“Cut me and I bleed Birmingham.” Can we steal that for our BABMAG slogan please Jess Phillips?
Labour MP and all round ally to us ‘normal folk’ – the ones who are apathetic about taking their makeup off before they go to bed, but not about classism or sexism – it’s hard to miss our Midland Maiden at the moment.
In case you’ve vowed to a media blackout, pending the country sorts its shit out, here’s the best places to imbibe her spirit.
Truth To Power
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ is a nice idea but hollow as Primark slogan t-shirt if there’s no plan to go with it. In her second book, Jess gives you guidelines on how to stand up for whatever you believe in be that on a personal, local or national scale. From a pig on the bus making you feel uncomfortable to the oppressive world leaders calling the big shots – bullies exist in all walks of life and calling them out is always intimidating. Truth to Power is a 7-step manual on how to battle the bullsh*t and make things happen with inspiring real-life stories to spur you on.
How To Fail
Failure is a huge part of life – no-one’s journey turns out exactly how they’d planned and success can often have unlikely roots. This heartfelt podcast with author and journalist Elizabeth Day ‘celebrates the things that haven’t gone right’ through interviews with objectively successful people about what failure has taught them. In Jess’ episode, she manages to mellow even the heaviest of topics with her natural warmth and self-deprecation. She talks about the strain of her brother’s drug addition, the hardship of young motherhood and her winding route into politics in a way that leaves you feeling hopeful and full of strength.
You know that thrill when a Pointless contestant is from your hometown? Well Jess’ Off Menu episode is full of them because she mentions Birmingham about a hundred times. This kooky podcast from comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble invites guests to choose their fantasy three course meal – a perfect interview ruse when food is the gateway to the soul. If you needed reminding that Jess is a no-frills, fry-up and a bag of chips kind of girl this podcast will leave you in no doubt. Plus, there might just be a Birmingham restaurant you haven’t been to that comes politically endorsed.
Sunday Times Interview
Jess has been interviewed a lot, but this highly anticipated Sunday Times spread covers the personal and the political perfectly. From Brexit and Boris to how she deals with mental health and fame this article is as informative as it is emotional. Whatever your political views, you won’t be left questioning Jess’ commitment to her cause or her good and humble heart. If you’re not already there, Decca Aitkenhead’s writing might push you a step towards rallying for this centrist powerhouse.