As if to prove the thrust of yesterday's post, Chris Grayling apparently popped up on Radio 4 this morning to claim that campaigners against Workfare were part of a front for Socialist Worker, and
This comes, of course, after Michael Gove attacked opponents of Academies for being 'Trots' and both David Cameron and Chris Grayling apparently independently came up with the idea of calling opponents to Workfare 'snobs'.
So Tory focus groups have shown potential voters don't like the far left or snobs then. Presumably, being thought of as snobs was damaging the Tory brand, so what better way of fixing it than making the opponents look like the snobs? Clever, eh? Yeah - if you're five.
This technique of attacking an opponent rather than tackling their argument is a fallacy of logic. If you do this sort of thing in an argument, you've lost - but an audience who doesn't know about it might be tricked into thinking you won. Which is why people who know it's a fallacy still do it.
It's called an argumentum ad hominem, which means 'argument against the person'. It's got a Latin name because we've known it's bullshit for thousands of fucking years.