What do you think of “Demand Better”?

So we have our new strapline. Demand Better.

I like it.

It’s active and aspirational. It tells us that we are not stuck with this crap. We can have a fairer, happier, more equal country and we all have a part to play in making it happen.

Optimistic, from-the-heart vision and ambition is long overdue in politics. Clinton and Obama won with strong messages of positivity and hope. We will overcome the negative, divisive, anti-democratic rhetoric from the extremes and solve problems in an inclusive way.

It’s versatile – Demand better for health, for Scotland, for Petersfield, where our excellent Sarah Brown hopes to unseat Labour in a by-election on 13th September.

And we can also think of it as an inspiration and a challenge for us to always push ourselves to deliver the best we possibly can for people. We will never have solved all the problems of the world. We will forever have to come up with creative, liberal solutions to the problems we know about and can predict or new ones that come along. And we can, of course, demand better of our party processes and, for example, any controversial policy papers on migration that might happen to come along.

It’s so much better than the vacuous “Change Britain’s future” that we used in last year’s general election and in a completely different universe than the god awful “Look right, look left then cross” from 2015. And anyone could have used “Stronger economy, fairer society”

Labour’s “Britain deserves better” didn’t do them any harm in 1997 and this is just a more liberal version of that because it implies that active participation in the political process will make things better. There is something we can all do.

What do you think of it?

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

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85 Comments

  • I’d add “Expect better”.

  • James Baillie 17th Aug '18 - 10:42am

    I’d really like a slogan that actually incorporates liberal ideas in some way, though that may be partly because the rest of our messaging isn’t pulling enough weight on that front. People knowing that we’re demanding better isn’t, I think, so much the issue, as how we get through to them what we think “better” looks like. Having a slogan that would give folks some idea of that would be an improvement, I think.

  • Iain Donaldson 17th Aug '18 - 10:44am

    I think we should demand better slogans.

  • Mark Smulian 17th Aug '18 - 10:46am

    Given the way slogans usually appear at conference, I just hope we don’t end up with Vince being televised with the words ‘demand better’ emblazoned next to him – a gift to satirists if ever there was one.

  • Love him or hate him, Trump’s “Make America Great Again” worked really well. I’m pretty sure “Demand better” won’t make many headlines. Forget the slogans, you’re not very good at them and concentrate on policies that improve peoples lives. It’s what you used to do well, at the moment – except for staying in the EU – hardly anyone knows what you stand for.

  • It’s meaningless, and sounds like the slogan a mobile phone company would come up with. The problem is peoples’ idea of what needs to be done to makes things “better” is completely different. There’s nothing inherently liberal about it all.

  • Telling someone they deserve better is not the same as telling someone they should demand better. Most people would think they deserve better service in a restaurant, many fewer people would demand it – and even fewer people would appreciate being told to demand it.

    It is also solely a push and not a pull message. We need both. We ideally want a slogan that will last until a GE – I suspect this one will have to change again. Particularly as it also creates unnecessary problems with how we present it – as described above with writing it under Vince Cable.

    It’s not difficult – we just need a strong change/trust message. I’m all for message discipline but it was such a relief to be able to do this ourselves in the local elections because we didn’t have any of this trying to be overly clever and we could actually plan the message a year in advance and test it ourselves locally.

    We deserve a better slogan – I demand one.

  • Peter Martin 17th Aug '18 - 11:31am

    “Britain Deserves Better”? Whether 1997 Britain ‘deserved better’ isn’t really the point. 1997 Britain probably had it better than 1947 Britain or 2017 Britain. Were 1997 people more ‘deserving’ than those who were around earlier or later?

    What we can have isn’t necessarily what we ‘deserve’. It’s what’s available to us. And what’s available isn’t what money is ‘available’ , it is what real resources are there in the economy to provide them. If we want more teachers then providing we have enough people wanting to be teachers we can have more teachers. Similarly with anything else. But, obviously we can’t have an infinite supply of everything. We have to make the best of what we have which does mean using everyone’s talents as effectively and efficiently as possible.

