‘Panic room’ is installed at office by mouthy Labour MP. Who’s paying?

Last Updated: August 16, 2016By
Jess Phillips also revealed that security at her house has been improved [Image: Nicola Tree/Getty Images].

Jess Phillips also revealed that security at her house has been improved [Image: Nicola Tree/Getty Images].

It’s very hard to gauge the moral rights and wrongs of this situation.

Nobody should be put in fear for their life while carrying out a job that doesn’t carry that kind of risk with it – and I would certainly suggest that being a representative of the people like an MP should not.

However, Ms Phillips has gone out of her way to make herself unwelcome among a large proportion of the Labour Party’s members and supporters.

Not only that; she has done this in her spare time – not as part of her work. You only have to look at her Twitter feed to see that she is an abrasive character.

You can probably tell, dear reader, despite the diplomatic language above, that I’m sick of her un-Parliamentary behaviour myself.

But I would not threaten her, and I certainly would not try to follow through on any threats she had received.

Perhaps we would be better off looking at this from another angle:

If she feels unwelcome, then the way she responds to that is a matter for her conscience.

But This Writer certainly hopes she is not claiming expenses for any structural alterations to her office or home that have been necessitated as a result of her own behaviour.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has revealed that she is having a “panic room” fitted in her constituency office following a series of threats to her safety.

The MP for Birmingham Yardley also said she would struggle to remain in the party if the current political atmosphere did not dissipate.

“It would be very, very difficult for me that if Jeremy Corbyn wins and something doesn’t dramatically change in the way people are being treated online, in the streets, our security,” she said. “I can’t imagine why I would want to stay somewhere where I am so obviously not welcome.”

However, she later told the Guardian that she was not planning to quit.

Phillips, who has been a vocal critic of Corbyn’s leadership, said she did not feel welcome by “huge swaths of people” in the Labour party.

“Someone thought it was funny to mock up a picture of a woman with a spear through her heart and put my head on it,” she added. “I’ve got two small kids, I’m a human being.”

Source: Labour MP Jess Phillips installing ‘panic room’ at office following threats | Politics | The Guardian

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  1. Nick August 16, 2016 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    Is that title a joke? I’m not even going to bother reading the article because of the leading (by which I mean suggestive) title. If she is speaking her mind and being honest then she is a good MP and deserves the protections being in a public position and doing so can bring.

    Do better Vox Political. You’re in danger of turning into your enemy.

    • Mike Sivier August 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      If you didn’t even read the article, you’re not qualified to comment on it and I don’t have to pay attention to your words, which are self-confessedly written in ignorance.

      • John August 17, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

        Don’t worry Nick, I’ve read it, and you were right not to.

        Dreadful – if she didn’t want to have pictures of her with a spear through her heart she shouldn’t have criticised Jeremy Corbyn. Makes perfect sense to me.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:08 pm - Reply

          That is not what the article said.
          May I ask why you feel justified in misrepresenting me?
          Use evidence, please.

      • Caspar (@caspar01) August 17, 2016 at 9:04 am - Reply

        He’s not, he’s commenting on the title, which has plenty to complain about.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm - Reply

          Let’s see your argument, then.
          Or was that it?

      • Roland Laycock August 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm - Reply

        Well said Mark

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 9:19 pm - Reply

          Who’s Mark?

    • John August 16, 2016 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Is YOUR comment supposed to be a joke Nick? You’re not “even going to bother” reading it, but you’ve scrolled down and bothered to make a comment about something that you haven’t even read?????????? And in what way is it ‘suggestive’?
      I don’t have a problem with an MP or anyone for that matter, ‘speaking their mind’, but Philips has a history of making ‘controversial’ comments?
      She’s also got the nerve to blame some of her constituents for her personal problems, which, really, she’s brought on herself!!!!!
      I don’t want to get personal, but I would describe her as rather ‘immature’ and ‘childish’?

  2. John August 16, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    You know, I didn’t need to click into this article to see who it was about… as soon as I saw the title, I knew!
    No one should have to live in fear of physical threats, however I definitely can’t help thinking that she’s brought this on entirely by herself, by her complete stupidity and wild gob (to put it as politely as I can)!
    She’s her own worst enemy.

    • Steve Paget August 17, 2016 at 9:12 am - Reply

      Very odd. The other bloke who judged this article by its title got a telling off by Mike Sivier (“This Writer”?)
      I wonder why this comment gets a free pass?

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

        Because the commenter wasn’t pre-judging the article, based on the title.
        You seem to be assuming that he hasn’t read the rest of it. On what would you be basing that?

      • John August 17, 2016 at 5:48 pm - Reply

        I’m gonna guess Steve that, for some reason, you didn’t have your little grey cells plugged in at the time you wrote your comment about me? (something I’d also attribute to a large number of other commenters on here (about the brain cells bit, that is!) ).
        How on earth Steve, have I “judged this article by its title”? Please tell me, I’d love to know! I reckon you might want to look up the meaning and use of the word ‘judge’ perhaps?
        Now Steve, I’m going to give you a challenge, instead of an easy ride! The challenge is…. look at the blog post title again, read CAREFULLY my comments, and think about what YOU wrote! You might find yourself highly enlightened in the process! Best of British to you!

  3. Di ane August 16, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    so…..she can have a panic room,
    BUT…a victim of extreme domestic violence has to pay for hers [via bedroom tax]
    where’s the justice?

    • KB August 17, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

      Bedroom Tax is a Tory policy, one that Jess Phillips has fought against. Are you saying Phillips shouldn’t haver a panic room because the Tories are taking away one from a domestic abuse survivor? Is that what you are doing?

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

        Let’s hope Di ane responds to you.
        Personally I think you’re trying to misattribute an opinion to someone else in order to suit your own agenda.

    • zooniecait August 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm - Reply

      I think the point surely is “Nobody should be put in fear of their life”. Full stop. If MP’s are being *knifed to death*, which they are, then adding security measures sounds eminently sensible. Given that there is a proven risk, then any MP asking for extra security measures should get them. Whether she’s a woman or not is actually irrelevant. The bedroom tax issue is very different but within that different argument, victims of domestic violence should equally, not be being penalised for having security measures or having to pay for them.

      I just want to point out that if my MP was not ‘mouthy’, or critical of party leadership where they felt there was a need to be, I would wonder what the hell they were doing. I also note that the word ‘mouthy’ has a tendency to be used against women, along with other insults, therefore I call out strong elements of this piece for a sexist approach to the issue.

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:32 pm - Reply

        I put the extra part in about people whose job might carry out that kind of risk because there very obviously are jobs that do.
        I certainly agree that gender is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.
        One MP was killed, yes, but I have already explained why I think it is inappropriate to link that incident with Ms Phillips.
        With the bedroom tax, you’re right that it is a different issue. It involves people who would have paid to make their own panic room, but would then have that room taken away from them by the government, because they are perceived to be “over-occupying” a dwelling.
        There’s a difference between being “mouthy”, which I would characterise as being inclined to talk a lot, especially in a rude, disrespectful or insolent way, and simply being critical. You can criticise without being rude; you can criticise without being disrespectful. And this is not about the leadership of the Labour Party; it’s about Jess Phillips’s general behaviour.
        I would dispute your suggestion that there’s a gender-specific basis to use of the word “mouthy”. I certainly wouldn’t apply it exclusively to women. So I reject your claim of sexism.

  4. Di Finch August 16, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I don’t like her either but neither do I like the adjective ” mouthy” being applied to her or anyone. She is as entitled to her say as anyone else in a democracy.

    • Mike Sivier August 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      This is her having her say: “So all those salivating saying “I’m gonna vote for Jeremy even harder to get rid of her.” tough luck dudes, you are stuck with me. #diddums”

      Pay particular attention to the #diddums on the end. She goes out of her way to be inflammatory.

      Sure, she’s as entitled to her say as anyone – but why should anyone have to put up with someone who behaves like that? Her Twitter feed is full of it – some a lot nastier, too.

      I think “mouthy” is a mild description.

