You came at full force, gaining support on social media which you used as one of your campaign tools. Your comments below rather detailed shows your naivety versus your perspective at defining your role as a MP/Politician. Maybe you would be suited for the OPM (Office of the Prime Minister) working on policy making. One cannot in anyway discount the fact that you are an educated man who displays sharpness and knowledge in certain areas. Notwithstanding you are in the political arena where the ‘people business’ has been defined from over forty (40) years ago based on our electorate.
Your ability to flip it from the vernacular to the Queens English is not only sufficient when you are campaigning. I thought you would have been smart enough to realise that your ‘real job’ actually begins once the campaign is over. The very same community you expressed love for have residents that ‘live’ day in day out and as such if you did not think that attending ‘nine- nights’, funerals and the occasional drink in the bars/pubs would be part of your job description; then young man you are indeed naive. Who do you think you are in politics? If you only attend events, offer condolences to those who are your friends, then why enter into politics? You were quite comfortable when you were ‘shelling down’ at a ‘gig’ whilst in London for the Olympics; have you forgotten? The very nature of an MP is opposite to your obvious predestined nature. I personally could not enter into politics don’t get me wrong. Then again, I have no preconceived notions as to my ‘personality/nature’ and am smart enough to know exactly what the role is and what would be expected from the delegates and the people once the cameras were off.
Mr Crawford you took a gamble and you lost. You can learn from your mistakes but if your beliefs are as you speak of in this article, then your contribution would be best suited elsewhere in politics, if it is you wish to remain. It was not your education plan that was the issue or even the hand-outs rather your absenteeism and your belief ‘dat u an di people dem a nuh fren so wey u a siddung wid dem fah. Mi nah look nuh votes now’.
For the record, I do believe you have a brilliant mind but never lose sight that in this life you can learn something from EVERYBODY………………..the young, the old, the in between, the educated, the not so educated and the illiterate. There is always a lesson to be learnt as long as you are prepared to listen. Wisdom also comes from experience, understanding, insight, common sense and good judgement not solely knowledge. It is the combination of all.
Clovis Toons – Monday, October 05, 2015
Embattled MP admits to making adjustments, but denies trying to change system on his own
(Jamaica Observer) Sunday, October 11, 2015
CRAWFORD… If you fight the system, the system will fight you back.
BRUISED Member of Parliament for St Andrew East Rural Damion Crawford has revealed that he did not try to change the existing political system of governance on his own, but felt compelled to make certain adjustments, some of which might have pushed the pause button on his political future.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, Crawford, who suffered a defeat in a vote by People’s National Party (PNP) delegates to St Andrew businessman Peter Blake last Sunday to determine who represents the constituency in the next general election, said that there are things that exist within the political framework that needed to be addressed, and he went about trying to deal with them, without attempting to change the system all by himself.
“I took a greater risk than many other people, and I was most vocal about it than most others,” said Crawford, who underlined his education programmes in a densely populated constituency made up of workers representing the proletariat, the upper and middle classes, and the poverty-stricken.
“I don’t think I am the only person trying education programmes, but education is of vital importance. Dayton Campbell (MP for St Ann North Western) replicated my education programme in its totality. He saw it when I sent it to CDF (Constituency Development Fund), he called me, we had a conversation, I sent him my people, and he did it exactly as I did.
“The size of my seat caused mine to be a bit more expensive, so therefore reduced my ability to do other things. But I have been the most vocal against handouts, the most vocal against dependency. It is a big thing when you affect a man’s expectations… he never used to get, but he might have hopes of getting. When you come and say you not into it, he is not getting and he has no hope of getting, that is not something that a man will readily accept. I have been, since I have known myself, the most vocal politician against dependency and against demands on the system,” he suggested.
Crawford, 34, who is also minister of state in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, said that he understood that his actions might have, at times, ruffled feathers and shot up the body temperature of some.
“It’s possible that I irritated some people, but in the hierarchy of the PNP nobody seemed irritated. Some would advise me that you can’t do it in one sweep. Even many Jamaicans said you have to do it little, little, you can’t just change it like that,” he said.
“I remember being on a programme where I said there is no middle ground between slavery and freedom — you are either a slave or you are free. Jamaica is in a crisis, and a crisis means that you are near a state of no return. If you are near a place of no return, then all actions are immediate. If we are only in a problem, then all actions need not be immediate.
“Therefore, I never saw that it was possible to continue a system whereby everybody nyam a food and nobody buy groceries. That’s why the pot so empty, because everybody was eating and nobody was buying, and so I had to take emergency steps to say when we look at the infrastructure in East Rural, when we had forest fires water trucks can’t reach … for 50 years. Why is it that that was so, and why would I make it continue to be so?
