Open Doors: All 3 versions of the first Lib Dem broadcast of the year

The Liberal Democrats’ first crack at the General Election broadcasts is being shown as you read this.

With the theme of Open Doors, it’s about listening to voters and majors on how the Liberal Democrats would make a difference compared to Labour and the Conservatives.You may not be surprised to find that the phrases “stronger economy”, “fairer society” and “opportunity for everyone” feature.

Here is the English version. The Scottish and Welsh will follow below when they are available.


And here’s Willie Rennie’s version:

And Kirsty Williams:

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74 Comments

  • “I think the British political system is about the finest in the world”.

    This is an unusual sentiment to find being expressed in a Liberal Democrat Party Political Broadcast.

    Very unusual.

    Extremely unusual.

  • @Caracatus

    Quick run run hide don’t say a word crawl under there. Wait, no, maybe the other thing. You know, we are where we are, no matter our different opinions of why. There are 99 days to go. Maybe we campaign.

  • Alex Feakes 28th Jan '15 - 7:42pm

    It struck me as being a bit different from most PPBs – gentler and less brash – which may contrast nicely with the rather strident noises from the others. ‘Opportunity for everyone’ is as empty or meaningful as you like, but is at least positive in tone.

  • Paul Pettinger 28th Jan '15 - 7:43pm

    Is there really a big nostalgia for people walking about vote? “I think the British political system is about the finest in the world” – why on earth are we seeking to associate and cater to opinions such as these? It lacks a powerful message, or indeed any message, beyond bland platitudes. A heartbreaking reality check.

  • “As the expenses scandal showed, the political system is rotten. Hundreds of MPs have safe seats where they can ignore their constituents. Party funding rules mean big donors have huge influence. Power has been concentrated in Westminster and Whitehall by a succession of governments. And Britain’s hard-won civil liberties have been eaten away.”- Lib Dem manifesto 2010

    “the rotten political system” – Nick Clegg 2010, Manifesto launch

    “What I support is something I’ve supported all my adult political life,
    which is a complete clean-up from top to toe of politics” – NIck Clegg, first leaders debate

  • For the vast majority of people who care about the issues but don’t, like most of us, think about politics every hour of every day I actually think this is a good way of starting the campaign.

    We’re ground campaigners year in year out, makes sense to make a point of that.

  • Candidates up and down the country know that the image of Clegg is toxic.
    No candidate has been featuring a picture of Clegg in their leaflets for twelve months or more.
    So why feature him in this broadcast ?

    Someone, somewhere at the top of the party will be in on the secret of who thought this was a good idea.

    Could they be invited to LDV and explain why someone, somewhere thought it was a good idea and why they thought this would encourage people to vote for us ?

    Not an unreasonable question is it?

  • Absolute disaster. You have a PPB for Scotland and Wales and the only non-English people are the politicians. By having the same PPB for all 3 countries, but with different politicians doing the talking is beyond bad.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Jan '15 - 9:04pm

    It’s good, but we need a bit more on innovation and leadership. Liberalism includes developing new solutions, systems and technologies, driving them forward so that we are all better off.

    I still think the Lib Dems are unlucky to have such low poll ratings. Going into coalition sent a signal to the world that the UK was going to have a strong, stable government and Lib Dems have basically just got to sell that message.

  • At least nobody said “resilient.”

    But there’s a basic problem in the thrust of the message, and that’s this: in a political landscape that’s more polycentric than ever before, simply saying “Tories and Labour rot” is no good at all. People may very well hear that, nod their heads, and then go vote for UKIP, the Greens, or, where possible, the SNP and Plaid. Liberal Democrats need to be making the positive case for themselves, and to the extent that appears in this broadcast, it’s too little and too late.

  • Tony Dawson 28th Jan '15 - 9:17pm

    Like John Tilley, I am intrigued as to where the person(s) responsible for these broadcasts might be secreted. What political nous do they have? What ‘technical’ knowledge? Who , independent from those commissioning the thing, has the power to say “er no…I am sorry….that simply cannot go out.”? What process is used to determine who goes in these broadcasts and what they say?

    Hywel is to be commended for disinterring Nick Clegg’s 2010 words about the rotten system which is apparently now the ‘best in the world’. What, I wonder, has changed in this time?

    I know, it must be the result of all those SPADs who have been beavering away in the Cabinet Office! Thank Heavens we didn’t cut down on their number as was promised by somebody or other.

  • Would be interested to hear the thoughts of those who don’t like the PPBs on what they would want instead.

    PS John Tilley, I had one through the door the other day with Nick on 🙂

  • I think Hywel has a really good point here – that line should have being edited out.

    When can we start being radical!

  • ATF

    Sorry, I did not realise you live in Hallam.

  • Must we really put up for the next 90-something days with this unrestrained negativism from most posters here both about Nick Clegg as our leader and about the abilities of our campaign team. One only has to compare the negativism evidenced here with the positive attitudes shown by the generality of those activists whose opinions are posted on LibDem Tweets to see that not all is doom and gloom.

