Crawford Must Apologise Now Publicly - Montague

Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 01:00

The Chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party, Senator Robert Montague, today called for an immediate national apology to all supporters of the Jamaica Labour Party from PNP Minister Damion Crawford.

Senator Montague was responding to a speech given by the Minister in which he described people as “dutty labourites”.

Senator Montague said that he was shocked and disappointed at the comments made by Minister Crawford who consistently tries to position himself as an advocate for poor people.  He said “We know that generally when the PNP says they love the poor it’s about politics and not development, but now Minister Crawford has shown his true colours too. The very same classist behaviour he accuses others of, is clearly in his heart if the card he draws to make a point, is one of the worst classist phrases to ever be brought by the PNP into the politics of Jamaica.”

He said Crawford’s statement reflects the growing disconnection between the PNP and the people of Jamaica as well as between the words and actions of the government. Senator Montague asked “how can you call a significant portion of the population ‘dutty’ and say you represent the people of Jamaica as a Minister?”

Senator Montague explained that historically, the JLP not only represented factory workers, cane cutters and farmers who were once considered the belly of the working class, but National Hero and then Party Leader Sir Alexander Bustamante  also promoted them in the Party, so the PNP sought to denigrate members of the JLP by using the label repeated by Crawford.  He said Mr Isaac Barrant, one of the best Ministers of Agriculture Jamaica has ever seen, was easy to recall as the target of such PNP derision.

He continued to say that Crawford’s language also made him reflect on the fact that when the JLP started to build the many gullies and drains which to day continue to protect the city of Kingston from the worst flooding impact of heavy rain, the PNP labelled the Party a “Gully government”.  Senator Montague said that this type of classist appeal should have no place in modern Jamaican politics.

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