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Oh beaut – a ‘taskforce’

Rest easy, ladies, we got ourselves a taskforce – a Cabinet taskforce, no less – who are going to fix women’s equality, safety, economic security, health and well-being by putting a gender lens on policy.

It will be made up of 4 men and every woman they could scrape together – the same women who have, by their silence, enabled a toxic workplace to flourish. The same women who have ridiculed affirmative action describing it as playing the gender card. The same women who have voted for so many policies that have been detrimental to women. The same women who have been called ‘handbags’, as they are trotted out to defend the boys club.

Even discussing how women are affected became ‘identity politics’. Feminist became a derogatory label.

In 2014, after 40 years of production, the Commonwealth government stopped producing the Women’s Budget Statement as part of the official Budget papers. Hey, we had the Prime Minister for Women, Tony Abbott, to look after us. Why worry our pretty little heads about all those confusing numbers when we have ironing to do.

Assisting him was Michaelia Cash who, in the lead-up to International Women’s Day in 2014, said “In terms of feminism, I’ve never been someone who really associates with that movement. That movement was a set of ideologies from many, many decades ago now.”

They got rid of the schoolkids bonus, a timely payment that helped families pay for school needs, preferring for the mining companies to keep their super profits.

They argued to reduce penalty rates, mainly impacting women and young people.

They slashed funding for shelters, legal aid, and community support programs because a surplus was their only goal and they wanted the most vulnerable to fund it whilst giving tax cuts to the wealthy.

And far from delivering on the promised improvement to Paid Parental Leave, they labelled women as “double dippers” if they combined the current government assistance with a workplace entitlement.

In 2018, Jane Hume, our new Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation, the Digital Economy and Women’s Economic Security, dismissed the idea of quotas to address the dismal number of women in her party.

“For women that don’t get there, the trick is to work that little bit harder. Don’t get bitter. Get better. Work harder. Nothing that is worth getting doesn’t come without hard work.”

Ms Hume said she “really disliked being patronised as if I am a minority. We are capable of anything but we are entitled to nothing. We have to work for what we want.”

She was then asked if an African migrant living in Melbourne “had just as much chance to get into parliament as somebody who goes to a private school in Toorak? Does she have the same connections and networks and start with the same family?”

Hume also wants us to use superannuation for everything but funding our retirement – family violence, home deposit, emergency expenses – consigning many more people to a life on an inadequate pension. And you can bet your nelly that the legislated increases in the superannuation guarantee will be abandoned, further widening the gender gap in retirement income.

These are the women who, after revealing the shocking bullying and harassment they endured during the leadership spill, were silenced by either promotion or getting rid of them, choosing party loyalty or personal ambition over holding perpetrators to account.

We have a mute Minister for Women who wouldn’t even meet with the March4Justice. Assisting her is a woman who is anti-abortion, anti the “transgender agenda”, who thinks men are victims of scurrilous allegations of sexual abuse, and who thinks men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt was deserving of an Australia Day award for “services to gender equity”.

Despite the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on women, the October budget delivered by Josh Frydenberg concentrated its stimulus in the male-dominated areas of construction, energy, transport and manufacturing.

Many had pressed the government to use stimulus spending to invest in social housing, support for the caring professions, child care, aged care and disability care, as well as the female-dominated sectors also hard hit in the wake of COVID-19. These recommendations were made not just because of the loss of employment, but also because COVID-19 exposed the opportunity to reform a number of systemic issues and would likely provide a greater increase in employment.

But long-term planning and investment in society isn’t this government’s best thing.

Announce a taskforce of the women who you know won’t make waves. Tell them they are all being promoted. Then get back to the boy’s business of making rich people richer.

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  1. Baby Jewels

    Thanks Kaye Lee, you said it all. Whatever these Liberal women do, it won’t be without the say so of a man, and that’s how they like it.

  2. DrakeN

    Just so, Kaye, just so.

  3. Kronomex

    Methinks the no talent “leader” is having yet another panic attack and is applying yet another band-aid to his crumbling Scottymandias status and statue.

  4. Michael Anderson

    A “task force” is like a “commission” here in the states—where reality goes to be disappeared. Don’t believe a word that comes out of any of this. You need to harass these, uh, creatures until they disappear.