  • Simon McGrath 29th Jan '15 - 8:27am

    Its is perfectly possible to think that we have the best political system in the world ( surely beyond dispute) and that it can do with some changes.

  • ATF asks what people would prefer instead.

    I suggest someone reads some of the recent positive and forward looking speeches and articles from Tim Farron and using MPs in seats where they can win wiith a bit of help, repeat those messages about housing, jobs and renewable energy.

    I suggest that we use people in PPBs who are popular with the public — there are still quite a few in the party.
    Paddy and Shirley are perhaps getting a bit past their sell-by-date but Lynne Featherstone, Adrian Sanders, John Pugh , Tim Farron, Martin Horwood and some of the newer candidates hoping to take over from retiring MPs would cut a much more convincing figure than this superficial, lazy, sloganising pap —

    In the broadcast, Nick Clegg says:
    ” You may think you’ve heard it all before…..
    “But, if you open your door to us we will listen to what you have to say . …..
     
    “We’ll cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour…,
    “…………………………to make sure we have a stronger economy and a fairer etc etc etc ”

    At this point 95% of viewers stifle a yawn, switch off the TV, go and make a cup of tea ..,. The other 5% of viewers are already fast asleep.

    Note in particular that sentence — ” But, if you open your door to us we will listen to what you have to say…”

    Hundreds of Liberal Democrats opened their proverbial doors in May and June last year and politely asked Clegg to leave. Did he listen?
    The voters last May used their votes to tell the party exactly what they thought about a campaign centred on Clegg. The voters decision was that we should have no MEPs and precious few councillors.
    Catherine Bearder escaped the cull but no thanks to the Clegg- based campaign.
    Did the people at the top of the party listen! Clearly not!
    Despite all the evidence they have Clegg in front of a camera in 2015 mouthing meaningless slogans.

    Instead of asking people in LDV what they would prefer — maybe those responsible might stop for one moment and consider what the voters might prefer.
    With 97 days to go can they stop deluding themselves that it will be alright if they just carry on doing the same as they have done since 2006 ?
    Since Charles Kennedy’s resignation in January 2006 the decisions of people at the top of the party have resulted in a spiral of decline.

    Will they ever wake up to the fact that the voters do not want Closet Conservatives?
    If the voters are that way inclined they will vote for a proper Conservative.

  • Jane Ann Liston 29th Jan '15 - 9:34am

    Hugh p

    Hear, hear.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 29th Jan '15 - 9:56am

    Honestly, are we really so parochial that accents actually matter that much? One of the people in all 3 broadcasts with an English accent lives near Edinburgh. That’s one of the great things about our nation – we can move around and live anywhere.

    I actually quite liked the feel of the broadcast and the tone. I’d have put more stuff in about the sort of society we want to see, but as an opening gambit it was fine. It certainly has a professional look to it.

    I am not impressed by Dan’s swipe at Ryan. He’s done a lot to provide the party with an evidence base of decent research on which to build its messages. He has experience as a political street fighter as both MP and party strategist and just cos it’s 6000 miles away doesn’t mean it’s not relevant and helpful to us. I’m still not entirely convinced we have it 100% right, but I’m not his target audience. I do get a bit fed up with people who seem to think that our Campaigns Department is some sort of Enemy Within. Honestly, we have the fight of our lives on our hands and we need to all work together and appreciate each others’ effort rather than try to bring each other down.

    I want to see our future broadcasts delve deeper into the good our policies have done but this was an ok start.

  • Stephen Campbell 29th Jan '15 - 10:34am

    It really is the most bland, middle-of-the-road PPB I remember seeing in ages. It’s passionless and defines your party by what you are not. It’s nothing more than the usual ad-man rubbish that the clever-clever sorts think we proles would fall for. Clegg says in the broadcast he will “listen to us”. Well he certainly hasn’t been listening to the people who voted Lib Dem in 2010, so why should we believe him now? If he had truly been listening to us all along, he would’ve scrapped the unwanted and deeply unpopular NHS “reforms” which you lot pushed through Parliament. Also, I’m with the people who point out that in 2010, Clegg routinely described our political system as “rotten” and said it needed reform from top to bottom. That never happened. We never got the “New Politics” that was promised us, just more of the same politics by focus group and PR wonks, so I find it odd that Mr. Clegg now thinks our system is the best in the world. Well, now that he’s enjoyed the luxury and trappings of office for 5 years, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    Nobody knows what your party believes in any longer. Nobody apart from the Cleggites and right-wing entryists in your party believe a word the man says. Maybe it truly is time for you to rethink the Cleggites repositioning your party as “Nice Tories” because the electorate isn’t buying it and you’re sleepwalking into oblivion.

  • Stephen Campbell 29th Jan '15 - 10:38am

    @Hugh P:
    “Must we really put up for the next 90-something days with this unrestrained negativism from most posters here both about Nick Clegg as our leader and about the abilities of our campaign team. One only has to compare the negativism evidenced here with the positive attitudes shown by the generality of those activists whose opinions are posted on LibDem Tweets to see that not all is doom and gloom.”

