Turnout for this week's European Parliament election is expected to be low but there is every reason for anyone concerned at the direction of travel of this country to make their mark. First, Europe and our place as a key player in it must surely demand stronger Labour support than has been forthcoming from the shadow Cabinet to date. It must be our future. Second, (and I make no apology that this point has been made on this blog before) for Labour voters in most rural areas, this is the only chance we get for our tick to count, with every other election dominated by Tory incumbency. Third, every vote which is not for the pseudo-non-racists of UKIP must be registered, to keep their pernicious influence away from power.
So our top candidates - Annaliese Dodds, John Howarth, Emily Westley for the South-East - must be given every chance.
But this support cannot be unqualified. How many voters between elections hear or see any evidence whatsoever of the work of their chosen representatives - let alone know their names? We hear much that is critical of Europe's institutions, their members' lifestyles and expenses, so how about demanding reports on their achievements? MEPs are at least democratically accountable so lets support them this week but be very demanding of transparency and value every other week in return.