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The legacy of the ATM government – we now know what misandrist means

As the Coalition government draws inexorably closer to an election wipeout, what do we remember from their time in government? What have they achieved?

They will tell us that the economy is in great shape. Well bully for ‘the economy’.


There are 3.05 million people living in poverty, including 739,000 children.

Homelessness increased by 14% between the 2011 and 2016 censuses, with 116,427 people now thought to have no permanent home.

The AMA, and everyone else, are warning us about the crisis in aged care.

Closing the gap on Indigeneous disadvantage targets related to life expectancy, employment, literacy and numeracy, and school attendance are not on track to being met. Indigenous adults are 13 times more likely to be imprisoned in Australia than non-indigenous counterparts.

Comparative educational standards are declining and preschool attendance is comparatively low.

Less than half of all working Australians have a permanent full-time job with leave entitlements, with insecure work becoming the new normal.

In March 2018 gross household debt reached $AUD 2.34 trillion and gross household debt relative to disposable income reached 190.1%, ranked the second highest in the world.

Despite record company profits, Australia’s private sector workers are enduring their sixth straight year of minimal real wage rises with incomes growing by 0.5% or less a year since 2013.

Four million Australians experience mental illness every year and around 3,000 people die from suicide.

Waiting times in emergency wards or for elective surgery or dental work are increasing.

The other area where the government will tell us they are doing well is national security.

They have “stopped the boats” from landing on Australian shores, in part by holding thousands of people, including children, hostage for years and subjecting them to indescribable torment. Tens of thousands more suffer the uncertainty of temporary visas which can be revoked at the whim of a Minister who delights in deporting people.

Dog-whistling is encouraged with Muslims, Africans, Lebanese and Chinese all targeted by politicians who want to blame migration for everything from crime to traffic congestion.

Draconian counterterrorism laws in response to the threat of “home-grown terrorism” are undermining our civil rights, privacy and our cybersecurity.

Despite continuous growth, since 2013, in cumulative terms, the Australian foreign aid budget has been cut by over 30 per cent.

New travel warnings have been issued to Aussies going to Indonesia due to protest activity in Jakarta about ScoMo’s brilliant, and now deferred, idea to move our embassy to Jerusalem.

The greatest real threat to our national security, and every other aspect of our existence – climate change – is not only being ignored, but we are actively pursuing policies to increase emissions, hence exacerbating and prolonging the damage.

Aside from the stuff they think they do ‘well’, the government are hoping that we will forget about their problems with women which is kind of hard to do when we are subjected daily to new episodes:

Tony Abbott et al standing in front of signs describing Julia Gillard as a witch and Bob Brown’s bitch.

Tony Abbott telling us to vote for him because he had good-looking daughters.

Tony Abbott, when asked to describe the attributes of a female candidate, saying she had sex appeal.

Barnaby Joyce describing Bridget McKenzie as a flash bit of kit.

Jamie Briggs thrusting himself on a public servant and then sending her picture to the media when she complained.

Peter Dutton mistakenly sending a text to a female journalist describing her as a “mad fucking witch” which wasn’t as bad as the text also mistakenly sent to a female journalist by Senator Barry O’Sullivan’s media contact describing her as a cunt who he wanted to die of vicious cancer and who he would bitch slap if she came to his house.

Barnaby Joyce getting a junior female staffer pregnant and facing accusations of sexual harassment from a highly respected female farmer (and others).

Andrew Broad having us fund his flights to meet ‘sugar babies’ he had been sexting with.

Several women calling out the bullying and harassment they receive in the Liberal Party, forcing them to quit.

The overwhelming preponderance of male Coalition MPs and the dirth of female candidates in safe seats.

The treatment of Julie Bishop despite her loyalty, hard work and good international standing.

I guess we can thank them for expanding the RWNJs’ vocabulary to include the word misandrist because, as we know, rich older white Christian men are terribly picked on.

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  1. Bronte ALLAN

    Very well said Kaye! Now we just have to wait, whilst listening to this rabble prattle on about a “budget surplus” (sic), until the population comes to its sense & kicks them all out at the next Federal election. Bring it on! What a complete farce is this so-called “liberal” party! They are ALL a bunch of lying, flat earth, right wing, happy clapper, inept, money hungry bastards!

