I was chatting to a friend of mine earlier, who is about as 'left' as they come. This was his attitude exactly - criticize her policies and point out where she went wrong (in the eyes of those of a left-leaning persuasion, at least), but don't attack her personally. Once you do that you've lost the argument and not got your deep-held beliefs across.
It would be nice to see a bit more criticism of her politics in the media, though, rather than endless tributes from weeping Tories and Henry Kissinger. Perhaps that will come over time, once the hysteria has died down. I certainly hope so. I for one don't swallow the "she saved the country" line, as peddled out by Call Me Dave today. She fundamentally changed it, yes, but not all her reforms and changes were necessarily for the best. Besides, what's to say the country would have been "saved" (if it needed saving) under a different Tory leader or a Labour government?
On the day that someone dies you usually find their legacy is treated with almost exaggerated respect, although I did hear Tony Benn strongly criticising her on 5Live today when I tuned in for the Challenge Cup draw that was then not broadcast at the appointed time. That was rather funny, because I also remember some years ago when Enoch Powell died, Tony Benn speaking quite gushingly about him, believe it or not.
You put your finger on a good point, though.
How can we possibly know what might have happened if Jim Callaghan had won the 1979 election, and Thatcher had never come to power?
How different would things have been today, either for the better or worse?
Interesting to speculate, but impossible to answer.