Can you come up with a punchy Lib Dem slogan?

Iain Martin of the Wall Street Journal put in a pithy request to the political parties yesterday, Day -1 of the 2010 general election campaign: Better Slogans, Please.

Iain is equally scathing of Labour’s efforts (‘Come on Labour, wake up, get a move on! Don’t you know there’s an election on?’) and the Tories’ (‘a rather unhappy fudge of a slogan that doesn’t stick in the brain. Fail.’). But he’s also slightly underwhelmed by the Lib Dems’ sloganeering:

The Lib-Dems: The party knows there is no point diving in when the two larger parties are getting all the attention. Instead, keep the powder dry, wait until media and public boredom creeps in and then pop-up with a poster offering an alternative. Still, on the party’s Web site they are road-testing various slogans. But they’re all a bit lame: “A fresh start for Britain” (wow, never heard that one before), “Fair taxes for all” (make mine a large slice of motherhood and apple pie) and “Campaigning for Equality” (as opposed to campaigning for inequality). Vince Cable has the best crack at it, saying in a press release that the Tories sums don’t add up — he can get away with these lines, supposedly being a national treasure in line for the sainthood. Expect to hear this Cable line much more often. However, “Tory sums don’t add up” is not much of a slogan. It’s merely an observation.

Verdict: Too early to say.

So, come on, LDV readers: have you got better suggestions for some punchy Lib Dem slogans that memorably sum up the party’s core message?

Over to you …

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60 Comments

  • Lib Dems: Unlike Nick Clegg, we won’t get into bed with 30 other parties.

  • Lib Dems: the death of two-party politics.

  • Lib Dems: We stand for nothing.

  • Sally’s slogan gets my vote – laughing at ourselves for the win.

  • Liberal Democrats:

    – change for the better, since 1859.
    – because politics isn’t either/or.

    If Labour make you see red, and the Tories give you the blues, vote Lib Dem for a Golden future.

  • Free Trade

    Made by Liberals, guaranteed by Liberals

    And in similar vein:
    The NHS
    Old Age Pensions
    Progressive Taxation
    Education for all

    (etc)

  • For a Just Society, vote lib dem

  • More Lib Dem MPs = More Lib Dem Policies = A Happier Britain (and that includes you).

  • Martin Shapland 5th Jan '10 - 2:00pm

    “Change Politics Forever”

  • David Heigham 5th Jan '10 - 2:13pm

    “Yes, you can!”

    “Trust the people.”

    “Fit for purpose.”

    “Think ahead ! ”

    “Fair policies, no meddling.”

  • I like “Lib Dems: For The Underdog”, or “Lib Dems: Making Life Fairer”.

  • I’d rip off a tried and tested Kelloggs slogan – though I’m torn between “the original lefties and still the best” and “Lib Dems don’t make policies for anyone else”

  • I have a theory that a major problem with trying to advance the liberal position is that the core of liberalism, leaving people be as much as possible, doesn’t seem like much of an offer on paper (e.g. Vote for Us and We’ll Leave You Alone!).

    Perhaps it would be better not to produce any leaflets or slogans at all and, instead, spend the money, time and effort on working out the strongest possible policies and insuring the widest possible distribution of the manifesto.

    It’s counter-intuitive, but the novelty value of not ‘sloganeering’ might generate more publicity for and understanding of the Lib Dem position than any amount of sloganeering could..

  • I favour a poster with two steaming piles of poo, one with a Labour rosette and one with a Tory rosette, with the slogan: “Just because you don’t like bullsh**, it doesn’t mean you have to like horsesh**. Vote Lib Dem instead.”

  • Like when Radiohead released Kid A? “Lib Dems: the Radiohead of politics” would probably go down quite well actually…

    (I’m not the same Tom as the one immediately above, but rather the one who first posted.)

  • The Liberal Democrats – for a fairer, greener and more equal society. The only party working for you, not for masters of the universe.

  • Cheltenham Robin 5th Jan '10 - 7:01pm

    We didn’t get you into the shit but we are happy to dig you out of it.

  • Is it really easier to give up heroin than to stop voting Conservative/Labour ?

    You know you can’t trust the Tories, we can keep them in check

    If you want to change the route, not just the driver – vote Liberal Democrat

    Do you want different faces or different policies ?

    Liberal Democrats – the other parties hate and despise us – two good reasons to support us.

    Try something new on polling day – Liberal Democrats

    Run by ordinary people for the people

    Make more of a difference – Liberal Democrat

    If we all had a pound for everytime Labour broke a promise – we could pay off the deficit

    Tories fooled you once, shame of them, Labour fooled you twice shame on you – don’t get fooled again.

