Anything that attempts to shift people's interest in politics beyond merely prodding the Tories for their latest failure is to be welcomed, but Instigate Debate has fallen a bit short.
They hosted a debate between Graham Coxon and Pete Doherty - neither of whom have had the best of weeks - and Graham revealed he had plans for America:
"Part of me wants to kind of clear America like an old overgrown field that needs the stubble burning and start again. Just keep the nice Americans somewhere while we do it. I think there will be a lot less oxygen being used, a lot less greenhouse gases."
The first sentence, you can understand.
The second, with the idea of putting the "nice" Americans out the way of the burning... well, that starts to make the whole thing sound a little sinister.
And the third sentence... I suppose at best you could hope that Coxon was making some sort of Swiftian point. Only he's not really Swift.
You take the "nice" people to safety, there's a "clearing" of America, and the end result is less oxygen being used.
Maybe he was joking. Maybe there's a context in which that statement isn't a millstone dangling around his neck. Maybe it's just ill-judged rather than disturbing.
Coxon does move on to suggest that he's actually imagining a world where it's American foreign policy influence that has vanished:
"That's my little dream fantasy, that they have no importance in the world. They're not some sort of power, they think they're policing the world -- and we can actually get back to how it used to be when us and Persia were good mates."
Ah, yes. Let's turn the clock back from a time when a major Western power dominates the globe through its military and financial might to, erm, a time when a major Western power dominated the globe through its military and financial might. The idea of Persia and Britain being "good mates" is laughable - in fact, Britain spent much of the early part of the last century attempting to secure the profits from Persian oil fields. Can you really disdain American cultural imperialism while hankering after the days of the British Empire?
To be fair to Graham, none of his contributions in the video seem that thought-through, and it's impressive that Instigate Debate decided to post the chat rather than just sit on it to spare the participant's embarrassment. Maybe, though, a campaign for Instigating Informed Debate might be called for?