Seldom if ever, a week goes by without good news appearing in the pages of this newspaper – stories about acts of kindness and consideration for others, stories of personal achievements, good deeds, sacrifices, selflessness, stories of triumph over adversity and human endeavour above and beyond the call of duty.
Of course there are exceptions – every barrel has its rotten apples, but as a nation we like to think that by and large these virtues reflect British characteristics, setting us apart from many other cultures ruled by fear and oppression.
So it comes as an unpleasant shock when the passing of a titanic leader is greeted with such loathing, hatred and despicably cruel and crude out-pouring as we have witnessed in recent weeks.
With jubilant dancing and placard waving hate-chanting in the streets, one could be forgiven for thinking we were back in the dark ages.
Of course Margaret Thatcher was controversial. Of course her actions created devision as well as dynamism and determination – no-one governing a country teetering on the brink of collapse could ever solve a nation’s ills by pussy-footing around its problems.
The old saying about eggs and omelettes springs readily to mind. But whatever side of the fence you might be, to celebrate her death in such a viciously barbaric manner is surely a rejection of all the values we as a nation hold dear.
And who are these people, where has their vitriolic hatred sprung from? Certainly not their own personal experiences – most were barely out of nappies during her premiership!
The sickening outpourings on Twitter from a policeman employed to uphold the law and teachers employed to educate impressionable youngsters are simply not acceptable.
The culprits deserve punishment for failing in their duty of care, while being remunerated from the public purse, and the harsher the better, to act as a deterrent to others participating in this unsavoury modern-day practice.
This is not democratic freedom of speech, it is an abuse of it. And abusive tirades from rabble-rousers in the House of Commons behind the protection of parliamentary privilege are little better.
It is usually the case that those who rant the loudest and longest against society are also those who contribute to it least, all the while using it to their own advantage – rotten apples determined to contaminate the rest of the barrel.
At the time of writing the funeral is still to come. By the time you read this it will be history. Whether it is accompanied with loathing or admiration for the Iron Lady, I hope common decency and respect will have prevailed and anarchists will not have been allowed to hi-jack the occasion.
Otherwise we might well be witnessing the beginnings of a slide into the murky depths of a moral depravity these vociferous fanatics would have us believe is their God given right.
I doubt the acrimonious debate will be short-lived but at least let it be conducted in a civilised manner.