Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Thanks for the messages of support

I am reminded of John Major on the night of the 1997 General Election.

He gathered his staff and his supporters round him at the foot of the stairs in number 10, and looking into the TV screen he said "Okay, well, we lost."

There were groans and moans and even cheers and laughter amongst the Tories as it sunk in.

I feel a bit like that myself after the NEC results.

Nobody likes it when they dont win a ballot, although I did get over 11000 votes and a 30% share, which isnt bad.

I stood for the NEC two years ago principally so that I could help with the campaigning and organisation and electioneering for the 2005, vital, third-term election. Ironically I only got on to the committee three weeks after it was all over. But I did make the best of the last 12 months in terms of going and talking to Labour Parties and Labour Groups all over the country about beating the LibDems, campaigning in communities, engaging more members in campaign activity and so on.

I dont imagine that will stop. Only last week I was in Rochdale talking to them about how, despite a national backlash against the Party, I beat a LibDem Councillor with 19 years service this May. We all enjoyed the session and I expect I will see them again.

It is good to know I can have my annual leave back next year - I will have taken 18 days annual leave just for NEC duties this year, not even counting time off at election time in the local ward. And I only get 25!! So I am looking forward to spending more time in my ward next year, and maybe even, dare I say it, going on holiday!

It is also very liberating to be entirely free for the first time in many years of any restrictions over what I say and when.

From 1995 - 2001 I could never speak my mind because I was staff, from 2001 - 2004 I worked as a Press Officer for various MPs who didnt need me to cut across the publicity I was supposed to be generating for them, and then I have had this period on the NEC where we do our best to keep our discussions in camera.

Ironically the only time I really said what I felt, about ex-Ministers creating new careers out of decrying the Party and the Government, it was used as a stick to beat me with.

But no matter.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am on the left of the Party, have always been on the left of the Party, was chosen to work with mainly left-wing local parties so that we would all be able to get on and concentrate on campaigning.

However, like many of the colleagues and comrades I have worked with, I dont wish to go into the national press decrying any of our policies, I will save my criticisms for branch meetings, GCs, policy forums etc, not in the pages of the newspaper or on Newsnight.

We owe it the voters of this country to stay in power for as long as possible to implement all the important changes they want to see in their lives and in their world. We wont achieve that with public spats, we will achieve it with hard-work in local communities, addressing the issues that they want sorting out and we will achieve it by winning elections.

That is the area I have put my heart into in the last 15 years of membership, and I dont see anything changing any time soon

Thanks very much for those who have sent warm comments of support, both before, during and after the NEC election.


JN said...

Tough luck Louise. Enjoy the ward work now (it'll eat into those holidays before you know it)!

Anonymous said...

John Major was an outgoing Prime minister who had been elected as an Mp several times. You have lost one contest for relection to an internal party body. hardly the same thing - unless you are seriously more self important than you should be.

fairdealphil said...

Sorry to see you didn't get re-elected to NEC this time Louise. But you'll be back. til then, keep smilin and working your council patch.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that it is the NECs loss.

We desperately need sensible and grounded voices like yours on the NEC.

Enjoy your holiday you deserve it :0)

Love Suzanne

Cath said...

So sorry you didn't make it this time.
For the first time ever we have had detailed and interesting reports on what goes on at the NEC - who is going to supply us with that now?
Love Cath