  2. John Kelly

    A sad but accurate indictment of a party resembling a ship without a rudder, floating aimlessly, unaware how far off course they have drifted and unable to explain why or how they lost their way.

  3. Kaye Lee


    It makes me cry to think how things could be compared to how they are. The article I linked to about aged care really made me sad, and then mad about how government policy is hurting Australians.

    “More than one in three doctors plan to cut back on or completely end their visits to patients in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) over the next two years, citing a lack of suitably trained and experienced nurses, and inadequate Medicare patient rebates, a new survey has found.”

    Yet they carry on about refunds for excess franking credits and changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax like those are the most important things to help old people. They can’t seem to fathom that not everyone is rich and that the rich are probably not the ones who need government help.

  4. New England Cocky

    It’s time.

  5. Yvonne Robertson

    Great reading list Kaye.

    Let us have a minute’s silence however for those people shunted off of the DSP onto Newstart, the 10s of thousands who no longer receive Newstart at all particularly indigenous people living outside of the cities who are subjected to draconian ‘mutual obligations’ of 25 hours per week and are cut off for the slightest infringements.

    Let us hang our heads in shame over the young ones injured or dying ‘on the job’ through the scurrilous Work for the Dole scheme with no recourse to workcover or their families paid less than $80,000 for their deaths.

    I often think of the thousands of people on welfare forced to pay back money they probably didn’t even owe because they hadn’t kept pay receipts for the past umpteen years from when they were students or were so freaked out that they borrowed from relatives just to get the government off their back, particularly when one of them had the gall to complain about it in the media so they published her private details in retaliation. And I often think of an unemployment system where a doctor’s sick certificate is no longer necessarily accepted leaving the suffering recipient, cut off because they didn’t see their job provider or couldn’t get through on the phone.

    Let us not forget the thousands of single parents, largely women who will now have to get a third party to vouch for the fact that they are no longer living with their partners, or the multitudes of women’s shelters which were closed down by this godforsaken government so that women and children victims of domestic violence can find themselves having to share accommodations with homeless men when they are afraid, or even the fact that people are having a tougher time getting legal representation because legal aid has been cut so horrendously and that the largest growing cohort of homeless people are now women over 50. Sorry – that was a bit of a spew forth. But I know there is more. Much more. All this creative handiwork to create what time will prove is a fictitious surplus anyway.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Amen Yvonne. Sometimes looking at the enormity of the hurt deliberately caused by the government is overwhelming. It is so much easier to ignore it. But we can’t.

  7. Aortic

    If they are too blind or too inept to grasp why they will lose government by a significant margin, they are most assuredly unfit to stay in power. Although I suppose it is difficult to see the obvious problems in front of your face when you have the three A’S Abbott, Andrews and Abetz constantly trying to solve the problems of last century at the coal face.

  8. terence mills

    The mid-year budget outlook, published on Monday, shows the government is on track for $4.1 billion surplus in 2019/20.

    By pure coincidence the governments Net Debt at October was $354 billion contrasted with their forecast Net Debt of $350 billion.

    So, to my suspicious mind I am seeing that they have borrowed $4 billion more than forecast.

    Is this the same four billion that is part of a pea & thimble trick ?

  9. Ross in Gippsland

    Kaye, I have forgotten where or who posted this description of the coalition government,
    “Shackled by ideology, blinded by greed, led by dickheads and owned by bastards”.
    Ouch, can’t find fault there, as accurate a description if there ever was one, well done to that person.

  10. Stephegb

    Absolutely correct Kaye Lee et al.

    I fear though that, we are all saying that the ALP will trounce the LNP, but will they???

    Are we setting ourselves up for a big fall, dont forget the average voter loves an underdog.

    Hate to be negative- just want people to n0t take this for granted!

  11. Paul Davis

    In Memory of TonyMalcolmScot Incorporated, first listed on the exchange in 2013 and deregistered in 2019. Many investors remember the company with mixed feelings though the canny profit takers like Turnbull cashed out in 2018.

    The company mantra of “Improve the Profit not the Product” should have alerted investors to the directors penchant for asset stripping over research and development. At an angry meeting of creditors on the dissolution of the company, the senior administrator said tearfully “overall they did manage to lift the corporate dividend by 24%”

  12. Henry Rodrigues

    Ross in Gippsland……. I am the guilty party and I am humbled that you recall my description of these dunderheads we now have in government. It was and will always be, a heartfelt and deeply passionate reaction to the innumerable crimes that these bastards have inflicted on the long suffering people of Australia.Their days are numbered and justice will be delivered.

    Bring on the elections.

  13. Anthony Williams

    And one of the things they are boasting about, viz. the ‘shape’ of the economy and the early return to surplus, is no thanks to them – who actually blew out the deficit after they (under Abbott) won government – but to a massive stroke of luck: the windfall of extra company tax receipts due to unexpected and unbudgeted-for increases in mineral – including coal – export prices. (Wayne Swann pointed this out ;Jim Chalmers was less specific).

  14. Shaun Newman

    Kaye, your university education really comes to the fore when you write. I have not, not enjoyed one post you have made in all the time I have been in AIM. Beautifully expressed and as usual spot on.

  15. Anthony Williams

    BTW Kaye, your article is excellent but, as you, I am depressed at what Australia could have done and been/become in the (what seem like interminable) years of this Coalition Govt. What a massive waste of opportunities and hotbed of corruption and self-serving on their part! Absolutely shameful! They deserve to be wiped out for many years, if not forever, at the next election.

  16. totaram

    Anthony Williams: While you are correct about the “early return to surplus” and the fact that they “blew out the deficit”, may I respectfully point out that these are criteria that they themselves have literally “invented”, or rather purloined from the time that currencies were backed by gold. With today’s fiat currencies, none of this is actually meaningful – in fact in most cases it is harmful, and allows the neoliberals to prosecute their agenda of trickling the wealth upwards.

    So while pointing out that their “achievements” are actually nothing to do with them, but the result of good fortune, we should always mention that these criteria are actually harmful to the well-being of society. If we do not do this relentlessly, we will again fall prey to the propaganda run by Abbott and Co. about “debt and deficit disaster”.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Thanks Shaun but my university education was all about maths and science. My social circle overlapped with Tony Abbott’s so we spent a bit of time together during those years. My writing started when I realised that Australia might be on the verge of giving that smug little anachronistic twerp the top job. Flabbergasted does not adequately explain how I felt. Instead of approaching my old age by kicking back, I knew I had to kick into gear and try to show people what a fraud he is. And all you commenters here do a great job of helping with that.

  18. Roswell

    I have a degree but I can’t string two words together. Somehow the anger and disgust inside me just can’t flow through the pen.

  19. Max Gross

    Julie Bishop? You mean the Great Survivor! Sorry, no tears for the cold-blooded Asbestos Queen!

  20. Diannaart

    Count me in as a big fan of Kaye Lee. Her work here is consistently of a high standard, which is only matched by her patience with (foolish) detractors and the terminally ignorant.

    If a government has a budget surplus, this means it has not been governing competently. A government is not a household nor a private business, its job is to direct money and services for the benefit of the people and the environment which sustains us all.

  21. James Cook

    Once again, fantastic work, Kaye. My degree (gained so long ago I think it’s past its use- by date) was in English and Psych but I wish I could argue as eloquently as you. I continue to share all your posts, now read by a growing number of friends on Facebook, but at the back of my mind is the nagging thought that nobody believed Trump would win! Eternal vigilance and all that!

  22. Geoff Andrews

    Stephegb, I share your concern about premature celebrations. I have voted in more than 20 federal elections. As you point out, Australians pity the underdog.
    They love nothing better than to take the overconfident, lairising favourite down a peg or two.
    Then, of course, the LNP are very good at finding an “issue” at the last minute: Menzies & the Petrov affair and Howard & the Tampa.both turned an expected defeat into victory with the aid of a compliant MSM.
    We should be quietly confident with emphasis on the adverb.

  23. Phil

    So what the f*cking hell is this thing the Liberals call the ‘economy’?