    Don’t worry, Clegg won’t be Prime Minister, but Cable might be Chancellor

  • Off goes the Analogue. Upgrade to Cable.

  • Hereward the Wake 5th Jan '10 - 9:34pm

    Lib Dems. We break Manifesto Commitments.

  • Stanley Theed 5th Jan '10 - 9:42pm

    Liberal Democrats. The party FOR you. The party for YOU.

  • Hereward, you have us confused with Labour (Top Up Fees anyone?)

  • “If we all had a pound for everytime Labour broke a promise – we could pay off the deficit” is very good.

    The problem is that a slogan has to capture something, and that is very hard when party’s are coalitions, and issues are complex and overlapping. We say that we are for a fairer Britain, but Labour could retort that they have increased benefits for millions, and created and increased the minimum wage. Or we could say that we will set people free, but then others might ask if that includes the freedom to hunt foxes (no), drive without a seatbelt on (no), etc etc. Or for a greener Britain, but we won’t raise the price of petrol.

    That is why almost all the successful slogans capture a mood about the country, not about the party concerned – “Labour isn’t working”, “Things can only get better”, or even Obama’s “Yes we can”. But these three were all in the context of a clear sense in the nation, about the nation. There was little doubt after 1979 that we needed a change of government (not the same as saying the one we got was the right one), and the same was true in 1997. But the principal opposition party will almost inevitably be the main recipient of the anti-incumbency feeling, and as such it is easier for them to come up with a good slogan, because they are more credible as the next government.

  • Andrew Duffield 5th Jan '10 - 11:30pm

    “…others might ask if that includes the freedom to hunt foxes (no)…”

    Yes, actually.

    GO-LD !

  • David Allen 5th Jan '10 - 11:58pm

    Labour and the Tories work for big powerful vested interests – like big business, big unions, big government, and big millionaires. Lib Dems work for you!

  • Matthew Huntbach 6th Jan '10 - 12:02am

    As I have said previously, we have had “none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity” for a long time, and I see no reason not to continue with it.

    Some may say this language is too old fashioned or uses too long words. I say to them, that I shall not be enslaved by the conformity that says I must speak in modern ad-man’s talk, nor by the ignorance that is scared of words of more than two syllables, nor by the poverty of imagination that cannot rise above the cheap and childish politics we have now which cannot make use of noble sentiments like these we have from our past.

  • I think Tim Leunig has hit the nail on the head. A couple of weeks ago the Guardian asked various ad agencies to come up with poster ideas for the parties, and they were mostly appallingly bad, particularly the suggestions for the LibDems. We have to avoid anything which feeds into the ‘time for a change’ narrative because that will just aid the Tories. My partner Jenny came up with an idea which, while not being of specific benefit to us, taps into doubts about the Tories, which given the number of our seats that are vulnerable to them, might have a spin-off for us: large picture of Cameron looking smug and well-fed on a Tory blue background, strap-line “We are all in this together!” and at the bottom right, Are we? (OK, I know it was Osborne, but the voters don’t know who he is or what he looks like, and Cameron can hardly disown the sentiment that Osborne so clunkingly emphasised).

  • More Blu-Ray than Betamax

  • Nick Radford 6th Jan '10 - 10:59am

    Lib Dems don’t do Governments, but if we did they’d probably be the best Governments in the world…

  • Tony Hill “large picture of Cameron looking smug and well-fed on a Tory blue background, strap-line “We are all in this together!” and at the bottom right, Are we? ”

    Give your GF a big smacker – that’s brilliant!

  • And to add to the above, I’ll even supply the photograph.

  • A big photo of Blair and Cameron captioned can you spot a difference ?

    Photo of Vince Cable – or do you want to make a difference – Liberal Democrats

  • Big Photo of Brown and Cameron captioned “Fair enough?”

  • Terry Gilbert 6th Jan '10 - 9:00pm

    Google ‘we are all in this together george osborne’ .
    Top result? A you tube vid of George set to High School Musical music with added lefty political comments.

  • Vote Lib-Dem for a Conservative Future

  • Lib Dems – not quite as rubbish as the other two.

  • James Robertson 11th Jan '10 - 7:41pm

    From Jennie: “Actually, I think “we’ll leave you alone to get on with things yourselves” would resonate with a lot of people right now.”

    If only my Lib Dem MP thought this way…instead of involving himself in every populist cause going!

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