Now and again, we are reminded of the sheer nastiness of a certain kind of Leftie. Not, let me stress, all Lefties: I have Labour friends who are motivated by a more or less uncomplicated desire to help the disadvantaged.
But they march alongside some committed haters who define their politics not by what they like, but by what they loathe. They also define opponents not as human beings with whom they disagree, but as legitimate targets.
A lack of empathy, bordering almost on sociopathy sits behind their talk of caring and sharing.
On sale at the TUC Conference, before a storm of protest forced their withdrawal, were T-shirts glorying in the eventual death of Margaret Thatcher.
‘A generation of trade unionists will dance on Thatcher’s grave,’ says one, emblazoned with the image of her tombstone.
Another is wrapped in a bag printed with the words: ‘In the event of Thatcher’s death, open bag and wear T-shirt immediately.’ The T-shirt has a picture of the former prime minister’s Spitting Image puppet, with the slogan: ‘Hey ho the witch is dead.’
Unbelievably, the ‘unemployed’ workers who produced them are taxpayer-funded.
Stop and think for a moment about what these T-shirts are celebrating.
Lady Thatcher is a frail and elderly grandmother. Yes, she was a strong-willed, divisive politician — and thank heaven she was.
A more conciliatory figure would almost certainly not have made the changes necessary to rescue Britain from the mess we were in by the late Seventies.
But what does it say about someone’s mindset that they slide so easily from disagreeing with Lady Thatcher’s politics to gloating over the idea of her death?