The office of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today issued a statement marking the passing of NSW Premier Morris Iemma. It would be fair to say that there was not much to be said. On the basis of this touching 113-word tribute, Premier Iemma’s greatest claim to fame was that he happened to be in office during a visit to Sydney by the Pope and a gaggle of over-excited Namibian Catholics. Mr Rudd writes:



Morris Iemma has made a substantial contribution to public life in NSW over two decades.

Morris achieved much for NSW, both as a Senior Minister and Premier of Australia’s largest state.

Morris put mental health on the national agenda, brought James Hardie to account and made tough decisions for NSW’s future in the areas of desalination and energy reform.

Morris also recently oversaw a highly successful World Youth Day festival.

Morris’ ability, work ethic and leadership skills were acknowledged in his elevation to Premier in 2005.

Two years later he delivered Labor a record fourth consecutive four-year term in NSW.

I wish Morris, Santina and their family all the best for the future.

It would appear, on this evidence, that Kevin Rudd is very much a if-you-have-nothing-nice-to-say-say-nothing man. Say goodnight Morris.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey