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‘The majority of us get on’

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They frequently lock horns in Parliament, most recently over the FutureCare insurance scheme for seniors.

But Health Minister Zane DeSilva and Opposition spokeswoman for seniors Louise Jackson enjoy a good relationship ... good enough for chocolates and flowers and a picture in –

The Royal Gazette for Valentine's Day.

Both Mr DeSilva and Mrs Jackson readily agreed to a fun photo session for the newspaper, showing that people can get along even when they have differences of opinion.

“The majority of us get on quite well, and it's unfortunate that a lot of that isn't seen,” Mr DeSilva said of dealings between either side in the House of Assembly.

“Sometimes we can really clash in the House,” he admitted.

For her own part, Ms Jackson said: “There should be at least one day during the course of a year that we women can set aside our concerns, and forgive the men in our lives.”

And she proposed: “In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I'm presenting the Minister with this branch of thorns, as a token of affection and to remind him that I will continue to be a thorn in his side whenever necessary.”

In the end, the two settled for more traditional Valentine gifts.

Asked if he'd made peace with Ms Jackson over the payment plan for the scheme, Mr DeSilva said: “I don't know if we've buried the hatchet. We still have work to do. But I don't think we had a hatchet. I had strong views, she had some views on what I said. I stand by FutureCare. I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.”

“Myself and her daughter and a couple of friends spent a lot of time together as teenagers,” Mr DeSilva said, adding with his wife Joanne in the background that he had dated Ms Jackson's daughter for a while as a young man.

For Valentine's Day, Mr DeSilva continued, “I was very happy to do this. I said, if Louise wants to do this, I'm happy to do it. You always hear very negative things, and notwithstanding that she and I have been at odds as of late, I thought this was a good thing.

“At the end of the day, Louise and I want the same things, but we take different roads to get there. Sometimes things are said that shouldn't be said. But we are OK.”

Photo by Mark Tatem Be my Valentine! Health Minister Zane DeSilva and Opposition Seniors Spokesman Louise Jackson may clash in the House of Assembly, but they didn't hesitate when asked to pose for a Valentine Day's picture, showing that even political rivals can make peace on this day of love.
Health Minister Zane DeSilva cant restrain laughter as he gets down on one knee for One Bermuda Alliance spokeswoman for seniors Louise Jackson. Mr DeSilva said his wife Joanne didn't object to the two polical rivals striking a pose for Valentine's Day.

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Published February 14, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated February 14, 2012 at 6:16 am)

‘The majority of us get on’

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