    Seems if this ‘economy’ thing is flying so friggin’ high according to the dangerously idiotic dicks that determine these things, then it’s just a bunch of repeatedly massaged bloody numbers – nothing more – nothing less.

    Morrison and his hapless little apprentice Frydenberg no doubt get a hard-on at the very mention of numbers that crunch according to their pee-wee brain capacities, but the rest of Australia (minus the corporates, the banks and the accountancy giants) is seriously pissed off.

  24. David Evans

    “Make Australia Great Again, Turf The Smurf”, “There Has Never Been A More Shameful Time To Be An Australian”.

  25. Kaye Lee

    David, or maybe “where the bloody hell is your integrity?”

  26. Kaye Lee


    Craig Kelly’s latest post…


    I asked him to comment on the following articles….so far no response.

    “Tony Abbott’s plan to fund solar energy for one million Australian homes by 2020 is receiving a great deal of speculation from lawmakers and solar installers alike. The goal of the Million Solar Roofs Project is to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. With PV installations and sales at an all-time low, the solar industry is in need of a serious game changer. Could Abbot’s plan be the ticket?”


    “The South Australia Liberal government has finally outlined details of its long-awaited Home Battery Scheme, that will offer $100 million in state government subsidies for up to 40,000 households to install battery storage in their homes.”

    South Australia offers up to $6,000 grants for home battery installations

  27. Kronomex

    Craig Kelly, a man whose farts move up inside his body to lodge in his hollowed out skull and then build up until there is enough pressure to escape through his mouth as meaningless drivel.

  28. Ian Hughes

    No decency. No compassion. No humanity. This is how we are so-called “governed” today at the Fed level.

    We need a new set of metrics which focus on the health/wellbeing/happiness of our society and should always take precedence over the economy. Today’s economic metrics tend to be manipulated to hide the real impact on people. It is deceitful and shameful behaviour.

    I am hopeful of a clean out of this incompetent and corrupt LNP/IPA govt. I also have concerns that Labor sings a very similar economic tune to the current govt eg. or surplus will be bigger than theirs. This is a dangerous folly.

    For the New Year I would like to see a return to decency and respect for our fellow beings and a genuine desire to care for our planet.

  29. totaram

    Ian Huges: “I also have concerns that Labor sings a very similar economic tune to the current govt eg. or surplus will be bigger than theirs. This is a dangerous folly.”

    Simply asserting that it is folly will get you nowhere, even though you are right. The notion that the government is like a household is drummed into us day and night and is so easy to fall for, that anyone will think you don’t know that “we must live within our means”.

    The first weapon in our struggle is the three sectors financial identity. This tells us that a government surplus, without an equal or larger trade surplus, implies a deficit for the Australian private sector, or increasing private debt. Private debt as we know can default and lead to financial crises, like the GFC, especially when it is over 200% of GDP. Government “debt” on the other hand, is basically an illusion, because of our fiat currency, but at 40% of GDP is not at all a problem anyway.

  30. Matters Not

    Been much talk about Broad and his Hong Kong tryst. He makes much of his offer to repay the Government his flight cost from Mildura(?) to Melbourne while he bears the personal cost of the return flights to Hong Kong.

    Be interested to establish whether Broad is in the habit of booking flights here, there and everywhere on his personal Credit Card and then claiming such costs from the Government at a later date?

    Years ago, in Queensland, public servants were prevented from gaining access to frequent flyer points (FFPs) for personal use. At the time, no such restriction applied to politicians – many of whom had a large number of FFPs. To ‘dodge’ that restriction, some public servants booked flights using their personal credit cards and then claiming rebates at a later date. QED. Personal FFPs accrued and preserved.

    Not sure the ins and outs of arrangements at the Federal level (these days), but if I was a journalist looking for a new angle, I would be investigating whether or not, Broad was in the habit of claiming a rebate(s) at a later date – and why? Clearly he could have booked a flight to Hong Kong and visited a conference but he chose not to. Why?

  31. paul walter

    They have destroyed the public’s trust in government.

    They are the Alice Workmans of politics.

  32. Diannaart

    “They” being politicians from the right? Who cast salacious aspersions at others?

    Like David Leyonhjelm?

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