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2015: the Top 5

What were The AIMN’s five most popular posts in 2015?

The Top 5 is based on the number of views only. It does not take into account the number of comments or the post’s popularity with other online media sites such as Facebook (where four of the top five had over 10,000 shares: an indication of the particular post’s enormous reach).

In 2014 posts about everyone’s favourite – Tony Abbott – dominated the Top 5, and whilst he slipped a bit in 2015 he still earned a couple of spots.

Anyway, here are the Top 5 for 2015 (based on number of readers):

Number One . . . The Tragedy of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran by Damian Smith.


Are you horrified yet? You should be.

Two men who have actually made something positive of their lives will have those lives violently and abruptly ended.

And yet I see in the mainstream media, social media, the comments sections of each, a chorus of everyday Australians who seem to delight in what is happening to Chan and Sukumaran. Who seem to find a macabre glee in their fates. A menagerie of hypocrites and ghouls, with their tumescent death erections stiff as towel racks, delighting in the schadenfreude of two foolish young men about to die. Revelling in the blood like antique Romans.

It is endemic of society that the idea of justice has been supplanted by the notion of vengeance. That instead of reform and rehabilitation we should instead seek swift and brutal reprisal. That a moment of folly deserves a lifetime of retribution. Stray from the path once and you are cast aside, permanently if need be, one strike – no second chances.

That is what I’ve seen in reaction to the Bali 9 case. The social justice warriors of Facebook and Tumblr a morbid choir of condemnation.

“They broke the law” they cry “they deserve this”. Do they? Truly?

Number Two . . . Subsidising Tony’s lifestyle by Kaye Lee.


Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choice” to live hundreds of kilometres from his place of work is costing Australians a small fortune.

During the election caretaker mode the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet arranged a 12-month lease on an inner-south Canberra home for Abbott or Kevin Rudd to live in while the Lodge underwent repairs and renovation.

When Tony Abbott won the election, he chose not to live in the house, telling us he was saving us money by staying at the Australian Federal Police college when in Canberra. That decision cost us $120,000 – $39,107 for rent, $65,000 for a commercial settlement to terminate the lease in November, $1,403 for a property broker to find the home in the first place and later to look for an alternative tenant, and $14,144 in legal advice on the drafting and ending of the lease.

Abbott is the only Prime Minister other than Howard to choose Kirribilli House as his official residence.

The budget for the prime minister’s official residences will increase from $1.61m in 2013-14 to $1.7m this financial year, rising to $1.77m, $1.81m and $1.86m in subsequent years.

Number Three . . . Complaint against John Howard to the International Criminal Court by The AIM Network.


Early in 2012 the Committee of the SEARCH Foundation resolved to submit a complaint to the International Criminal Court (the ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, against John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, for his decision to send Australian forces to invade and wage war against Iraq.

The ICC is a permanent international tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and for the crime of aggression. The Court was set up through the Stature of Rome which was drafted and signed on 17 July 1998, and came into force on 1 July, 2002.

Australia signed the Statute on 9 December 1998, ratified it on July 1 2002, so as to be bound as from 1 September 2002.

Article 17 of the Statute, which deals with ‘Issues of admissibility’ prescribes that every step of the domestic jurisdiction of a country be exhausted before the Court may take jurisdiction over a complaint.

The SEARCH Foundation believes that it has satisfied the preconditions for admissibility.

Number Four . . . Take heed Mr Abbott by Kaye Lee.


The Abbott government’s obsession with secrecy and their draconian attempts to silence critics with threats of incarceration or withdrawal of funding is hindering the active participation of citizens in politics and civic life.

The examples are endless – the vitriolic attack on Gillian Triggs, the sacking of Save the Children staff, the gagging of public servants, doctors and teachers, the threat of removal of charitable status for environmental groups, removing funding from community legal centres if they engage in advocacy, the failure to include in the budget details on how different groups will be affected, a veil of secrecy in how foreign aid is being spent – to name but a few.

Tony Abbott’s response to allegations that our government paid people smugglers to sail boats back to Indonesia should send a shiver down our spines. Whatever it takes? By hook or by crook? Are we paying criminals? As Waleed Aly said, “When allegations are this serious, you don’t get to choose if you tell us or not.”

