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Bring on the New Year

We are soon to close the doors on 2014. Am I right in presuming that we’ll all be glad to see the back of it?

It hasn’t been too memorable, on the political front at least.

It has been a year where ordinary Australians have been kicked from pillar to post by an ideology-driven government whose vision clearly focuses on feathering the nests of the not-so-ordinary Australians.

It has been a year where all social, economic, technological and ecological issues have been ignored by a government too inept to confront them. And perhaps too blind to notice.

Sitting at the head of the table of this atrocious government is possibly the most inept national leader in the Western world. You have to wonder how such an incompetent, out of depth, out of touch individual manages to keep his job. He has been lucky, in my opinion, to last as long as he has.

Yes, it has been some year.

My friends at The Political Sword have summed it up much better than I could, so it is my pleasure to borrow their summary:

It was a year in which we saw Abbott and his cronies trying to destroy the country and make us a paradise for the neo-liberals, the neo-cons and the economists that support them — and, of course, big business. We saw the worst budget in living memory and have, so far, only been saved from its full ramifications by the senate. We saw Clive Palmer appear with Al Gore to talk about the importance of climate change but, at the same time, cave in to support the repeal of the carbon price. We have seen Abbott, more through luck than design, deflect the budget issue and ‘bask’ in the glory of the world stage, taking on the Russian bear and alienating our closest Asian neighbour. He has ‘stopped the boats’ but also stopped government transparency in the process. He is undertaking more privatisation of government services and encouraging the states to do the same. Without openly saying so, he is pursuing a neo-liberal and economic rationalist agenda backed to the hilt by the IPA (and, as others have noted, he is, to a significant extent, following its ‘hit list’).

That says it all!

As does this photo, which tells us a lot about our prime minister even though he’s missing from it.

He had just delivered a speech at the United Nations. I don’t remember what it was about – it wasn’t important enough to bother remembering. If it had have been important then I’m sure he would have delivered his speech to a larger audience than the six people who actually sat through it.

Image from twitter.com

Image from twitter.com

After delivering his talk that nobody wanted to listen to, jumping to her feet from the sidelines was a deliriously excited Peta Credlin giving Tony the thumbs up.

This reminded me of my mother after I sang two lines in a school concert when I was eight. Nobody, surely, heard me except my mother. But her rapturous encouragement filled me with the feeling that my performance was outstanding – that I had a voice like Elvis Presley (my mother liked Elvis Presley).

Truth is, nobody else in the audience cared whether I was performing or not. The other truth is – I can’t sing.

Our prime minister can’t ‘prime minister’. But he gets the thumbs up. He needs all the encouragement he can get, even childish encouragement.

* * *

Independent and social media sites who have been prepared to question and challenge the Abbott Government have, ironically, benefited from its ineptitude. That there is a growing number of Australians expressing disgust at the direction the government is taking us, and a growing discontent in the government and its leader (as reflected in the opinion polls) has seen numbers turning to independent media as a credible alternative.

The AIMN certainly has been rewarded. Last year – our first year – saw us welcome 1.96 million readers. This year (at the time of writing), 4.15 million people have read The AIMN. That’s over double what we achieved last year. What can we achieve in 2015?

We can only achieve the stellar readership of 4.15 million in a year if we have the subject matter our readers are after and a group of outstanding writers with the skills to deliver it. We demonstrably have both. And of course, without thousands of loyal readers helping to spread our message we could not have grown as we have.

So all the ingredients are there for us to have a bumper 2015. Bring it on!

I hope every one of you – the writers, the admin team, those who comment on our articles and to those who simply visit us to read them – have a fabulous 2015. And I thank you for your efforts in 2014.

 

Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

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53 comments

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  1. flohri1754

    And, Mr. Michael Taylor, thank you and all the other excellent, progressive writers contributing to the AIMN for helping to shed illumination upon this current government’s ineptitude and Tea Party adoration.

    In 2015 may AIMN continue and grow stronger …. and may it be discovered by more and more readers (i.e., voters) ….

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Michael (and Happy 2015 to you and all of us),

    for making it possible for us to express our outrage at rabid Abbott and the LNP Degenerates. It is a long haul for us to redeem a respectable standard of living for every Australian, from the most vulnerable up, as well as being caring for the needs of asylum seekers.

    As perverse as this might sound, Rabid and his degenerate mates have made it possible for our passion to rise to such an extent that we have been inspired to evolve out of our comfy shrouds.

    Fear
    begats passion
    begats action.

    Otherwise, one is dead.

    (Oh dear, I sound a bit Old Testament, but don’t let that put you off the central message of unity against Abbott, the LNP Degenerates and their backers within Australia and internationally.)