      • Fulcrum August 17, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

        With all due respect. Read your own blog. Couldn’t the same description be applied to you? Are you not ‘mouthy’? I’ll answer that for you. Yes, you are the very description of mouthy. So, why do you get to keep your job? Why do you get to live in safety? Is it because you’re a guy? It is, isn’t it? And you’re cool with that? Because I don’t think you should be.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

          Am I mouthy? Do I behave in an abusive and insulting manner to other people here, habitually?
          No, I don’t.
          I’ll counter other people’s arguments where I think this is necessary, and I’ll block abusive comments altogether, but that’s not being mouthy – it’s running a blog responsibly.
          My gender has nothing todo with it. If somebody wanted to physically attack me for what I said, I doubt it would bother them whether I’m male or not, and I don’t think you’d be able to demonstrate otherwise.

      • Mark Curry August 17, 2016 at 9:13 am - Reply

        And there for #diddums means she is asking for it? And you think that the verbal and physical violence or threats of the same are justified?

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm - Reply

          Where does my article say Ms Phillips is asking for anything? Or that verbal or physical violence or threats are justified?
          It doesn’t.
          Why do you seek to misattribute words to me?

      • KB August 17, 2016 at 10:13 am - Reply

        I like the term outspoken. I don’t see how diddums is inflammatory. All the people tweeting at her calling her a bitch or recently “that thing” that’s inflammatory.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm - Reply

          So if I responded with something that ridiculed your comment and then put “#diddums” on the end, you’d be fine with it?
          What a tolerant, mild-mannered person you are.
          Except I don’t think that’s true, otherwise you wouldn’t be writing to attack the position I’ve taken here.
          I like “outspoken” too. It doesn’t apply to Jess Phillips. There’s a difference between being frank in one’s opinions – even if they’re shocking or controversial – and being loud, rude, disrespectful and insolent. In my opinion, of course.

      • judisutherland August 17, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

        So being mouthy appears to equate to deserving to be beaten up. I really don’t like that an association you are inviting us to make.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

          Of course, I’m not inviting you to make that association. Read the article again, with particular attention to the second paragraph.

      • Clive August 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

        “Of course, I’m not inviting you to make that association. Read the article again, with particular attention to the second paragraph”

        You mean this bit: –

        “Nobody should be put in fear for their life while carrying out a job that doesn’t carry that kind of risk with it – and I would certainly suggest that being a representative of the people like an MP should not.

        It’s the “However” that makes this a repellent post.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm - Reply

          It’s the “however” and what comes after, that explain why it is hard to gauge the moral rights and wrongs here.
          She shouldn’t be put in fear for her life.
          But she should treat other people with respect.
          She hasn’t done so.

  5. EYEisBloke August 16, 2016 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    EYEhave done a couple of audits of her twitter ‘abuse claims’ on my blog and they quite cringe-worthy. She’s defined herself by victim-aggressor behaviour and has become addicted to her own headlines. Shame, if she wasn’t stuck so rigidly stuck in her own chauvinism and ambition she might have actually done something good.

    • Mike Sivier August 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      I take it you’re happy for me to mention your site?
      It’s eyeisbloke.WordPress.com

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply

          I’ve read the first article and… wow.

          It coincidentally highlights the double-standards of many of the people who have criticised my article. The part that shows Ms Phillips is happy to cause offence and then play the victim when people respond is required reading for all those accusing me of “victim-blaming”, but I see I should also take a leaf out of her book, where she responds to critics with this: “Don’t just see the thing that suits your agenda and flip-flop your own rage to make a point.”

          Very illuminating.

          I should also take a moment to apologise. I see from your article that Ms Phillips has attracted adverse criticism from her behaviour while carrying out her duties as an MP, as well as her extracurricular activities. I apologise for not having identified this in my article or previous responses to comments.

          However: As the behaviour which attracted this criticism was entirely un-Parliamentary, I shall not be retracting my criticism of her. She had no business, behaving in such an revolting manner.

          I maintain my position that nobody should be put in fear for their safety because they have vile opinions, but I also maintain my opinion that – if she does feel unsafe as a result of the attention those wholly unacceptable opinions have drawn – she should pay for the safety measures she wants.

      • Caroline Molloy August 18, 2016 at 10:29 am - Reply

        A quick scan of his twitter feed shows me that EyeIsBloke is pretty reactionary, tweeting stories critical of black lives matter, stuff from Heat St, articles pouring cold water on TUC report into workplace sexual harassment saying it’s mostly a joke… not good company to keep. I don’t know why you’re going down this line, i really don’t.

        • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 11:03 am - Reply

          And what, if anything, is wrong with the articles on Jess Phillips?
          Well then.
          I had reservations about him when I read his background but the simple fact is that he had done the research and put it in articles that bend over backwards to be as fair as they possibly can.
          Pointing at what he’s done elsewhere is not an argument against this.

  6. foggy August 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Oh dear. Jess should reflect on her somewhat obnoxious and un-parliamentary language when she’s posting her message and opinions to the big wide world and bear in mind her 2 small kids and the thousands of victims of DV who cannot have a panic room due to being piss poor/ lack of LA funding or being punished financially, for having such a much needed safe haven, via the bedroom tax. Readers can miss the entire point of her message due to the slant and language she uses.

    Jess doesn’t address her parliamentary peers in the HOC with such disdain so what is the difference between them and ‘us’ ?

    • KB August 17, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

      I genuinely don’t understand your comment. You think that a woman who worked for Women’s Aid for almost a decade doesn’t understand the issues faced by domestic abuse victims?
      You think that because she has been critical of Jeremy Corbyn that she deserves to be unsafe? or do you just not care about her safety because she disagrees with you and is willing to talk about it.
      This piece is disgusting, not journalism, definitely not political, it’s just another little bit of abuse for a woman who has been suffering vile threats not just on twitter, which you all seem obsessed by proving wrong but by email and post.

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm - Reply

        Just to defend against the part about my article: Your opinion is your own but I strongly dispute any suggestion that it is abusive.
        Look through it again and show me where I insult her, or threaten her.

  7. Zippi August 16, 2016 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    If she has brought it onto herself, she has but herself to blame, however, in a so-called civilised society, we must find better ways of making our annoyances felt and known. Whether she has caused this, or not, it is not for us to necessitate her having a panic room installed, or any other means of added security to her person, so that she can do her job, or not. We must be the better people and show her for what she is, not validating her claims of victimhood, or justifying anything that she says, or does. Being black, you learn that very quickly. Two wrongs do not make a right and it only takes one incident against her to erase the thousands that she may have initiated.
    I don’t know her and I have not seen her tweets but I suggest that if she is being inflammatory, derogatory and/ or inciting, or causing distress, she should be reported to the police. It is a sad indictment of our times that people behave with impunity online. These people must be made aware that there are consequences to their actions, even those which they believe are made anonymously. This includes our M.P.s and other public figures. We are (or should be) none of us above the £aw.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Just so. As I stated in the article, threats of violence are entirely unacceptable and anyone with a grievance against this MP should take it through the proper channels.
      I don’t think this panic room is anything to do with her job, though. I’ve seen comments on Twitter suggesting that I’m out of order for suggesting she should pay for her own panic room, because of the death of John Cox, but there is a huge difference. Ms Cox was attacked while she was carrying out her work; Ms Phillips is habitually offensive to people in her spare time. There should be no attempt to equate the two, and I think any such attempt would be offensive to the memory of Ms Cox.

      • j August 17, 2016 at 10:31 am - Reply

        Mike: it is Jo Cox, not John Cox.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:20 pm - Reply

          I’ve been on my Kindle, which seems to change spellings arbitrarily in order to embarrass me. You’re quite right.

      • Zippi August 17, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

        I agree with you, totally. I think that I was just voicing that fact that we can’t allow ourselves to be seen as aggressors, at any time. If people do wrong, online, anybody, they should be brought to book and that message needs to be hammered home. It is not just the Man on the street who can find himself at the wrong end of the long arm of the £aw and if more people made her accountable for her behaviour, she and others might think twice. Being an M.P. shouldn’t make her a target but by the same token, it shouldn’t make her a sniper, either. We should behave online as we would off it; sadly, people, in general, seem to forget that.

