Was it a good idea? Not sure. I’ve just returned home after 2 hours of arguing with Tories on the internet TV station 18 Doughty Street, brainchild of Iain Dale. It really felt like walking into the lair of the enemy, but no centre-left organisation has managed to come up with anything that rivals 18 Doughty Street in terms of scale and technology. I was on a panel with Dizzy Thinks, A Very British Dude, and James Tumbridge, talking about all kinds of things – from contaminated fuel and public transport, right through to whether incest should be legal. To be faced with 3 Tories, especially one with views as hard to fathom as Very British Dude’s, was a very peculiar experience, although all three seemed jovial people.
Apart from at the very end – when talking about the EU, and education vs. social justice – I really don’t think I put in a very good performance. On the other hand, I do at least hope I managed to give a little balance to the debate. I wonder how many people actually watch those discussions though; 18 Doughty Street’s slogan is ‘Politics for Adults’ but it did seem more like politics for geeks at some points this evening. Anyway, I’ve learnt a lot, and I would go again if asked. I might even manage to make my points more coherently next time.