John James Doherty
Do you identify as a disabled person?
What do you understand by the social model of disability and how is it relevant to the NEC?
It is a identification of barriers against individuals of of all types disabilities and impairments, no matter their, Race, Religion, politics, gender or sexuality and they they can be, overcome by treating everyone, able bodied or people with a disability, equally and without prejudice. the Social model is important to N E C, as it included in the UNRPD 2006 (United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Person With Disabilities) and the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) and the Labour Party Documents.
How do you see your role as the Disabled Rep on the NEC?
If I was to be elected to the NEC as the Disabled Members Representative to the NEC, I would represent all members with disabilities and their families, fairly and without prejudice, helping relay all the relevant information to the and also working with able bodied members, MP’s, Councils, CLP’s and the general Membership of the Labour Party promoting the role of members with disabilities and impairments and helping them to understand more about the various types of disabilities and how it can play a part, for the Labour Party in the future.
How do you propose to gain the interest and support of those who are not currently personally impacted by disability?
I would make myself available to all able bodied members through Social Media, E-mail, Phone and Post at any time and keep them up to date on any issues concerning disability within the Labour Party and also provide them with any information they may require.
Your constituency is disabled members. What systems will you use to ensure you understand the views of disabled members on agenda items prior to each NEC meeting?
through the same communication channels as I would for able bodied members, I would make myself available at all times, to deal with any issues or queries they may have.
What systems will use to report back to disabled members about what has happened at each NEC meeting?
By E-mail, social media, or through a specific website open to all Labour Party Members, constantly keeping them updated at what happened each NEC Meeting.
What skills, abilities, experience and/or qualifications do you have that enable you to campaign and advocate on behalf of disabled people?
I was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome in 2011, when I was 53 years, I have been a Type 2 Diabetic Insulin user for the past 5 years and I have Back and Leg problems, so I do have a good knowledge of various form of disabilities, like many people, I did not perform well academically at school, I gained all my qualifications after I left and gained them through Night School and Work Experience, in 2006, I took voluntary redundancy from Land Rover in Solihull and spent a year and half as a volunteer at the Birmingham Disability Resource Centre, helping individuals with various forms of disability and gaining NVQ level 3 in advice and Guidance and also OCN Levels 1and 2 in Mentoring, NCON Level 2 Supporting People with a Learning Disability, NCFE level 2 in Counselling NCFE level 1 in Drug Awareness and GCSE equivalents in English and Mathematics, In 2007 to 2010, I worked at Solihull College as a Learning Support Worker, with students of various ages with both physical and learning disabilities, until I had to give it due to a leg operation, in 2015 I was a volunteer for Marie curie giving Presentations for the Helpers Service and for the past two years I have volunteered at Birmingham Christmas Shelter, supporting Homeless People.
Do you think that there is institutional disablism in the Labour Party, if so, at what levels and what would you suggest to the NEC?
I have never found that in my case as a member of the Labour Party, but I’m sure there maybe cases at all levels within the Party, intentionally or un-intentionally, but in that case any subjected to any type of Disability Discrimination should be encouraged to come forward to the NEC and make their grievance know as soon as possible, so it can be dealt with quickly and without fear of recrimination.
When and how did you first hear about the DEAL legal handbook?
Only Very recently.
Are there any sections of the DEAL legal handbook you don’t agree with and why? Do you have suggestions for improvement?
I personally feel that the term disabled is out dated, as it still reminds people of individuals in wheelchairs or have lost limbs and cannot perform certain task and are not part of society as a whole, where as I prefer to say People with a Disability or impairment as it doesn’t exclude them from participating in society on a fair and equal basis.
Do you commit to actively working to make the handbook internal Party policy?
If yes to the previous question, how do you plan to get the NEC to acknowledge the DEAL legal handbook and make it internal policy?
By making it widely available to all members, both able bodied and those with disabilities and impairments, networking sites E-mail and contact through various of the Labour, such as CLP’s.
What do you understand by intersectionality and will it be important to your NEC role ?
Is interconnected by categorising into various social groups or organisations which can lead to barriers and creating a feeling of us and them, which would be very important to me bring all members together on an equal basis on understanding disability in bringing all members together.
Are you committed to making the UNCRPD incorporated into domestic legislation and why?
Having read both the UNPRD and DEAL Documents very closely over the last couple of weeks, I have found many similarities between the two, as they give a framework for both the able bodied and individuals with disabilities to work together on an equal basis.
How would you abolish WCA?
The Work Capability Assessment is currently being run by private companies working on behalf of the UK Government, which usual unqualified personal working to strict UK Governmental standards, where it is up to the applicant whether or not they are to work, and it relies on an unfair points system and unqualified Health Workers and Doctors who no experience in specific illnesses and disabilities. I nits current form it is very inadequate and judgemental and should scrapped all together and replaced by a Public Government Service, which does away with points systems and unqualified staff and replaces the system with specialists in all fields and interacting with GP’s and Consultants and each case on an individual basis, making for a much fairer system.
What do you think should be the Party’s policy priorities in the areas of social care and social security?
To protect the NHS and all other public health care providers, keep them in the public domain and not sell them off to private multi national companies, make better provision for all medical and mental health services by by bringing them back into the Public Health Sector and supplying the right medically trained staff and essential equipment they need and make more prescriptions free to more people. in the case of Social Security, get rid of Universal Credit, as it put many individuals who rely on their individual benefits, in debt and and on the poverty, make sure families get the right benefits they deserve and are increased so they live above the breadline and that there is an increase in the living wage to to it in line with the rate of inflation and less reliance on Charities and Food Banks.
Would you support an independent disability commission?