  8. John August 17, 2016 at 1:11 am - Reply

    I think this woman has serious mental health issues.
    She seems to go out of her way to court controversy and then feeds off the controversy to become even more controversial.
    I think she is living inside her own little universe – like a lot of the anti-Corbyn MPs – and has lost contact with every day reality.
    She is entitled to her say but why deploy a megaphone mouth to say it?

    • John August 17, 2016 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      LOL, you know John, the mental health stuff crossed my mind too, once or twice. She seems to be ok with dishing the abuse out, but then goes ‘crying to momma’ when she gets it back and is threatened. I mean, I still think threats of violence are totally NOT acceptable, and she should not have to put up with it, but you really do seriously have to ask yourself, just how much of that, she HAS helped to bring on herself.
      Talking of ‘megaphone mouth’, unless she’s changed it, has anyone noticed what her twitter profile picture is? It is of herself, posing as if she’s shouting out. Now, I don’t want to start judging people based on their profile pictures, but it’s certainly worth bearing in mind, isn’t it?

    • Ian August 19, 2016 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      A sociopath and a narcissist is what she is…

  9. plhepworth August 17, 2016 at 2:15 am - Reply

    The threats against Ms Phillips (which I take her word on) are despicable, and I don’t have problem with her or anyone else who feels threatened having a refuge installed at the party’s or taxpayers’ expense. However, suggestions that threats might come from Corbyn supporters are ludicrous. Corbyn seems to me to stand unequivocally for comradeship and the calm and open discussion of exclusively political issues.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:22 am - Reply

      There are people on both sides who will respond to offence with offence. There is a lot of nonsense being said as well, though.

  10. jeffrey davies August 17, 2016 at 6:38 am - Reply

    However, she later told the Guardian that she was not planning to quit yes the monies I claim are super yet another eagle if there was any crime against her the police would have to protect her just another blairite who isn’t a labour person hmmm jeff3

  11. Phil Woodford August 17, 2016 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Your blog reaches new lows every week. And this is quite an achievement.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Do you have a supportable argument, or are you merely lowering yourself to non-specific abuse?

  12. laurettalottiepearson August 17, 2016 at 7:15 am - Reply

    Jeremy Corbyn is a human being too.

  13. Tim Turner August 17, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    It’s impressive that you managed to write this nonsense without acknowledging that a) a female MP has been murdered in the past few months, and b) the MP you are stigmatising and victim-blaming used to work for a charity dealing with domestic violence, and so probably understands threats and intimidation with far greater clarity than a smug Corbyn cheerleader.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Who is the victim of an abusive tweet by Jess Phillips?
      Why is it okay for you to blame them for her behaviour?
      Why do you feel justified in linking the tragic death of a person who did not habitually abuse people, and who died while carrying out her work, with the choices of someone who does abuse people on her own time?

      • Tim Turner August 17, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

        I think ‘murder’ is a more accurate description than ‘tragic death’. I think it’s entirely reasonable to point out that your bleating about a woman who receives death threats wanting to protect herself and her family comes in the context of another woman in the same occupation being murdered quite recently. If Phillips has sent any tweets or made any statements as offensive as the one you quote above (i.e. the one in which she is depicted as having been murdered), I’d be keen to see the evidence, though we both know that there isn’t any. But what she does is stand up for herself with an earthy sense of humour – I wonder why you find an assertive woman with a mind of her own so objectionable?

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm - Reply

          Did Jo Cox behave in a reprehensible way in Parliament and on Twitter? No, I don’t think she did. We’d have heard about it in the way we’ve all heard about Jess Phillips.
          So suggesting any kind of correlation between the two is entirely untoward and, in my opinion, disrespectful of the memory of Ms Cox.
          The two situations are different.
          If you want an offensive statement from Ms Phillips, try her mockery of attempts to have a debate on men’s rights. Others have pointed out that on the same day she laughed at the possibility, statistically speaking, 2,000 men and boys were victims of a violent crime, more than 200 men died of cancer, 13 men committed suicide. The suicide rate among men is four times that among women. Men are three times more likely to be murdered than women. They are 13 times more likely to suffer an industrial injury or death. Yet women are 21 times more likely to gain custody of children in a family split. And Ms Phillips laughed at the possibility of a discussion of the still-huge differences that make gender equality a mockery.
          That’s not to say I approve of Philip Davies’s attempt to push forward a male agenda about sex discrimination. I’ve made it clear that I’d like to see genuine, well-intentioned moves towards equality – but you can find that in my recent article on the subject.
          As for “murder” – it would be inappropriate for me to use that word when a man is accused of that crime and waiting to be tried by an impartial jury of his peers; it might prejudice that trial.

      • Tim Turner August 17, 2016 at 12:25 pm - Reply

        I think ‘murder’ is a more accurate description than ‘tragic death’. I think it’s entirely reasonable to point out that your bleating about a woman who receives death threats wanting to protect herself and her family comes in the context of another woman in the same occupation being murdered quite recently. If Phillips has sent any tweets or made any statements as offensive as the one you quote above (i.e. the one in which she is depicted as having been murdered), I’d be keen to see the evidence, though we both know that there isn’t any. But what she does is stand up for herself with an earthy sense of humour – I wonder why you find an assertive woman with a mind of her own so objectionable?
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

          Legally speaking, it isn’t accurate to say she was murdered – it implies pre-judgement of the man who has been accused of that crime, before he can stand trial before a jury of impartial peers.

    • laurettalottiepearson August 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      She is very good at dishing it out. Didn’t she something about stabbing Mr Corbyn?

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm - Reply

        She said she’d stab him in the face when the time comes, as opposed to stabbing him in the back.
        When this drew adverse criticism, she responded: “Just so we can get the record straight, and by that I don’t mean literally getting a record and unbending it, so let’s start again. I want to be clear and transparent, by which I of course do not mean that I wish literally for people to be able to see through me… let’s try again. I want to spell out, I (space ) D I D (space) N O T (space) T H R E A T E N (space) T O (space) K I L L (space) J E R E M Y (space) C O R B Y N (stop).

        “Don’t just see the thing that suits your agenda and flip-flop your own rage to make a point. Jess Phillips MP”

        That last sentence is certainly something my own critics on this comment thread should consider.

    • John August 17, 2016 at 6:12 pm - Reply

      “and so probably understands threats and intimidation with far greater clarity”
      I know you DID use the word probably, but you’d think that, in that case, she might be more aware of exactly what she says, and how she comes across?

  14. Chris August 17, 2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

    It is simply incorrect to say “structural alterations to her office or home that have been necessitated as a result of her own behaviour”.

    Douglas Carswell is probably the most universally disliked MP because of the platform on which he stands, or Philip Davies or Chris Chope. They hold some disgusting views. Yet they haven’t had to install panic rooms. It isn#t the behaviour of the MP in question, it is the reaction of mindless individuals that have forced her hand.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Have you not read her Twitter feed?

      • Chris August 17, 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

        Yes. I have. But Carswell says far more objectionable things. Farage does. Suzanne Evans does, so it is not a male/female thing. It is the actions of individuals who think little of the consequences of writing awful things on social media that have forced her hand. Threatening violence against elected officials has become normalised, and sadly some people have already taken these threats further.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

          So the individuals who write awful things on social media are entirely to blame, and Ms Phillips is entirely blameless, even though she wrote/said the things that provoked them?
          As I say, it’s hard to gauge the moral rights and wrongs.

    • John August 17, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

      From the little I know of this character, it seems she herself has ended up forcing her own hand with her deliberately provocative public statements. I also wonder if she is completely well in the head, as all this talk of “panic” rooms suggests a hysterical and unrealistic world-view where she is concerned. There are far more important matters to address than one single person courting controversy to become the focus of media attention. Give her a column in the Sun for her drivel, which all sensible people can then ignore completely.

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

        I don’t think it’s productive to suggest mental ill-health. She knows what she’s doing.

