I've tried hard to give 18 Doughty Street the benefit of the doubt since it started, and I had, on the whole, thought it had done its best to follow some sort of middle way.
Quite clearly all the money behind 18 Doughty Street is Tory, and aside from some token "lefties", the main presentation "anchors" are Conservatives too. Now 18 Doughty Street has had some semblance of balance by at least having lots of non-Tory guests, although Tories still outnumber guests from other parties by some distance. However, I've no great problem with that.
What I do have a problem with is 18 Doughty Street running attack ads on themes that can only really benefit the Tories.
The first attack ad that I saw was against state funding for local parties. Clearly an issue the Tories have opposed for some years. It goes without saying that the Conservative Party would have been pleased with this ad.
Now, its attacking Ken Livingstone. It's not that they've attacked Ken, of whom I am no fan, but I gather that people who back 18 Doughty Street have also been linked to Tory mayoral candidates, so this starts to smack of the worst type of American negative campaigning. What is worse though is that it appears that 18 Doughty Street is starting to become the vehicle for political campaigning, and in particular, Tory campaigning, that we were all told it would not be.
I'd refer people to Iain Dale's article about the latest attack ad as the comments make some interesting points better than I can.
It's a shame that 18DS is losing credibility by running these attack ads as the principle of the channel is a good one. I'd be interested to read what others have to say on this issue.