I thin kthat what is 'mean' or inappropriate depends to a great extent on the situation. To my mind, there is a huge difference between talking about someone who is a public figure, to people who nly know/knew him/her as a public figure, and talking about someone to epople who know or knew them personally.
So in terms of the original post, I would feel that the comments about the lawyer wer less acceptable, because the likelihood of them being heard by , or coming to the ears of someone who knew him personally and might be grieving are so much greater.
I think that this http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/08/margaret-thatcher-death-etiquette
Guardian piece is right when it comes to talking about figures when they die.
christmascarol, I disagree with you, but won't go into that.
What I will say is that large numbers of the people who are rejoicing over Baroness Thatcher's death are far too young to have experienced her premiership and have no actual idea of what she did or did not do. They simply hate 'Thatcher'. So when these people stage street parties and swig champagne in celebration, they are being not only 'mean' but bigoted.
I can't agree with this. Some may simply be bigoted, but none of them have been unaffected. Thatcher's legacy is alive and well, there's no-one currently living in the UK who isn't affected by what she did. I think that to assume that people below a certain age don't or can't understand that is a fairly large assumption to make.
I think with a public figure, a lot depends on where you stand in relation to that person and their views / actions - I think what Cicero said
unless we are talking about an extremely abusive/criminal person, I might not always find something nice to say, but I'll find something neutral , or keep quiet. For someone extremely abusive I will say 'the world is a better place today'-but that is for thev extreme cases
applies to public figures too, but that one persons 'extremely abusive' is another's 'strong politician'
That said, I personally
don't feel comfortable with the 'dance on the grave' mentality regardless of whether it's being applied to a politician, or a mass murderer.