They will be able to say in South Australia that the assassination of a Premier was done without spilling blood. Rather than using a knife in the back while Mike Rann was off promoting his state in India the killers just knocked him out with a blow from a club to the back of the head. The man is still politically dead but the statement tonight by Mr Rann that he is stepping down at least makes it look cleaner.

A pity though that a day ago the soon to be replaced Premier was vowing to stay on. Far better for leaders to know when their time is up and to retire gracefully without any apparent pressure.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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