Able2Do Anything: Achievements

GENERAL ELECTION: The UK party launched by a disabled founder

John Urquhart

Chances are The Harmony Party won’t be in power any time soon, which is a shame as their disability policies could be just what the disabled community needs at this moment in time.

The party’s founder, John Urquhart, has been on a bumpy road of late, various obstacles mean the party was unable to register in time for next month’s General Election.

To compensate, Urquhart will be standing as an independent socialist in Cardiff West on 4th July when there is a good chance No. 10 has a new residency. 

Consisting of around 200 members, the Harmony Party would introduce disabled people demanding changes from the government  if it was believed people with disabilities were being treated unfairly.

The party would also launch a justice process taking the government to trial if the demands of disabled people go unnoticed.

Urquhart told Disability News Service: “No other active party that I’m aware of was founded by a disabled person.

“I know for a fact no other political party can even claim to be entirely led on disability issues by disabled people, but that’s true for us.”

Another change Harmony would oversee is introducing a National Care Service desegregated from the NHS with  “no private services sapping off resources” from the public health service.

The party believes they have been segregated from the conservative government over the past 14 years, who they portray as “diabolical” and “seamlessly spiteful”.

Urquhart, who has chronic fatigue syndrome, complex post traumatic stress disorder [cPTSD] and experiences severe pain, said his party had “no interest personally” standing at the next election, but felt the need “because someone from my constituency needs to stand up for the people here”.

He told the news service: “When I was a kid, a teacher said I was not allowed to go to the toilet to take painkillers because other kids would ‘take advantage’ and go to the toilet more often. I was about 11.

“I was already politicised but honestly this infuriated me and I still think about it regularly even now, aged 40.”

They continued: “I worked a variety of jobs as a young adult; all of them incredibly painful.

“I worked because I was told to and thought people would hate me if I didn’t.

“Eventually, I learned how ridiculous that was, but only after my cPTSD made absolutely definitely sure I didn’t have a choice about the ‘not working’ thing.

“Much of my life I’ve been gainfully unemployed, donating labour to other people’s projects in various ways, and sometimes my own.

“Often, that was online, because a big chunk of the middle part of my life was housebound.”

Speaking about the barriers they faced as a disabled person, Urquhart said: I’m not even sure I know where to begin on those barriers; just imagine fences around everything and a twisted fate of being unable to jump them and you’ve got the idea.”

Questioned on how they would encourage disabled people for his party’s vote, Urquhart explained: “Harmony was founded by disabled people. No other party was.

“Our entire ethos – nothing about you without you – is rooted in disability activism.”

The leader went on to criticise how disabled people have been failed by the Conservative government saying he has seen “targeting of disabled people with hatred and abuse in the streets – and discrimination everywhere else”.

They added: “At the same time, thanks to Covid, the number of disabled people is steadily increasing.

“It’s not hard to see why we’re hearing the word ‘euthanasia’ so much more often, and it’s not difficult to understand why people are being left on benefits, languishing until death in far too many cases.

“We are a growing block in this country – and we could be a powerful one, if we can only find our way to understanding that each of us can only find liberation in liberating other people.”

[ John Urquhart grew up in a council estate. ]

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