  15. Gustavo De lezameta August 17, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I am utterly shocked by this article.

    The implication is that people who do not agree with your views should leave the Labour Party.
    Dont you enjoy others voicing their opinions ?

    Obviously, the converse of that would be the question, if you dislike the MPs so much that you are willing to blsme them for any difficult situation that arisese, then why support Labour at all. (This is applying your own reasoning BTW)

    Debate is plural. Jess Phillips should be free to speak her mind. If this becomes dangerous, she should be protected.

    Gus Lezameta

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 10:39 am - Reply

      No, I didn’t imply that people who disagree with me should leave Labour. I’m surprised that anyone would try to suggest such a thing.
      Your logic is also faulty where you say I blame MPs for “any difficult situation that arises”, which you cannot justify. I’m saying this MP should take responsibility for her behaviour. If she wants a panic room, she should pay for it.
      I do agree that Ms Phillips should be able to speak her mind – but she should do it respectfully, not abusively.

      • Gustavo De lezameta August 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm - Reply

        So your article has no implications then ?

        1)What did you mean by “how she responds ( to the allusion that there is no place in Labour for people like her ), is a matter for her own concience” the brackets are mine ? The infetence is that she is no longer welcome. Or fid you mean something else, and if so, what ?

        2)Is she responsible for threats made against her ? I would say that those who are making the threats are responsible.

        By suggesting otherwise, it is you who are victim blaming, and furthermore exacerbating the problem.

        If you choose not to recognise that, well, that is a matter for your own conscience.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

          The inference is that it’s up to her how she responds.
          I’ve explained my opinion about the responses she has received. It’s difficult to gauge the moral rights and wrongs because, while it’s certainly wrong to threaten another person as a result of something they’ve said, it’s also wrong to say things that provoke such behaviour.
          Now, let’s have no more mention of victim blaming. Ms Phillips has victims too – as she knows perfectly well, even if you don’t.

  16. StockportJambo August 17, 2016 at 8:51 am - Reply

    It’s sad that she feels threatened, and in the light of what happened to Jo Cox one should definitely take that seriously, but as for the lady herself – I’d just ask; in what way does she “support the aims and values of the Labour party”? In today’s world, that is a pre-requisite for any member – never mind MP.

  17. Jeff August 17, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Just so you know, I’m a life-long Labour supporter who will never vote for them under Corbyn precisely because of the kind of vile abuse the likes of you dish out in his name, with his implicit approval. There are many tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands more like me.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      What vile abuse have I dished out in Jeremy Corbyn’s name? He doesn’t approve of it and neither do I.

    • Ian August 19, 2016 at 6:13 pm - Reply

      Lol of course that’s the reason you won’t vote Labour, nothing disingenuous about that poor excuse at all. How about putting your toys back in the pram and taking into account the Trots, Nazis, Bullies and antisemite slurs against Corbyn suporters and calling it even? What about the way over the top abuse, lies and misrepresentation that Corbyn and his supporters get on a daily basis from the national media? Far worse than a few pointed remarks from a couple of people on Twitter that the anti Corbyns squeal about. I guess that doesn’t count.

  18. Caspar (@caspar01) August 17, 2016 at 9:02 am - Reply

    “Nobody should be put in fear for their life while carrying out a job ….”
    “However, Ms Phillips has gone out of her way to make herself unwelcome among a large proportion of the Labour Party’s members and supporters.”
    The moral barometer is pointing pretty clearly in one direction, pal, and it’s not towards crybabies polluting politics with threats against *anyone*, even if it is a “mouthy” (you idiot) MP.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      How do you justify using abuse of me (“you idiot”) to criticise me for pointing out that this MP is also abusive?
      Why is it wrong to say that somebody who indulges in low, insulting and abusive behaviour on their own time should then use their own money to fund protection against a perceived threat to her as a result of that behaviour?

  19. Steve Paget August 17, 2016 at 9:03 am - Reply

    “This Writer” would obviously prefer that the little lady kept her opinions to herself. Unfortunately for him, it’s her job.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:14 pm - Reply

      It is not her job to belittle others on Twitter.
      If she receives abuse, that does not justify descending to the other person’s level. That is no part of her job description.
      What kind of example is she setting?

      • Ian August 19, 2016 at 6:16 pm - Reply

        aaand there you have it. No argment so wheel out a straw man, this time accusations of sexism.

        The anti Corbynistas are a fairly low, scummy bunch. Their desperation is comical, especially seeing how badly Owen Smith is going to get reamed in the election.

  20. Gary Gillan August 17, 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Nobody deserves the abuse or to feel unsafe in the work place but by her twitter & media comments she portrays herself a certain way. I feel that if she has upset a lot of people by her words & can’t stay if JC wins then just pack it in now instead of carrying on undermining etc etc like a lot of of the PLP members…. she always has a choice…. Stay & support & move forward or quit & be true to her beliefs instead of all the whinging & whining. Be true to herself & walk away & be happy

  21. Gaz August 17, 2016 at 9:11 am - Reply

    So the misandrist needs a safe room. Well no surprise, but it’s like the public paying for one for a racist.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Is she a misandrist?
      I may disagree with you about that, and I’m sure you’ll get flak about the comparison, but I can certainly see where your comment is coming from. It’s a matter of scale.

  22. chriskitcher August 17, 2016 at 9:14 am - Reply

    She needs to remember that with every right, in her case the right to free speech, also comes a responsibility. In her case she has to accept that if she wants no threats to her she has to curb her aggressive speech and actions.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t say she needs to curb her aggressive speech and behaviour to avoid threats. But certainly, if she wants people to respect her, she needs to treat people with respect.

  23. NogginthNog August 17, 2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Victim blaming at it’s finest. Where is your outrage that an elected representative is being threatened and abused? What is wrong with everyone? I tell you what, I’d be proud to have Jess Phillips as my MP. She is one of the most courageous people in Parliament. If anything went wrong for you, if she was in your corner you’d be onto a winner.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      But we have evidence that Ms Phillips is a master of causing offence and then portraying herself as the victim. Are you now making yourself part of that agenda?
      My observations on threats and abuse – to anybody – are in the article.
      Perhaps you should take a leaf from Ms Phillips’ book. She wrote: “Don’t just see the thing that suits your agenda and flip-flop your own rage to make a point.”

  24. Rodney August 17, 2016 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Disgusting article

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Please support your response with evidence – and make your evidence different from all the other attempts to which I have already responded.

  25. Matt Kane (@ascorbic) August 17, 2016 at 10:08 am - Reply

    Amazing victim blaming there. So the threats are her own fault? No MP should be allowed to have unpopular opinions? Jo Cox’s murder was the result of her vocal pro-EU campaigning. Was that her fault too? Of course the taxpayer should pay for her security, and it’s disgusting to suggest otherwise.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm - Reply

      I’ve already answered your comments elsewhere, but I will say this: Jo Cox may have campaigned vocally in favour of the UK staying in the EU, but I don’t recall seeing any examples of her being disrespectful or rude to other people in doing so. In my opinion it is entirely inappropriate to mention her death alongside the threats to Ms Phillips.

      • Matt Kane (@ascorbic) August 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

        So if Jo Cox had been disrespectful and rude on Twitter then she would’ve been asking for it?

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

          No, because the point isn’t that anybody was “asking for it”.
          But if you act in a provocative way, people are going to be provoked.
          I’m not saying they have a right to behave that way, but it’s going to happen. Were they “asking for it”?
          This is why it’s wrong to link Jo Cox with Jess Phillips. Ms Cox wasn’t being provocative. She was going about her work. Jess Phillips goes out of her way to cause offence. Big difference.
          And yes, she does try to get a reaction from other people. That’s still not to say she’s “asking for it”, if by “it” you mean violence.
          She wants enough of a reaction to be able to pour ridicule on the other person – but got threats (she says). It’s still something that can be spun against her intended victims, of course, because it gives her a greater opportunity to play the victim herself.
          It seems supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are being blamed. Is there any hard proof that whoever issued the alleged threats (I haven’t seen them) is in fact a supporter of Mr Corbyn? In the light of the reaction against his supporters, can you provide any clear evidence that they were “asking for it”?

