Cameron: UKIP "closet racists"
I'm not too enamoured with David Cameron's condemnation of UKIP as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly". There are a fair few cretins amongst them too... Michael Howard's description of them as "cranks and political gadflies" was much more on point. I am very wary of the bandying round of "racist" as a political insult. I said during the last General Election campaign that I found it most unhelpful to debate in general as rather than discussing substantive issues we instead bicker over pejorative tags which are, in essence, pretty meaningless. By all means criticise, by all means discuss how UKIP really are an odd bunch who seem to want a "stop the world to get off here" party, but playing the "racist card" is, in my book, a bit cheap.
That said, of course, there is a startling record of UKIP gaffes. After Anne Winterton et al I wouldn't have thought the Tories would be too keen on focussing on them though. Despite this it seems to have played well with just the sort of voter the Party needs to win back for the next election. UKIP are seen as cranks by many and do play much of their game on a questionable part of the political wicket. Much better to hit them out of the ground, however, than aim for the body with the ball. That just isn't cricket.