionate, inclusive end of the political spectrum, exposed as a hotbed of callous bile. Remember this, floating voter, next time you are toying with the idea of voting for a Labour Party that is in thrall to this rent-a-mob.
I was never totally wowed by Margaret Thatcher. She got some things very right and others equally wrong. What has become of whole swathes of her former electorate, though, when you find yourself looking at them and wishing they could be a bit more like Gerry Adams?