New Liberal Democrat PPB: Groundhog day – and what you can do about it!

Here is the new Liberal Democrat party political broadcast being broadcast this evening

It illustrates that feeling many people have every time they listen to a news bulletin these days. Tim Farron invites people who are worried about what’s going on in the world to do something about it by joining us.

I can’t help thinking that it would have been good to have had some of our growing band of Newbies saying why they had joined and what they had been able to do. One of them has even been elected as an MP

I wonder if people will keep watching till the end. It perhaps goes one cycle too far. What Tim has to say is worth hearing but will people have switched off by then?

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Tony Dawson 25th Jan '17 - 5:34pm

    Nice idea. But execution? Far too long imo before getting to the punchline.

    We shall see.

  • Eddie Sammon 25th Jan '17 - 6:35pm

    I must say, I enjoyed this. I’m not the ideal target market, but plenty of others are.

    On a side note: we need to get Tim Farron into a proper suit and tie. He needs to look more like a states-person. Presentation matters and it can be improved.

  • Robert Wootton 25th Jan '17 - 6:37pm

    I voted to remin a member of the EU but the country as a whole voted to leave. As a Democrat, I think the party should fight for a fair and just Brexit. Should I resign from the Liberal Democrats?

  • Well, I rather enjoyed it. I thought that the final cycle would be the couple waking up to the news of Sarah Olney’s victory and joining the party!

  • Paddy Moindrot 25th Jan '17 - 7:04pm

    Enjoyed the broadcast very much: I wake up with that feeling every day! BUT your “joining us” link above is broken, it wafts off to ibdems instead of libdems.

  • I thought it was brilliant, finally breaking away from the stereotypical broadcasts we all switch off. It really made the point it set out to, with humour and lightness of touch I really enjoyed. I didn’t think it too long at all after all groundhog day went on and on and on ….. Why wouldn’t you join the LibDems?

  • We need a positive – not a negative – message.

  • Viewers will have turned off half way through, it’s just too depressing. Caron and Paul Hunt’s idea of using Sarah Olney’s victory and the experiences of other new members would have been much better.

  • Leekliberal 25th Jan '17 - 7:38pm

    Robert Wootton says ‘As a Democrat, I think the party should fight for a fair and just Brexit. Should I resign from the Liberal Democrats?’
    I hope not, but will you Robert, want a choice on the final deal if it’s as bad for our economy as most of us expect it to be? It’s two years away and inflation caused by the pound’s devaluation is on the up. Banks are already moving staff to Europe and Lloyd’s of London is preparing to open a subsidiary in another European country next year to safeguard against any barriers to EU markets in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. Nissan, despite May’s blandishments, will review the situation when the deal is known and that could cost thousands of jobs in Sunderland. Are you looking at things from the prone position or are your critical faculties intact? Labour are riven and can’t be relied on to scrutinise May’s headlong rush to outer darkness. At present May is offering Parliament a vote to choose between her hard Brexit deal and the headbanger’s option of WTA terms. This is the most important decision the UK will make for a generation it is down to us to challenge May’s Government to ensure the future of this and future generations of our country.

  • Dave Barrington 25th Jan '17 - 8:21pm

    Excellent ppb and will cut a note with many decent folk

  • Tony Greaves 25th Jan '17 - 8:53pm

    Heather thought it was really good. I have not seen it and have no idea what Groundhog day means.

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jan '17 - 9:01pm
  • Like Father Christmas and trees of European pagan origins and overdone in N America.

  • This is the smartest thing we’ve put out in a long time.

  • Do we get paid by Apple for having their logo displayed over and over?

  • Peter Watson 25th Jan '17 - 10:50pm

    Alarm Clock Britain part 2?

  • Robert Wootton 25th Jan '17 - 10:55pm

    @Leekliberal. I want the country and the party to be able to vote for a fair and just economic system. Not the one foisted upon us by history. Our shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer should know what I am on about, even if no-one else in the party does.

  • Juliet barnett 25th Jan '17 - 11:27pm

    This broadcast really resonated with how I’m feeling post referendum. I am feeling agitated and despondent by the path Brexit seems to be taking and felt moved enough to at least visit your website and comment even though I have not always voted Lib Dem. Wether the Lib Dem voice can be heard loudly enough though remains to be seen.

  • Adrian Sanders 25th Jan '17 - 11:39pm

    Alarm Clock Britain meets Groundhog Day.

  • Katharine Pindar 25th Jan '17 - 11:40pm

    @ Leekliberal. Entirely agree with your comment here, and it is so much in tune with the piece I contributed on Monday (Maybe not! …) that I wish you would contribute to that thread also (as well as supporting the Stoke election! – any chance of you coming to Copeland’s too?). It seems to me that in discussions this spring we need to emphasise that Theresa May’s approach is not for the good of the country. A White Paper setting out her views isn’t likely to get us much further, and I presume we do need to discover that Article 50 can be revoked before the deed is done. But the point I am making here is that in a way Labour and UKIP are both easy targets, and we need to combat May’s approach strongly to inhibit her troops quietly sliding to victory in the by-elections.

  • Robert Wootton 6:37
    As a Democrat I am sure you believe that every British citizens should have had the right to vote wherever they are in the referendum. Some were denied the right.

