John Dowdle is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for St Albans. We spoke with John about his decision to stand.
Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I have lived in Watford – which is next door to St Albans – since 1993. In 1995, I was elected as a Labour candidate to serve as a Councillor on Watford Council, where I held a number of positions including Chair of the Grants Committee and Vice-Chair of the Development Control Committee – the council planning committee. In 1999, I stood down as a councillor to spend more time with my wife, who died in 2001 at the age of just 49 years.
What made you decide to stand for Reform UK?
I was a member of the Labour Party for many years but decided to terminate my membership of the party in 2019, when the general election result was known. As someone committed to the concept of democracy, it became obvious to me that no main British political party was really committed to honouring the mandate they had been given in 2016 to leave the EU.
Promises made by Tories like Boris Johnson to “Get Brexit Done” were never seriously meant. As a democrat, I decided to join the one true party which was committed to honouring the mandate of the people of Britain – Reform UK. So, after looking at their policies in-depth, I decided to join them.
You’re the Spokesman for St Albans. What made you decide to represent this area?
I answered Reform UK’s call to get the party established in St Albans. It is the parliamentary constituency next to where I live in Watford. Over many years, I have had dealings with individuals and groups in the St Albans area and would be honoured to represent the residents of St Albans in Westminster.
I believe the residents of St Albans have been messed around by local amateur politicians over many years and have been very badly let down by the local representatives of the Lib/Lab/Con parties.
One priority – if I am elected to Westminster – will be to get more involved in local healthcare and social care matters on behalf of all St Albans citizens.
What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?
I left school in 1960 at the age of 15 years without a single qualification and went straight out to work. During the second half of the decade, I was fortunate enough to be able to access further education opportunities (day-release and evening classes) to gain vocational qualifications: Ordinary National Certificate in Business Studies; Higher National Certificate in Business Studies; and Diploma of the Institute of Purchasing and Supply, which meant I could places the initials M. Inst. P. S. (Dip.) after my name.
In the 1980s – as a mature student – I completed one year of a Higher National Diploma in Computer Studies, and then went on to gain a BA Honours degree in Government and Politics, as well as an MA in Government and Politics, and a Certificate in Education (Post-Compulsory Education).
These qualifications supported my work role as an FE College Lecturer in Politics and Business Studies in Harrow. I also worked as a GCE Advanced Level Examiner in Politics for the University of London Board.
I mention these facts because I believe there should be second and third chances for people to be able to retrain and gain new skills, knowledge and understanding in new subject areas which benefit them and the wider society.
If elected to Westminster to represent the Electors of St Albans, I will work hard to ensure that the very best school, college and university education opportunities are made available to all St Albans residents.
For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?
I can be contacted by email via [email protected]
I have a Facebook page which can be seen at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1782261298942115
People wishing to join Reform UK can do so at: https://www.reformparty.uk/become-a-member
A copy of Reform UK’s working draft document “Our Contract With You” is at: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/reformuk/pages/253/attachments/original/1708781032/Reform_UK_Contract_With_The_People.pdf?1708781032