    In other words, we don’t want anyone wasting their time being unemployed or underemployed on zero hour contracts.

  • Sounds like “Believe in Better”. Reaching for the Sky?

  • Robert Irwin 17th Aug '18 - 11:33am

    An excellent slogan. Good use of NLP, like Change We Need and MAGA. It forces the subconscious to fill in the sentence – everyone wants something to get better!

  • Innocent Bystander 17th Aug '18 - 12:15pm

    Demand from whom?
    Obama is a poor model. He was elected on “Change” and “Yes, we can”. Famously nothing changed and he showed he couldn’t. Possibly the least worthy winner of a Nobel Prize in its history with no achievements I can think of, especially not in terms of world peace.
    There is no appetite, any more, for the vague politics of “We will be better than the current lot because we will build for the future”.
    Like Trump or not (and I don’t) he had identifiable promises “Lock her up”, “Build that wall”, “Keep them out”. I can’t think of a single HRC policy (I vaguely recall the usual hopeless and desperate catch-all remedy of “Give the American people the skills for tomorrow” stuff that idea-less politicians cling to).

  • William Fowler 17th Aug '18 - 12:41pm

    People are much happier looking after themselves than getting the STate to hold their hands like they are five year-olds, totally uninspiring and likely to have deluge of silly policies to back it up. Instead:

    Be Free!

  • How about getting rid of all the “straplines” and slogans and instead presenting the public with well-thought out, democratically accepted, detailed policy positions? How about not being the party that caters to infantilism and emotional reactions, but instead being the party that treats its voters as intelligent adults who read and think about politics?

  • David-1 17th Aug ’18 – 1:00pm:
    How about getting rid of all the “straplines” and slogans and instead presenting the public with well-thought out, democratically accepted, detailed policy positions?

    Like leaving the EU. It would be a good start.

  • David Blake 17th Aug '18 - 2:31pm

    Don’t like it at all. Mark Smulian’s right. Can you imagine any candidate standing in front of a poster saying Demand Better?

  • Iain Donaldson 17th Aug '18 - 2:51pm

    This proposed slogan is not going to work, and will be turned against us by others if we haven’t already done it ourselves first (read my earlier comment).

    How about something like “We’ve learnt from the past, no more compromise on Liberal values!”

  • Peter Watson 17th Aug '18 - 2:55pm

    Mark Smulian sums up the biggest problem with this catch phrase. By itself, it has to be used ever so carefully, e.g.
    “Lib Dems Demand Better” is okay,
    “Lib Dems. Demand Better” is not so good!
    Despite its positive sound, by itself it only really makes sense as a negative, oppositionist slogan, stated after a list of Lib Dem grievances.
    But it becomes a powerful, positive phrase when it is used to launch a statement, e.g. “Demand Better Schools. Lib Dems want …”, “Demand Better Hospitals. Lib Dems want …”, etc.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Aug '18 - 2:59pm

    I thought I did’t like it at first, then read the article and reconsidered, then see too much against it here and wonder what the fuss is about, its not that bad!

    I prefer, mostly, style and substance, even in marketing. Like for example, tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime. That is my kind of specific strap line.

    Let’s be the change we need…

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Aug '18 - 3:01pm

    Or a rallying cry for liberal Tories trying to regain their party…

    …Things can only get wetter…!

  • Peter Watson 17th Aug '18 - 3:07pm

    @David Raw “this message will boomerang back referring to the Coalition years”
    To be fair, it’s hard to imagine any slogan fixing that particular problem!

    In some ways perhaps it’s like the difference between advertising and marketing. These slogans are an important part of advertising the party, but beyond that they do nothing to address the more fundamental problems with marketing and the party’s brand. (“marketing”, “brand”, … I need to wash my hands 😉 )

  • Chris Rennard 17th Aug '18 - 3:38pm

    I like it. I think that it is much better, for example, than ‘Open, Tolerant, United’ which was an ‘internal’ message and of no use on leaflets etc.