  5. Phil Pryor

    Liars cannot be trusted. Obnoxious persons remain so unless miracles (hah) occur, and they do not. Morrison’s superstitous outlook, based on lies, fantasy, rumour, faith, myth, legend, paranoia, severe personal flaws, hypocrisy galore, is simply not suitable for public, and probably, a decent private life. Superstion driven idiots are dangerous, devious, untrustworthy, yet Australian conservatives are such…and they operate only with presumed trusted fellows, mates, saved souls in their congregation. It STINKS.

  6. Doctor Wu

    Kronomex … ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’ I don’t know what PB Shelley would have thought of “Scottymandias”, but I was delighted by very appropriate historical resonance. Perhaps, in order to better reflect the current reality, it could be amended to read, “…Look on my works ye ordinary proles, and shit yourselves.”

  7. Kaye Lee

    If they genuinely wanted a taskforce to advise them, they would enlist the services of women like Cassandra Goldie, Sally McManus, Grace Tame, Malarndirri McCarthy, Chanel Contos, Susan Carland, Gillian Triggs, Rosie Battie, Julia Gillard, Judi Moylan, ….so many women who could really help to give well-informed, evidence-based, frank and fearless advice. But that will NEVER be what this government wants.

    Like Trump, they reward loyallty. All row together. Stick on the narrow path.

  8. Ill fares the land

    Bargearse Morrison had, previously determined that he had enough of the female vote that he could make men, especially men in dual-cabs and hi-vis, followed by homeowners, his “targets” in terms of buying votes. He has largely achieved that – despite his utterly abysmal performance in recent months (which was really only an amplified version of his shocking performance during the bushfire crisis), to wit, the most recent polling indicates that 65% of men polled still see him as preferred PM – and Bargearse’s ignorance and even disdain for women hasn’t cost him any personal popularity amongst men. He has lost some support amongst women polled, but nowhere near as much as his performance warranted. If you put aside those who simply will not vote for any progressive party regardless of how awful their conservative PM is, you are still left with a disturbing number who are not appalled by Bargearse and his rabble of corrupt and incompetent numpties – male and female. I suspect with men, there are still enough men who rail at the prospect of women achieving genuine equality, possibly because they believe the promotion of women will come at their expense. But I fear that among women, there are a lot who believe Brittany Higgins was a floosie and ipso facto, in some way responsible for what happened to her because she was falling-down drunk. In a perverted way, that equates to a diminution of the fault of her abuser (I accept Brittany Higgin’s version of the events that occurred). How anyone can think that anything diminishes the guilt of her abuser fills me with incredulity – she was rat-arsed perhaps, but the abuser saw an opportunity to exploit her and MADE A CHOICE to do just that. Bargearse’s re-shuffle is window-dressing and is actually shuffling broken deckchairs on the Titanic, such is the paucity of talent in his cabinet (no-one is allowed to overshadow Bargearse), but even among the Liberal women that have been “promoted”, there is, I suggest no genuine commitment to equality and no commitment to women in positions of privilege helping women in a position of disadvantage. Stroker can say what she likes – that she is anti-abortion and closed-minded when it comes to gays and trans people (she thinks they all chose to be, according to her twisted ideology, “sexually aberrant”) marks her as ideologically myopic and surely she is in the cabinet because of her religion, not her “talent”. Payne has done nothing as the MInister for Women – why will she now have had a personal epiphany so that will all change? Cash is surely not a fit and proper person to be the A-G, but who cares and out of Bargearse’s talent-free cabinet, who is? Melissa Price, Reynolds – lightweights all and all promoted well beyond the level of their ability.

  9. Florence Howarth

    Maybe he would have been smarter if the task force was made up of people from both sides of parliament.

  10. Gangstas Paradise

    Lets hope no alleged up skirters show up to ruin the party.

    And surely that $1.2 billion that Stuart Robert stuffed up could have gone towards the $1+ a day increase single female pensioners will be getting.

    What’s desperately needed is a full on sports rort to get more female toilets in the Australian parliament.

    The AMA and the Qld branch of the AMA have both been extremely quiet in relation to the alleged events by A. Laming MP.

  11. Ross

    Who are the geniuses that came up with that idea?
    What did they do, look down the drop down list until they came across “taskforce”.
    And not just any taskforce but “A Cabinet Taskforce”. Brilliant, that’s just the ticket.
    It’s a wonder nobody has thought of that before.
    (The sarcasm in this comment is deeply intended)

  12. George Swalwell

    Brilliant Kaye! Thanks so much for keeping these issues under your spotlight, microscope and scalpel.

