Dear Premier,

When the press is in a feeding frenzy it hunts for something to eat. So you must remember that these people are not gourmets. They will gobble up anything at all, even the slops bucket.

Any comment you make about anything will be digested, spewed up and redigested as a tasty morsel. So the first task is to cut the food chain. Go back to your office and at least pretend to be working away on matters of state. Forget the public appearances, cancel the speeches and, most importantly, forget about talking to journalists.

It should be the first rule of public relations, but politicians find it the hardest to obey: it takes words to prolong a controversy so saying nothing is normally the best policy.

Journalists cannot keep rehashing the same old thing for too many days. By Monday the ministerial sex charges will disappear from the television news if the Government stops providing new angles.

If cornered and opening your mouth is absolutely unavoidable, memorise this message to repeat ad nauseam:

Under a Government run by Morris Iemma the law will be applied to everyone, whether cabinet minister or cabinet maker, without fear or favour.

The events of the last few days have demonstrated that and the same policy will apply while ever I am Premier of this State.

And just as the police will continue being able to do their job of seeking out wrong doers wherever they exist, a Iemma Government will leave it to the courts to judge the guilt or innocence of those that the police charge.

Say that, nod solemnly and get in to your car and drive away.

To fill in the time left from cancelling most of the events in your social calendar for the next few weeks, start thinking of a few really serious things that you can talk about when it is safe to be seen in public again.

Forget about glib one liners to use at door stops. What are needed are some lengthy and considered speeches about the future of NSW. Maybe the first could be an analysis of the difficulties for monetary policy caused by the differences within the Australian Federation – where curbing a resources boom in some areas can prevent the stimulus needed in places like Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong.

Create a real diversion by suggesting that the time is approaching when Australia needs to look again at the whole notion of federalism. Float the idea of a study being necessary to consider whether the country would be better served by removing one tier of government with states as we know them being abolished and a system or regional governments introduced.

The controversy that would cause would get rid of Milton Orkopoulos from the headlines.

Kind regards,

Richard 

Peter Fray

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