The critic's choice - a poison pen
Paul Sheehan's assertions yesterday that I and Anthony Albanese have sought to exploit the recent passing of the Prime Minister's father are deeply offensive (''Abuse is Treasurer's stock in trade'', October 8).
His attack on those who have the temerity to speak out against Mr Jones's reprehensible comments is a sad reflection on his own allegiances and values, and on the obviously low standards he espouses for our public debate.
I am not going to sit quietly by while bullies like Alan Jones use Liberal Party events to hurl loathsome personal abuse at good people like John and Julia Gillard.
If Mr Sheehan can't grasp the pathetic hypocrisy of devoting an entire column to labelling myself and Anthony Albanese as sewer and gutter dwellers, while simultaneously bemoaning the lack of civility in our public debate, then he should put away his pen for good.
If he was serious about analysing the recent debasement of public discourse in Australia, he should reflect on the acres of partisan vitriol and abuse hurled by the cabal of unfailingly biased and chronically self-righteous shock-jocks and commentators to which he belongs.
For my part, I'll continue to talk up the achievements of our country - such as the strongest economy in the advanced world - as I do every day, while Mr Sheehan and Mr Jones sit on the sidelines contributing little to our country beyond personal denigration.
Wayne Swan Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/peoples-voice-trumps-power-of-the-microphone-20121008-279c4.html#ixzz28kxZWv54