You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss Newsnight tonight as the slick new 18 Doughty Street goes through the Paxman grilling.

This is how they are plugging it:

“18 Doughty Street is the internet TV channel dedicated to all things political. The creators say that the mainstream political process is ignoring huge swathes of public opinion – a niche they propose to fill by running attack adverts sponsoring arguments on both sides of the political debate (or so they say).

“Is this the start of a new Americanisation of British politics or have the authors misjudged our political culture? “

American politicians have fully embraced the social media in the nomination contest for the next presidential election, they realise the importance of winning over sceptics, that they need to engage in open interaction to prove politicians are listening to the electorate and showing their “true” face.

Here is a perfect example. I have just had an email from Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps inviting me to tune in to a live online debate he has arranged this week to discuss proposed axing of acute services in his local hospital. He even has the Chief Exec of his  health trust taking part. That is fantastic, how else would the ordinary man in the street have the chance to speak directly to his MP and health chief? I just love the way Grant works, here is one of his YouTubes.