Recently, I was in one of my weekly surgeries giving advice to local constituents when a man who was in a state of some distress leaned down to get something out of a holdall. I began to panic.
It might be irrational, but since Jo Cox was murdered I have this feeling frequently. This week a local church called about my annual address at the Christmas carol concert. Every year I do a reading, never before have they called and asked me if they need to arrange a discreet police presence for my safety.
In reality, if I were to undergo a risk assessment every day, my threat level is probably no more than it ever was. I comfort myself that the still unbelievable tragedy was a freak incident. Yet I still cannot shake the feeling that in our country – and across the world – there is a rising tide of hate that mean events such as Jo’s murder are more likely.Yes, that's Jess Phillips, once again making a story of a murder somehow all about her.
And whining, in a national newspaper column, that she's 'afraid to speak her mind'. Such as it is. Truly, if it wasn't for low standards, these Labour MPs would have no standards at all...