“I have to depend on the greatest thing that Bruce Golding did, which was to give the elected some power through the CDF. I go many times lobbying for things from NWA (National Works Agency), but we are going to fail because the number one basis for resource distribution is number of people served. Rural communities are not going to be at the head of the list. So, therefore, if I didn’t use the CDF to do those things, they wouldn’t have got many of them. That is the part of the marketing that I didn’t think I explained sufficiently to the constituents. All things were not possible. It was either, or,” he said.
Crawford, an outstanding student at Kingston College who went on to become president of the Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, and later president of the PNP Youth Organisation, kicked himself for what he described as the biggest mistake that he made while serving as MP.
That “biggest” mistake, he said, was to separate himself from the political responsibility of the MP by not participating a lot in the political side of things within the constituency.
He told the Sunday Observer that he believed that, as an MP, he had the responsibility to deliver, to ensure that there is no hindrance to people making the best for themselves.
“I have often heard people say they need a job description. My job description, and, by extension as an MP, is to ensure that there is no hindrance to an individual taking his talent and his motivation and making the best of himself. If the road isn’t fixed, there is a hindrance, because it means that you can’t get your goods to market, no matter how motivated you are, no matter how independent you are, and so I focused on the MP’s responsibility,” he explained.
“I didn’t have a group, I didn’t form a group … that’s my political responsibility. While others were forming groups, I didn’t. I didn’t engage the political directorate separate from the constituents, because while there are still constituents they play another role of chief soldiers, chief disciples, and I didn’t engage them sufficiently as chief disciples.”
Admitting that he had been let down by some members of his constituency hierarchy, some of whom went against him in the contest with Blake, Crawford said that it was difficult to get some people to accept some of the changes that he wanted to implement.
Interestingly, it was Crawford who replaced Blake in the seat for the December 29, 2011 General Election after Blake, the Jamaica College schoolmate of PNP General Secretary Paul Burke, was initially selected in a delegate vote that was labelled by some on the day as flawed.
Blake, too, was said to have been rejected by the party’s Integrity Commission, although the party’s hierarchy was silent on the issue.
“Not every man is going to believe the same thing. If you fight the system, the system will fight you back. I understand the councillors, because they interact with the people more than I do, so the pressure from the demands would have been greater,” Crawford went on.
“Equally, I established myself from very early as an anti-gifts person. Some of them established themselves as willing givers. Comrade [Oliver] Clue (councillor, Harbour View Division) and Comrade [Artnell] McDonald (councillor for the Kintyre Division) are willing givers, so because I expect to get from you, I am coming to you. Someone will say, ‘but I don’t expect to get from Damion, I am not going to Damion’, so a lot of the pressure might have been transferred to me because it was being placed upon me. So when a councillor say I need some help with back-to-school, and you says no, you are now risking his career too, and while you can take any steps to risk your career, a man starts finding you unreasonable when you are risking his career with it. So that would have created a resistance, because I am not going to allow you to kill me,” Crawford said.
“I hear them say there are political best practices … like going to a nine-night is a political best practice, and I didn’t subscribe to that. I feel that if I wasn’t going to run I wouldn’t go to your nine-night and therefore the only reason I am coming is to campaign, and I shouldn’t campaign on your grief,” he said.
“Another man say you are just showing me support, as a man who supports you, so it’s just support for support… it’s two fields of thought. That has always been historically a reality of life — one set of people think one way, another think another way. Some think that God made Adam and Eve, some think that two monkeys started things… so I am not one who is anti-debate to say that my theory is automatically the right theory, because I don’t think for another man.
“So I know that if I went to a funeral I would be campaigning, because in my heart I did not feel that I was supporting. I might not even know who died,” he explained.
“Even if I were attending a funeral to support someone I know, and I went to those that I knew very well, in the same way if I wasn’t running I would still go. These political best practices, like buying a drink, are not a part of me. Ideological debates have died to the point whereby the only differentiator between one politician and the next is who like you more. It’s now an emotional campaign, and because that is so, you have to make a man perceive you to be his friend, because it’s not about principles and policies and ideologies.
“It’s like I have a girlfriend and the other guy is trying to get her and is saying to her, ‘what did he get you for Christmas?’, and if she says ‘nothing’, he would say to her, ‘well, if I were with you, you would have got a car’. It’s no longer about, do you believe in Christmas? Those discussions are not being had anymore. Going to a funeral is a greater love, helping you with expenses is a greater love, coming on your verandah is a greater love, so when a man says ‘from yuh win, mi nuh si yuh’, it’s a ridiculous argument because you can’t campaign for five years,” Crawford said.
“He will tell you that when you are campaigning every day you are here, and that’s because I am campaigning. I don’t go to water commission, or NWA when I am campaigning, all I do when I am campaigning is campaign. You can’t expect that for the next five years that I will be campaigning, because if I am campaigning I am not working. So we have not separated that there is a time to reap and a time to sow,” Crawford said.