  • Tony Dawson 26th Jan '17 - 7:55am

    The big issue is what this ppb is for. Most ppbs try to impress a lot of people to consider switching support. This one appears to be specifically trying to recruit new members from people who are particularly interested in what has gone on and hold a specific standpoint on these affairs which, given the number of ‘black holes’ Lib Dems still have across the country is an understandable priority. So, if it has a powerful effect on a small number of people, that would register as ‘success’ even if it is a ‘switch-off’ for a much larger number of people. T’proof of t’pudding will be in t eating. 🙂

  • David Blake 26th Jan '17 - 9:39am

    I have to admit that I got part way through it and thought it was so predictable and depressing. And do we have to use American terms such as Groundhog Day?

  • Nick Cunningham 26th Jan '17 - 10:14am

    We all say democracy is what we stand for? Then why are some so afraid of the proposition, putting the final Brexit final deal to the people when the blank piece of paper of today which makes up Brexit has some actual proposals. Speaking to people yesterday from across the political spectrum, across the divide of the Brexit debate, I have to say there was none who who objected. Take the heat out of the equation and people can come together and see the logic of such a vote from both angles.

    As for the broadcast, excellent, if you were a Lib/Dem supporter it was probably good, if you were a passionate foe of the Lib/Dem’s policies than it was awful.

  • David Blake – because it’s the phrase people probably know best and in a video like this is the reference the largest group of viewers will recognise?

    And deja vu, o’course, is not an imported term at all 😉

  • Good to see so many positive comments. @paddy I have sorted that link now.

  • Rich Wilsher 26th Jan '17 - 11:08am

    It terms of gist, it nails it. There is a huge cohort of people out there – mainly young people – who will feel exactly like this.

    But I agree with Caron. There is one cycle too many. What ideally should be done is that it be condensed into a <60 second video that can be shared widely on social media.

    And WTF is that 'deja vu in the fridge' reference all about!?

  • Matt (Bristol) 26th Jan '17 - 11:17am

    This is the first thing from us in a long while that puts our several messages into a coherent whole that has an emotional appeal.

    Knocks the pseudo-rational pragmatism of the Coalition-era broadcasts into a cocked hat.

    Don’t know how many people it will bring in, but as part of making it clear that we have not gone away and we have a point and a role in these times, it’s a valuable additional tool.

    For those moaning about the Americanisms… you’ll have to live with it; we have a US-obsessed media, our nation is about to seek to cleave away from Europe and throw the nation’s economic future and national interest in a horrific supplicatory fashion at the feet of the US leadership, and people are legitimately concerned about the direction the new President is taking. It’s totally relevant.

    You can quibble about the execution and the pacing, but this is basically how I have spent the last two years … waking up in mounting horror at the way the world is going.

  • ethicsgradient 26th Jan '17 - 12:40pm


    I’ve just watched this and thought I’d give some feedback as a floating voter.

    It had a very coherent message. It certainly captures the mood of a significant amount of those who voted to remain and were disappointed with the referendum result.

    It makes a good pitch that the Lib Dems represent the only credible to opposition on the issue of brexit.

    My only criticism would be that it is missing a positive message within it. you’ve got ‘things are bad, we are the only ones who will oppose”.. to be spot in it would need to be ‘things are bad, we are the only ones who will oppose, and look how much better can be with us!”

  • Agree with many comments above
    Generally excellent idea – needs to be shorter and snappier.
    1. This is where we are – is well done though a bit long
    2. This is what we’re going to do about it – Tim’s piece to camera generally good
    3. This is the progress we’re making – totally absent – Sarah’s victory? number joining the Lib Dems since June? etc etc.
    It does need a positive end to leave people feeling/thinking – “they’re making a real difference, so can I – otherwise it risks coming across as just another ‘big moan’ from the Lib Dem’s?

  • Neil Sandison 26th Jan '17 - 1:21pm

    This theme could be built upon as in each groundhog day edition life become less liberal ,more intolerant and our nation becomes more devided and less united.

  • David Brenton 26th Jan '17 - 4:26pm

    I enjoyed the broadcast, the groundhog day idea worked well. Perhaps Tim could have mentioned numbers, perhaps not, but at least we are opposing the headlong mad-dash out of Europe no questions asked. Off topic, did anyone notice that not a single LibDem MP was called in PMQs this week?

  • Bernard Aris 27th Jan '17 - 5:24pm

    Briljant spot.

    It’s been a nightmarish version of “Groundhog Day” for the past year, but we social liberals (LibDems in the UK; D66 in the Netherlands) continue to “fight back”.

    Not only Trump (cozying up to EU threarening Dictastors) but also D66 party leader Alexander Pechtold MP (for the past 10 years Geert Wilders’most hatred opponent in and out of parliament) has a bust of Winston Churchill in his room in the Dutch Parliament. So we have inspiration for such a fightback against Trumpism and Farage-Rage, or: {Fa}Rage.

    I’ll try to have this spot played at the D66 annual Spring Conference tomorrow, but I fear it’s a bit on short notice.

  • Jane Ann Liston 28th Jan '17 - 9:07pm

    Where in the UK would there have been as much daylight at 6 am in early November as at the same time at Midsummer?

  • Hehe, good point Jane. But that would lose the Groundhog effect, so they probably made the right choice.

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