    I think it’s called facing reality. Your party (and especially your leader) is seen as a joke by the majority of the electorate. Your party is consistently polling lower than the Greens. You’ve lost all but one MEP. Very few people believe a word Clegg says. He is a figure of ridicule and mockery for comedians up and down the country. Your party had the chance to remove him but chose not to.

    If you want to pretend everything is fine and a little bit of positivity will make it all come good, please go on. But to do so would be to ignore the facts on the ground and pretend the disaster coming in May is not really an iceberg.

  • @Stephen Campbell

    “Your party (and especially your leader) is seen as a joke by the majority of the electorate.”

    The same is true for all of them.

    ” Your party is consistently polling lower than the Greens”

    Have they polled higher in some of the recent ones, yep. Consistently, nope. See ICM.

    “Very few people believe a word Clegg says.”

    Same for all of them

    ” He is a figure of ridicule and mockery for comedians up and down the country. Your party had the chance to remove him but chose not to.”

    Again, this is true for them all bar the Greens – but this may well soon change after her Sunday Politics interview…

  • Caron Lindsay 29th Jan ’15 – 9:56am
    “Honestly, are we really so parochial that accents actually matter that much? ”

    The logic of this sentence and the rest of Caron’s comment is that if the PPB had been filled with people who spoke with Japanese, Polish and South African accents it would make no difference to the viewer.

    Those of us who are fluent in ‘Sarf Lundun’ know that if you put out a PPB full of Glasŵegian accents a lot of voters would struggle with the remote control to try and get the subtitles on screen.

    Do the people at the top of our party ever watch TV advertisements?
    Do they ever consider why one advert is fantastically successful and others are not?

    Have they ever wondered why nobody has invited Nick Clegg to be part of the Vanarama Advert?

    99% of voters have no interest in yet another white, male, middle-class MP strolling down the street in a PPB sounding like every other posh boy from the Westmnster Bubble. As an image it is not actually universally attractive.

    For more than ten years the highly successful formula for the TV show Big Brother has been easily identified by a well recognised and distinctive accent which booms out something like ” 97 days to go in the Big Brother Election “.
    Does Caron really think it would work just as well with the effete accent of a public school boy ?

  • @Caron Lindsay

    “I do get a bit fed up with people who seem to think that our Campaigns Department is some sort of Enemy Within. Honestly, we have the fight of our lives on our hands and we need to all work together and appreciate each others’ effort rather than try to bring each other down.”

    Here, here.

    @JohnTilley

    Funnily enough, I don’t have the pleasure of living in SH.

    I like much of what you said John, though I remain in the majority who want Nick to remain. A PPB that demonsrates the breadth of the party would be welcome, but that is a very tough ask in the time allowed. For any of us to remember lots of detail in 2.40 is a tough ask, so I can see why the route of trying to push one message “we’re listening” (which does sound a bit like snooping, but you get the idea).

    Best as ever to you,

  • Caron’s exhortations to trust the leadership and work harder remind me of Boxer. Who was also decent, loyal, honourable and hard-working.

    FWIW the party doesn’t have a Campaigns Department.

    Someone who is in Ryans target market.

  • Caron, I don’t believe that any of the Lib Dems who post here is trying to bring us down, but we do know that a man who has lost us half our councillors, more than half of our MSPs, all but one of our MEPs etc. etc. is the one who is dragging us down, and the sooner he goes the better for us, our values and the people of Britain. Sadly however, there are a significant group who still do not want to admit that their unwillingness to face up to the reality of Nick’s destruction of so much of our party is one of the key factors in his resilience, and their responsibility for the mess we are in will come and haunt us all in the years to come.

    I wonder if in 20 years time when we may well be down to less than 10 MPs again as a result of the disaster of the last seven years, whether they will still be harking back to the wonderful time when Nick was leader.

  • @Hywel

    Just as there is Godwins Law for the Nazis, there really should be one for Orwell as well…as yes, of course! Support, such as Caron’s and my support for the Campaign staff at HQ is just like that of the represed workers in Stalin’s USSR!

  • Cripes, cut the cheesy piano music!

  • John Roffey 29th Jan '15 - 3:34pm

    I understand that NC promised to spend the rest of his working life as a hospital porter if he destroyed the Party.

    Was there more than one witness to this promise?

  • Nick Collins 29th Jan '15 - 4:16pm

    I should not want Clegg working as a porter in any hospital where I was admitted for surgery; he might wheel me into the wrong theatre..

  • Phil Rimmer 29th Jan '15 - 4:55pm

    @ Caron Lindsay “I do get a bit fed up with people who seem to think that our Campaigns Department is some sort of Enemy Within. Honestly, we have the fight of our lives on our hands and we need to all work together and appreciate each others’ effort rather than try to bring each other down.”

    I make no apology for saying that when the people at the top of the party running the national campaign appear to have (as I said earlier this week) both forgotten the philosophical underpinnings of our party and anything that they ever knew about campaigning, then, yes they may as well be the enemy within.

    The public destruction of Brand Clegg holed our campaign beneath the waterline. The people producing this broadcast would appear to want to hold our heads under the water as we try to swim for safety.