  3. Florence nee Fedup

    Happy New Year to all. There is one person, along with his cohorts who has not prospered during this year Cannot see him doing any better next year. I have this feeling, after long last, it will be our year.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Congratulations Michael and Carol

  5. Faye

    Thank you to all for the enlightening articles. You give this Pensioner hope for the future

  6. ian

    Thank you thank you for all your words,insights and overall for the sounds of sanity that is nowhere found on any msm blahblah which are so mindnumbingly pervasive for all us plebs

  7. Sir ScotchMistery

    Thanks Michael and Carol and all writers.

    I would point out in an effort to find something positive in what has been a forgettable year, that the electorate is finally showing signs of caring, so maybe that’s something to be thankful for.

    Have a great and safe new year celbration everyone.

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Sir ScotchMistery and Florence nee Fedup.

    Happy New Year to all, who came before my comment/s and after.

    (Not you though rabid Abbott and your LNP Degenerates and slimy backers. Nasty, ugly people.)

  9. paul walter

    A happy and deserved New Year for the people behind the blog. Also the people who try to reply with intelligent and thought out contributions.

  10. LOVO

    Happy New Year…. all !! 🙂

  11. Graham Houghton

    Very best wishes to us all for 2015 and thanks to you AIMN, for maintaining journalistic standards and sanity when all around were crumbling. May the coming year see the back of the worst government this country has ever seen. In my opinion they are all, individually and collectively, treasonous, should be treated as such by the people who, ill-advisedly, gave them the most precious thing between people and that is trust, and suffer the consequences of their incompetence and mendacity. Never again. Sign the petition ( you know which one) and pass it on. It’s going to be a better year because it couldn’t be any worse. Could it?

  12. corvus boreus

    Thank you to the good people at the AIMN.
    Blessings for the new year upon this house and all who visit here.

  13. Ricardo29

    Adding my thanks, and best wishes to those behind the AIMN. As a retired journalist of more years than I care to think about, I am pleased that such a forum exists. Now to get that 4.15 million up to more than half of the population. Go for it.

  14. brad Crouch

    Thank you and all the good people for keeping the candle in the window and that light burning bright. Our children and future generations thank you for never giving up the good fight.
    Happy new year 2015 may it be prosperous and fulfilling for all

  15. DanDark

    Thanks to Michael and Carol and everyone at AIMN
    Wishing and Hoping everyone a safe, and a prosperous New Year
    Michael, Can’t deny Elvis the Pelvis had the moves and the looks 🙂

  16. stephentardrew

    To Michael Carol and the great team of writers.

    It has been wonderful to see AIMN grow into a substantive source of news and political critique.

    Have a wonderful New Year.

  17. JohnB

    Thanks Michael,
    AIMN is always a pleasure to visit.
    With the disgusting ideologically driven misinformation served up by corporate MSM and the IPA infiltrated ABC, it is AIMN (and some other independent 5th estate sites) that fill the void of truth and honesty.

    May you and the AIMN team build on your success through 2015.

  18. Bacchus

    Happy New Year Michael and Carol, and congratulations on what you have achieved here. You’ve both come a long way since the “accidental” birth of Cafe Whispers while joni took a “temporary” break from Blogocrats.

    Congratulations also to your amazing regular authors – notably Kaye Lee, Rossleigh and John Lord – undoubtedly an integral part of the success of the AIMN.

    And Happy New Year to all of the valued commenters who help make this place the “home” it has become for so many! May 2015 be the year of the beginning of the end of the worst government ever.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ditto, JohnB.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Ditto, stephentardrew.

    Happy New Year.

    Better things to come in 2015.

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree Bacchus.

    Besides the obvious thanks to Michael and Carol,

    what also counts is the thanks to Kaye Lee, John Lord and Rossleigh that is important.

    It is their research, arguments and verifications of facts that make the difference and create the respect from the discerning public that have the pleasure of reading your site.

    Congrats for encouraging such gifted commentators to write on your site.

    (I might want to do likewise in 2015, if invited.)

  22. Roswell

    Here’s to a good one, good people. All the best. May 2015 be a year of change – for the better.

  23. Carol Taylor

    Bacchus, can that really be 7 years!! And all the way from Tim Dunlop’s blog/s. Happy New Year to everyone. It will be a big year I think, especially on issues such as social services, health and education (you know..those things which women don’t care about because we’re all to busy rubbing our greasy paws together over the money that we’ve saved on trashing our renewable energy industries).

    I know everyone here will be ready to give it everything in order to hold the wretched Tony Abbott and his even more wretched government to account.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Well here it is. 🙂

    Happy New Year everybody.

  25. Bacchus

    For old time’s sake: Migs, Min – HAPPY NEW YEAR! 😀

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Happy New Year 2015 Good People.

    Together, we will bring back equilibrium to our political democracy for all members of our society.

  27. Annie B

    Happy New Year to all here …… and especially to Michael and Carol – thank you both so very much for the work and tireless effort you put into making this site, one of great impact and a place for positive thought and ideas for a better Australia.

    And thanks to the regular contributors of articles – John L, Kaye L, Rossleigh, John K – and all others, too numerous to mention individually.

    Let’s hope that 2015 will be a year that puts an end to the negatives put forth by this current Government, and that we might see a new Government – sooner than later. ….. one way or another.

    Blessings …………

  28. Kaye Lee

    HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL

    As to the UN address….

    “Rather than preaching, we’re trying to lead by example,” Mr Abbott told the spectacular but mostly empty UN General Assembly chamber.

    “Australia has abolished the carbon tax, abolished the mining tax, provided environmental approvals for $800 billion worth of new projects and begun the task of eliminating our budget deficit within four years.”

    And he wonders why they leave when he starts speaking…..

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-tells-un-australia-would-lead-by-example-but-fails-to-mention-climate-change-20140925-10ma24.html

  29. Kaye Lee

    And then there was Davos….

    The Financial Times UK’s economics editor, Chris Giles, tweeted:

    ‘Sign of the times. [Iran’s President Hassan]Rouhani packed out the hall. Everyone is leaving before Tony Abbott explains Australia’s ambitions for the G20 in 2014.’

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/abbotts-davos-disaster,6098

    And Bali….

    Tony Abbott has been snubbed by Vladimir Putin at a leaders’ summit in Indonesia after the Australian prime minister arrived late for a meeting and was shown “an iron curtain”.

    Aside from arriving seven minutes late, Mr Abbott missed an informal gathering before the summit at which Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono picked up a guitar and led an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” to celebrate Mr Putin’s 61st birthday.

    The Australian leader, attending his first international summit since his election last month, was late to the official meeting after an engagement with his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, ran longer than scheduled. He entered the room during an opening address by Dr Yudhoyono and later said he had not been advised that the meeting had started.

    “We got a message that no one was there,” Mr Abbott said. “Then we got a message that everyone was there, so we rushed in as quickly as we could.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/10362817/Tony-Abbott-shown-iron-curtain-by-Putin-after-missing-his-birthday-party.html

    and the Brisbane G20 meeting…

    The Prime Minister’s comments to world leaders in Brisbane for the G20 summit about domestic policy issues were “weird and graceless”, the Opposition Leader says.

    Mr Abbott had told the leaders that his efforts to balance the budget were being frustrated by public opposition to his plans for a Medicare co-payment and deregulation of university fees.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-15/shorten-slams-abbott-remarks-at-g20-leaders-retreat/5894142

  30. Truth Seeker

    Well done Migs, Min and all at AIMN 🙂 Onward and upwards in 2015 😀

    Happy new year 🙂

  31. Ruth Lipscombe

    I am willing to bet your readership is well past the 4.15 million you quoted.
    I would be very surprised if a significant proportion of regular readers do not pass on some/all of your blogs to others.
    A healthy, interesting 2015 full of AIMN blogs to all.

  32. Möbius Ecko

    Thanks all.

  33. Suziekue

    Happy New Year, and many thanks for your wonderful efforts over the past year. I am one of the many out here, disenchanted with the main stream media, who has turned to independent media sites. And thank goodness, because now having access to so many cogent opinions about the political environment, I can make up my own mind rather than having an editorial MSM line shoved down my throat.

    The unforseen bonus is that I have “met” through blogging the most amazing, switched on and enthusiastic people who care enough to maintain the rage for an egalitarian Australia. You all know who you are. Happy New Year to the lot of ya.

  34. John Fraser

    <

    Best to all at and for The AIMN.

  35. Paul G. Dellit

    Happy 2015 and beyond to you Michael and all the writers, commenters, and readers of the great AIMN project.

    As our notions of journalism, social commentary, and the ways in which we all experience living in our dynamic society progress through their current bursts of rapid change, the role that AIMN plays in Australian society, in particular, becomes pivotal. 140 characters are usually enough to allow us to launch tactical initiatives and responses as we feel the need. The twitisphere occasionally provides novel insights, but at its best it enables us to know that there is a large and growing community of people from every statistical cohort who believe in social justice, the rights we all share to have the dignity of our humanity respected, and that the role of government SHOULD begin with ensuring that those values are at the core of every policy they seek to implement.

    AIMN provides us with a meeting place to discuss in great detail and become informed about every aspect of life in society, cultural as well as socio/political, as it rapidly evolves into tomorrow.

