I caught the Lib Dem election broadcast on TV earlier on this evening. I thought it was pretty good overall - Nick Clegg came across well as someone who tries to listen to the concerns and issues people have, and the film concluded with a simple focus on the party's tax message.
So, why the mixed feelings? Well, none of the issues mentioned by Nick - Iraq, civil liberties, tax - have much to do with either Europe or the English county council elections, supposedly the levels of government which are the focus of the coming elections.
Let's not forget that in 2004 we fought a European election campaign which barely mentioned Europe. And we came fourth, behind UKIP.
I recognise there are limits as to what can be included in a five-minute slot, but would it really have been that difficult at least to mention the role which the EU has in helping our economies recover, or the benefits we get from international co-operation?
And on a broader point, if the Lib Dems are not going to make the case that the UK benefits from playing its part in the EU, who is? Of course, we have to be critical of its failings and make sure we're calling for a reformed and more democratic union, but overall we do need to make the case for positive involvement within the EU. It'll go by default if we don't take the lead.
So, I hope in the next few weeks we will at least have some focus on a pro-European case. It doesn't need to be a major part of the campaign, but it does need to be there.
If you want to see the film for yourself, here it is:
The Second Referendum, or, Obliquity
1 week ago