    No wonder most of the declining number of activists I know have given up doing anything. One option, which I witnessed last in 1987, would be cutting loose of the national campaign by individual constituencies but I see very few signs of this happening. After the election, as part of rebuilding for the future, we need to focus less on central control and more on encouraging creative campaigning, learning what works and a return to community politics, at a local level.

  • Tony Rowan-Wicks 29th Jan '15 - 5:05pm

    . Eddie Sammon 28th Jan ’15 – 9:04pm writes:
    ” … .we need a bit more on innovation and leadership. Liberalism includes developing new solutions, systems and technologies, driving them forward so that we are all better off. I still think the Lib Dems are unlucky to have such low poll ratings. Going into coalition sent a signal to the world that the UK was going to have a strong, stable government and Lib Dems have basically just got to sell that message”
    Trouble is, Eddie, the strong [and wrong] were called Tories: who pushed illiberal policies which could only be balanced with behind the scenes methods by two little-known men in a huddle with two bigger Tory voices; supported by Whitehall’s rotten and undemocratic solutions. The Tory press and the following media hacks, including television reporters, assumed two little Lib Dems were fairly easy to ignore – as the press had buried them in a rose garden early in this parliamen. The biggest voice was of course the crafty PM who let his little Deputy announce policies which the bigger voice soon ignored, often promoting the opposite – as a show of strength, some say, to his own rebellious party.
    This lead to the little voices being totally ignored by almost everyone except their special friends with jobs to retain.
    It would be quite something for these little and ignored Lib Dems to show innovation and leadership after all this time, don’t you think? What we have seen instead was bowing to the bigger party because of Cabinet Responsibility which was accepted without challenge it seems. Liberalism does indeed include developing new solutions, systems and technologies, driving them forward, with strong words and actions, so that we are all better off. That includes taking on the wrongful solutions of a coalition government. Instead we all know that the rich are now richer and the poor are put out of their homes and queue at food banks. The country knows this state of poverty was created by this government which we, as Lib Dems, should have fought in public from day one and resisted agreeing with Tories long ago. That is why we also fear the loss of further great Lib Dems who forgot their electorates and deserted to pseudo-tory ranks on issues which they know they should not have done – but followed a leader who still rejects his party troops who voted for him.

  • Are we calling this the Frasier strategy? ‘I’m listening…’

  • David Allen 29th Jan '15 - 6:21pm

    Interesting to compare the three versions. The mood music stuff supplied by HQ shows clips of all kinds of salt-of-the-earth British humans slowly dithering their way towards something like a Lib Dem position. So, like it or not, it sets a tone – a very soft sell. Well, arguably that sort of thing has its place in campaigning – it won’t set the world on fire with intellectual debate, but it might help sway a few minds.

    Then the politician comes on. Rennie and Williams make at least a reasonable fist of matching the mood. Rennie in particular (after a false start with the wrong line when the door is answered to him) comes across with a straightforward non-bombastic message: talk to us and we’ll listen. It isn’t inspirational, but then again, it won’t make anyone throw up.

    Clegg is quite different. Clegg gives it a grinding gear-shift into bombast mode. He is much more argumentative. He has much more to say. His tone conveys impatience. He sounds irritated that people haven’t understood his point. It’s as if he has set out to wreck the relaxed, open-minded mood that the introduction set out to create. He will, of course, have replaced it with a closed-minded response from many of his viewers “can’t stand that b*ggar, change the channel!”

  • Down beat….Clegg’s tried to sound less grating and hectoring but not very appealing was it ?

  • CQ 29th Jan ’15 – 5:17pm
    “Are we calling this the Frasier strategy? ”

    You might be thinking of Private Fraser from Dad’s Army.
    His catch phrase — “Doomed, we’re all doomed” — delivered in the distinctive accent of someone from north of the border seems remarkably applicable to this discussion.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=dad's+army+private+frazer&client=safari&hl=en-gb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=85bKVOGfMc7Q7AbSuIGAAw&ved=0CDUQ7Ak&biw=1024&bih=672

  • I like the PPB but it would work better with “Walk on by”

  • @ATF – well everyone’s entitled to their views.

    There ain’t much point in me repeating the same things for the next 98 days though so I’m going to skip on out of here as much as possible. At least until something really riles me.

  • I like the PPB. And the utter unrestrained negativism from the usual suspects is of course entirely to be expected. I was out delivering leaflets tonight in the snow. I was out on the doorstep on Saturday and all I got was a warm welcome. I really do get totally fed up of the moaners and whingers on this site. I don’t very often post because of them, but sometimes I feel I just have to say something in the hope they’ll shut up and go away. And as for Stephen Campbell who is now apparently a Green Party activist, why the hell’s sake should we take any notice of a representative of a party which has made a complete balls-up of running Brighton?
    This is the greatest opportunity the Greens have had since 1989 and they are barely reaching the tens in opinion polls. Laughable if it wasn’t so sad.
    To all the moaners and whingers I say, if you haven’t got anything positive to contribute to the cause, then look at yourself in the mirror and ask what are you achieving.
    Can we please have more threads on this site that aren’t almost completely monopolised by the moaners and whingers ?

  • Jane Ann Liston – Well said.

  • Hywel – Sorry, but please keep your promise.

  • I wouldn’t get so annoyed if the moaners and whingers didn’t sound as though they will be so pleased if the Party did actually lose most of its MPs. I just don’t see the pleasure any party member gets in writing such negative stuff. We’re in a coalition. We’ve supported some bad things we wouldn’t support as a majority LD govt. But we’ve also done some darned good stuff – tax threshold, pupil premium, pensions that wouldn’t have happened without us. I don’t understand those whoa re relentlessly negative. What is it about the minority who are permanent oppositionists ? Govt does dirty your hands, but it also means you can get some good things done. Grow up for christs sake.

  • I’m not in the least pleased at the notion of seeing one of the great parties of British history systematically and thoroughly driven into the dirt. Nor, I think, are most other Lib Dems who see that as a likely possibility. All would prefer to see a roaring success that would bring Lib Dems into parliamentary and council seats across the land. But in a way the worst of all possible results would be for the Party to do terribly, but just enough better than expectations for those in the leadership who got us here to shake hands all round, say “well done, lads” and expect to go on as before.

  • You know, David-1’s comment about the leadership’s chances post-election just caused the idea of term limits to pop into my head. I have just decided apropos of that, that the party ought to have a process that automatically triggers a leadership contest after a certain length of time. Maybe it would be a rule to have one after, say, two general elections under the same leader. Maybe it would be a simple ten year term. But, whatever, a defined period of time in which a leader must make good, or at the very least have a good explanation as to why things aren’t good and demonstrate that the incumbent is still the best person for the job. An idea for the post-election renovation that this party will be needing, perhaps.

    Oh, the PPB? Not great. Needs to do more to explain why not being Labour or Tory is a good thing, and desperately needs to point out why being Liberal specifically is best. Otherwise, we’re making an attack on Lab/Con that will serve the Greens and the assorted nationalists as well as it serves us.

  • stuart moran 30th Jan '15 - 7:29am

    Tim Hill

    The PPB isn’t aimed at you though is it? You seem to be a very supportive Cleggite and will vote LD

    It is aimed at people like me – ex-LD voters who have been left completely astonished at the incompetence of a party that should have prepared for how to deal with coalition politics and maintain a distinct identity

    I found it patronising, negative and amateur. I know what is wrong with the other parties thank you very much, although it doesn’t help that you have been following the Tories into the lobbies so slavishly; excuse me for finding any criticism by Clegg of the Tories half-hearted

    You missed the chance to face up to those mistakes you made, and I will never again give my vote to anyone with the risk of them supporting the Tories in the way you have since 2010

  • @Tony Hill “We’ve supported some bad things we wouldn’t support as a majority LD govt.”

    I think the fear among many long term members is that Nick Clegg would have supported many of these bad things if we had a majority LD Government

  • A Social Liberal 30th Jan '15 - 10:29am

    Tim Hill said

    “We’re in a coalition. We’ve supported some bad things we wouldn’t support as a majority LD govt. But we’ve also done some darned good stuff”

    And there we have it. Tim, are you saying that it is OK to compromise liberal principle in order to get a few Lib Dem policies passed?

  • “I wouldn’t get so annoyed if the moaners and whingers didn’t sound as though they will be so pleased if the Party did actually lose most of its MPs.”

    I’m completely torn two ways on that. Yes, it will be very saddening if we see good, principled hard-working MPs like Adrian Sanders, Julian Huppert, Vince Cable and Simon Hughes (just to name a few) turfed out and replaced by Labservative clone persons. Saddening mainly on a personal level.

    But – Do any of them really deserve to get re-elected, after five years in which they played a key role in enabling Cameron and Osborne to attack the poor and privatise the NHS? No of course they don’t. Do I want to see Clegg back at the head of a team of 40 rather than a team of 20? No, I’d prefer it was 20, because it would reduce Clegg’s capacity to continue to do damage.

    Clegg will cling on (or just conceivably, hand over the baton to a younger clone). The empirical evidence from current experience is that if Clegg gets the opportunity to get back into government, the entire team will grab that opportunity along with him. If Clegg doesn’t get that opportunity, then OK, the rump Lib Dem party may split. If that happens, we still aren’t any better off with 20 Cleggies and 20 anti-Cleggies than with 10 Cleggies and 10 anti-Cleggies.

  • It is okay talking about “whingers and moaners” etc. It is quite possible that if they had been listened to the party would not be minus hundreds and hundreds nay thousands of councillors, saved all the loads of lost deposits at by elections, prevented the collapse of the party to virtually nothing in many, many areas of the country and not been reduced to a parody of one MEP.
    We await with interest the Ashcroft polls next week taken in individual Scottish constituencies. Will there be a near wipeout north of the border for the Lib Dems or not.

