By LR Liburd
The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer
Former Parliamentarian of Opposition People’s National Party of Jamaica, Damion Crawford is urging the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) to reflect on its way forward and to place more emphasis on organising the working class.
The University of the West Indies Lecturer and entrepreneur was at the time addressing delegates as the Guest Speaker at the SKNLP’s 84th Annual Conference held on Sunday (May 22) in the Conference Room of the Royal St. Kitts Hotel in Frigate Bay.
“When parties lose they often have opportunity to reflect and they should take that opportunity to reflect on two things…what we should be going forward and why the people were not satisfied.’
He however opined that most times parties do not take that opportunity but instead see the voting population as being foolish and blame them for their lost.
“How many of you say, ‘Them fools…I can’t believe they vote we out, them fools,” Crawford said. “But they can’t be foolish now and they weren’t foolish in 1995 and all the other years coming up to 1995. Is the same people that had you in power for almost 20 years! So therefore you must accept that a smart man can make a foolish choice and that is based on the information that he receives. And today in election and politics, there is so much levels of misinformation that many smart people are making foolish choices.”
The young charismatic politician is of the view that the SKNLP still has more to do in organising the working class in the Federation as is required in many other countries in the Caribbean region.
Crawford used the analogy of power in an effort to justify as well as strengthen his view.
“Within countries, there are three sources of power. There is the power of wealth, the power of weapons and the power of the people. Now the power of wealth by itself is power for one man who is powerful. When you see him you say, ‘Yes sir.’ If he asks you for direction you feel good that he talked to you because money made him powerful. One man with a weapon is also powerful. If a man puts a gun on me and wants me to apologise when I haven’t done him anything, I’ll say sorry because he has a weapon.
“But the people must be organised to be powerful. And when the people are organised they are more powerful than wealth and weapon. And when there is a lack of organisation you find simultaneously there is a rise in criminal activity because the poor seek their own poor when there is no organised people power.”
He stressed that politicians have failed to give the people true power by not organising them to defeat the power of wealth and to resist the power of weapons.
The Guest Speaker asserted that the establishment of political parties was primarily based on the above mentioned.
“Is there in your mind no longer a need for people organisation? he asked the more than 500 delegates in attendance, adding that when politicians do not have people organisation one would see the level of mistreatment meted out to people.
“And so I am saying to you that you as the Labour Party have a responsibility to recognise what is happening to workers in the world and what is now becoming accepted as business best practices that make organisation of workers more important today than it even was in the 1960s,” Crawford intoned.