‘Managing the campaign come down: Labour still needs you, activists and staff’

Emily Wallace
© Peter_Fleming/Shutterstock.com
I lost my job when we went into government in 1997. I’d spent two years working as a very junior adviser to  David Blunkett and the Shadow Education and Employment team.
I worked in Millbank Tower and out on the road with Stephen Byers during the 1997 election campaign. I played my part in delivering a Labour victory.
The elation of winning was incredible, but the come down was brutal.
This weekend, there are hundreds of Labour staffers and activists who put their lives on hold, poured blood sweat and tears into the campaign, were there through the highs and lows, and who are responsible for delivering this Labour victory. This weekend they wake up, blinking, the new reality setting in,  thinking, what now.
Watching the people you have worked alongside, in some cases for years, achieve power is exhilarating. But it is tempered by a sense of now being on the outside looking in, of feeling like your world has moved on without you. The government machine quietly and efficiently picking up the mantle, leaving you an onlooker, no longer required.
To replace the thrill of the campaign, the camaraderie built from working towards one overriding single purpose,  to win,  is impossible.  That job is done. We won, you were part of history.  Time to find your place in the new order.
Take heart from the experience, from what you learnt and from the friends you made along the way.
The party still needs you. We are now the party of government on a mission (or five) to transform this country. You played your part in making this happen and you will be needed to help deliver it.
Take a break, find perspective, but please, stay involved. Stay connected, stand for election in your local party, Join a socialist society join a network. Know that our party is stronger for your continued participation.
The national Party will fall into the background as attention and focus shifts to the parliamentary party and to our new Labour government. Over the next few months our party needs to refocus from being a campaigning machine to providing a voice for our members to our party in Government.
There is much work to do to secure the future of this government.  Local parties need to assess the election results, reassess priorities and be reinvigorated with new purpose. We need to grow our next generation of political activists and future leaders. We need you.
It took thousands of members to rebuild our party, it will need us all to help to rebuild our country.

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