The Daily Mirror has "outed" Jeremy Clarkson (a long-term opponent of the Mirror's former editor, and most unpopular man on earth, Piers Morgan) as a "racist" because he might have used what is always euphemistically described as the 'n-word'. For those who don't know, this relates to an out-take in Top-Gear in which Clarkson, to choose between two otherwise identical cars mumbles "eenie meenie miney mo, catch a..."
There IS a culture in which people feel they cannot express how they feel. When the white, working class feel a black teenager gets better justice because he's black, or that immigrants are getting special treatment, and they cannot express these views, these views cannot be challenged. What you're left with is a simmering resentment of the political system which isn't addressing genuine, if misguided concerns. If any attempt to express these concerns will end up with him being "exposed" as a racist, then he's likely to seek out places where he CAN express himself.
When you get lots of people expressing the same resentments in the same place, that place becomes an echo-chamber where blaming 'the other' becomes amplified, and you end up with a UKIP meeting delivering all the juicy quotes which are catnip to the exquisitely liberal media.
When immigrants move into an area, usually the cheapest, least desirable areas, "the indiginous population" tend to move out. The richer you are, the more likely you are to live in an ethnically homogeneous area. This is true even of well-integrated and economically successful groups: North London's Jewish community for example. There are many good reasons why people congregate in communities. Access to a synagogue or mosque for example, which isn't a consideration an Anglican would have to make - there's always a church nearby. But there's also a desire shared by the vast majority of the human race to live with people like oneself.
And here's the rub. The Working class - low waged people are competing with and living in close proximity to people who aren't like them. Immigrants may speak a different language, and will have different cultural assumptions. Shop window signs will appear in a foreign tongue. Unfamiliar brands appear in the local off-license. It's uncomfortable. People, usually, prefer to live among people like themselves. These working class people are inarticulate, and may express their feelings inelegantly, and they're being excoriated for doing so most often by people who have the luxury of living in more expensive, ethnically less diverse areas.
There's other effects: one of the benefits of education is an extension of your "in-group". Basically, the less educated you are, the more, on average you fear those not personally known to you. More educated people are more likely to mentally include visibly different strangers in their in-group, basing their priors less on visible difference and more on subtle cues, like education and white-collar professions. Middle class people feel less stress around people generally: The wealthier you get, the greater are the returns to trust. So wealthy, educated people are more likely to trust strangers than are working class people further increasing the wealthy's misunderstanding of the motives of the working class's motives for saying and thinking they things which are appearing in these UKIP "exposed" stories.
So the key to defeating UKIP is keeping the debate rational. (Pot, Kettle yes, yes, I know...). They are a protest movement, not a coherent political party and the 'tsunami of twattishness' as I've been calling it, will recede as people realise UKIP have no real answers to people's actual 'amenable-to-politics' problems. The problems of immigration will not be solved by simplistic proposals like strengthening border controls, but by ultimately by reforming the welfare state (and many of the coalition's reforms seem along the right lines to me). The problem is not that the immigrants are coming here to steal our benefits, they're not; but that the availability of benefits prevents indigenous working class from seeking the kind of low-paid jobs that the immigrants are now doing. Increase the propensity to take on low-paid jobs by the British, and at the margin, the returns to immigrants by moving here are reduced.
So by all means brand genuine racists, as some of these UKIP nutters are, as racists. But when you scrape the barrel, and suggest, using tenuous evidence that someone's a racist, for just saying something we all feel but expressing it inelegantly, then you will drive people to UKIP and re-enforce the echo-chamber effect at party meetings and online. At least UKIP are giving previously ignored people a chance to say what they genuinely think. What mainstream politicians must do is show people what they genuinely believe is often wrong, without shouting them down. Unfortunately UKIPpers have stopped listening just as the mainstream of politics has started shouting.
As for me, While I can understand their appeal to marginalised people, I cannot stand UKIP, their views and find them a risible bunch of tosspots, who're dishonestly fuelling an entirely unnecessary panic about immigration, the benefits of which far outweigh the costs, and proposing simplistic, unpleasant solutions to a problem which doesn't exist, causing damaging side-effects they'd no-doubt blame on the EU. In doing so, they're reinforcing the prejudices and biases in a vulnerable audience. I have no particular need to drive UKIPers back to the Tory fold. Every frothing, immigration-obsessed UKIPper lost to the Tories may mean one or two ex Lib-Dems who find the Tories much more appealing as a result. The decent people of UKIP will flood back to the Tories (and Labour and Lib Dems, but a plurality of Tories) when they've had their fun kicking "mainstream parties" at the utterly irrelevant Euro elections. This is why I don't share the panic of UKIP winning the Euro Elections.
Elections are won in the middle ground, not shouting like a goggle-eyed brownshirt, from the right flank, blaming everything on the dirty foreigner. I accept showering UKIP with invective is possibly counterproductive, but it's also fun, and I'm not a professional politician. I just wish I could have put my views as beautifully as the Flying Rodent has here.