Above all else, today is a terribly sad day for Margaret Thatcher's family, her friends, and all those who feel a sense of loss as a result of her passing. I'm beginning to wonder if the former PM's ideological opponents ought to have restricted themselves to offering personal sympathy and condolences on that basis, because even the most generalised of tributes to her political talents and achievements have been cynically leapt upon by some on the right as 'proof' that she was correct all along.
Another potential approach at a moment like this is to single out one or two specific achievements that we do genuinely admire - for example the saving grace of John Major's premiership was the substantial progress towards peace in Northern Ireland. With Mrs Thatcher it's more challenging to do that, but after a long, hard think, here is my short list of the good things that I think she did.
The resolution of the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe crisis in 1980. Many would have expected her to intervene to thwart Mugabe's ascent to power (on anti-communist grounds or whatever), but she correctly allowed the democratic process to run its course.
Standing up for the Falkland islanders' right to self-determination. Whether it was really about that for her is dubious, and the loss of life was utterly horrendous (the equivalent of half the population of the islands), but nevertheless a vitally important principle was affirmed.
The Anglo-Irish Agreement. Again, she probably did this for the wrong reasons - she was seeking security cooperation from Dublin above all else. But nevertheless it was a small signal to the nationalist population that their moderate political representatives could make progress without recourse to bombs or bullets.
Approving a rational HIV awareness campaign. With her social conservative background, many expected her to insist that the government campaign should emphasise sexual abstinence. But she didn't, and probably saved many lives in the process.
Progress towards European unity. This is the most ironic of the lot, but two of the most significant milestones on the road to European integration occurred on Mrs Thatcher's watch - the breaking of the logjam caused by the 'Luxembourg Compromise', and the Single European Act.
Can you think of any others?