I know everyone’s done one of these already, but I thought I’d give it a go…
On the whole, I thought Nick Clegg did a great job against Nigel Farage – but then, that’s because I’m someone who tries to base decisions on facts and figures, and almost his whole hour was focussed on providing these.
However, that’s not normal.
Stats make people switch off – unless they are funny (29m Bulgarians and Romanians, anyone?) – and there are only so many times people can be impressed by your ability to remember a person’s name.
One of Nick’s biggest problems was how he spent a lot of time saying how great the EU was – and not really addressing the fact it’s also pretty awful in places, too.
I’m as ardent a Europhile as the next person, but if you don’t tackle the genuine concerns people have about the EU, you don’t have any hope of true engagement.
So yes – say how brilliant the European Arrest Warrant is; how trade negotiations and deals are an asset – but also point out how you’d make everything better.
We have a record of reform and achievement, so maybe it’s time for Nick to treat the next debate like a European doorstepping.
Point out UKIP are a party who want to take the UK out of Europe, but only hold elected positions of power in the European Parliament.
Point out how Nigel Farage has not tabled an amendment since 2008, missing numerous chances to take powers AWAY from Europe.
Point out while Lib Dems are campaigning for a single seat parliament, better fishing regulations, standardised roaming charges – Nigel Farage is being paid to do nothing.
If Europe is so all-powerful, why repeatedly spurn the chance to tackle the issues at the source?
And this is by no means a personal attack on Farage, but the inaction and hypocrisy of a party that are so concerned about the EU’s influence over our country that they sit back and watch it all happen.
He won’t do it, of course, since Nick’s too nice a guy and has already set out his stall, but it’d be nice.