  • William Fowler 17th Aug '18 - 4:13pm

    “A genuine,’Sorry, We got it wrong – We’ll try to do better’ might have more resonance with wider public opinion”

    A better case could be made for how well the govn did in the Coalition years compared to the near bankruptcy of the Brown years or Mrs May’s mayhem.

  • Adrian Sanders 17th Aug '18 - 4:40pm

    It does rather invite the reply: “We did in 2010 and look what happened.”

    While in dairy Devon we can probably get away with ‘Demand Butter’

  • Richard Underhill 17th Aug '18 - 5:34pm

    Life expectation is falling in the UK (and the USA), but should be increasing, as in comparable European countries. USA has problems with gun crime, but what is the UK’s excuse?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th Aug '18 - 6:27pm

    David Raw is right on the type of people who come up too often with this stuff, I have experience of helping vulnerable and unemployed people with self confidence and marketing of themselves as self employed.

    Vulnerable, unemployed, sounds like this party and all opposition ones are my ideal clients…if any have real contact numbers , demand better…I shall help the HQ!!!

  • Innocent Bystander 17th Aug '18 - 6:49pm

    @David Raw
    I’d like my three acres in Mayfair, London please.
    (I can do without the cow).

  • Peter Watson 17th Aug '18 - 7:45pm

    @Adrian Sanders “While in dairy Devon we can probably get away with ‘Demand Butter’”
    https://www.mecum.com/lots/GN1116-271217/demand-butter-sign/
    😉

  • Adrian Sanders 17th Aug ’18 – 4:40pm:
    While in dairy Devon we can probably get away with ‘Demand Butter’

    It could help win a margarinal seat.

  • Bill le Breton 17th Aug '18 - 8:27pm

    Demand Better Schools
    Demand Better Hospitals
    Demand Better Homes
    Demand Better Parks
    Demand Better Communities
    Demand Better High Streets
    Demand Better Services
    Demand Better Politics

    Hum ….

    Beneath it all does it reveal a reverence for consumerism? Politics as markets?

    And finally, let us assume that a new and powerful (perhaps media-attractive) political forces launches one week before the start of conference season made up of a few ‘ex’ Tories led by AS and a few ‘ex’ Blairites led by CU. They effectively ambush September and October’s political agenda. British politics seems set for a minor revolution – the media paint it as Limehouse on steroids – the only question every Lib Dem is asked is ‘what will you do?’

    Wow … is the answer ‘Demand Better’ ?

  • David Evershed 17th Aug '18 - 8:45pm

    The word ‘demand’ sounds like a bill as in the words ‘final demand’.

    Plus it also has an authoritarian tone.

    Neither of which are helpful.

  • David Evershed 17th Aug '18 - 9:00pm

    If we are to demand ‘better’ we will need a Director of Better.

    Thus we can learn from the spoof BBC programme about the BBC called W1A who had a Director of Better – see
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1cC1TLcgKDSllHNtX0c3cnQ/bbc-director-of-better

    The BBC even put ut a real advert for Director of Better – on April Fool’s Day.

  • On the dairy theme:

    I can’t believe it’s not better!
    Watch out there’s a Vince about!

    From the supermarkets:
    Every Lib Dem helps!
    Live more, spend more in taxes!

  • Michael Cole 17th Aug '18 - 10:28pm

    Perhaps we should consider”We Demand Better”.

    One short word longer but more difficult to turn against us and more in tune with the spirit of the Party.

  • If you really must have slogans, start by stating *fully* what we stand for and then work on boiling it down to its essence. Then at least you know that your slogan represents something pithier, and if asked what it means you can explain.

    But to start with a vague slogan and come up with what it means after the fact? Could anything point more toward a certain intellectual hollowness at the centre of the Party?

