Can
former staffers make good leaders? Look at the examples of Mark Latham
and Alexander Downer. They’re the two we mentioned last week. But
there’s an even more terrifying cautionary tale – the tale of an
adviser who ended up leading their party, a wonk, a visiting professor…
Yes. Down and out in Woollahra and Bellevue Hill. The tragedy of John
Hewson. Scary. Very scary.

Then there are the states. John
Brogden, former staffer, is doing OK. And staffers keep entering
politics and climbing the ladder. It’s positively incestuous. My old
boss Chris Pyne, parliamentary secretary to the minister for health, is
a former staffer to my old boss Amanda Vanstone. Here are just a few
former staffers in the federal parliament Crikey readers have submitted
since Friday:

Senator John Faulkner:
previously worked for the late NSW minister Ken Booth, then assistant secretary of the NSW ALP

Jenny Macklin:
consultant to Federal Labor minister/deputy PM Brian Howe

Julia Gillard:
chief-of-staff to John Brumby when Leader of the Opposition in Victoria

Senator Kim Carr:
adviser to Joan Kirner until she became Victorian premier, then moved to another minister’s staff

Senator Brian Greig:
adviser to Geoff Gallop when WA Opposition Leader (before Greig sold his soul to the Democrats)

Senators Natasha Stott Despoja
and John Cherry:
both ex-Democrat staffers

Tony Abbott:
learnt to lie as a Liberal press secretary

Anthony Albanese:
worked for former Labor minister and MP Tom Uren, helped write his biography

Stephen Smith:
worked for Paul Keating when PM

Craig Emerson:
worked for Bob Hawke when PM

Steve Georganas:
worked for Senator Nick Bolkus

Minister Gary Hardgrave:
worked for Liberal Senator MacGibbon (and was also once a wombat
character on a children’s TV show, which I’m sure he considers to have
been valuable training)

Michael Hatton:
ran Paul Keating’s electorate office for many years

Greg Hunt:
worked for Downer

Julia Irwin:
worked for former Labor minister Ross Free

Tanya Plibersek:
worked for a Labor Senator

Tony Smith: worked for Peter Costello

Senator Mitch Fifield: ditto

Peter Fray

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