  • Eddie Sammon 30th Jan '15 - 11:43am

    Tony Rowan-Wicks, I’ve just seen your comment. There have been things that have made me angry during this government, but what keeps me crawling back is that I think Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are the best listeners. Cameron is having posh dinners saying “I’m a low tax Conservative” and Miliband seems pre-occupied with scaremongering about the NHS. They are fairly representative of their respective parties.

    Regards

  • @Hugh p

    ” not all is doom and gloom.”

    Quite.

    In roughly three dozen seats, there is either a good or an outside chance of holding on, despite what the leadership do. This, paradoxically, includes the leader’s own seat. In the rest of the land, doom and gloom has it.

  • @JohnTilley:

    “Are we calling this the Frasier strategy? ”

    Would that be before or after the Ali fight? 😉

  • Stephen Campbell 30th Jan '15 - 1:29pm

    @Tim Hill: “And as for Stephen Campbell who is now apparently a Green Party activist, why the hell’s sake should we take any notice of a representative of a party which has made a complete balls-up of running Brighton?”

    Yes, I am indeed now a (reluctant) supporter of the Greens after giving my time, money and votes to the Lib Dems for almost 20 years. I’m sure the very first Liberal-controlled council probably wasn’t a 100% success, either, but that’s by the by. Why should I continue to support and be nice towards a party which no longer represents my interests and the interests of the vulnerable? Just for the record, I even supported the party when it first entered coalition. But the unpopular, unwanted NHS reforms (which both Lib Dem and Tory told us was not on the cards) was when I said “no more”. See, my wife is a nurse. Since those reforms came into place, it has been a disaster, just as she and other people working in the NHS said it would be. Her pay has not kept up with inflation and she is expected to work harder and longer. You would not believe the stress she is under. She’s heading for a breakdown if things continue the way they are. I have a disabled family member who has been hit by the bedroom tax. He was willing to move, but there are no suitable properties in his area (or near by). To add to his misery, he had his benefits cut for six months by the DWP and ATOS and had to live on virtually nothing until the tribunal overturned the flawed decision.

    So label me a “moaner” all you want, but I am hurt and angry at what this party has become and what it has done to decent people. I didn’t spend all those years supporting and helping this party for it to be ruined by a bunch of right-wing entryists who think there are millions of voters gagging for yet another Thatcherite party, albeit one who pretends to be “nice” and supports gay marriage.

    My political views haven’t changed much in the past 20-30 years. But this party has, in the space of about 7 or so years, become one I cannot support in good conscience. I have principles. This party, like the Marx brothers, has principles too…except they’re willing to change them when it suits them.

  • @Tim Hill

    >sometimes I feel I just have to say something in the hope they’ll shut up and go away.

    I think Tim represents what a lot of members think; they’re not listening at all, they just wish the voices of dissent would stop. Tim’s message is diametrically opposed to Nick’s PPB, but I think it’s more honest and more representative of where the party currently stands. If he considered this from a few different angles, he might see that polarising people’s stances into positive and negative is the most unproductive and counter-intuitive approach possible. Tim’s message is the same as people that want Clegg to “shut up and go away”, which is about as illiberal and undemocratic a political position as one could take.

    On the other hand, I’ve pointed out repeatedly that many articles recently set out a path that could only lead to negativity, whilst ignoring positive stories. It’s getting close to the GE, so having lots of threads on why so-and-so should leave or how great the Greens are doing doesn’t help anyone and incites negative posts. Maybe having a once-a-week public members-only thread might boost morale a bit (the infrequent posters threads reinforced the frequent posters message, by replicating them with different people).

    Anyway Tim, that’s what it’s like to not think in black and white. Give it a try, you’re telling lifelong Lib Dem members and activists, like yourself, to “shut up and go away”. The fact that they’re still here at all is proof that they’re largely undecided as to how they’ll vote, you’re contributing to the negativity and the demise of the party.

    If you fight fire with fire, everything burns.

  • Stephen Campbell 30th Jan '15 - 2:24pm

    @ChrisB: ” Give it a try, you’re telling lifelong Lib Dem members and activists, like yourself, to “shut up and go away”.”

    Thank you for that, I agree with your sentiments. I didn’t want to leave this party, but it has taken a direction which is almost completely opposed to what I’ve fought for as long as I’ve been active in campaigning and politics. So many people, on this very site, have basically told people who are unhappy with the coalition and current direction of the party to “shut up” or “go away”. It’s as if many Lib Dems want to be in government and make the “tough decisions” but don’t want to face up to what those decisions have entailed, don’t want to be confronted by the people those decisions have negatively affected. Like I said, my political views haven’t changed: I’m still a social democrat as I’ve always been. Social Democracy was once a very mainstream position within the Lib Dems, but sadly no longer. And it really is a slap in the face when people such as @Tim Hill tell me to shut up and go away. It makes me feel as if the time, money and energy I once gave to this party was just a waste of time.

    Nick Clegg says your party is listening. But that’s not true. If it was true, there would not be illiberal calls for “moaners” who have been hurt by coalition policy to just go away and shut up. But, alas, this is indeed how the left of the party has been treated since the Clegg coup and the right-wing entryists took over.

