A friend­ship greater than pol­i­tics

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Christo­pher Serju Gleaner Writer

THE FRIEND­SHIP be­tween Lloyd Wil­son and Rad­cliffe Briscoe was just as ob­vi­ous as their po­lit­i­cal pref­er­ences when the two ex­ited the Chris­tian Pen Ba­sic School in Port­more, St Cather­ine, on Mon­day, af­ter cast­ing bal­lots in the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Wear­ing a green T-shirt, green cap above eye­glasses with green frames, as well as a green watch band, Wil­son was ev­i­dently in favour of Joy ‘Bella’ Brown, the Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) can­di­date who was go­ing up against coun­cil­lor Oral Gun­ning of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (PNP). Bianca, his three-year-old daugh­ter, was also wear­ing green-rimmed glasses, green hair clips and a pair of green shorts.

Briscoe, in an or­ange T-shirt, cap and sneak­ers, was show­ing his sup­port for the PNP can­di­date.

Chat­ting as they left the polling cen­tre, the colour­ful duo made a cu­ri­ous sight and caught the at­ten­tion of The Gleaner news team, which pressed them about the close as­so­ci­a­tion, de­spite their po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences. Briscoe was quick to an­swer. “We grow this way. You see pol­i­tics inna Chris­tian Pen and Gre­gory Park, we deal with it pon a dif­fer­ent na­ture. We nuh inna the vi­o­lence thing and no ‘just come’ nor ‘im­por­tee’ can’t come ya come mash up we ting, be­cause anno so we set it. Ah love and unity we say. Him ah me neigh­bour – me an him close. We play ball to­gether, we work to­gether, eat to­gether, drink to­gether. If him have a dol­lar and me want it, ah my own, and like­wise. Ah so we live!” Wil­son chimed in: “And nut­ten can’t change that.” Briscoe con­tin­ued: “And we grow we youth them way deh, ‘cause we grow come see the el­ders them a deal with it that way. So we nuh deal with the bad­ness thing – a life we seh.”


Added Wil­son: “And we nuh fight. Ah just straight love and re­spect right through, nut­ten nuh change.”

Both men, who live in Chris­tian Pen, grew un­der sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances and share a life­long friend­ship, but see pol­i­tics through dif­fer­ent coloured lenses.

“Bella me say,” Wil­son de­clared. “All a my fam­ily green, so me just take the tra­di­tion. Me is green and noth­ing nah change that. I just like a colour and I just vote green,” he said with con­vic­tion.

“Gun­ning know the run­nings,” Briscoe said in sup­port of his can­di­date, go­ing on to ex­plain why he opted to sup­port the PNP.

“Me come from both green and or­ange... and the or­ange more pos­i­tive. Mr Gun­ning is on the ground for the peo­ple them. You can call pon him any time. Him nuh put nuh lock pon him gate and ah whole heap a in­fra­struc­ture him put in, whole heap a things deh yah fi show”

How­ever, most of the vot­ers in the Gre­gory Park di­vi­sion who turned out on Mon­day did not share Briscoe’s view, with 1,766 of them vot­ing for Brown, who un­seated Gun­ning, who got 1,102 votes, with 145 votes go­ing to in­de­pen­dent can­di­date Gre­gory Hamil­ton.

Wil­son ad­mit­ted that while lit­tle Bianca was wear­ing “her fa­ther’s colours”, he would not try to di­rectly in­flu­ence her even­tual choice of po­lit­i­cal party.

“When she grow up, her de­ci­sion is hers. I’m not gonna tell her what to do!” JLP sup­porter Lloyd Wil­son (right) and his good friend Rad­cliffe Briscoe, a PNP sup­porter, showed strong unity shortly af­ter they voted at the Chris­tian Pen Ba­sic School in Port­more, St Cather­ine, on Mon­day.


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