Politics

Give us Councillor Audrey Smith or Damion Crawford!

PNP supporters say who they want to replace Simpson Miller

BY SASHA ROWE
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, June 19, 2017

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CONSTITUENTS of St Andrew South Western have started to pick their choices to replace their beloved Portia Simpson Miller, who will retire as Member of Parliament on June 29.

Some residents said they want somebody who exhibits similar qualities to those of former Prime Minister Simpson Miller, who first won the seat in 1976.

“Portia mek we have nice things. A she fix the road. She build up scheme, she mek we all get good light inna wi board house. As much as though you see dem lean up so, wi pay JPS (the light and power company),” said one resident of Majesty Gardens, one of the poorest communities in the constituency.

Another resident, Selvin Vidal, said he believes the outgoing MP should be the one to select a successor. “Mi nah fight against women, but a nuff woman we go through. We want a man MP now,” Vidal told the Jamaica Observer last Thursday.

He added: “The man weh we want dem give we is Julian Robinson (MP and general secretary of the Opposition People's National Party) .We don't want Angela Brown-Burke (former mayor of Kingston); this community have more woman than man, so we want a man MP this time,” said Vidal.

“It is 40 years now Portia deh here, so that mean we [have been] under woman government,” said Vidal, who insisted that the constituents would, however, have to accept the person that General Secretary Robinson selects to represents the people on behalf of the PNP.

“This is a ghetto and the only industrial ghetto inna Kingston 11, so wi want a rich man so when him get the money fi issue out, him let it go. We nuh wah nobody fi grab the money.

Here are the choices of some of the constituents, obviously all supporters of the PNP:

Marjorie Vidal: “Angela Brown-Burke mi wah. Yuh see, mi sell pon di roadside. So we don't know what the outcome will be or if the better will come, but wi would like fi get her in the place and help in the place. Listen, we done all PNP already. We can't say JLP again; wi done born as that already. So wi can't change.

Antoinette King: “Give us Damion Crawford. He knows the him can so what I supposed a do so, Crawford we say. Mi nuh see nuhbody else fit fi get her (Portia's) position but him. Mi sure if them give him this, the place better in every way. Trust mi. Portia nuh gwaan too bad still, give to Caesar what's due — she build house fi who can afford it — but Crawford a the man. Fi win uh get Crawford, wi will run it wiself.”

Audrey Wright: “I say Lisa Hanna. She is young and she have potential, or even Crawford [because] him young too, but not [Peter] Phillips. Him fi go retire too. Give the young people dem a chance.”

In the Payne Land division of the constituency, the responses where firmly for councillor, Audrey Facey Smith.

“A Audrey mi use to. She mi want. Mi nuh know the MP part but as a councillor she does good. Mi know other people out deh, but mi nuh use to dem,” said one resident who declined to give her name.

Another resident who asked not to be photographed or named said: “Wi want the dreadlocks (Damion Crawford). A long time woman a run; we agree is woman wi come from, but if we get a man our life would be better. A man would know that him need to carry in money for his wife and family. I am a married man, and so I know a man would be more efficient around here. A man fi rule this terrible area man. Crawford just need to change his ways,” he said. “Is not everybody need money to send kids to school; he's interested in a very important thing, to send kids to school to get knowledge and so on, but there's another set of people who need the money to do a little that and that. We just need a man weh can stand up strong inna the place.”

Doreen Walters: “Well, me nuh really see nobody fit fi get it enuh, 'cause Sister P (Simpson Miller) a good woman. She a get old yes, but mi nuh mind if she nuh resign. She can manage man.”

Everton Braham: “Mi nuh see nuhbody fi put in Sister P place, nuhbody like her. Sister P is a woman weh loving enuh, and she go 'round and love everybody. She nuh specialise with love. She just love everybody. So mi nuh see nobody and not because a mi MP.”

Oneil Smith: “Audrey a my aunty and a she we want. She know the people them and she know the surroundings. She know what we need and what we don't need.”

Gwendolyn Williams: “Hear mi, wi nuh wah nothing more 'round her but Audrey. She wi want; wi nuh want nobody else. She a everything fi we; wi nuh wah nobody else. Mi don't wah Brown-Burke; she fi stay weh she deh. Payne Land seh Audrey.”

Michael Rowe: “Nuh must Audrey Smith. She a wi MP. From Portia gone a she affi get it. She will get my vote free. Everybody else affi pay 'cause wi a suffer.Tell Mama P say Payne Avenue say wi wah voice wi opinion and a Audrey Smith fi MP we say.”

Matcheo Brown: “Karl mi seh. Mi more know Karl and mi use to him more than the rest. I don't use to Crawford, I use to Karl Blake (councillor who was recently shot and injured). When unu get Crawford don't come back and bawl.”

Dacia Morgan Simpson: “Damion Crawford would be a fresh feel for the South West constituency. Give it to Crawford. He's less about the hand down and more about the building. It is more than giving $5,000 and you vote. He's about building and I like that. He's about progress. Personally, I don't follow up politics, but I admire Crawford.”

Her reference to Crawford was about educational programmes he implemented while serving as MP for St Andrew East Rural in the previous parliamentary term.

When Simpson Miller, 72, retires later this month, it is expected that the Government will call a by-election as soon as possible to fill the vacancy in the legislature. The constituency, which was one that consistently over-voted before the electoral system was cleaned up, is the safest for the PNP.

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