  • Simon McGrath 30th Jan '15 - 2:25pm

    @Stephen Campbell “But the unpopular, unwanted NHS reforms (which both Lib Dem and Tory told us was not on the cards) was when I said “no more”. See, my wife is a nurse. Since those reforms came into place, it has been a disaster, just as she and other people working in the NHS said it would be. Her pay has not kept up with inflation and she is expected to work harder and longer. ”
    The NHS reform have nothing to do with pay though.

  • @Tim Hill

    “I don’t understand those whoa re relentlessly negative.”

    In this instance, so that when a once great party gets driven onto the rocks I’ll know that at least I stood by my beliefs and said what I thought. and argued against the course the driver was taking. I didn’t shut up for convenience sake, or rather for the convenience of others’ sake.

    The Emperor has no clothes, I’ll say again, despite being hushed at.

  • Stephen Campbell 30th Jan '15 - 4:24pm

    @Simon McGrath: “The NHS reform have nothing to do with pay though.”

    But the reforms have everything to do with her stress, overwork and the fact that she often comes home in tears. And this is happening to almost all the other staff she works with. She has worked in the NHS for a very long time and it has never been this bad. People such as her warned you this would happen, but our “listening” government didn’t, well, listen, did they?

    And the fact that her pay has not kept up with inflation may not be due to the reforms, but is a conscious choice by this government. Nurses and most other NHS staff don’t feel valued by either of the coalition parties.

  • Stephen Campbell, its not fair to say that there’s been an unbroken chorus of ‘shut up and go away’ from members here. Also, unless the Greens do another David Icke, they are almost certainly going to grow and attract members with diverse political opinions and ideologies. Indeed even the core Green ideology, resting on neo-malthusian assumptions and beliefs, runs into trouble with liberalism, never mind what positions the opportunists that party might collect in years to come may favour.

    I can accept that this party has made mistakes in government, and that when governments make mistakes, people suffer. On the other hand, I absolutely do not agree with you that the Greens would make fewer mistakes, indeed I believe that their means are inherently harmful regardless of intent. But setting that aside, here’s hoping that there’s still a liberal party of some sort for you to have the option of coming back to, should your new party head in an unwanted direction in the future.

  • I have now taken the trouble to view the three broadcasts.

    Am I impressed? Not really.

    As others have pointed out in this thread, the sight of Nick Clegg is a prompt to reach for the off-switch. The visceral intensity with which he is disliked in this country is obvious to anyone who has bothered to listen to ordinary people speaking about politics. It may be irrational, it may be unfair, but it is real. The last thing that any PPB or election literature should feature is a picture of, or any other reference to, Nick Clegg.

    There were some dreamy shots of Clifton, and bits and pieces of local authority housing that could be more or less anywhere. Plus a dog and a cute kid. The scripted statements were just about plausible, though I thought the bit about Labour ruining the economy was somewhat jarring and possibly off-putting to tactical voters.

    What was missing?

    Firstly, what admen call “branding”. Where was the bird, where was the colour orange? Secondly, there were no concrete policies, and only rather wishy-washy references to the party’s values. Listening to people isn’t enough. All politicians claim to do that. We have to tell people what the Liberal Democrats stand for, beyond feeble banalities like being anchored in the centre (and being hit by container ships, to complete the metaphor).

    Still, I have seen much, much worse.

  • Alex Sabine 31st Jan '15 - 3:55am

    @ Stephen Campbell
    “And the fact that her pay has not kept up with inflation may not be due to the reforms, but is a conscious choice by this givernment.”

    Indeed it was. Another way of putting it would be that the government chose to prioritise jobs over pay. Within a finite public budget, and given that wages are the NHS’s main overhead, there was a direct trade-off between the two.

    Even Labour’s opportunistic approach to fiscal policy during this parliament did not extend to opposing the public sector pay cap. They recognised that there was a trade-off between pay and staffing levels and sensibly supported the coalition’s cap.

    Of course below-inflation pay rises are not easy; absolute pay freezes or reductions were not uncommon in the private sector for several years after the crisis, while public sector pay initially continued to grow during the ‘stimulus’ phase. If government is to support demand (including through its payroll) while the private sector is weak, and the deficit rises as a result, then the catch is that it has to reduce the deficit and restrain pay once private demand has recovered. There are no free lunches.

    Of course, in the period when private sector pay was frozen (and in the early stages of the public sector cap) inflation was well above the Bank of England’s 2% target. Now that inflation is below 1% the cap represents a marginal pay rise rather than a real-terms cut.

  • Tim Hill 30th Jan ’15 – 1:16am
    You are one of those ” moaners and whingers ” who comes to LDV to repeat the same old thing over and over again.

    You condemn anyone who has made a comment that does not fit your personal template of loyalty (apparently the only thing you believe in).

    You will be so pleased if the Party does actually lose most of its MPs just so long as everyone loyally sings a happy tune whilst walking over the cliff to disaster.

    Many of us just don’t see the pleasure any party member gets in writing the stuff you write.

    We’re in a political party with a set of beliefs, summarised in The Preamble to The Party Constitution.

