People lament that only their mothers can tell Me Tooists John Howard and Kevin Rudd apart. No-one could make the same accusation of Treasurer Peter Costello and his opposing number Wayne Swan.

Take a look at their latest election forays.

Costello has spent the last day warning of a “huge tsunami” that will swamp world markets (so please don’t put up interest rates yet). Reports The SMH:

In his first newspaper interview of the campaign, Mr Costello predicted the US economy would weaken in the wake of its subprime mortgage meltdown, and said the breakneck pace of Chinese growth could not continue.

At some stage, likely to coincide with a move to a floating exchange rate, the Chinese economy would unleash even greater instability on global markets than the US had. “That will be a wild ride when that happens,” he said. “That will set off a huge tsunami that will go through world financial markets.”

Strangely reminiscent of Lucy Van Pelt in fact. To quote from Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (via Equipped). 

Lucy van Pelt: [to permanent crush Schroeder] Sometimes I don’t think you realize that you could lose me. Are you sure you want to suffer the tortures of the memories of a lost love? [pause] Do you know the tortures of the memories of a lost love? [Schroeder stops playing the piano just as Lucy goes berserk, demolishing the piano over her next line] It’s awful! It will haunt you night and day! You’ll wake up at night screaming! You can’t eat! You can’t sleep! You’ll want to smash things! You’ll hate yourself and the world and everybody in it! Awwwwww!

[sobs, then quite normally]

Are you sure you want to risk losing me?

A chipper Wayne Swan meanwhile, hair slightly tousled, has cost-saving tips for Australian consumers. For example, “shop around” and “check your dockets”. Next Tuesday’s Costello-Swan debate would seem to be struggling for common ground.

Peter Fray

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