  13. nobody2014

    Gangstas Paradise – You have made an excellent point regarding the AMA! Maybe the AMA is in hiding because they know that the medical profession has many of its own dirty secrets? Could it be that doctors should have recurring empathy training in order to keep their licences?

  14. MrFlibble4747

    Merit based appointments and an insightful strategy from ScoWoman who “Gets It”.

    An embarrassment of riches in this talent pool.

    What can possibly go wrong?

  15. Kate Ahearne

    Lovely, Kaye. Thank you. Sigh!

  16. Kaye Lee

    Last night they showed a clip of Scotty sitting down next to two young ladies at the Australian Space Discovery Centre. In the most cringeworthy of exchanges, Scotty asked one of the girls “What’s your name?” in a voice you would use if addressing an anxious cocker spaniel. When she replied “Jenny”, Scotty said, in the same very weird tone, “I like the name Jenny.” These were obviously very smart girls who are interested in science. And that was the best Scotty could come up with. It was soooooo awkward.

  17. Terence Mills

    I see that the Qld police have decided that they won’t be taking any action against Laming for taking revealing photographs of a woman despite the provisions of the Criminal Code which seems to cover this act :

    227A Observations or recordings in breach of privacy

    (1) A person who observes or visually records another person, in circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy—
    (a)without the other person’s consent; and
    (b)when the other person—
    (i)is in a private place; or
    (ii) is engaging in a private act and the observation or visual recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording a private act;commits a misdemeanour.
    Maximum penalty—3 years imprisonment.

    Probably they are avoiding taking action as were he found to be guilty he would no longer be able to sit in parliament and at all costs Morrison wants him there until the next election is called.

  18. Harry Lime

    The only things missing in the identity parade at the top are the height charts and a list of their sins against the welfare of our country.You don’t have to be a bloke in the Liar’s party to be an arsehole.They’re punching above their weight in terms of incompetence.I trust Fauxmo ran these selections past Jen and the girls.Mind you, there’s always the next disaster to allow another shuffling and shaking of a burning house.

  19. Michael Taylor

    They’re women. That’s good enough for Morrison.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Amanda Stoker has never been elected. She was gifted her position in the Senate in 2018 to replace George Brandis (who left 2 years into a 6 year term) without even a vote from rank and file party members let alone the electorate.

    This unelected woman has nevertheless been rocketed to stardom as Assistant Minister to the Attorney-General, Assistant Minister for Women and Assistant Minister for Industrial Relations.

    Stoker criticised Queensland’s decision to close its borders during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk “knows she is absolutely choking our economy by having these borders shut – she is the knee on the throat of businesses of Queensland, stopping them from breathing” right at the time when all the Black Lives Matter marches were going on. Poor choice of words Amanda.

    She also got busted doing an Angus Taylor, commenting on her official facebook page under the pseudonym “Mandy Jane”.

  21. New England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee: Well said!! Moving the deck chairs of the Liarbral Nazional$ misgovernment without rocking the boat of male supremacy. Keeping the bullies with their snouts in the public purse while spreading largess among the ”little women”. Betraying Australian voters yet again!!

    The sudden increase in Women Ministers for Everything Irrelevant is really Scummo defending his position as Prim Monster against a spill through buying the ”loyalty” of women who may have backbone or connections.

    With becoming a Minister comes an increase in salary + perks to boost their superannuation and retirement package quantum. Nothing like a bit of largess with public monies to convince politicians to give up any principles or concerns. I mean, look at Reynolds!!

  22. paul walter

    Puts this writer in mind of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 1, out on the windswept moors. Also remember well the goals of people like Pell and Abbott, for an idea of the magnitude of the betrayal of civilisation by these politicians

  23. Kaye Lee


    That is an argument made by many but I understand why she made the decision.

    For anyone whose child had been born after mid-2005, there was no change. Howard made the change but grandfathered it for anyone already on the payment so we had single parents with 15 year olds getting parenting payment while others whose child was 8 not getting it. Gillard made the rules the same for all.

    Gillard wanted to increase the Newstart payment and make looking for employment obligations more flexible but she didn’t get the chance. That would have helped many more people.

    She was demonised for the debt and deficit which has been shown now to be a nonsense.

