THE BLOG

Being Human

17/09/2015 09:29 BST | Updated 16/09/2016 10:12 BST

It is 10.30pm on a Wednesday. I am sat alone in the Oxford services half way between one life and another. After this week I know which life I prefer and it is the one that I am heading towards.

It has been fairly widely publicised that I spoke up this week. Showed my heart a bit. Who am I kidding? My feelings spilt all over the floors of Westminster.

This week I have screamed, shouted, wept and thrown up. Given up, got back up, fought and made up. This is not unusual, I'm a fairly dramatic sort. In every job I have ever had, I have had weeks like this. There is no job I have had where I haven't drafted a self-indulgent resignation letter that never gets sent. The difference is before no one gave a damn, apart from my husband who would dutifully listen to my highs and lows. No one in the past chased me down a hall to ask me about my gripes. No one took to Twitter to press hard on my fears. No stranger ever deconstructed my self doubts in minute detail and then threatened me with unemployment just for laughs. No one told me that what I thought was stupid and I shouldn't think it. In my old life they listened and made a cuppa. In my new life my family and friends are a 100 miles away and my "stop moaning and cheer up" cup of tea will have gone cold by the time I get to them.

Don't get me wrong. I courted the attention. I like my platform. No one cries for the tired upset MP. I could have kept my head down. I could have stopped fighting back. Revelling in being a smart arse, ticks people off... shocker!

I feel hung over, but I have no big night to laugh about. So I wonder how Jeremy Corbyn feels. I suppose he had his big night, but his hangover must be horrific.

Like me he courted attention. He stepped up, people got behind him, built him up. People said, "please be real, feel like a human does and show it." People feasted on his humanity and in a much smaller way on mine. Truth is he must feel fear, real all consuming fear. Trouble is we don't like our leaders to show fear. No one wants the prime minister to stand and say, "Let me be clear. I'm not sure about military action in Syria because I am petrified of getting it wrong." This is undoubtedly how he feels.

If we want humans in Parliament we must accept that they are just that.

Whilst our start was cordially disharmonious, perhaps me and Jeremy Corbyn can take this journey together. Me a new MP, him a new leader. Perhaps we will become less human, more Westminster suited and booted. I doubt either of us will go there willingly or quietly. But we will get closer to it everyday, because when you say what you actually, think and believe, it really hurts when it's dismissed, angrily dissected and ridiculed. The fear takes over. So you stop saying what you think, and start saying what you think people want.

I think the solution lies somewhere in the middle. For Jeremy, I think that will be a painful place to reach. I wish him luck and will gladly make him a "stop moaning and cheer up" cup of tea whenever he needs one.

Jess Phillips is the Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley