On Sunday, former Premier Bob Carr will be the man who isn’t there. Also absent from the NSW Labor policy launch will be Graham Richardson.

Premier Morris Iemma wants to begin his formal campaign in front of, in the words of his spokesman Ben Wilson, “people who have supported Morris throughout his career and people he wants to acknowledge.” Thus no celebrities at the Hurstville Civic Theatre, just community members and people the Premier has worked with.

As Carr supported Iemma by promoting him in to the ministry and Richardson elevated him from obscurity by giving him a job on his staff, presumably the pair are some obscure category of people he does not want to acknowledge. That is a very un-Labor like attitude but one that the state Liberals will surely seize on.

The doggerel “Yesterday upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, Oh how I wish he’d go away” would go well in a television commercial pointing out the antecedents of the man trying to win office in his own right. Portray him as the pupil of Rene Rivkin’s mate and the inheritor of the policies of Bob Carr.

At least it would give the people of NSW something to chuckle at other than the Opposition Leader Peter Debnam.

Peter Fray

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