Throwback Thursdays: Oldest Liberal Party Political Broadcast?

Throwback Thursdays begin with a series on the Party Political Broadcast.

Party Political Broadcasts. In the United Kingdom the Communications Act 2003 prohibits political advertising on Television or Radio, instead, parties are provided with slots, usually about five minutes long on the major broadcast channels with rules set by parliament.

There have been many Party Political Broadcasts made by the Lib Dems and the Liberal and SDP parties before it, but I wondered where it all started. I found this footage in the Pathe archives. The following video shows footage taken of former Liberal Party leader Sir Archibald Sinclair, in 1945, including extracts of a speech on the country “turning to liberalism again”.

Although not a PPB as such, it comes from a time where information about politics and political parties moved from print media and radio into the world of the visual. From this time onward image became more and more important in politics.

Sadly Sir Archibald would go on to lose his seat, amongst the postwar Labour surge, in the 1945 general election. He came third, off of first place by just 61 votes! He was also one of the last Liberal members of Government (Minister of the Air Force) until 2010.

Archie also mentions the Liberal economist William Beveridge, author of the Beveridge Report. It formed the basis for the post-war reforms known as the Welfare State, which include the expansion of National Insurance and the creation of the National Health Service.


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