    I really don’t think its self-deluding optimism to suggest that the obscenity that is the Abbott government has successfully sown the seeds of its own demise, that the electorate will see through their attempts to sell their harvest of weeds as a new health food, and their poisonous crop will be put to the torch at the next election.

    (I’ve also discovered that I tend to write really long sentences when I’m a bit hungover.)

  36. Anomander

    Happy New Year to one and all at AIMN, please keep-up the incredible standard – the message is breaking through.

    Here’s hoping 2015 delivers a sudden and overwhelming change of government to one that puts the good of the Australian people before big business.

  37. Bacchus

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith said “I might want to do likewise in 2015, if invited

    If you’d like to cut your blogging teeth and show the world what you can do, I may be able to help. I’m looking for writers to get Whisper’s Cellar going this year – the aim, apart from getting a conversation going over there, is to be a feeder site to the likes of the AIMN and The Political Sword.

    Contact me at http://whisperscellar.wordpress.com/contact-us/ if you may be interested.

    That invitation is also available to anyone else who may like to dip your toes into blogging land, but are perhaps a bit intimidated by bigger sites like the AIMN and The Political Sword.

  38. richard grant

    Keep up the good work in 2015…much appreciated.

  39. Stafford Hall

    All the best to everyone at AIMN. Sanity amongst the stupidity of the Abbotts!

  40. Angus mctavish

    Happy 2015 and congratulations to aimn – you and other independent sites (contributors and most commenters) continue to inspire hope and keep me sane! Keep up the great work.

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think you nailed it, Paul G. Dellit @10.19am,

    on this first day of 2015 –

    and the beginning of the downhill, uncomfortable slide of rabid Abbott and his LNP Degenerates.

  42. Phi

    Thanks Michael, and thanks to all the writers and staff for making AIMN – THE place to go for relevant, uncorrupted information on the affairs of state, and so much more. Ideas and truth threaten those in power, and there are are infinite means by which the powerful will seek to suppress and manipulate truth, and to corrupt the system to favour themselves and their ilk.

    Independent media sites like AIMN are no doubt attracting close scrutiny from government and it’s corporate backers – none of whom will tolerate this sort of persistent scrutiny – it would therefore be interesting to have an open discussion here on AIMN about the sort of covert and overt tactics both historical and likely to be used in trying to undermine independent news media. Murdoch will not be sitting back watching from the sidelines – he will be actively strategising to undermine and kill our newfound forums before they totally undermine his own power structure.

    I’d also like to see some writing in 2015 on the topic of propaganda and it’s deviant sibling ‘marketing’ since they have become so pervasive as to be almost invisible.

  43. Loz

    I thought I was a lone voice when expressing my opinion of this terrible government until I chanced upon AIMN. Thank you, thank you to all the contributors and to all who comment. Happy New Year!

  44. Terry2

    Best wishes to all who have contributed to AIMN and who have maintained my sanity in this time of right wing excess.

    Here’s to you all and to 2015.

    PS: In that photo of Peta Credlin, she actually seems to be pulling the strings on her puppet !

  45. Kaye Lee

    Phi,

    I was a maths teacher for many years and we actually teach kids how graphs can be misleading. The Liberal Party website has been a valuable resource. Picking short time periods rather than long term trends, vertical axis starting above zero to amplify difference, three dimensional columns to give the impression of higher numbers, using dollar numbers rather than percentages of GDP or revenue, choosing which countries to compare to, not taking into account inflation or population growth…the list is endless.

    This link gives many examples.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-08/jericho–read-between-the-lines/4674322

  46. John Fraser

    <

    Uh oh ! … Mein Kampf !

    ""Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another."

    and

    ""Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (…) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula."

    I detest politicians who want to be popular …. Hockey, Beattie , Rudd etc

    If Shorten wants my vote …. knock off the ‘zingers” enough already with the the downcast behaviour.

    Get in there and fight and just tell it straight.

  47. Christine Farmer

    Thankyou to all at AIMN – you give me hope that brighter days will come. Happy New Year to you all. Onward
    and upward!

  48. Paul G. Dellit

    Thank you, Jennifer Meyer-Smith @ 12.21pm. At the risk of descending into that mutual admiration thing, it has been really encouraging to see how many skilled respondents, such as yourself, have been inspired by Michael’s great article. Now, he really did nail it!

  49. The AIM Network

    By the way, it’s The AIMN’s second birthday today.

  50. stephentardrew

    Hippo Birday to AIMN and may we see many more to come.

  51. John Fraser

    <

    @Migs

    2 years of healthy growth.

    Happy birthday The AIMN.

  52. al clark

    Moron: Tony Abbott Oxymoron: Tony Abbott Prime Minister

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