  • Innocent Bystander 18th Aug '18 - 12:24am

    How about ?

    “LibDems – often battered – never bettered”.

  • David Raw,

    “Jesse Collings MP could have helped there” – we could do with men of his commitment right now to maintain the rights his land campaign won in the1908 Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/duke-northumberland-facing-gardeners-revolt-10711725

  • I think I like it. I like that it’s positive, and has the potential to be used in a number of ways, which will be as good or bad as the ideas they are linked to. It will be up to us to ensure it’s mainly positive stuff! Or course, some people will try to use it against us, but they’ll be doing that anyway, and we can’t be paranlysed into never saying anything in case someone says “what about tuition fees?!!!”

    Yes, electoral success needs to be rooted in good policies, and we must always strive to develop those and engage the public in them, but we have to be realistic enough to realise that the modern media works in slogans, and they translate well on social media, so we shouldn’t be too proud to embrace that side of things.

  • Chris Lewcock 18th Aug '18 - 8:21am

    Policies first. Slogans second. Please.

  • Humphrey Hawksley 18th Aug '18 - 8:34am

    It is great there is finally a ‘bumper sticker’ mission statement. My reservation is that ‘demand’ underpins an activist role and not the decision-making role needed to implement real change. I can demand what I like, but it is up to someone else to decide whether that demand be granted. There are, of course, many Liberal Democrats who are home with the activist status. There are, also an increasing number of liberal-minded voters looking for a home who would like to see Britain returning to government run by liberal and democratic- minded politicians. I would prefer that we make Britain better rather than demand that someone else does it.

  • On the whole, I like it. It is short (i.e. can be large enough to be visible in photos) and conveys our values. I see the point made by Iain that it can have a negative connotation when associated with an individual, but I think that can be overcome by regarding it as the ‘core’ for more targeted straplines:
    – Demand better for all (when there is the risk of negative connotation to an individual)
    – Demand better hospitals
    – etc
    Therefore I think it is a good choice, provided the the ‘brand police’ allow it to be expanded and customised.
    One implication of “demand better” is that the Lib Dems are not in a position to ‘deliver better’. That is, unfortunately, largely accurate for national politics, but obviously not appropriate for Lib Dem controlled councils. For them, how about “We deliver better”?

    As Chris says, the message needs to be outward looking, conveying the maximum message in the minimum number of words – two is very good. Of course, any strapline carries the risk of being twisted to have negative connotations, but I think that the balance of opportunities to risks is quite positive for this one (subject to the caveat about candidates).

    Geoff – the political opposite of ‘demand better’ would be ‘accept worse’ – I don’t think any politician would aim to ‘accept worse’ though that is what the Tories are currently delivering, and what Labour would deliver. In that context, ‘demand better’ does distinguish the LIb Dems (as long as it is backed up by policies that would deliver better).

    To those of you who demand better, I ask “can you offer anything better?”

  • What has happened to the one policy that sets us apart from the other two major parties. The policy which we have been banging on about for the last two years. The one area of politics which is consuming the news on a daily basis. The one thing that will affect the future of this country for generations to come. The one policy which will attract young dynamic and energetic new membership for the future.
    If ever there was a time to fly the flag it is now.

    Demand an ‘Exit from Brexit’

    The rest are just anaemic platitudes with a half life of about one week.

    Do we lack confidence? If Brexit goes ahead there will be lot of very disaffect people out there who will look for payback. If it doesn’t we need to be in a position to take some credit.

  • On its own it tells people nothing about the ideas behind the party.

  • It might become more appealing with time though my first response is it asks more questions than it answers. Who demands and what? The word “Demand” is a bit up front for me. How about “Help build a better future” or ” even the previous “Better Together” that at least points to a theme.

  • P.J. 18th Aug ’18 – 10:11am:
    What has happened to the one policy that sets us apart from the other two major parties.