For the first time ever, Australia has been named on the Human Rights Watch list in 2014 and 2015

Number Five . . . Value for money? by Kaye Lee.


When it was revealed that, on top of his $332,000 salary package and $40,000 accommodation allowance, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson had claimed $77,763 for expenses in his first year, his response was “You’d rather I sit in my office all day?”

He spent $14,562 on cab fares, including almost $3000 for family reunion travel for his partner, claimed for an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop and a $1400 standing desk, spent about $11,000 on business class airfares abroad – although about $2000 of this was reimbursed by groups that hosted him – and $26,000 on domestic fares, including $10,800 for his partner, and $17,800 for meals and other expenses while travelling.

All great articles, but we could happily add another 200 to the list from all of our authors.

And by the way, today is The AIMN’s 3rd birthday.


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  1. bobrafto

    and Kaye Lee has 3 out of 5.

  2. Ruth L

    We need to clone Kaye Lee and elect the KL party to run the country.

  3. Sen Nearly Ile

    Kaye Lee is another example of the power of women. Sadly, she is dismissed as ‘exceptional’ by the church.
    Well I think she is an exceptional human being.
    I have met many exceptional people, most of them women, who consider themselves normal. But they do exceptional things, in exceptional ways with exceptional results.
    How much better would this world be if the men in power were women?

  4. Backyard Bob

    How much better would this world be if the men in power were women?

    Not one bit if the history of women in power is any indication. The problem is not one of gender but rather one of social and political ideology. Look at the women of the LNP and tell me we’d be better off with them rather than the men of the ALP.

  5. jim

    And a very,very, very Happy birthday AIMN. at last someone with the gut to tell truth. Happy Birthday.

  6. stuff me

    Kaye Lee for president! Enjoy your posts, every one of them. Thank you for your common sense, your foresight and your pursuit of good government!

  7. Kaye Lee

    If we go back a bit in time (or not if you are Cory Bernardi or Eric Abetz), men were the breadwinners and protectors but it was women who had to eke out what he brought home to satisfy the needs of the family. It was the woman who had to prioritise and use resources wisely. While the man may have offered physical protection, the woman offered the protection that nourished the family and kept them going.

    Speaking as someone who is domestically challenged, thankfully that has changed, but I find many politicians unable to prioritise the use of our resources. They talk about expenditure as percentages of GDP rather than based on need. Their goals seem purely numeric. How can a surplus be a goal? Would you not examine the cost of that goal in terms of social outcomes? Will it improve people’s lives?

    The best leaders are those who can facilitate getting the best from those they lead.

    PS Thanks for the support everyone but as you are all aware, this is a collaborative effort. I just string together other people’s words and thoughts. I find the articles here thought-provoking and the discussions that ensue very informative. Thanks to Michael and Carol for their time and effort in providing the AIMN family with a place to hang out.

  8. Florence nee Fedup

    I suspect after number comments across all media, Turnbull will attract even more attention than Abbott ever did.

    Enjoyed my racist son who was brought up among Muslims strongly rejecting the hate put out by Facebook etc by those who wish to reclaim Australia. He doesn’t have any interest in politics whatever.

    If he is rejecting their shit, we can all take hope, that extreme racists will not get any traction in this country.

    For a person of 40 odd, who takes no interest in politics, he was voicing some very strong political views. Just grinned to myself.

  9. RosemaryJ36

    I only wish that more people read the articles published by AIMN. I share them as widely as I can as I am appalled by the ignorance and apathy of so many among us. ‘I’m all right’ too often seems to be as far as their thinking goes.

  10. Roswell

    Bob, a stunned mullet could do a better job than the women of the LNP.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Judi Moylan was good but she has retired. Sharman Stone and Teresa Gambaro have both shown some courage in criticising things they did not agree with and working towards improvements. People like Bishop are just “living the dream” (her words) and Cash has admitted to having a “crush” on her. Nash just does as she’s told. Ley and O’Dwyer try hard but they are party apologists through and through, and most of the rest of them remind me of doo-wop girls.

  12. Matthew Oborne

    Rosemary one thing I find about the Aimn articles is the comments are often as thoughful and as challenging as the actual articles which makes for a much broader view on the article written.