  26. Rangjan August 17, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    By all means criticise her for being mouthy (and often irrational imho) but please don’t suggest that this behaviour (not unique to Ms Phillips on Twitter) is somehow responsible for her needing a panic room. #victimblaming

    BTW does she need a panic room, or is she being melodramatic again?

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm - Reply

      It really isn’t victim blaming, for reasons I’ve already clarified.

  27. EYEisBloke August 17, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    Good example of her double standards is that she openly supported the social media ‘dogpiling’ of a Tory MP last week.

  28. Son Lyme (@Son_Lyme) August 17, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Dear Mike, please do come up to Yardley and try spouting this stuff to Jess Phillips’ constituents, I think you may find your message won’t be well received. You see we really like her, and admire the work she puts in for us.

    To call her ‘mouthy’ reveals only your own prejudice.

    To criticise a female MP, who in the face of threats to herself, her staff, and her young family, seeks to provide some security is odd. To do so in the wake of the savage murder of her friend, MP Jo Cox, puts you beneath contempt.

    She is a fine, hard working, Labour MP.

    While you are blinded by partisan politics mate. Rendered blind.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

      Maybe she is hard-working, but she lets herself down by the attitudes she displays.
      No, I’m not blinded by partisan politics.
      I have already given my opinion of attempts to use Jo Cox to justify Jess Phillips, so don’t try to talk to me about contempt in that regard.
      I notice you mention only the threats Ms Phillips has received, while ignoring the behaviour that provokes them. Do you think that is impartial politics?
      I have also clarified what I mean by “mouthy” and, again, I think that’s a defensible position.

  29. Christopher Marshall August 17, 2016 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Afraid I disagree with this article. I scanned her’s and your Twitter feeds. Looks like you’re on different sides of a long drawn out party argument.

    – I found Ms Phillips to reference many tweets which were of unpleasant material aimed at her person (some had been deleted) but most of her feed was about feminism or the Olympics. I only found one to show an “abrasive character” and you’ve quoted that above. For the record, I would expect an MP to be at least a little abrasive.
    – on the other side of the fence I found many of your tweets to be one sided comment regarding Owen vs Corbyn. You’re welcome to your opinion and I’m not going to judge you for it. I saw a lot of attacks on Owen followed (ironically) by a retweet accusing Owen of attacking Corbyn. Hey, its a leadership battle, what do we expect.

    However, I’m afraid the feminist position on violent threats through social media is pretty compelling. There has been a police investigation leading to arrests and conviction, lets not forget. There has even been the murder of a female MP so to claim threats are empty is a little callous.

    I would say that this news is a symptom of a nation that is drifting dangerously to the right while the left is too busy fighting itself to make a compelling vision for the future.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Many of my tweets are indeed to do with the leadership battle. I think it is important to ensure that the facts are out in the open and I don’t think we can rely on the mainstream media to do that. Would you describe my tweets as abrasive, or rude, or disrespectful?
      The tweet by Ms Phillips, that we’ve both identified, is certainly indicative of the character she displays to her detractors. Now is probably a bad time to trawl them, because it’s the summer recess and the Olympics are ongoing; people don’t show the abrasive side of their character unless they have reason to. There are references to her behaviour available on the web, though. I certainly don’t think there’s a lack of evidence to support my position.
      I would point out that I have not claimed any threats are empty.

      • Christopher Marshall August 17, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

        If you want my opinion on your tweets then I didn’t find anything particularly abrasive; quite hard edged and definitely lacked balance. But this is a leadership battle and I wouldn’t expect balance in a leadership battle and this is politics, I would expect a hard edge from both you and Ms Philips. I would, however, describe the article above to be abrasive.

        In terms of hers. This time I went back to July. Still nothing except the one you quote.

        Finally on her personal safety; you might not claim the threats are empty but you criticize her efforts to secure her safety and push the blame for those threats onto her shoulders.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm - Reply

          Okay, here’s another question. Since you’ve been trawling her Twitter, how many abusive or threatening tweets have you seen, directed AT Ms Phillips?

  30. John Spencer-Davis August 17, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Jess Phillips has a right to say whatever she pleases without fear of physical assault. On the other hand, she has a responsibility, as we all do, not to deliberately inflame others. I might have a right to shout “F–k the Pope!” in a room full of Catholics, but would it be a responsible thing to do? A judge would have a good deal to say to me at any ensuing assault trial. Mr Sivier is forthright, but he is not jeering and insulting and disrespectful, as is Jess Phillips.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you, John.

  31. Flesh Is Grass August 17, 2016 at 11:53 am - Reply

    I don’t think this post is good. Nobody, not matter how mouthy, can ever be held responsible for threats of violence against them. And feminists know that #webelievewomen – so if you’re going to be understanding about the threats, then you’re surely going to be understanding about Jess Phillips’ incivility in the face of enormous provocation. I think incivility can obscure a message and is best avoided, but compared to this threat of violence it is barely even trivial. Threats of rape and violence are intolerable. Of course this country should pay to protect our parliamentarians against those. And if those threats come from supporters of other parliamentarians, well, those parliamentarians should put their own house in order. If Anjem Choudary’s conviction has taught us anything, it’s that people are responsible for their supporters.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      If I say something that upsets another person so much that they threaten to attack me – or actually go through with it – should I charge the cost of protecting myself to my employer, even though it has nothing to do with them?
      Well, would you?
      I’ve already made it abundantly clear that I condemn threats, and acts, of violence – of whatever kind so I trust I do not need to rehash those comments.
      If people are responsible for their supporters, then why aren’t they also responsible for their detractors? Neither would hold those views other than as reactions to the person they support/oppose. Please explain that double-standard.

  32. Ben August 17, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Why do you think a public servant should have to deal with physical threats simply because she says things you disagree with?

    This is one of the scummiest blog posts I’ve read on Labour this year, and that’s really going some

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm - Reply

      Did I say I think a public servant should have to deal with physical threats? No, I did not. It’s in the second paragraph of the article.

      • Rachel August 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm - Reply

        I don’t know which is worse – your misogyny, or your self-righteousness about your misogyny.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:59 pm - Reply

          No misogyny here.

    • Flesh Is Grass August 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm - Reply

      “If I say something that upsets another person so much that they threaten to attack me – or actually go through with it – should I charge the cost of protecting myself to my employer, even though it has nothing to do with them?”

      If the situation for political commentators in Bangladesh and Pakistan tells us anything it’s that the perpetrators of murder against political commentators are very ‘upset’. Jo Cox’s murderer was also ‘upset’. I could go on. Nobody has the right not to be upset. Nobody has the right to threaten anyone else.

      This piece does not condemn violence at all. It’s impossible to both condemn violent threats and at the same time say that somebody has brought it on themself. In order to condemn violence you have to unequivocally take the side of the victim, however you feel about them. No buts. Instead, this piece is all about blaming the woman in question and denying her the means of protection.

      And if the author doesn’t even acknowledge outspoken public women instantly attract hatred, and will always be upsetting somebody simply by existing, then that’s another big hole in the credibility of this piece.

      And as for who the panic room is for, it’s her entire staff and any visitors. It’s to support her to carry on being accessible to constituents, despite being threatened with violence and rape. I’d expect employers to have a duty of care in this respect, and if the threatened violence is judged likely to affect the constituency office, then they are responsible.

      So hopefully that clears that up.

      The author is a good example of somebody who says a few expected things explicitly so that he can quote them afterwards, but then undermines them implicitly but very thoroughly in the rest of the piece, rendering them nothing but platitudes.

      • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

        “If the situation for political commentators in Bangladesh and Pakistan tells us anything it’s that the perpetrators of murder against political commentators are very ‘upset’.” Is that supposed to be a threat?
        If so, it was rubbish. I don’t think for a moment that it was. But do you see how easy it is to have what you say deliberately misinterpreted? Do you see how insulting it is? Can you tell how upset it might make other people?
        Probably not, because you’re banging on about Jo Cox, even after I ruled out commenters going over old ground.
        Oh, hey! “Nobody has the right not to be upset” is clumsy but if you’re saying people shouldn’t bottle it up when somebody else says something that upsets them, you’re right. You’re also right to say “nobody has the right to threaten anyone else”. Perhaps Jess Phillips’s problem is that she goes out of her way to upset people, then can’t cope when they overreact. Solution: Don’t go out of your way to upset people.
        The piece does condemn violence. It also understands why people threaten it – and why other people capitalise on that, rather than doing the right thing. Nobody on Twitter, email or Facebook is anonymous, so she doesn’t have to have a panic room built – she can just report the threats to the police.
        You’re mistaken if you think “in order to condemn violence you have to unequivocally take the side of the victim”. I can sympathise with people who are so infuriated by the misbehaviour of others that they lash out, and still berate them for being wrong. You need to think about that.
        And don’t “no buts” me. See what I say about sympathising with the reason people lash out while still deploring it when they do? You need to reconcile those two things. NO BUTS.
        And I’m not denying Jess Phillips her means of protection. I notice you don’t answer the question you quote at the very top of your comment: “If I say something that upsets another person so much that they threaten to attack me – or actually go through with it – should I charge the cost of protecting myself to my employer, even though it has nothing to do with them?”
        The answer is no. Actions have consequences. And while I may not be responsible for those consequences (because other people have free will and may go too far), I may not force the cost of those consequences onto others. Why should I pay for Jess Phillips’s panic room? I didn’t do anything to make it necessary.
        Outspoken public PEOPLE attract hatred. You and the other people who have visited this site to criticise me have made that perfectly clear. Are you a regular visitor and commenter? No. You’re a tourist. You’ve been attracted here because you’ve had a knee-jerk reaction to something you think I’ve written. In fact, for all I know, you’ve had a knee-jerk reaction to something someone else told you I’ve written, which is even worse. You can’t even follow the advice of the person you’re trying to defend; I’ve repeated it a few times already but I’ll do so again for your benefit: “Don’t just see the thing that suits your agenda and flip-flop your own rage to make a point.”
        So, to the panic room itself. It’s to support her to carry on being accessible to constituents, is it? How? Will they stand outside and communicate with her via intercom? Seems a bit silly to me. Has anyone seen any of these threats she mentions? I followed her Twitter feed back to last December; saw a lot of discussion about threats against her – but no actual threats. She said a while ago that the threats she had received didn’t bother her, so I would have expected her to have received more, if she has changed her mind. Where are they? Of course, she’s perfectly entitled to change her mind about the threats she has received, but if she’s that worried, why doesn’t she follow up on her best option and talk to the police?
        The more I think about it, the more it seems that this is a stunt, at the taxpayers’ expense, to attack supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. I’ll level with you; I had no idea she was saying Corbyn supporters were behind these alleged threats when I wrote my piece – there’s no mention of it in the source article. It came as a bit of an eyebrow-raiser when someone mentioned it on Twitter earlier today (they were trying to get a rise out of me; fat lot of good it did them). Is there any evidence – at all – that any alleged threats made against Jess Phillips were actually, in fact, the work of supporters of Mr Corbyn? I mean, has anybody tracked down anyone who has transmitted such a threat and ascertained their loyalty in a way of which we can be certain?
        Or is this like Angela Eagle’s mythical brick?
        Yes, I would agree that employers have a duty of care for employees whose working conditions entail a certain degree of risk. But they don’t have a duty to look after an employee who says the wrong thing to the wrong person, too often. People are expected to have a modicum of that much-maligned and misinterpreted commodity, common sense. Hopefully that clears that up.
        Your last paragraph is of course disgustingly insulting, but that’s only what I would expect, having been through the rest of it. How dare you try to suggest such underhand behaviour of me. You’re a tourist here; you don’t know the first thing about me.
        If you did, you would never have suggested such a thing.
        I’m not angry, though. I’m disappointed.
        Perhaps you should have engaged your brain before making that comment #diddums.

        There. Now that I’ve comprehensively trashed your opinion, with a few contentious thoughts of my own thrown in for fun… How do you feel?
        That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. I really couldn’t care less.
        Now go away and learn your lessons.

      • Zippi August 18, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

        “It’s impossible to both condemn violent threats and at the same time say that somebody has brought it on themself.” This is not true. It is perfectly possible. Just because you believe that somebody’s actions have incited, or caused others to do bad things, that, in no way, suggests that you agree with, support, or condone such actions. To say that, for example, you understand why a victim of racial abuse would thump somebody does not mean that you condone the thumping of persons. Similarly, to say that the perpetrator of racial abuse was asking to get thumped does not condone the violence, it merely attributes responsibility for the outcome. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If you poke a wasps’ nest for long enough, you can expect to get stung; one might say that that is deserving. If, that person is stung to death, however, you would not say that they deserved to die but would you be wrong, cruel, unfeeling, or evil to say that they brought it upon themselves? We should all be aware that our actions have consequences and we must, or, at least, should consider these before we act. This is something that we learn as children.
        I repeat; I do not know this woman, nor have I read her tweets, however, I did say and “This Writer” agreed, that those people who were upset, offended, riled etc. by her tweets should contact the police. Online abuse, wherever it comes from, is, I understand, a crime.

  33. Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Okay everybody, this has been a lively conversation so far.
    But I’m seeing a lot of critical comments making the same points, and I see no reason to go over the same ground again and again.
    If you’re going to comment from now on (3.30pm, August 17), try to make your points different from those above.
    I’ll be moderating out any that say the same – or similar – things again.

  34. Julia Lowndes August 17, 2016 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Hmm mouthy, not the best choice of words….and in the current vile Twitter trolling of a lot of women, perhaps outspoken might have been better. I actually heard the interview on R4 yesterday in Martha Kearneys series on the new intact of MPS. Jess Phillips underlined then and before of the risks ordinary women are put under day after day because of the national epidemic of domestic violence. No one in Jess Phillips position should be the subject of such hate mail, have we all forgotten about Sara Cox. People may not like what Jess Phillips has to say or how she says it, but this sexist abuse should not be tolerated and Jeremy Corbyn should make it a priority if he wants to keep women voting for the Labour Party….if his own MPS are being abused, what hope for those women suffering abuse and violence on a daily basis, as well as the every day sexism via the media and social media. So let’s leave words like mouthy out, eh.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 3:03 pm - Reply

      I’ve defended my use of the word “mouthy”. You can be “outspoken” without being rude or disrespectful – and that’s where Jess Phillips and “outspoken” part company.
      Also, with her, sexism can only be against women, it seems. Look at the way she reacted to the possibility of a Parliamentary debate about men’s issues.
      It’s strange that I’m being called a misogynist, here and on Twitter, when the person being defended appears to be displaying very clear misandrist traits.

    • John August 17, 2016 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      Her name was Jo Cox, not Sara Cox.

      • Mike Britland August 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm - Reply

        Blimey, where to start…
        Jess Phillips didn’t laugh at the idea of International Men’s Day, and obviously she didn’t laugh at suicide statistics…she laughed at the idea that men’s issues were not addressed enough in Parliament, a place that’s been totally dominated by men since its creation (a point she clearly made when she apologised for the laughing).
        “Mouthy” is used as an insult, almost exclusively, to attack women. Its no good trying to present yourself as high-minded and egalitarian, and then repeating a common misogynist insult. It doesn’t matter if you meant to be sexist, you’re using a word that sexist people use all the time. I just think you’re lacking some understanding about some of the common microaggressions faced by women. I recommend some reading around the subject if you’re going to comment on it so publicly.

        • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

          In laughing at the possibility of a discussion, she was laughing at the other things. Perhaps that doesn’t fit your philosophy but it’s quite clear. Perhaps that wasn’t her intention, but it happened. Perhaps provoking threats of violence wasn’t her intention, but it happened. Again, not admitted in your philosophy. Perhaps you should open your mind and think, not about what you want to have happen, but what does happen.
          I reject your comment about the word “mouthy”. Perhaps you use it that way but it certainly isn’t the case her. Look it up in a dictionary and it isn’t gender specific.
          Maybe I do lack understanding about “microaggressions” towards women (there’s an interesting newword). But then, I’m not a misogynist, so I wouldn’t know.