    It’s also the policy that sets the Lib Dems apart from the majority of the electorate – not just Leave voters and status-quo voters (those who’d prefer to leave the EU, but thought, like switching from a dysfunctional bank, that it would be too much trouble), but also Remain voters who put their belief in democracy ahead of a desire to remain in the EU. There’s not much of a market left. It’s long seemed that only around a fifth of the electorate are EU enthusiasts. This insightful article seems to concur…

    ‘Britain’s Populist Revolt’ [August 2018]:
    https://quillette.com/2018/08/03/britains-populist-revolt/

    Between 1992 and 2015, an average of 52 percent of people either wanted to leave the EU or stay in but significantly reduce its powers, though this jumped to 65 percent in the immediate years running up to the 2016 vote. Throughout the early years of the twenty-first century, never more than 19 percent of people wanted to strengthen their country’s relationship with the EU.

  • Robin Bennett 18th Aug '18 - 12:21pm

    Some of these comments hilarious. Others, however, disclose a lack of confidence, which does no good. Political parties need a snappy slogan which will hit home. Canvassers will be more confident that they can make an impression by quoting it and then, if they have the chance, expanding on the theme. But there is a real problem of Demand Better appearing above a politician making a speech. It will attract ridicule from the chattering elite and cartoonists. “Lib Dems Demand Better” takes the heat off the individual. Let’s go with that. And always say “Lib Dems” instead of the more pedestrian “Liberal Democrats”.

  • Jeff,

    the Quillette article you link to is one of the best pieces of writing I have yet seen on the Brexit debate. It is hard to argue with the conclusion:

    “Radical reform of our political and economic settlement has to be on the cards, as should an entirely new policy on immigration. Today, we are talking a great deal about how to ensure a continuation of the status quo rather than how to remedy the problems that led so many to demand that it be radically changed. We talk much about trade deals but little about the wider imbalance within our economy. We talk a lot about London but little about coastal, northern, or rural Britain, where in the end the Brexit vote was strongest. And we talk much about how to start a new centrist ‘anti-Brexit’ party but little about how existing political vehicles can adapt to better represent all segments of our society. It seems to me at least that unless we start to genuinely talk about these things then a few years from now we may well find ourselves back where we started.”

    This is what ‘Demand Better’ has to mean in practice.

  • Like others, I was instantly reminded of “Believe in Better”, which is Sky’s slogan.

    More generally, it’s the kind of vacuous slogan you get from businesses where the products are all pretty similar, so they try to differentiate emotionally. TV providers, broadband, mobile phones, banks.

  • Nigel Jones 18th Aug '18 - 2:56pm

    I gulped in horror when I first saw it. After some thought, I felt there was something in it, but surely it is the first impression of a slogan that counts most ?
    Among my positive afterthoughts were ‘Lib-Dems demand better government’. Unfortunately, many would remember the coalition years and feel we are no better than other parties, but overcoming that will take more time and good understandable, practicable policy ideas.

  • Unfortunately this slogan implies a lack of power or influence.

    And I agree it could (and will) be attributed to the leader.

    Something that implies positive action, energy and values is needed.

  • I like “DEMAND BETTER”: it is a positive statement of what can and should be done. It implies that the current politicians do not deliver enough (you can list the shortfalls – health -only now coming up with a 10-year plan – transport infrastructure – education –political representation, and so on. It also implies that we, as a nation are complacent and do not have high enough goals of what can be achieved. It is generic and can be used in specific cases i.e. Demand Better – Health, Demand Better – Transport, etc at different rallies.

  • I think that it has a little subtext of the coalition years is an advantage. We also have to realise we are not in Government now we are in opposition and that means being a bold strong, oppositionist campaigning Liberal force.

