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Pollies enter war of words on Twitter
27 August 2012, 13:25 PM | Source: RE
Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey sure are a couple of twits.
The Treasurer and his Shadow in opposition spent the morning slinging insults at each other in less than 140 characters.
Swan launched the first barb, latching onto a suggestion from former Prime Minister John Howard (published in the Financial Review this morning) that the economy is doing better than most.
“Even John Howard can be honest about our economy’s strong performance – why is it so hard for @TonyAbbottMHR and @JoeHockey?” the Treasurer wrote.
Mr Howard made the comment in an apparently unguarded and off-the-record speech to a forum hosted by Westpac earlier this month, the Financial Review claims.
Hockey took up the bait, retorting: “@SwannyDPM For a whole lot of obvious reasons, I am not going to cop a lecture about honesty from you…”
But cop they both did, from dozens of Twitter users who chimed into the debate on both sides. Several accused the politicians of "acting like children".
That didn't stop Wayne Swan shooting a second challenge to the Member for North Sydney: “.@JoeHockey: Weren’t you IR minster when WorkChoices was introduced? Looks like your mentor wants u to have another go,” he wrote, referring to another comment in the article about reviving WorkChoices.
Paul Howes, National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union, took the opportunity to remind Joe Hockey that he once threatened to resign if the Liberal Party changed WorkChoices.
In the Liberal corner, a user tweeting from a fake Christopher Pyne account stayed true to his namesake, picking up on Wayne Swan's comments about honesty and flinging them back at the Treasurer: “@SwannyDPM: Outburst of honesty from former PM John Howard in today's @FinancialReview: If only we could get some from you."
Several more comments were exchanged before Hockey ended the public spat, asking: “.@SwannyDPM Is this really you or has someone stolen your login?”
Tony Abbott appeared to take the high ground and stayed silent – or perhaps he was too worn out after participating in a pub-to-pub charity run along Sydney’s northern beaches yesterday to join the conversation.
View the full exchange: