Damion still against buying out the bar, but…
WHILE he campaigned to become Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural in 2011, and even after his victory over Joan Gordon Webley, Damion Crawford had a firm stance that he would not engage in some of the activities that were synonymous with everyday party politics.
He had vowed that he would not “buy out the bar”, meaning he had no desire to purchase liquor for numbers of young men, and women too, who often flock bars and other places where liquor is consumed, nor did he wish to spend huge sums of money on patrons in order to provide a short-term fix for their alcoholic crave.
The act itself has long and deep historical traits, spread over several decades, and is engaged in by well over 95 per cent of those elected to step through the entrance of Gordon House, Jamaica’s Parliament.
Another stance that Crawford took was not attending wakes and funerals, all because it is customary for the Member of Parliament to do so, many times without even knowing the deceased or his/her family.
“I still maintain those positions, some of them I don’t repeat as often. Just over-promoting things that some people see as negative cannot be to your advantage,” said Crawford who, after serving as MP for St Andrew East Rural from 2011 to 2016, then losing in a by-election for the Portland Eastern seat in 2019, has now emerged as the candidate of the Opposition People’s National Party for St Catherine North Western in the next general election, due in 2025
“If you not buying out the bar, just don’t buy out the bar. If you are not going to the funerals, just don’t go. It’s not that I am anti-funeral but I am anti using grief for a campaign. If it is that I have a relationship with the person and I would have gone had I not intended to run, I would still go. But if I am only going because I am a candidate, I will not want to do that because I believe that would be an abuse of the situation,” Crawford told the Jamaica Observer in a wide-ranging interview last week.
“As far as attending funerals go, I have been trying to ascertain from those persons if my presence would assist in their process of grieving – then, I would seek to attend. So, I have reviewed my stance from not going, to a call that can determine if my presence would be beneficial to the grieving party,” he added.
As for the spiritual side of things:
“I see very little continued commitment for a flask of rum or a slice of bun, so support for these things is exaggerated by the people who want to diminish politics. I have bought rum in my life because if I am having a drink I would have bought people around me a drink as well, but I do not make it a central concept of my campaign,” Crawford said.