Rather than writing a big introduction arguing that Nick Clegg won the EU debate this evening, I'm just going to do an *insert debate about the debate here*. For me, we could argue until we're blue in the face about whether Nick or Nigel won, but realistically I'm a LibDem and it's probably clear who I'd support. The issue for me is wider than that.
The issue for me is about who is likely to be Prime Minister after the General Election in May next year. Whilst I'm not a betting man, I'd bet that the man stepping onto the steps of No. 10 pretending he has a mandate despite his super slim majority/coalition will be either Ed Miliband or David Cameron. I'm a LibDem through and through, but I'd hazard a guess that we might not get a landslide this time. So it's important, isn't it, that we know what they think about things?
Ham Cam, (he's actually 40% reconstituted pork meat, after all), whilst I'm not an avid supporter has made his view clear with the legislation that Govt have approved. A referendum before any further transfer or powers. A referendum on any new treaty. So far, so good.
So, what about PM in waiting Ed Miliband? Well, he's apparently supportive of our position in the EU, so supportive that during tonight's debate he was nowhere to be seen. Just like reforming the House of Lords, just like reforming our broken voting system, when it comes to the rub, Ed and his party make all the right noises but refuse to stand up and be counted.
I know countless good, principled people who joined Labour and see it as a movement. I have a deep respect for these people, but I also have a message for them. Your leader is doing you a disservice. If, like me, you're pro-European as well as pro-reform of the EU. If, like me, you're concerned that we're risking millions of British jobs by flirting with exit. If these things are true, demand that Ed hears your voice and does something about it.
We are currently standing at a precipice, with anti-EU scaremongers about to win EU elections and soil our pitch within Europe for another four years. Now's the time for Ed Miliband to take a role in this debate and stand up for our continued membership of the EU.
I'm not holding my breath, and neither should you. If you care about this as much as I do, join the LibDems and stand up unabashedly for our position in Europe and the world.