Damion making it hard to go 'forward with Crawford'

Thursday, March 07, 2019

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We would not like to see Senator Damion Crawford implode. The Jamaican body politic needs to be constantly renewed with fresh blood, especially of young men and women bringing their new perspective, even if tinged with naivety.

In Mr Crawford's case, the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) needs to send him to political school, perhaps under the tutorship of Mr P J Patterson, who is unmatched in his ability to hold his own counsel…and his tongue.

Clearly not having learnt anything of substance from his abysmal time as Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural, Mr Crawford is wont to run off at the mouth. As the saying goes: “Mouth open, story jump out.”

Last Sunday night, as he addressed a PNP mass rally in Port Antonio, at which he was introduced as the party's candidate for the Portland Eastern by-election, Mr Crawford opened his mouth and the story that jumped out was one of ignorance, arrogance — probably the most deadly combination – and just plain foolishness.

He said that, for him, the contest “is a fight against history, it is a fight against the system, and it is a fight for the future”. He also claimed: “I have a master's in tourism, I lecture in tourism, and yet still because of her class and colour some people say this lady (his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) opponent, Mrs Ann-Marie Vaz) is more qualified than me.”

What history, what class and what system, Mr Crawford?

He needs look no farther than his party to see that the highest position in government has been held by black people like Mr Patterson and Mrs Portia Simpson Miller.

When he said of Mrs Vaz: “If you look at potential, the furthest this lady will go is Mrs Vaz,” it is hard to know what he could possibly mean.

Mrs Simpson Miller did not start out with a university degree or high-class credentials. But she paved the way for poor young girls of humble beginnings to aspire to the highest office in a land whose motto is “Out of Many One People”.

We don't hold any brief for Mrs Vaz, but surely history, class and colour (perhaps he meant complexion because he couldn't be saying she is Caucasian) cannot disqualify her from offering herself for public service.

Neither should he fault her for being well ahead of him in her work in the constituency.

But Mr Crawford's arrant nonsense did not stop there. “Because in the mind you have to understand that in the back of their mind every lawyer wants dem pickney to be a lawyer, that means somewhere in their mind they want somebody pickney to be a criminal, or else they will be a broke lawyer, and so we have to fight the system,” he continued.

Quite apart from disparaging lawyers, of which there are not a few eminent ones in the PNP, Mr Crawford is also saying, by implication, that doctors want their children to be doctors because they want “somebody pickney” to be sick; teachers want somebody pickney to be dunce; psychotherapists want somebody pickney to be insane; dentists want somebody pickney to have rotten teeth, and the idiocy goes on.

This certainly cannot be the future to which Mr Crawford invites all of us. He may yet win the battle in a PNP stronghold, but he could lose the war.

Senator Crawford must realise by now how hard he is making it to go “forward with Crawford”.

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