    I also hope but it is probably unlikely that Vince in his leader’s speech will pick just one subject other than Brexit and talk about it. He can start by saying yes I want to talk about Brexit and touch on other issues. But after that say I want to devote the majority of my speech to…

    Now unfortunately everyone here will have a different view of what that subject should be. It could be health, housing and young people, the environment but personally I would pick education.

    We need detailed Liberal policies – even “marmite” policies. But I refer you to Steve Jobs video on marketing Apple and their “Think different” campaign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n8vqLE_w4U

    May be “Think Liberal” – I would use “We value” and that could be “We value education. We demand Better” “We value health. We demand Better” etc.

    Marketing computers is not about listing how many MIPS you have compared to your competitors – although you need them. Marketing political parties is not about listing reams of detailed policies on precise tax rates and your PSBR projections – although you need them. Marketing political parties is about communicating values that undermine your detailed policies. Labour’s “For the many, not the few” does that – you know where they are coming from but it is also a bit marmite-y. If you are in the “few” or aspire to be or fear the few may be quite a lot then you know Labour will tax you more etc.

    Personally I have advocated a £20 billion package on education – it is marmitey – how do you pay for it, it may mean not investing in other things. But a strong strand of the Lib Dems has been investment in education. We could then have a PPB just of people – not politicians – talking about inspirational teachers they have had. With the tag line “Thank you teachers. We value education. We demand better – Liberal Democrats”

    About the only PPB I can remember is the Greens’ one of kids being drenched in gunk. It was clear. Dramatic. On one subject. Didn’t feature detailed policies. True to the Greens’ values. And saw them shoot up in the polls.

  • Pretty clear it’ll be used for nothing but ridicule. My choice would be

    Protect Liberty
    Protect Democracy
    Protect Britian

    Or how about

    Build for the future

  • Dr Carol Weaver 18th Aug '18 - 6:38pm

    I really like ‘We value…..’
    Just ‘We value….’

    We value our NHS
    We value our universities
    We value our EU membership
    even
    We value our leader

    Well done!

  • John Marriott 18th Aug '18 - 6:47pm

    How about ‘It doesn’t have to be like this’?

  • Yeovil Yokel 18th Aug '18 - 8:29pm

    Here’s a few:
    “The Head & Heart Party.”
    “Our Feet on the Ground.”
    “Heal Our Divided Nation.”
    “Modern Representation.”
    “United Nation.”
    “Progress, Liberty, Solidarity, Prosperity, Hope.”
    “Grasp the Future.”
    “Regenerate Britain.”
    “Sensible Party + Sensible Leader = Sensible Policies.”

    PLUS – “Don’t Mention the Coalition” (that one’s for David Raw).

    Copyright Yeovil Yokel.

  • Jayne Mansfield 18th Aug '18 - 9:28pm

    @ John Marriot,
    I Like it.

    It really doesn’t have to be like this, but what is the alternative that politics can offer, and in particular the Liberal Democrats?

  • Peter Watson 19th Aug '18 - 12:01am

    @John Marriott “How about ‘It doesn’t have to be like this’?”
    Change it to “It doesn’t have to be like that” and the brilliant Erasure song could be the theme for an election campaign in the same way that D:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better” provided a soundtrack for the 1997 election. 🙂

  • Philip Knowles 19th Aug '18 - 7:11am

    I must admit I wasn’t keen on the Demand word – it’s a bit too forecful – but it must always be used with a context. That’s the potential issue with Conference and a backdrop of Liberal Democrats Demand better – it would work best with a rotating back projection of Demand better… schools, health, education, transport etc. If not it needs to be above the Liberal Democrats not below it. I’d be prepared to bet that it’s not though.
    I’m worried by the number of comments above which say better Britain. We live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Accidentally excluding Northern Ireland isn’t a good policy – even if it’s easy to use as shorthand.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 19th Aug '18 - 7:40am

    Philip Knowles, Slogans are supposed to be forceful, aren’t they? There are situations in which it is appropriate to “demand”. The suffragettes didn’t just politely ask if they could possibly have the vote, please. They demanded the vote, because it was their right. We should all demand the better world which is our right.