  35. John August 17, 2016 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I will stand corrected on this one if I’m wrong, but AFAIK, Jess Philips is the ONLY, yes, the ONLY MP who has gone for a panic room. You’ve got you ask yourself WHY?

  36. EYEisBloke August 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Have to say that I’m amazed this post has got so much criticism, particularly in the same week that we’ve seen the quite remarkable overreaction of a female Labour MP to being told to ‘get in the sea’.

    Personally speaking the reason I’m so disgusted by Ms Phillips’s shenanigans is that she presents as being a champion of some of the most vulnerable in society and yet she is prepared to quite obviously (to anyone paying proper attention) spin alleged rape threats for personal promotion and political gain.

    The West Midlands Police haven’t had much to say about this and if it is true that the structural alterations to her office have been necessitated as a result of an unhealthy perception of danger then I think it’s entirely fair to ask who’s paying for Phillip’s safe space and more importantly whether she is fit for office.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

      That “Get in the sea” comment – I just don’t get it at all. What does it mean?

      • EYEisBloke August 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

        Insult – When something / someone is so unbelievably stupid, the only response is to demand its devolution to an amphibious state.

        • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

          THANK you!

    • John August 18, 2016 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      I watched that video on your site, and it was interesting in that Phillips said that the police were looking at twitter, but she didn’t specifically say that they were looking at HER twitter feed! I’m sorry, I didn’t read the entire page, so if that point WAS clarified, I missed it.

      • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 10:46 pm - Reply

        Interesting! I hadn’t picked up on that.
        The comment is still peddling a falsehood, though. The police don’t monitor individual Twitter feeds.

  37. Ian August 17, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    I’d have called her a gobshite, personally. It’s what she is.

    Were all the disgruntled anti Corbyn people above so quick to condemn Foster’s ‘Nazi stormtroopers’ comments in the Dail Mail?

    Nah, thought not.

    The dishonesty of these people is amazing.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      I would certainly not have called her that – as you know perfectly well.
      (Now I’m wondering whether I should pause to allow all the other… what you just said… to digest that. No, they’ve probably just had their rant and gone away.)
      No, I think very few of the people attacking me here today will have attacked Michael Foster over the “Nazi Stormtroopers” article.
      I’m wondering if they had words with Jess Phillips over that piece in the Heil about Corbyn being a vampire who needed to be killed.
      Or indeed with Ms Phillips over her comment that she would stab Mr Corbyn in the face. I know she was speaking metaphorically; perhaps some of her detractors were doing them same.
      And no, that still doesn’t make their comments – or hers – acceptable.

    • John August 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      I’m VERY surprise that Mike allowed that comment, considering that that particular word wasn’t even starred out! Was it because technically that word isn’t a swearword by any chance?

      • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

        I left it in because it’s a clear indication to all those tourist commenters offering up their fake indignation that there is a huge strength of feeling on the other side.
        These were people who didn’t have a single argument other than that they thought I was being nasty about someone they like. That person has been shown to be a nasty piece of work herself, which speaks volumes about their own character.
        On Twitter I was subjected to ‘dogpiling’. This is where someone posts up a link to an article (or whatever) and encourages their followers to visit the site or the user who created it and attack them verbally. Jess Phillips has endured this treatment herself and spoke out against it after it happened to her – but it seems she’s just fine with it if it’s happening to one of her critics.

  38. John August 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    Someone mentioned secular bloggers being murdered in Bangladesh. They were murdered by extremist Islamists, which I do not believe constitutes a threat to Ms Phillips in our country.
    A recent announcement about the Police setting up a new unit designed to detect and prosecute abusive online activity is something everyone – including Ms Phillips – must surely support.
    Can we all conclude this matter now and move on to other matters?

    • bridget whelan August 18, 2016 at 12:24 am - Reply

      There’s a good reason why some people are upset that you chose to use word mouthy. You’re right, it’s not gender specific. It is, however, an informal word to describe someone who talks too much, often in an insolent way….so you might hear the phrase “a mouthy kid” for example. It’s a word that doesn’t carry much weight. No one described Margaret Thatcher as being mouthy….No Tory called Nye Bevan mouthy when he said the Conservatives were ‘lower than vermin’, although he was being deeply (and sincerely) rude and disrespectful. Mouthy trivialises what’s being said and, by inference, the speaker in much the same way that ending a tweet with ‘diddums’ does. Fair enough you might say, tit for tat, except Jess Phillips was not responding to someone who had been subjected to a vivid description of their own castration. You were – or the female equivalent.
      She has clearly offended against your standard of what is appropriate in a political debate, but nothing she has said can excuse the sexually violent verbal attacks she’s suffered. They expose a torrent of hatred and emotional intensity that is genuinely frightening..

      • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 1:40 am - Reply

        You are aware that her claim of 5,000 rape threats against her, back in May, was not true, I hope? The evidence seems to suggest she would be hard-pressed to show even one such threat, unless you know better? At the time she was ridiculed for complaining about people who were saying they would NOT subject her to such ill-treatment.
        Her claim that West Midlands police were monitoring her Twitter feed also seems factually inaccurate as they said they do not monitor anybody’s individual Twitter feed.
        You are right that the allegations made by this MP have exposed a torrent of hatred and emotional intensity that is genuinely frightening – but not coming from the source you imagined, I think.
        As for the word mouthy, I’m glad you agree it’s not misogynistic to use it, and that you agree with the definition I used elsewhere in this comment column. I would certainly argue that Ms Phillips deserves the term because her frequent outbursts trivialize both her and MPs in general. Nobody called Bevan “mouthy” because it was clear that he was making a dead serious point about Tories. Nobody called Mrs Thatcher “mouthy” because her actions had deadly serious consequences for millions of people.

  39. Gary Litchfield August 17, 2016 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Guess I’m not the only one feeling uncomfortable about that article… I don’t care if she’s paying for it if it’s necessary, what I do care about is someone implying that she’s bought death threats upon herself by being a critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters… think that just about sums up why the party is in such a mess…
    Glad to see the ‘kinder politics’ in action.

    • Mike Sivier August 17, 2016 at 11:41 pm - Reply

      Good thing nobody here suggested that, then.
      Have you seen any death threat she’s had, that’s supposed to have triggered this rush for self-preservation? I haven’t either.
      Remember back in May when she was trying to convince us that she’d had 5,000 rape threats and it turned out she’d had considerably less mentions of rape than that, forming a discussion of why their authors wouldn’t touch her? It was in very bad taste but it wasn’t what she said it was.
      This is a person with a serious dishonesty problem, and she wants you and me and all the other UK taxpayers to buy her an expensive piece of kit, based only on her word. You think that’s reasonable? It isn’t.

  40. plhepworth August 18, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Surely we can all agree that threats of violence (whether provoked or not) are abhorrent and that the terrible murder of Cox has shown that threats are not always empty. Could we also agree that the degree of protection afforded to MPs should be (and most probably is) subject to risk assessment by professionals (eg the police) and paid for from public (as opposed to party) funds?

    • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 1:47 am - Reply

      Can you show me evidence of an actual threat of violence to Me Phillips? I have yet to see evidence of one.
      Jo Cox was not threatened with violence; if I recall correctly she was subjected to a surprise attack. There’s no claim that any specific thing she radicalized the attack – just that it was a response to the fact that she was a Remain campaigner in the EUref. Her case and that of ‘s Phillips are fundamentally different.
      No, we can’t agree about the degree and funding of MPs’ protection, for reasons I made clear to Gary Litchfield elsewhere in this column.

  41. Jessie August 18, 2016 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Jo Cox was attacked on a pavement by a road, in the open. Linking this to the need for a safe room in a building makes no logical sense.

