The Lisbon posters went up early last week, and it became clear immediately that there was a problem. They were nonsense, trumpeting a mixture of blandishment and alleged fact that nobody could believe. "Do they think the people are complete idiots?" I thought to myself as I looked at them on lampposts around Dublin. "Do they really expect us to fall for this rubbish again?"

I refer, of course, to posters erected by the various organisations and parties campaigning for a Yes vote on 2 October. Elsewhere in the Sunday Tribune today, political correspondent Conor McMorrow picks the bones of some highly effective posters created for the anti-Lisbon group Cóir, some of which flirt coquettishly with accuracy before eloping with delusion. But the Yes posters are no less nonsensical, no less dishonest. 'Yes To Jobs, Yes To Europe' says Fine Gael; 'Yes for Jobs' says Ibec; 'We Belong, You Decide' chuckles one from the We Belong group – dubbed Luvvies for Lisbon by crueller people than me – a preening bunch of minor celebrities led by one Olivia Buckley, whose last job, as head of the Fianna Fáil press office, was to convince us that Bertie Ahern and his party were doing a good job for Ireland. Slight credibility problem, there, methinks.

There is not a shred of evidence that voting yes to Lisbon will create a single job, any more than there is a chance that Ireland's minimum wage will fall to €1.84, as one of Cóir's posters suggests will happen. We've been in the EC/EU since 1973 and we are currently the European Champions at losing jobs. A government's incompetence is not mitigated by the international agreements it subscribes to; the notion that Fianna Fáil and the Greens will become job-creating superheroes as soon as we sign-up to Lisbon is patently ludicrous. Fine Gael, if not Ibec, should know better than to suggest otherwise.

I understand their need to say something positive. If somebody walks into a shop and wants to spend hundreds of euros on a suit, he will demand a certain amount of assurance that the combination he has fitted on is worth the money he is paying for it. A good salesman, an honest salesman, will, if the suit looks well, assure his customer of this important fact. The words he uses will be a key factor in the sale. "You look well, it fits you. If you buy this suit, you can be sure that the interview/ wedding/date/audition you've bought it for will go very well." Deal done.

What a good salesman will not say is: "If you don't buy this suit, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. You will be shunned in all clothes shops until you come to your senses, and condemned to a life of buying your suits from Oxfam."

The Yes campaign lost the last Lisbon campaign, comprehensively, and its various strands are seeking desperately for a formula to sell the suit to the customer this time. The more desperate elements are travelling down the negative route (to oblivion, if they are allowed to prevail) threatening hellfire and damnation if Ireland votes no. The cannier people are trying for something a bit more positive, for a way to make the EU sound like the kind of club you'd be happy to sign up to.

The problem is in the specifics, or at least in finding any specifics that people can relate to. Micheál Martin, the foreign affairs minister, had a go the other morning but ended up lost down a cul-de-sac involving the difficulties of dealing with Russia over gas supplies. Hence the bland posters, the meaningless promises of jobs and the mawkish slogans – 'We Belong, You Decide' – which sound like the names of bad Celine Dion songs.

The Yes campaign needs an enthusiast, somebody who tingles with excitement at the very mention of Brussels, and can convey that passion to a sullen electorate (which needs a very good reason to change its mind, having already spoken on this issue). The minister for Europe Dick Roche fits that bill. He is to Europe what Rachel Allen is to guacamole, a genuine fan and a champion of its possibilities, and though he can be condescending, this is a tendency that a week with Terry Prone could surely eliminate.

A month of non-stop Dick would be too much for anyone, but a two-week burst of Euro enthusiasm from the Wicklow TD near the end of the campaign might persuade people that there is still something to this whole EU thing. Whatever the Yes campaign decides, it has to do better than pathetic posters from pointless pressure groups. Friday's opinion poll confirms that.

Ass Kicking: Pure gem returns for a short run

RTé gets a bad rap from time to time, and so it should. The recent embrace of rubbishy reality tv often makes it hard to distinguish the national broadcaster from a purely commercial broadcaster like Sky TV and ITV. At a corporate level, it is too willing to do the government favours – as in the station's abject apology to Brian Cowen over a news report about a controversial painting of him, and its celebration of Bertie Ahern on the Late Late Show less than a week before the last election. But when it gets things right…

Pure Mule, the best thing it has ever done, returns for a two-episode run tonight. It's the highlight of my tv year, so far. I'm looking forward to it almost as much as my upcoming holidays. I'm sure it won't let me down.