THE BLOG
19/10/2015 09:33 BST | Updated 19/10/2016 06:12 BST

A Lesson in How Not to Build Unity

Another day, another fool calling me a Tory. I can forgive some people in my constituency, who this week were told wrongly by campaigning site 38 Degrees that I am a member of the Conservative Party. Alas, it is not this grave error that means people seem to have missed that I am not just a member of the Labour Party, I am also someone who has pretty much given up her life for said organisation. Also completely failing to notice I am actually from the left of the party shows quite how stupid some people are.

Dear people with faces like eggs on Twitter and anyone who endorses anything George Galloway has said: I ask you to politely do one. The fact that I didn't support Jeremy Corbyn to be the leader of the party seems to have been taken, by some, as if I tried to steal their first-born child and sell it to an elf with a golden spinning wheel. It's not just cyberspace where such pearl-clutching sensitivity goes on. At a recent meeting of Birmingham University Labour Students, a bunch of people who had done none of the work to build this active group, decided to hijack the meeting with their negativity and poorly-printed flyers with old Russian men on them.

Do you know who doesn't like what you are doing? No, it's not me, I loves me a good Twitter spat. It's Jeremy Corbyn, that's who. Do you know who you make look good, clever and reasonable? Yep, that one is me. You make Jeremy look terrible. I suggest you look at your model, seems flawed to me.

Today is the Labour PLP, a meeting once so boring and functional, that is now the delight of every media outlet in Westminster. I might start selling popcorn. The reason people are on tenterhooks when they go in, the reason they get tetchy with the leadership and feel they have to speak up, is because we have all spent all week being attacked by people claiming to love Jeremy Corbyn. These keyboard warriors and purveyors of badly-printed flyers are like a group of kids who shout insults and run off leaving some poor innocent kid dealing with the fallout. Shouting at someone to show your loyalty will never ever be as good as having a chat and showing a bit of love. Shouting "neoliberal warmonger" might make you feel clever and superior, but it makes you look a bit of a tit.

It is worth saying that there are lots of lovely people who voted Corbyn and have acted with grace and unity. Including the man himself. Every time I speak to Jeremy and his staff, or Clive Lewis or Owen Jones, they bring me closer. In my constituency new members and I have had a cuddle and we are now a team. Every time someone shouts Tory at me or any of my colleagues those warm and fuzzies crack a little bit. I'm a fiery sort, I don't walk away from conflict, so I get it. You want to look like the best, most loyal Corbynite. Draw a line now and wind your necks in. Believe me when I say your tactics are hurting him and hurting us.

Jess Phillips is Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley