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Tony’s report card

When Tony Abbott addressed the nation with his job application in 2013, he made a lot of promises about his “positive plan to restore the hope, reward and opportunity that should be your birth right.”

“We have the plan, we have the team and we are ready.”

He promised to “end Labor’s big waste – like the $11.5 billion in border protection cost blowouts.”

Despite stopping the boats from landing, Tony has committed far more than this in increased defence spending, setting up his new Border Force, and signing new five year contracts for detention centres that are supposed to be empty.

He promised to “end Labor’s small waste – like the $180,000 that the Department of Human Services spent studying ergonomic chairs.”

The lavish Canberra home Tony Abbott never moved into cost the government nearly $120,000.

He promised to “end Labor’s ridiculous waste – like selling the parliamentary billiards tables for $5000. Then they spent another $100,000 on an investigation into why they were sold for so little.”

I wonder how much was spent on the prosecution of Peter Slipper for $900 of cab charges.

Tony said “We know that you expect us to be as frugal and prudent with your money, which we hold on trust from you, as you would be with your own hard-earned savings.”

Not many of us catch helicopters rather than driving for an hour.

And how does his line about “no country has ever taxed its way to prosperity” fit in with the push to increase the GST?

“We’ll abolish the mining tax so investment and employment will go up.”

Economic analysts BIS Shrapnel released a report in November 2014 which stated that “Oversupply across most commodities is currently driving a brutal downturn in mining investment in Australia, which still has several years to run.”

In the same month, the Department of Employment released a report detailing employment projections for the next five years.

“Against the backdrop of an expected peak in capital expenditure and the transition of new mines from a construction phase to a less labour intensive operational phase, employment in Mining is projected to decline by 40,700 (or 17.8 per cent) over the five years to November 2019.”

Tony promised that, on day one of a Coalition government, “the motor industry will be saved from Mr Rudd’s $1.8 billion tax on company cars.”

They were also “saved” from the government assistance required for them to stay in business with the promise of tariff free (subsidised) cars flooding the market under our new free trade agreements, thus “liberating” tens of thousands of workers.

He also promised that, within one hundred days, “The NBN will have a new business plan to ensure that every household gains five times current broadband speeds – within three years and without digging up almost every street in Australia – for $60 billion less than Labor.”

Current analysis suggests that “the Coalition’s NBN will be so slow that it is obsolete by the time it’s in place, it will cost about the same as Labor’s fibre-to-the-premises NBN, and it won’t arrive on our doorsteps much sooner.”

“By the end of a Coalition government’s first term, the budget will be on-track to a believable surplus. The WestConnex in Sydney, the East West Link in Melbourne, the Gateway Upgrade here in Brisbane, the North South Road in Adelaide, and the Swan Bypass in Perth will be well and truly underway. And the National Disability Insurance Scheme will be operating in large parts of every state.”

As they would say on Get Smart….I find that hard to believe.

“We won’t increase the humanitarian migrant intake until such time as it’s no longer being filled by people smugglers.”

Now would be good.

Tony also promised that, by the end of their first term, “there will be a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme in place, because factory workers and shop assistants deserve to get their actual wage while they are on leave – just like public servants do.”

Or not.

Tony said, in ten years, “There will be two million more jobs, in manufacturing as well as in agriculture, services, education and a still buoyant resources sector.”

According to their own report, over the last five years, employment growth in a few areas has been offset by falls in employment in Manufacturing (down by 58,500 or 6.0 per cent) and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (down 53,900 or 15.1 per cent), while the previous strong employment growth in Mining has ended with employment in the industry declining in recent years. Over the next five years manufacturing and mining jobs are predicted to decline even further with agriculture only contributing 12,000 new jobs.

“Within a decade, the budget surplus will be 1 per cent of GDP, defence spending will be 2 per cent of GDP, the private health insurance rebate will be fully restored, and each year, government will be a smaller percentage of our economy.”

Government spending on defence was the only thing that kept us from having no growth at all last quarter, and Treasury officials have confirmed the federal budget is unlikely to return to surplus at any time in the next 40 years on the basis of currently legislated measures.

Tony tells us that he wants “our workers to be the best paid in the world” whilst trying to abolish penalty rates and facilitate the importation of cheap labour from overseas. In the meantime, real wages are going down.

“When I look at the benefits that all Australians rightly enjoy such as Medicare and good public schools and hospitals, I don’t see “middle class welfare” but the hallmarks of a society that gives families a fair go.”

That fair go is just about gone, with Medicare under attack, tens of billions stripped from health and education, and a push towards privatisation of these services.

Tony said “you don’t build a better society by issuing a press release. It’s performance, not promises, that will earn your respect; it’s actions, not words, that you are looking for.”

Just as well it wasn’t the promises that were supposed to earn our respect because they are long gone. Stay tuned for signs of action.

Tony closes with some good advice.

“Choose change, and we’ll send a signal to people in authority that we can forgive honest mistakes but not persistent incompetence and deception.”


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  1. Matters Not

    Good article Kaye. As always, I am in awe of your output as well as your ‘insights’ and ‘research’.