    Ms Phillips has already been proven to lie about threats. Many of those opposed to Corbyn have been shown to misrepresent and invent events. Whenever there are unpleasantnesses against anti-Corbynites, without any evidence, it is said to be the followers of Corbyn. While we know that his opposers are well able to create the insults against themselves themselves.

    Any seriously threatening behaviour should be reported to the police. No claim should be made about the political identity of an abusive writer without proper evidence. If a person does act in that way then they cannot really be a follower of Corbyn, as he forthrightly condemns such behaviour.

    An MP is in a position that should require the setting of a high standard of behaviour. Ms Phillips’ example is not of a good standard. She is not fit for office.

    I’d rather not be financially supporting her at all, and definitely not for a ‘I’m a defenceless woman in danger from Corbyn supporters’ publicity antic, when so many really do have their lives under attack from the policies of Blue Labour backing the Tories.


    Someone is not better, or more worthy of support, just because they are not the man. ‘A white man from London’ should not by itself be a term that discredits, any more than any other identity.

    While most of these blogs get only a handful of comments, It is noticable that this article had a sudden swarm of ‘tourist’ dissenters, saying much the same thing and ignoring reasoning, which gives the appearance to have been an orchestrated action.

    • Zippi August 18, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

      “Any seriously threatening behaviour should be reported to the police. No claim should be made about the political identity of an abusive writer without proper evidence.” I couldn’t agree more. There does seem to be more than a hint of irrationality and non-evidence based accusations to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his followers. Why are people so quick to believe that the people who support him have no morals, or respect for the law? Why does every such incident have to be attributed to so-called Corbynistas? Why can these acts not simply be down to people who don’t like politicians, or others? Why are they being blamed on a particular group of disparate people who happen to agree with the politics of somebody whom they do not like? This is libellous and is libel not a crime?

      • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm - Reply

        The group being libelled is too large for anyone to say they, in particular, are being targeted – so the Anyone But Corbyn brigade get away with it.

  42. dommckeever August 18, 2016 at 6:53 am - Reply

    She’s a hard working MP, out door knocking nearly every weekend. She is hugely popular with her constituents. Deselect her and Labour will lose Yardley.

    • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 9:29 am - Reply

      What a shame she has to ruin that goodwill with silliness like this.

      • bridget whelan August 18, 2016 at 10:25 am - Reply

        Hmm…inserting the word NOT doesn’t take the viciousness out of comments. I’m not going to find out where you live and where your children or grandchildren go to school. I’m not going to follow your elderly mother when she shops or go through your dustbins late at night to discover your taste in takaways or if you’ve taken up smoking again. So that’s all right then…

        I’m not going to read your blog again. The last one is true because frankly your posts manage to be both unpleasant and trivial. ANd just for record, I rejoined the Labour Party after many, many years on the day Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader

        • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

          What a shame. Your first comment at least tried to be reasonable.
          Now you’re making veiled threats, which lowers you to the level of all the other tourists. Don’t try to deny that you’re a Jess Phillips-supporting tourist either – nobody here had ever seen you before your post earlier this morning. You won’t be missed.
          Be assured that if you did follow my mother around, you would be confronted and then would find yourself in very hot water indeed!

  43. bridget whelan August 18, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    But that’s the point I’m making! Saying that you won’t be doing something can be just as scary and horrible as saying you will. I was in two minds about posting that because it’s not a nice thing to put on anyone’s website and I promise you I do not wish you harm in any way or your family. Threats including veiled ones are despicable and that’s what I was trying to demonstrate. I was responding to your reply to my orginal comment. “At the time she was ridiculed for complaining about people who were saying they would NOT subject her to such ill-treatment.”
    I’m sorry to cause offence.

    • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      I made it clear that I thought the Twitter posts were in poor taste. Here’s the explanation: These people were ridiculing Ms Phillips for an article in which she discusses people talking about raping her on Twitter (unevidenced). That’s why they were saying they would not. And when she reacted by twisting it: “To see the attack of a pack on here check out my mentions 600 odd notifications talking about my rape in one night”, she was straightened out. 600 mentions is NOT 600 individual tweets, and “Technically they’re talking about your not rape” (this from a woman). She later tweeted “I’m fine”, to which someone responded: “Of course you are fine. Because nobody has threatened you have they. Mocking you for a silly article isn’t the same thing.”
      Note that her responses were dishonest and attempted to misrepresent what was happening.
      To put your mind at ease, I wasn’t offended. I understood what you were trying to do, but I thought you had misunderstood what was being said here and I’m glad to clarify that.

  44. Tax payer August 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    If there a way I can get some money back for how much I didn’t enjoy this article and the idiotic comments?

    • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      Sorry, no. I’ve tried to correct the assertions made in the idiotic comments but some people just refuse to pay attention.

    • John August 18, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I take it that at some point in the past, you have made some form of donation to this site, and that’s what you were referring to when you were asking for some of your money back? ( AFAIK Vox Political doesn’t have a paid subscription model?)
      Either way, I think it’s a bit of a daft question to ask? You do expect the odd stupid comment, heck, a number of blog posts contain stupid comments, you could argue. It’s just a fact of life, that you can’t do anything about.
      I wouldn’t expect some of MY money back, just because of ONE blog post full of daft comments!
      Or have I misunderstood things here? Mike? Are you going to correct me on this one?
      If I am wrong of course, then I apologise for my remarks.

      • Mike Sivier August 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

        It’s hard to tell whether somebody who goes by a pseudonym has made any donations.
        I took it that this person was lowering him- or herself to insults.

  45. Jill Copeland August 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    This Woman makes a comment about knifing corbyn in the front, last year she claimed to have rape threats after comments about mens day but no panic room required! and now she claims shes had to change locks and fit panic room and its all down to Corbyn.


    • Ian August 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Convenient timing… She’s also getting a lot of desperately wanted publicity and political mileage out of this.

  46. Eric Jarvis August 22, 2016 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Sorry Mike but your article is fundamentally wrong in this way. Abuse does not become right or wrong depending on the worthiness of the victim of the abuse. It is wrong because it is abuse. Full stop.

    Jess Phillips is one of many in the PLP who don’t get that. Do not stoop to her level.

    All abuse and threatening behaviour is wrong. The only caveats to that are that there is a difference between abuse of the powerful and abuse of the weak, and that threats or insults that are clearly for the purpose of comedy are an entirely different animal.

    If Jess Phillips feels she (or her staff need a panic room in her constituency office then there should be one. No doubt her successor as Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley will find it a valuable resource in some way.

    • Mike Sivier August 22, 2016 at 9:35 am - Reply

      So Jess Phillips would be wrong to abuse the the people whose reactions are the basis of her complaints, then.

      Why doesn’t she just stop trying to get a rise out of people and discuss issues in an intelligent, adult way instead?

      Then she wouldn’t have any reason to spend our money on an expensive security measure for which seems has provided no evidence of need.

    • John August 22, 2016 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      I don’t really think that any of us would normally be really bothered whether she installed a panic room or not (it’s the fact that she seems to be using tax payers money to do it, that gives us a problem?)
      Not sure if this has actually been mentioned on here, but have the police had any involvement whatsoever in this decision of hers?
      If you look at the comment from Jill directly above you, she mentions rape threats. I haven’t looked through her twitter feed in it’s entirety (I think Mike has a bit though), but I am guessing that the main reason for this, is due to the rape threats? The same threats that seem to be non-existent? Where her non-rape is mentioned?
      Where people explicitly state that they WOULDN’T rape her?

      At what point do you start taking a certain degree of responsibility for your own actions? Jess doesn’t seem to want to!

      Has she ever stopped to think, “Could it actually be ME, that’s the cause of all this?”

      Why is Jess the ONLY MP to need a panic room?

      How do you think a court judge might look at a situation of a girl who cried rape, and then discovered very suggestive text messages on THAT girls phone to the accused (or on the accused’s phone from the ‘victim’)? (and no, I’m not going to get into a discussion on the complexities of rape cases either)

      Personally, I think Jess is a bit of a wuss, and should just grow up!

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