STUNG apparently by criticisms from his Central St James constituents that he is “mean” and “doesn’t want to spend money”, People’s National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament Lloyd B Smith has lashed the “few malcontents and disaffected, misguided souls” in his party who believe in ‘a bellyful and a rum money’.
At the same time, Smith threw his support behind embattled East Rural St Andrew MP Damion Crawford who has come under similar flak from constituents, saying he “has my sympathy”.
“It is not an easy road when one seeks to shun curry goat politics,” Smith, the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, said in his weekly Jamaica Observer column which is published today.
“It is committing political suicide, it is going down a slippery slope, and it is going against the norm. In the final analysis, it is not playing by the unwritten rules of politics in Jamaica which justify the distribution of scarce benefits and spoils,” said Smith.
Smith is better known as a hard-hitting journalist and publisher who ran unsuccessfully for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) but saw his political fortunes reversed when he contested for the PNP in the December 2011 polls.
He was noticeably absent from the PNP annual conference over the weekend and some supporters from Central St James used the occasion to launch a broadside against the MP, saying he was “mean”, refused to spend money and should “leave the constituency”.
Smith, in his column, shot back that since he entered elective politics, he had come face to face with the ugly side of people representation “when a few malcontents and disaffected, misguided souls head for the trough and stay there, ranting and raving demanding to be constantly fed from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), MP’s pocket or from any other source, whether legal or illegal”.
“Let it be known that when one dares to be different or speak out then one is oftentimes ostracised even in one’s own party,” he said in the column which carries the disclaimer that he did not speak for the Government or the party.
“What is even more worrying is that they (the malcontents) have been aided and abetted by those who still believe that a bellyful and a rum money should keep these irascible partisans at bay,” declared Smith. (See column on Page 10)