    (And not a comma, or other punctuation mark, out of place).

    What’s it like to be a ‘conservative’?

  2. Kaye Lee

    This government provides an endless source of material and a fairly good motivation to do my bit.

    The output is fuelled by avoidance of the things I should be doing. I am domestically challenged and uninspired by the taxation department.

    To answer your question, I could only describe other people, I can provide no insight.

    Or are you talking about my anal grammar?

  3. Graeme Henchel

    The Thug from Northern Beaches

    There was movement in the party, for the word had passed around
    The Thug from Northern Beaches could not stay
    He had told so many lies that the punters had surmised
    They could not believe a thing, he had to say

    So the politicians plotted from locations near and far
    As the centre fought against the rabid right
    They all agreed the thug was becoming more bizarre
    but they knew he’d not go down without a fight

    Turnbull had made his score from banking and the law
    But he’d lost out to the thug some years ago
    His plan was just to wait, for the thug to meet his fate
    He did not quite have the numbers yet to show

    And Bishop from the west, played at sitting on the fence
    Though she thought to throw her own hat in the ring
    She was quick to take offence as the thug became more tense
    And like Malcolm she could stay on a good thing

    Some others liked their chance so they jockeyed to advance
    Scott Morrison and perfidious poodle Pyne
    They gave the Thug some space but in case he’d run his race
    They positioned to survive in Turnbull’s line

    Others from the right, thought the Thug must win the fight
    Andrews, Corman, Brandis, Hockey and Robb
    by far their biggest fear was for their own career
    As Turnbull might relieve them of their job

    As the leaks came in a flood you could smell the scent of blood
    Even Murdoch’s mob were calling for the end
    The Thug was sticking fast but his fate it seemed was cast
    It was not a case of if, but only when

    The party had a spill but they couldn’t make the kill
    Though the Thug was nearly beaten by a chair
    With hand upon his heart good government would start
    But still the smell of failure filled the air

    As the time flew past the thug kept up the farce
    With help from Smokin Joe and his big mouth
    With a blunder every week they went further up shit creek
    And the polls just kept on trending further south

    When Bronwyn got caught out the public had no doubt
    The Thug and all his crew were on the take
    They tried drag in Bourke but it really didn’t work
    And another captains call was a mistake

    Now we’re six months on the Thug looks to be gone
    As lies and bad decisions take their toll
    The public have concluded the Thug is quite deluded
    They know it’s the Thug’s head that’s going to roll

    Has the party got the guts to remove someone whose nuts
    Or will the Thug just take them to the grave
    disunity is death but then in the same breath
    to keep the Thug is surely crazy brave.

  4. John

    The people of Canning are about to give Abbott his marching orders.

  5. mmc1949

    Graeme H: Is there a website where your poetry is collected? It’s brilliant!

    As for shrinking government, manufacturing, everything …. are we supposed to become a nation of baristas, surviving on selling each other coffee variations?

  6. Blinkyewok

    No we are supposed to end up as slave labour for the rich and entitled.

  7. Kaye Lee

    “An incoming Coalition cabinet will respect the limits of government as well as its potential and will never seek to divide Australian against Australian on the basis of class, gender, or where people were born.”

    But we will need to know your religion before we can offer any assistance.

    “Syrian migrant crisis: Australian Islamic leaders label Christian refugee preference as ‘bigoted'”

  8. Peter F

    @Graeme Henchel Brilliant. I would like to post on Facebook, with your permission

  9. corvus boreus

    I notice that Eric Abetz and co make no suggestion to follow naval protocol of rescue priority according to gender and age (women and children first), nor do they seem in a hurry to offer any preference in sanctuary to atheists, agnostic or secular humanists (eg fathers who want their daughters to be educated).
    Senator Abetz would instead discriminate solely in favour of those who align with his own dogmatic superstitions. He is a religious bigot, impure and simple.

  10. Kaye Lee

    The chair of the Abbott government’s climate change advice agency, Bernie Fraser, has resigned without explanation.

    It is understood Mr Fraser had a difficult relationship with Environment Minister Greg Hunt.

    Fairfax Media understands Mr Fraser announced his decision on Tuesday after an all-day meeting of the authority.

    Many of his colleagues are believed to be deeply saddened by his departure. He is not believed to have quit due to personal problems such as a health issue.

  11. Loz

    Why the MSM continue to ignore this reckless government is something I will never understand. Good article Kaye

  12. iggiesboy

    Brilliant article, Kaye: I’ll certainly link to it on FB and other sites. I just wish that the majority of Australian voters could read it.

  13. PopsieJ

    What contributors to you site never seem to mention is that it is not only Tony a Butt who is a dickhead but the whole of the LNP who are guilty by association. And as for the ALP words fail me, still union dominated. The only hope for ALP is to introduce a new labor party, same as Jeramy Corbyn has done in the UK. Candidates are chosen from a free vote of party members, In one day 100,00 new members were recuited and by all accounts he will be the new leader of the opposition. I think Australian voters have given up on politicians and like the Roman empire now concern themselves with the latest circus of trivia Kim Kardishan, The Block, Footy

  14. Peter F

    @PopsieJ You seem to forget, (if you ever knew) that the ALP was created by the unions.