    We don’t understand those who are relentlessly negative about the beliefs of our party and prefer to sing the praises of being a minor footnote in the history of Cameron’s Government.

    What is it about the minority who are permanent Clegg loyalists ?

    At this point, I might have echoed your last sentence – “. Grow up for christs sake.”,
    but I am not a christian and I think there is something essentially childish and foolish in the admonition ” Grow up “.
    It is an expression that is usually is thrown around by immature people.

    You might for one moment want to consider that some of us have seen where blind, unquestioning loyalty has got the party over the last ten years. We would like tomavoid the disaster thatbyou wish on us. We make comments here because we want to warn people about stepping over the cliff to disaster and suggest that people do something more positive instead. We are the people who will be left to pick up the pieces of the party when Coaitionists seek lucarative careers elsewhere.

    If you do not understand what I mean check out the resuts of the last two parliamentary by-elections.

    If you think support from around 1% of those voting is a great result — perhaps you could explain why?

  • Will this be the last word? The broadcast was brilliant. It worked on several levels and will have struck a chord with several key target audiences. Vox pops as they are known are proven to be very effective and regional voices are the best so long as they are not so strong as to make it hard for others to understand. I would say congratulations to the campaign team. Keep this up and we will get a very creditable result. Anyone criticising Clegg at this stage is a political enemy. Clegg’s performance on Friday evening in Last Leg was little short of brilliant and I doubt Cameron will take up the challenge to be next and I’d love to see Milliband have a go too. An approval rating of 94 / 6 says Clegg did something right. Maybe a bit early but he could yet be a UK “comeback kid ” and the US one, Bill Clinton ended up doing rather well. . .

  • Mike Biden
    You claim — ” . ..The broadcast was brilliant. It worked on several levels…”

    Do you have any evidence for this claim ?
    Do you have objecfive information on the viewing figures and viewer response ?
    Do you have evidence of a dramatic upswing in support for the party in opinion polls resulting directly from this PPB ?”

    Or am I what you describe as “a political enemy” for having the impertinence to ask such questions ?

  • Matthew Huntbach 2nd Feb '15 - 11:29am

    Jill Hope

    Don’t forget that most of the contributors to this site are political junkies, and they are almost incapable of reacting like normal people. Normal people will like it specifically because it doesn’t ram policies down their throats. Well done.

    Most of the contributors to this group who are members of the party but critical of the current leadership and image being put across by the national party’s Public Relations staff are people who have a long history of fighting and WINNING election for the Liberal Democrats and in many cases Liberal Party before that.

    Many of us are in despair because it seems the leadership is just not listening to those of us who are pointing out where, in our experience, it is getting things wrong and making it a harder job for us to campaign for the party at grass roots level.

    Those of us who remain in the party mostly DO realise, unlike most of the party’s critics on the left, the limitations of what could be achieved in the current coalition situation, and do realise that what might be seen as support of unpalatable policies that the naive are denouncing us for is in fact hard-fought compromise, and had there been a majority Conservative government rather than the coalition, it would be much worse. We could be valuable defenders of the party if we thought that defence would be balanced by the leadership listening to us and our concerns. However, I think there is so much that the leadership is doing that is making things MORE difficult for us to defend the party. There have also been occasions when the leadership seems to have expressed contempt for those of us who stick by what the party has traditionally been about and are concerned at the shift towards a more right-wing economic approach, even on one occasion to the point of telling us we aren’t welcome in the party and should go off and join Labour.

    So, what are we to do if we genuinely feel, from our own experience, that so much is being done that could be done differently and would win us more support (or at least stop us losing so much support) if it were done differently? I’ve been very critical of Nick Clegg’s leadership, sure, but I’ve always said what I think he is doing wrong and suggested alternatives, so why do you call that “negativity”? I would say negativity means criticism which doesn’t suggest alternatives and seems intended only to damage, which I have never done towards the leadership.

    You seem to be telling us just to shut up and carry on doing what we are told by a leadership who clearly lacks the experience we have. Well, I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that. To me, it’s a case of being stuck in a hole and furiously digging deeper. At the moment my feeling is that I still want the party to do well in the next general election, I don’t want to see it damaged, so I’m keeping my criticisms to what I do here. If I felt the leadership was open to criticism and willing to listen to what members were saying, I might be persuaded to get back and do a little campaign work. I would really like to be in the position where I wanted to do that. But if all I get is insults for my care in trying to suggest a different approach, sorry, I won’t bother. Just don’t push me further, because if I do decide the party has moved so far from the one I joined that I no longer wish to be a member, I don’t think I will leave quietly.

  • Stephen Hesketh 2nd Feb '15 - 1:01pm

    Jill Hope1st Feb ’15 – 5:38pm

    I think what Matthew says goes for very many of us.

    When someone isn’t listening you tend to shout louder; especially when it is something you care passionately about – such as the very survival of the Preamble Liberal Democracy we all sign up to and of our party which exists solely in order to protect and extend those values.

    ‘Negativity’ could not be further from the truth when it comes to the aims of traditional mainstream centre-left Liberal Democrats.

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