The impending promotion of Peter McGauran to Cabinet got us thinking about a Crikey list: who are the worst ministers to have served under John Howard? Handily, it’s a question that’s just been posed by blogger Ari Sharp, who’s nominated an eclectic bunch of ex-ministers for consideration.

Starting chronologically with short-lived former assistant treasurer Jim Short (he lasted barely six months before being caught up in Howard’s Ministerial Code of Conduct – remember that?), Sharp also nominates the likes of David Jull, John Sharp, Jackie Kelly and Danna “brave and true” Vale.

And then there are the curiosities. Does Alex Somlyay ring a bell? Wannabe factional warlord Alex has spent years resting on the backbench, but at one stage he managed to rise to the heights of the outer ministry. How about Andrew Thomson, or Geoff Prosser, a WA minister who was also caught up in scandal? Geoff still keeps a lower house seat warm.

So let’s take up the challenge. Who are the ministers who, as Ari Sharp puts it, “for reasons of laziness, incompetence, or the circumstances of the time, had no impact in the job, or worse.”

Send your nominations to [email protected].

Peter Fray

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