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JM | Sep 30, 2021

IDGI, Rhoda Crawford… Wasn’t road fixing ‘not your job’ some weeks ago?

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Rhoda Crawford, makes her contribution to the 2021/22 Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on September 21. Seated (right) is Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck. (Photo: Rudranath Fraser/Jamaica Information Service)

Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Manchester, Rhoda Crawford, took to Twitter to share the “good news” that a road in the parish named after Elaine Thompson-Herah will be rehabilitated and repaved by the Jamaican Government soon.

Crawford, in a tweet on Wednesday (September 29), admitted that the road, Elaine Thompson Close, and others like it in Banana Ground, Thompson-Herah’s childhood community, has long been in a deplorable state.

“Elaine Thompson-Herah @FastElaine is a daughter of Manchester Central. She hails from Banana Ground in the Bellefield Divsion (sic). The roads in Banana Ground have long been in bad conditions. In order to celebrate her achievements, we are rehabilitating the roads,” the MP tweeted.

“I know the people of the community will be thankful. A very big thank you to the Minister of Local Government & Community Development Desmond McKenzie for allocating the funds. We will commence rehabilitation shortly. Thank you @FastElaine. #ROADAFiX,” Crawford added.

(Photo: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

Ordinarily, there is nothing wrong with celebrating the exploits of our Jamaican athletes—especially one of the calibre of Thompson-Herah, a double Olympic champion and the fastest woman alive.

But there is something very STINK about the repeated use of athletes and their success as some perverted ‘catalyst’ for elected officials to do their jobs.

First of all, Elaine Thompson Close is not a newly renamed road. It existed long before you defeated former MP Peter Bunting.

No. Nope.

I am not accepting that the people of a constituency are seemingly only due better roads on the condition they birth a world-class athlete/Olympic champion.

Worthy of being named after an Olympic champion in all its “glory”, Elaine Thompson Close in Banana Ground, Manchester. (Photo: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

Have you people lost your minds?

You can say there is a difference between your Twitter profile directing constituents who queried road conditions in the parish to the Manchester Municipal Corporation (MMC) and now, but honestly, it’s just very convenient and ironic.

That was in early September.

The now-deleted tweet of Rhoda Crawford earlier on September 9. (Photo: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

You (or whoever is running your Twitter page) were out telling people that road-fixing ‘was not your job’, only to be seen doing the very same on the premise that an Olympic champion is from Banana Ground.

Still not seeing why these “efforts” are a waste of public goodwill and frankly, the collective intelligence of many?

Look at it this way, Jamaica does not and will NEVER HAVE as many gold medals to cover all roads badly in need of re-pavement or rehabilitation.

I want to think that the project at Elaine Thompson Close was done with all the best intentions but the optics are giving PR vibes. And it is distasteful.

Be clear and consistent with your messaging, MP. One minute you want accountability from the MMC and the next you are taking credit for work about to be done on a parochial road. A parochial road, which you previously acknowledged is under the management of the MMC.

(Photo: Twitter @RhodaMCrawford)

Don’t you get tired from all the flip-flopping?

I have just one more question to ask…

By this standard, would all the possibly hundreds of communities lacking decent roads simply need to pick a resident and start training so by the time they make a name for themselves, maybe their roads get fixed?

Oh, it is certainly true that the People’s National Party (PNP) failed for decades to properly maintain these roads, but throwing them ‘under the bus’ still doesn’t change your statement and the implication that Banana Ground is just getting needed attention because Elaine Thompson-Herah is a native.

Early days yet, as you’ve recently marked your one-year milestone as Central Manchester MP, but Ms Crawford, there is nothing to celebrate.

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