    As at 28 February 2021: net debt is $583.3 billion; and the YTD deficit is $134.6 billion
    At the end of May 2013, net debt was $155 billion and the YTD deficit was $15 billion.

    As to why I included her, she is a smart woman with a great deal of experience and expertise….and strength and dignity. I admire her political record. She got stuff done, unlike any of the men who have followed her.

  24. paul walter

    What an idiot of a decision that was of hers, with an election looming. Tin Ear, so out of character…what was she thinking, was she thinking?

    The argument that the economy couldn’t afford to maintain the subsidy just wont wash with me. No wonder people have get fed up with the ALP over last decade or two.

  25. Michael Taylor

    I was, at the time, a policy officer in the department that managed that payment (though I wasn’t in that section).

    The decision to cut payments wasn’t Julia Gillard’s. It was a public servant’s decision.

    Wayne Swan had promised a surplus but it was evident the govt wasn’t going to deliver one, and on cue, the Murdoch media and the Abbott opposition were going nuts. We were told to make cuts in an effort to return a surplus. That was one our department came up with.

    If only Wayne hadn’t have promised a surplus.

  26. Michael Taylor

    Ironically, we still didn’t deliver a surplus. ☹️

  27. paul walter

    Gillard should overruled the option.

    The budget nonsenses were always a rightist furphy, easily refuted by competent economists.

    The betrayal of trust and destruction of morale; the utter demoralisation amongst rank and file made it totally cost ineffective in the longer term, both as to economics and politics, as we have seen over the following 9 years.

    The capitulation to the more extreme version of neo liberalism this century has done such untold harm to this nation. Mean while REAL issues such as the following remain out of control with a disaster destination.

    How about this for “sensible” economics?

    Ok, you cite Murdoch.

    I still believe that the ignoring/rejection of such an inane policy just outside of an election would have done exponentially less harm to the election results and ordinary Australians than an insipid capitulation, given the eventual Abbott majority and subsequent Horror Budget. It wasn’t that biggest issue till Gillard made it one, or did they think the mortgage belt would reward them from kicking the lower classes?

  28. paul walter

    And no, I am not anti Gillard, she did a good job while she was there.

    But she made two fatal errors, one in overthrowing Rudd BEFORE an election and then all the subsequent good work undone by one dreadful policy decision near the end.

    Abbott should have been left with welfare cuts, since it was far more his sado economic vision and perhaps we would have got rid of them sooner if we did not tarnish ourselves with the meekness image also followed up with FTA surrenders and the like.

  29. Michael Taylor

    Paul, let’s go back one step further: Julia never should have allowed the Murdoch media and Abbott dictate terms.

    That was her one. Big. Mistake.

  30. paul walter

    Michael, It seems I am a grumpy geezer also. I know much less than I do know. You were closer to these things than I was.

    My apologies if I seemed to come across rough.

  31. Michael Taylor

    Paul, it’s all good. I thought nothing of it.

  32. wam

    Kaye what can we get from the LNP task force?
    stock fare ‘of’ cake frost.
    Gillard lost two seats on the thursday before polling day my electorate solomon by the clp leader’s timely announcement and murdoch beat up and longman by an idiot announcement by the candidate(went back to labor then gone by the idiot booby being puppeted by albran). These labor seats were so certain that noone would stand so fringe candidate stood and won. Ours ended her 3 years with about 12 investment houses and a stint as governor of xmas, cocos keeling all for sitting behind the rabbott with an inane grin.

  33. Kronomex

    “Kaye what can we get from the LNP task force?” Talk and words. Lots and lots of words put on paper which will be placed in a filing cabinet until the election. Then it will be forgotten about.

  34. wam

    Paul it is disgusting and if frydenberg agreed and told jordan to ‘fix it’ the shell loophole (and others) would be closed.

  35. paul walter

    wam, jellyfish are spineless and sting invisibly from adistance. These people are just bellhops and chippies..

  36. paul walter

    Why have I got frustrated, particularly with the ALP right faction, over the last generation?

    Sorry to continue on this line, but we are decades overdue for some sort of reckoning as to why things have run rotten: .

    Murdoch interference, of course, but there seems more than single factor at play, surely? Policy, anyone?

    I suppose there is no point mentioning it, after the housing industry issue at last election couldn’t get through to the public, particularly with housing market Ponzi voters.

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