Who are the worst ministers to have served under John Howard? we
asked yesterday. And your responses are pouring in. David sums it

I concur with the nomination of Jackie Kelly and Danna
Vale. Idiots both. I’d add Fran Bailey to the list, who has absolutely
no idea about Tourism, but that didn’t stop her from bizarrely
lecturing Canberra Tourism after she’d been in the job for five

John Sharp was no dummy, but he mixed up his private interests as a
pilot with his Ministerial responsibilities. And what a good idea it
was putting someone with big shopping centre interests, Geoff Prosser,
in charge of Small Business

And then, of course, there’s Wilson Tuckey. He was a man described by a
senior bureaucrat in the Department for which I work, and someone who’d
had extensive experience in Parliament House, as the worst minister
ever – not just of the Howard Government.

There would be no-one in the Department who wouldn’t have been the
victim of his bizarre and capricious decision-making, and irrational
and obsessive quests. And he had a dysfunctional Ministerial Office.
The man defined “loose cannon”. I’m sure he was convinced he was
running the government. On the other hand, Alex Somlyay was quite
respected within the Department as a (junior) Minister.

Perhaps we shouldn’t spare John Anderson either. Here’s a man who was
bluffed and blindsided by Qantas into letting Ansett collapse, with the
resulting loss of 25,000 jobs and the complete distortion of the
domestic aviation market, and whose policy response was timid and
cowardly. He’s the man who’s resided over the complete stagnation of
the duplication of the nation’s number one highway, the Hume Highway,
in New South Wales, while allowing such follies as the Nerriga to Nowra
road be declared as Roads of National Importance. Please!

He lists his great achievements as reform of water entitlements and
other such extra-curricula activities. Nice if he’d been able to
achieve something worthwhile within his own portfolio. Good riddance.

It’d be nice if a few of these dills could be held to account.

Check out your nominations – entertaining, damning or just plain vitriolic – on the Crikey website here.

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey