24/02/2016 4:14 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Where Are The Grown Ups?

Andrew Meares, Fairfax Media

Australia has a structural budget deficit the Coalition promised to address but so far has completely failed to turn around.

We have an ageing (and physically expanding) population that brings with it ever-increasing health care costs.

We have talked our way into a semi-influential seat at the big table of world affairs -- which brings with it the apparent need to increase our defence budget to 2 percent of GDP.

"Closing the Gap" between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, a meaningful ambition, is proving to remain just that -- an ambition.

Vulnerable LGBT teenagers have found themselves the pawns in a game of ideology and name-calling.

We're going to spend $150 million the election after next for a non-binding plebiscite to tell us what we already know about marriage equality -- we're more than ready for it.

The Australian business sector is now no longer being polite about the need for meaningful taxation reform.

And Malcolm Turnbull indulged in the very 21st Century Australian sport of knifing a first-term prime minister, promising a grown-up discussion.

And where did that get us?


parliament unicorn

This is two school boys Members of Parliament being thrown out of the House of Representatives today because our tax debate is now apparently about Treasurer Scott Morrison using the phrase "selling a unicorn" during an interview last week.

Yes, I know, it's totally hilarious ... the fellas back in the dorm caucus room must be pissing themselves.

Oh, and our tax debate is also about whether Kelly O'Dwyer totally stuffed up on Sunrise this morning by saying Labor's negative gearing policy would drive up house prices. Gotcha! Snigger, snigger.

It's not about the GST. Nope. That's been taken off the table for discussion -- by the same PM who in December said he wouldn't play the rule-in-rule-out game.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are in a game of mutually assured destruction over tax -- the first one to admit the GST might need changing gets blown up by their own back benches.

And we're back to square one.

Not a grown-up debate at all.