  • Jayne Mansfield 19th Aug '18 - 8:06am

    @ Peter Watson,
    Cool. The sentiments should appeal to the young and idealistic.

    Corbyn’s Labour should sneak in and adopt it as their anthem whilst Liberal Democrats are discussing the merits ,or otherwise, of a slogan that includes the word ‘demand’.

  • John Marriott 19th Aug '18 - 9:39am

    @Peter Watson
    Thanks for you suggestion. There’s no copyright on my strap line or whatever they call it these days. Feel free to ‘experiment’.

    @Jayne Mansfield
    Glad you like it as well. You ask about the alternative. Here’s another ‘line’ to follow the first. How about ‘Sensible policies for sensible people’? Mind you, that would mean having second thoughts about some of the ideas swirling around on LDV and, dare I say it, Party conferences.

  • Peter Davies 19th Aug '18 - 11:46am

    Lib Dem Pint:
    Demand Bitter.

  • Peter Watson 19th Aug '18 - 12:18pm

    Phonetically it’s not a million miles from
    “Dim and Bitter”
    🙁
    (which does make me wonder if Lib Dem HQ is populated solely with people who pronounce it “demarrnd”)

  • Michael 1,
    I think this is the key issue “Marketing political parties is about communicating values that undermine your detailed policies.”

    “Land and Liberty” would be my choice for a slogan. It has a good pedigree being the slogan of Russian anarchists in the 1870’s, Mexican revolutionaries in the early twentieth century and during the Spanish Civil war.

    The German Philosopher and sociologist, Friederich Albert Lange rejected Marxist materialism in favour of social democracy. He summed up the essential relationship between Land and Liberty thus:
    “In former times the marauding minority of mankind, by means of physical violence, compelled the working majority to render feudal services, or reduced them to a state of slavery or serfdom, or at least made them pay a tribute. Nowadays the dependence of the working classes is secured in a less direct but equally efficacious manner, viz. by means of the superior power of capital; the labourer being forced, in order to get his subsistence, to place his labour power entirely at the disposal of the capitalist. So there is a semblance of liberty; but in reality the labourer is exploited and subjected, because, all the land having been appropriated, he cannot procure his subsistence directly from nature, and, goods being produced for the market and not for the producer’s own use, he cannot subsist without capital. Wages will rise above what is wanted for the necessaries of life, where the labourer is able to earn his subsistence on free land, which has not yet become private property. But wherever, in an old and totally occupied country, a body of labouring poor is employed in manufactures, the same law, which we see at work in the struggle for life throughout the organized world, will keep wages at the absolute minimum”.

  • OnceALibDem 19th Aug '18 - 2:32pm

    ‘Sensible policies for sensible people’

    My memory is the Sensible party did rather poorly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Night_Special

  • The slogan is fine, as far as it goes, as people certainly should be demanding better than is being offered by current day politics, across all of the major parties. The problem is that the slogan offers no prospect that people will actually be offered anything better, and reminds me of the “no more broken promises” slogan that Clegg though it would be clever to fight his election on, just before coming up with the idea of breaking his biggest ever promise.

  • Peter Watson 19th Aug ’18 – 12:01am:
    Change it to “It doesn’t have to be like that” and the brilliant Erasure song could be the theme for an election campaign…

    Or for something a little more upbeat: Here I Go Impossible Again.

    Maybe not.

  • John Marriott 20th Aug '18 - 8:38am

    You probably know that old joke about if God had been a Liberal, Moses wouldn’t have got Ten Commandments but ten suggestions.

    Well how about the following?

    Brexit Shambles
    Housing Crisis
    Cuts in Social Services
    Local Government on its knees
    London rules…..

    It doesn’t have to be like that

    VOTE LIB DEM

    Because we all deserve BETTER!