  13. Roswell

    Funny you should mention that, Matthew. Kaye will correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember seeing her comment on here and Cafe Whispers, then during my admin work saw she had a couple of guest posts here, and now she is a star author. From star commentator to star author.

  14. diannaart

    Well done AIMn – special kudos to Kaye Lee – I don’t know how you do it, but, please, don’t stop.

    On the ‘women in politics’ thread; Overall we need more diversity in political representation; more women means we get to outvote the Julie Bishops (her ilk really are aberrations), more cultural diversity means we get to compete with the white elite – which as at January 2 2016 is mostly overweight white males – I’m white – I get to say that!

    Would like to see more focus on diversity across the human spectrum – bigots have less power when they are facing a kaleidoscope of colour and views.

    Here’s to 2016!

  15. mark delmege

    hate wins

  16. Kaye Lee

    I’m no star, I’m just a middle-aged woman in jammies. My husband suggested we should form the Pyjama Party. I must say he makes me laugh 🙂

  17. Faye Cox

    Pyjama Party !!
    I’ll join immediately so long as I don’t have to “sew” anything..Remember the Show of the same name ?
    Simply a thank-you to You and to AIMN .

  18. Kaye Lee


    I learned to darn and embroider at school – I so wish I had spent that time learning other things.

    PS bad flashback….they made us make our own bloomers for PE. I made the gusset too wide and the leg holes too small….and they MADE us wear them. You want to talk chafing…..

  19. Faye Cox

    I was the only one who was always completing the first term effort in third term, complete with bloodstains . Did they make you put a pocket inside your bloomers ?

  20. Keith

    Well done Kaye Lee, your writings hit the mark.

  21. Kaye Lee

    I had to put a pocket on my apron which was all hand sewn and embroidered. I guess it was….character building.

    Thanks Keith.

    Without you all I would just be driving my family mad.

  22. diannaart

    I had to sew and embroider apron for the following year’s cookery class – which mum finished as she did all my sewing/knitting tasks – the wonky embroidered initials ‘D_’ were all mine and there to see during my (compulsory!!!!) cookery classes – I can still recall the opening by our class teacher:

    “Collect requirements and ingredients” – This was the one useful thing I took from those classes, a type of mantra for taking a breath and looking at what I should do next. Miss Fisher, where-ever you are…. I still think you are a dried up old crone.

  23. mmc1949

    Congratulations to the AIMN team for three years of quality and perseverance. No mean effort.
    My wish for 2016 is that the MSM would lift their game … coming within cooee of AIMN would be a good start. (The press other than Murdoch I mean. No hope for the American’s publications.) We need an MSM that will inform those seeking information, challenge those who are blinded by prejudice, and uproot those with their heads in the sand. The chances are…???

  24. mark delmege

    mmc ….none zilch zero. they represent class interests and that wont change.

  25. abbienoiraude

    I have been reading and ( when time permits) contributing comments to AIMN for many years.

    I have my favourites and even have tried to contribute myself ( but it has gone the way of all my writing..into the ethos).

    No one shall beat Kaye Lee with her superb links, research and fabulous factual tomes.

    Thank you AIMN….
    Women need to be heard and I feel this is one medium that allows for that.

    Thank you Michael and Kaye, the mother and daughter contributors, Rosswell ( for satirical relief) and John Lord for consistency and wisdom.

    I wish I could meet your standards.

    We must release the truth in anyway we can…especially through the medium of independent media.

    Cheers for 2016.
    This may be the year of release from the Conservative Crap.

    Fond regards….

  26. Roswell

    Thanks Abbie. I appreciate that.

  27. kerri

    Your list confirms what a star Kaye Lee is!
    Keep on writing and researching and informing on those thieving hypocritical bastards in Canberra.
    Does Kaye Lee take requests???

  28. Sen Nearly Ile

    crap backyard bob these are the ‘exceptional’ women selected by the rabbott and his boys they may only be playing the game(so well that you consider them worse than the men) to get into the team or they may be indoctrinated by the men’s religion or by daddy but regardless, the world and Australia would be far better off if the men in charge were women.

  29. Kaye Lee

    I’m particularly good on show tunes kerri 😉

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