Pollies battle it out on Twitter

Photo FDC

Photo FDC

SOCIAL media has proven to be a thorn in the sides of our local MPs with recent tweets sparking a war of wars.

Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson’s chief of staff Gino Mandarino recently took to Twitter and referred to Kiama MP Gareth Ward as a “little pink pig” and a “rosie cheeked fibber”. 

It was suggested that the remarks referred to Mr Wards albinism condition.

More recently, Mrs Watson’s office referred to Mr Ward as a “little Roman Caesar” on the topic of naming the new train station in Shellharbour.

Gino Mandarino told the Lake Times there was nothing to say on the matter. 

“Gareth and I spoke this morning.  We are still very good mates,” he said at the time. “Our robust twitter exchanges will go on.”

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said he thought he had left “name-calling” behind him at school. 

In a press release regarding the naming of the new station to replace Dunmore, Mr Ward said, “yet again Anna Watson has resorted to immature name-calling instead of actually doing her job”.

‘‘The only name calling Anna Watson is interested in is silly remarks directed at me. 

“Her obsession with the name of the station is an attempt to hide her embarrassment about having done nothing to bring improvements to local services and infrastructure to the people of her electorate.

‘‘Honestly Anna and Gino - it’s time both of you grew up and started to behave in a manner more befitting of your office.”

In another example of local pollies falling foul of social media, Shellharbour City Councillor Paul Rankin copped criticism for using Twitter as a platform for inappropriate language when he called someone a “f…wit”.

Just this year Shellharbour councillors took part in social media training.

Cr Rankin said the training did not prepare councillors how to deal with multiple personal attacks. 

‘‘I’m only human,’’ Cr Rankin said. ‘‘I understand we have been voted into a position of privilege but it doesn’t give people the right to make personal attacks.” 

Cr Rankin said a lot of the anger directed at him on Twitter stemmed from his decision to resign from the Liberal Party.

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