  • Peter Martin 20th Aug '18 - 10:05am

    @ JoeB

    “Land and Liberty” would be my choice for a slogan. It has a good pedigree being the slogan of Russian anarchists in the 1870’s, Mexican revolutionaries in the early twentieth century and during the Spanish Civil war.

    Are you sure you’re in the right party, Joe? We’re talking about policies for a politically centrist essentially pro-capitalist, albeit somewhat reformist, grouping known as the Liberal Democrats.

    Not the Federación Anarquista Ibérica 🙂

  • Peter Martin,

    this is the Land song, the official anthem of the old Liberal Party and traditionally sung at the end of conference up to the merger with the SDP. Appropriate for its time and better than the Internationale I think. Maybe we need a new rap for modern times.

    Sound the call for freedom boys, and sound it far and wide,
    March along to victory, for God is on our side,
    While the voice of nature thunders o’er the rising tide:
    “God gave the land to the people.”
    Chorus
    The land, the land,
    ’twas God who made the land,
    The land, the land,
    The ground on which we stand,
    Why should we be beggars
    With the ballot in our hand?
    God gave the land to the people.
    Hark! The sound is spreading from the east and from the west!
    Why should we work hard and let the landlords take the best?
    Make them pay their taxes on the land just like the rest!
    The land was meant for the people.
    Chorus
    Clear the way for liberty, the land must all be free,
    None of us shall falter from the fight tho’ stern shall be.
    ‘Til the flag we love so well shall fly from sea to sea,
    O’er the land that is free for the people.
    Chorus
    The army now is marching on, the battle to begin,
    The standard now is raised on high to face the battle din,
    We’ll never cease from fighting ’til the victory we win,
    And the land is free for the people.
    Chorus

  • @ John Marriott.

    You’re tempting me to add ‘it wosn’ t me wot cut local guvment funding and welfare, sir. It wos a big boy wot dun it when I was busy out riding my ministerial pedal bike’.

  • David Allen 20th Aug '18 - 4:28pm

    We should ask unattached members of the public what it makes them think.

    My guess is that most people will think “What makes the Lib Dems arrogant enough to suppose that people like me will just naturally believe that they are “better”? What have they ever achieved?”

    The slogan would work best if it was always displayed against a background of May, Corbyn, Boris and Farage. That way, it would trigger people to think “Of course we should demand someone who is better than that lot” rather than “The LDs are overclaiming about how good they are”.

  • Peter Martin 21st Aug '18 - 8:36am

    @ JoeB,

    Good sentiments in your former song. But, what does “O’er the land that is free for the people” mean exactly?

    How and what Liberal or Lib Dem policies have attempted to make it “free”.

    Does it mean the people own it or just that they might have a right of way along a designated footpath?

  • John Chandler 21st Aug '18 - 11:46am

    I’d be in favour of “Land and Liberty”, but I’m not sure about the general public.

    I’m not overly keen about “Demand Better”. It either needs to be “We Demand Better” or maybe something like “Demand Better. Achieve Better” (hmm, maybe this is why I never got into marketing).

  • David Evershed 21st Aug '18 - 5:10pm

    In order to bring in the freedom theme and the logo how about

    “Lib Dems – Free as a bird”

  • Neil Sandison 22nd Aug '18 - 9:21am

    Is it a final demand ?

  • Simon Banks 23rd Oct '18 - 5:54pm

    The best in my memory was “TAKE POWER – VOTE LIBERAL” in February 1974. It indicated real change. It asked people to do something, not just assent to something. It expressed a fundamental point about Liberalism – empowerment.

    DEMAND BETTER at least encourages people to do something, but what is very unclear. It’s better used to head a series of more specific demands, as has been done. But on its own – demand better what? Torture? Relations with President Trump? It says nothing about what is characteristic of our party and while people are encouraged to act, it’s only to demand from those with power.

    I agree it’s easy to caricature. DEMAND BUTTER, anyone?

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