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Damion's regret

PNP candidate says 'trick you' comment should not have been uttered

Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 18, 2019

PEOPLE'S National Party candidate for the Portland Eastern by-election Senator Damion Crawford says he regrets telling constituents in St Andrew East Rural that he tricked them.

Crawford, in a sit-down interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East last Tuesday, said the comment has now given his opponent ammunition to use against him.

“I regret it because it gave the enemies tools, weapons against me and nobody wants to give an enemy a weapon against you. But I didn't say that to suggest any ill intent I was giving a speech and a part of giving a speech, as they would not know because they don't give many speeches, is that you entertain as well as educate and motivate. That's one of the reasons many people say they enjoy listening to me because when I speak I seek also to entertain,” the former Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural said.

The PNP candidate had told then constituents in 2015 that he would not be seeking re-election in the run-up to the general election. He made an about-turn some weeks later saying his previous pronouncement was a trick.

Crawford was raked over the coals for the comment and subsequently lost a party run-off to Peter Blake to represent the constituency in the February 2016 general election.

He has since reversed his fortunes in internal party elections emerging as the first of four vice-presidents elect when he contested the PNP vice-president election last September.

“So there's no secret for good things. If there is any secret which is needed it's for bad things, and there were some people that wanted bad outcomes and one of our strategies was to misdirect those who wanted bad outcomes. But, again, they're using it. I don't know how beneficial it is to their campaign.

“They don't get equal ridicule for the critique of me as I get of them, but that's the way of the world, donkey seh the world nuh level and donkey is the duncest thing. So, if donkey know seh the world nuh level everybody should know that the world nuh level. So that's what's happening now.

“You should always know who you are and what it means and because of how exposed I am and because of how vocal I am things that I say will mean more to others and will be used against me and I have to be more careful because of who I am. Other people speak and nobody says anything because of who they are. I am happy with the benefits of what I get because of who I am so I must equally take the negatives I get because of who I am. So I am disappointed in myself for having allowed the enemy to have weapons to use against me by the things I have said,” the businessman said.

He is expected to run against the Jamaica Labour Party's Ann Marie Vaz.

The seat became vacant after the body of PNP MP Dr Lynvale Bloomfield was found with more than 20 stab wounds in his home last month.