I would like to see a list of appointments by the Howard government, that have succeeded in debauching public administration in this country with his ruthless stacking of public bodies. This goes under the media radar mostly, as the daily press concentrates on the “latest” scandal, but does not join up the dots…

I have been trying to source a statement by Howard’s hero, Maggie Thatcher, where she is said to have asked, in relation to any new appointment, “are they one of us?”. It is conventional wisdom that Howard spends a lot of time fingering appointments and overriding merit selection in cabinet.

Anyway, here’s a good start:

ABC Board: Leonie Kramer, Donald Macdonald, Michael Kroger, Ron Brunton, Janet Albrechtsen
National Museum: Tony Staley, David Barnett (Dawn Casey forced out)
SBS Board: Christopher Pearson
High Court: Big-C Callinan, Dyson Heydon (no women)
Governor-General: Hollingworth (Janette’s favourite)
Auditor-General: Pat Barrett retiring, natural successor Ian McPhee nobbled
Office of Film and TV censors: abandonment of merit principle
Industrial Relations Commission: 13 of 15 from employer backgrounds
Australian National Council on Drugs: Brian Walters (Salvation Army)
Australian Electoral Commissioner: Andy Becker, not short-listed, retiring, who’s next?
Landcare: full of landowners
Sex Discrimination: personal friend Pru Goward
Telstra: personal friend Tony Clark and union buster Donald McGauchie
Overseas postings: heaps of party cronies and hacks
Ministerial advisers (non-elective executive): now some 260

CRIKEY: Great idea, send your additions to [email protected]