Today Parliament has an opportunity to show some class.
When Parliament returns later today to pay tribute to the life of Margaret Thatcher, there will be some, perhaps many, MPs who will want to speak vigorously in opposition to her policies and her premiership. If conducted respectfully, this should be welcomed. We should always welcome an open and free debate among those who disagree with each other.
A strong democracy relies on the freedom of expression and the British Parliament has always set the standard, globally, for robust debate.
There will, however, be some who will be tempted to attack Lady Thatcher personally. They may wish to step beyond the line of political disagreement and into the realm of personality attacks.
Baroness Thatcher is a former Prime Minister who held some very strong views and divided people’s opinions. But she was also a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. Launching a personal attack on a frail, elderly woman who died only this week and whose family are still in mourning is neither big nor clever. It belittles the person doing it and, more significantly, it belittles our parliament.
Parliament, the world is watching. Show some class today.