  15. kizhmet

    Graeme H – Bravo!

    Thank you Kaye – another great article. Whilst increasing sections of the voting public are less likely to be swayed by the spin and lies, sadly, the LNP ideologues are incapable of seeing past their view-points, irrespective of what is happening in this country.

    Keep up the brave fight AIMN. Some of us are listening.

  16. Adrianne Haddow

    It is unbelievable that this rabble is still in government.
    Surely there is some mechanism by which the incumbent government can be ousted, short of revolution.
    They didn’t seem to have much difficulty getting rid of the Whitlam government.

    I have renamed the Liberal party the Lurch party, as they lurch from one lie to the next, one rotten policy to the next, one instance of helping themselves to the public purse to the next.

    The only consistency they display is the push to divide Australians on the basis of belief in some mythical being who is on their side. I’m pretty sure the early Christians wouldn’t recognise what has become of their teachings in the hands of Abbot, Bernardi, Pyne and Morrison.

    Great article, Kaye, as always.

  17. johnlord2013

    The article lacks an out of ten score.

  18. lizzieconnor

    iggiesboy. You say that you just wish that the majority of Australian voters could read Kaye’s insightful piece. I may be sounding like a broken record, but that’s not the problem.

    The problem is the percentage of people who swing their vote according to a knee-jerk reaction to the sound-bites they catch willy-nilly on the media. Even if the MSM did publish articles like Kaye’s (if only!), these people wouldn’t be moved – they wouldn’t read it even if they could. Just look at the vox populi in John Kelly’s piece. How many of them do you think would be moved by reading it?

    That’s why I’m really scared that these bastards will get in again, and I despair of our democracy.

  19. jim

    I fail to find that the LIEbrials have increased spending on defence, as they have cutt he pay of war pensions to all defence personal and removed the assistance for education to war orphins, typical heartless bastards,whereas the ALP has took defence spending to a RECORD level of any government to 1.94%, ALP also took spending to Viet Vets to a RECORD of $12.5 Billion that has NOT been matched by the liebrials.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Jason Clare did a good job wishing Tony a happy second birthday

  21. Graeme Henchel

    My poems are gathered together on my Tumblr blog.

    I post them whenever I can on Facebook, tHe Guardian and AIM. I encourage and welcome people sharing and distributing them in any way they can

  22. Pingback: Tony’s report card – » The Australian Independent Media Network | olddogthoughts

  23. Roswell

    My apologise to whoever . . . while clearing the spam I accidentally deleted a comment from a new commenter. So if that person wonders what happened to their comment . . . it got caught up in the spam filter and I deleted it. Like I said, my apologies.

    I think it was under this thread/post.

  24. Terry2

    On 7.30 Abbott demonstrated why he stays away from interviews that are probing and incisive. He turns to slogans and mantras, evasion and downright lies . But every time an ABC journalist exposes his lack of depth they also put another nail in the ABC coffin under this regime: but that’s the price of freedom and we must continues to make this man confront what he has done to this country.

    Jason Clare’s summary – see above – of the Abbott government’s achievements has gone viral apparently.

  25. Kaye Lee

    You can’t interrupt Tony when he is counting on his fingers or he has to start again

  26. corvus boreus

    “Let me explain” = ‘I will repeat, only LOUDER’.

  27. eli nes

    Surely even a dodgy rhodes scholar cannot be that dumb.but his election shows we voters can.
    Tony ‘actions not words…’ is exactly what is happening.
    ‘We stopped the boats which has helped the economy’.
    Labor’s climate change all talk no action abbott ‘direct action’ first auction $2.5 billion
    Syria – refugees action – bombing action – 3 FTAs action – remember Gillard??? Rudd??? all talk no action??? Absolute bulldust but ‘action’!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Annie B

    Graeme Henchel

    Your poem was fantastic. … Will have a look at your Tumblr blog shortly.
    Thanks for that. ….


    Kaye Lee

    The link to Jason Clares’ 1.5 minutes video was a coup. And apparently just short of 1.5 MILLION people also have ‘got the message’, from the number of hits on it.

    If just a small proportion of LNP people, from that number, are persuaded to re-think this situation, he will have done a superb job. All in the delivery, I expect. There were many more progressive thinkers comments than the other mob.

    An excellent article again Kaye – as always.


    Popsie J ….

    There IS actually a new party – how far it will go is anyones’ guess. … It is called “The Labour Coalition” … putting the “U” in the word Labor. It is a fledgling party from all accounts, but is definitely NOT pro the LNP. …. it DOES have some good and progressive ideas, and has enough support and $ apparently, to send by ordinary mail, a colourful printed membership card and letter to interested parties ( of which I am one ).

    Be nice to think there’s another preference vote that does NOT go to the LNP ( unlike the fudge I believe happened with little parties popping up suddenly just prior to election day- and preferencing the LNP – in Sept. 2013 ).

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