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Forget ‘are we there yet’ – let me outta here!

As parliament and political commentary are consumed by the citizenship debacle and the same-sex marriage legislation, the country lurches along with no clear direction on all the other things that matter.

That is in no way to make little of the results of the survey – it’s just that we all knew what they would be and could have solved this long ago.

In the meantime, climate change seems to have been totally forgotten. Scientists scramble to protect the Great Barrier Reef from a government who just doesn’t care and logging continues at third world rates. Water management has been abandoned in favour of mines and rich agricultural holdings upstream.

Wages are not keeping up with inflation, well over 700,000 people are unemployed, part-time, casual and contract work are on the rise and almost 3 million people live below the internationally accepted poverty line.

Affordable housing has been left up to the states to deal with and energy prices continue to rise.

Private health insurance, hospital funding and aged care are in crisis.

University is becoming more expensive and cuts are being made to promised public school funding.

Childcare workers are paid a pittance whilst demand drives prices through the roof.

Aboriginal recognition has been put in the too hard basket and there is still no solution for the poor souls languishing in PNG and Nauru.

The NBN continues to disappoint.

In 2012, Malcolm Turnbull said:

We all want to maintain Australia as a sophisticated high wage economy with a generous social safety net and excellent healthcare. We all want an education sector that provides choice, the skills needed by employers, and the greatest possible opportunities for the least advantaged (including the disabled). We all want a clean environment and sustainable, liveable, lively communities.

How often do we hear Australian politicians discuss these challenges in a genuinely open, honest, spin-free and non-adversarial way? Where the intention is to clearly explain the problem, accept responsibility for past missteps if appropriate (rather than apportion as much blame as possible to the other side), allow a non-ideological discussion of possible remedies, and see if there is any common ground for bipartisan work?

Seldom, and even more rarely if a camera is rolling.

Yet since finally achieving his goal of becoming Prime Minister, Turnbull has spent all his time blaming Labor, despite his party having been in government for over 4 years.

Aided by a shrieking employment minister, he has focused on attacking unions whilst ignoring the malfeasance of their own political appointments, of employers, and of politicians themselves.

They have reduced penalty rates for some of the lowest paid employees and mercilessly pursued welfare recipients. They implemented the cashless welfare card and are trying to introduce drug testing.

According to the Turnbull government, the solution to all of our problems will come from lowering taxes and increasing profits for big business despite them already making record profits and paying little tax.

Employment is supposed to flow from spending hundreds of billions on war toys made by foreign companies that will be obsolete before they are ever delivered, and from backing a dying coal industry.

When Scott Morrison became Treasurer in 2015, he gave this folksy little analogy for how the Turnbull government would manage the country.

It’s like going off on that summer holiday: you get in the car; you know where you’re going; you don’t put the passengers at risk; you get to your destination safely. Of course there will be people chiming in from the back seat like my kids always do, saying, ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ Well, we are going to get there and we’re going to get there with everybody on board.

Well, having listened to the people in the back seat, we now find ourselves completely lost with no mobile phone reception, no map, no water, the temperature rising and the family at each other’s throats as we hurtle towards a cliff.

Forget ‘are we there yet’ – let me outta here!


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  1. Möbius Ecko

    Good final analogy.

  2. Robert REYNOLDS

    Many very good points very well made, Kaye. The battle for a better and fairer society is never won – it is never over. Eternal struggle and vigilance are always required.

    However, it seems hopefully, that the Catholic conservative contingent of MP’s in our Federal Parliament will now have one less issue to distract us with.

  3. Adrianne Haddow

    Well said, Kaye Lee, as always.

    The Romans heralded their decline with bread and circuses.
    For the poorer members of our community bread is getting harder to obtain, but the circuses provided by the ruling rabble are a daily occurrence.

    Bill Shorten’s version of the labor party may be biding their time in challenging this abhorrent government, waiting for it to implode, but I wish they’d hurry up.
    The LNP and IPA agenda of signing Australia to a corporate -run dictatorship via TPP II is fast approaching, and Labor needs to do what they are paid to do …. oppose.

  4. Terry2

    Interesting to hear Senator Birmingham and others in the Senate conceding that the 2004 Howard amendments to the Marriage Act “were wrong then and they are wrong now

    I cannot imagine what influenced the Labor party to go along with those clearly divisive and discriminatory amendments and which have brought all of the problems of the last few years.

    Still a few cheeky possums on the government side saying that this could all have been “done and Dusted” years ago if Labor had just agreed to Abbott’s plebiscite.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Even when they made the first marriage act in 1961….

    Delivering the second reading speech, Attorney General Barwick said:

    “… it will be observed that there is no attempt to define marriage in this bill.”

    On its passage through Parliament, Senator Gorton, who was responsible for the carriage of the Bill through the Senate, remarked:

    “[…] in our view it is best to leave to the common law the definition or the evolution of the meaning of ‘marriage’.”


  6. Time for Terry

    And who can forget The LNP catchphrase about the adults being in charge.The LNP are just licensed criminal’s.

  7. Kronomex

    “The adults are charge and any viewpoints to the contrary are not valid because it’s all Labor’s fault.”

  8. Kaye Lee

    When Leigh Sales was pressing Morrison about the gap between the Coalition’s budget “emergency” debt-and-deficit rhetoric before the 2013 election and the current situation, when the numbers are much worse, he waffled on about global headwinds and the need to be realistic about the challenges. When she pinned him down, pointing out that Labor had faced the GFC, Morrison said “Well, you’re asking me about politics Leigh. You’re asking me about politics. What I’m talking about is what is actually happening with the budget.” Just like with the bullshit about the carbon price, renewable energy causing blackouts and driving up prices, and now about how marriage equality will lead to teachers making children have weird sex, it’s all crap. Are there no decent honest conservatives anymore who actually try to solve real problems rather than create non-existent ones?

  9. Jack Straw

    Kaye’ The Liberals are so consumed by ideology. Even if they are fed with brilliant ideas and solutions to make this county great; they would process it through their flawed Ideology meter first and bring in a policy that is 180 degrees against what we need .They are hopeless fundamentalist’s through and through.Hopefully their time is coming to an end.

  10. Jagger

    Kaye the photo and the words outta here remind me of the Bob Dylan song All along the Watchtower.
    There must be some way outta here
    Said the joker to the thief
    There’s too much confusion
    I can’t get no relief.

  11. Andrew Taylor

    If you hate this country, vote Liberal/National.

  12. wam

    Dear oh dear, Kaye, do you want planning or a completion certificate for any project? No, just rely on a review because it is controllable, time consuming and can blame labor or gillard’s physiological weakness.

    Why do you deny climate change is a natural god created process? Global warming may have some interest but you don’t seem to use the term. Any reason?

    As for the moment’s kerrfuffle:
    The KISS SYSTEM says little johnnie changed the law in 2004 by adding man and a woman. So why not just change it back by removing his six words”between a man and a woman’?
    Sadly, nasty homophobic fear is still spewing and the marriage ‘game’ is going into overtime.
    Can we hope the government speaker can handle the naysaying arseholes. YES he can YES, YES, YES!!!!.
    I like the idea that businesses which will not celebrate gay marriage should be made to warn LGBT customers on all their advertising media.
    RELIGIOUS FREEDOM is an utter red herring in the gay marriage debate because the churches already can discriminate against homosexual men and against all women whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. (How ironic if the churches gave homosexual women equality with men?)
    There is a word for the rabbott’s and the Territory’s chief arsehole Kevin Andrew’s plea for ‘religious freedom’. That is ‘oxymoron’ for the rabbott et al are so indoctrinated they have no freedom to consider other points of view.
    What they want is for all no voters to be able to discriminate against anyone, like a church can.

    Is such a law, outside of the synagogue, church or mosque, acceptable or even reasonable???

    Has labor enough ‘Yesers’ to resist???

  13. Kaye Lee

    There are a lot of things that affect the weather. God isn’t one of them. We are changing the climate as a result of warming the globe.

    “Although the terms are used interchangeably because they are causally related, ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ refer to different physical phenomena.”


  14. diannaart

    Yes! Kaye Lee! Yes!

  15. Ella miller

    Great read. My question is “will we ever get there” Maybe when the LNP are “out of here”

  16. Kronomex

    I don’t use the word “evil” lightly, but Bernardi is evil. He would have been right at home as part of Inquisition during the 13th to 17th Centuries. One can picture him gleefully (and getting well and truly hot and bothered under his robes) torturing, and burning, impaling, etc, heretics and witches. He is a revolting and disgusting throwback to our past.

  17. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, god bless you, your blood is worth bottling.

    For two nights now The Drum has devoted a whole half hour to the subject of equal marriage, employing it as a chance to rebuild Malcolm Turnbull’s battered credibility.

    But this narrows focus away from the issue Kaye Lee talks of and many others bedsides. Off the top of my head, I think of Manus, another mass murder in the US, Trump’s dishonesty, events in Libya, Afghanistan and the Yemen, the Qid election, politicans continuing to be thrown out on citizenship criteria and the state of the Murray Darling.

  18. Keith

    A great read Kaye, as per usual.

    It is beaut that the ssm has been resolved, it should have been completed in Parliament ages ago.

    Ideology was a driving force when Abbott was leading the stuff ups, ideology is still the major matter that continues with creating stuff ups.

    The 2013 Budget was a disgrace.
    Continued lack of support for troops returning from overseas.
    Robo “debt” collection was a sham, the Minister should have been fired.
    Treatment of Refugees shameful.
    NBN has been a huge disappointment.
    Michaela Cash
    Policy on Climate Change a farce, how much resource has been squandered on Direct Action.


  19. Glenn Barry

    @Kronomex – I couldn’t agree more – Bernardi is a nasty dark ages anachronism – I viewed a documentary on the witch burnings in Germany centuries ago, one of the primary perpetrators responsible for the deaths of many was finally hoisted by his own petard and fell victim to his own methods of accusation and conviction

    Unfortunately we cannot do the same with Bernardi

  20. Kronomex

    Dutton the disgusting strikes again –


    I gather that, “”I would find it hard to discriminate against a particular person on any basis, really”.” doesn’t extend to refugees and others of a non-christian nature.

    Sigh, I can see weeks, if not months, of the rabid right trying to destroy any chance of the SSM Yes result becoming law.

  21. Michael Taylor

    I see that too, Kronomex. But they won’t be doing themselves any favours. The people have spoken … ignoring them could be political suicide.

  22. Glenn Barry

    Turnbull’s elation may yet turn to despair if the right wing rump use amendments to thwart the process and undermine his leadership (oxymoron I know)

    Various church related NO advocates are still campaigning with their conflated agenda trying to stir the pot

    In the end the haters gotta hate, though of course they don’t see it that way

  23. Kaye Lee

    Bernardi has seriously lost the plot.

    He “moved a series of motions in the Senate attacking abortion, communism, progressive activists GetUp! and White Ribbon Australia, which works to stop violence against women.”

    Surely he could have fit Greenpeace and Safe Schools in there somewhere. How remiss of him.

    And what cycnical politically opportunistic timing for this barrage – giving the No voters somewhere to go play.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, as a (former but loyal) South Australian it embarrasses me that many over there find it necessary to keep Bernardi in Parliament.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Cory is dumb as a post but he presents well and has a nice speaking voice (if you don’t actually listen to the words).

    “Cory is deluded,” says a Liberal Party colleague. “He is one of the least effective or important members of the parliamentary team. Cory is a person without any intellect, without any base, and he should really never have risen above the position of branch president. His right-wing macho-man act is just his way of looking as though he stands for something.”


    He has the absolute certainty of a zealot

  26. Kyran

    Mr Hockey announced 20 economic indicators that he would use as his benchmark ‘from day 1’ to show improvement created by the Abbott/Hockey government. All 20 have deteriorated, markedly, since the 2014 ‘non-budget’. Alan Austin used 23 economic indicators, all of which have declined. Their successors, Turnbull/Morrison, seem to struggle equally with trying to legislate regression, whilst simultaneously trying to brand it ‘reform’.
    Oddly enough, the MSM seems to think holding them to account is not their job.
    With regard to the furious distraction of equality, I worry, deeply, about the number of times the word ‘abortion’ has come up when the rabid are discussing freedom of religion. This ‘freedom’ seems to me to be another Trojan horse to legislate regression, whilst labelling it ‘reform’.
    If only these reprobates would familiarize themselves with those readings from the first introduction of the Marriage Act.
    “[…] in our view it is best to leave to the common law the definition or the evolution of the meaning of ‘marriage’.”
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

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