Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Relaxation is dangerous. There you are, yawning and scratching as you ready yourself for your holiday, thinking of sunlit uplands or broad stretches of sea - and you immediately lose concentration on the things that matter.

Of course, it's lovely you are having time away by yourself, with your friends, with your newest lover, with your family.

And then, there's the fact that we are all doing it at once. That's so much fun, kind of exhilarating to be all streaming away from the quotidian, to sleep more, eat more, swim and walk. Yes! We are all focused on relaxation.

It's also delicious to get 10 straight days off in exchange for three days of holiday pay - and that's just about the amount of time it takes to really switch off.

But while we were laughing with our friends and family, the federal government continued with its merry mayhem. It's what, when I was a girl reporter last century, was called taking it out with the garbage (or a phrase like that).

That was the expression we used when government statements, revealing some new horror, were released just as the weekend was starting. Or the odd minister would make some comment that they knew would sink without trace because no one was concentrating very hard.

So, Thursday night, just as I'm deciding whether to pack four pairs of shoes (or five!) for a three-day trip, news comes that a little Australian boy is being deported. In true, utterly selfish fashion, I only listened with half an ear. The other half was tuned in to the traffic reports along Holiday Highway.

Actually, the little boy is not being deported. It's his mum, Lisa Le, 30, who is being sent back to Vietnam. His dad, David Nguyen, is Australian.

But David and Lisa are separated (like so many Australian families) and Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash has apparently decided it is not in the public interest to grant Le a partner visa to stay in Australia.

And why aren't we making a fuss about this? It happened just as we were going on holidays. Few people were around to read Nguyen's heartfelt plea.

''I don't think my son deserves to be without a father,'' Nguyen told the ABC. ''He deserves to stay here, he deserves to have a family and she should have a visa to stay back here.''

Could someone please explain to Cash that children having access to their parents sounds like the public interest to most regular people and that just because two people can't live together doesn't meant they can't be decent parents to their son here in Australia.

So far, my understanding of the Abbott government is that it isn't that keen on the public and, moreover, it wishes the public never expressed its interest.

Here's another good example, which happened while we were sleeping.

Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs was appearing on Andrew Bolt's weekly pro-Liberal rant, discussing Sydney's second airport. And then, according to Rosie Lewis, a reporter at The Australian, he let us know that if locals got too antsy, the federal government would consider passing ''special legislation'' through Parliament if it felt that construction of the city's second airport was taking too long.

''We will take necessary action to move it on,'' Briggs told Bolt. ''We're not going to let this be dragged on by professional protesters.''

The federal government will decide who has the right to be interested and the manner in which they express that interest. And it's not the people who actually live there.

So, aside from splitting up Australian families and legislating against Australians' free speech, it turns out that the federal government also hates people who are disabled.

Now, disability doesn't get much of a run in this country, even on a good day, but here's what snuck in on Easter Sunday: a proposal by Kevin Andrews that independent doctors may be called in to reassess the ability of disability pensioners to undertake work.

Let me tell you what happened in Britain when this change was made. Mark Wood, 44, had obsessive compulsive disorder, Asperger syndrome and many phobias. But Atos Healthcare, working on behalf of Britain's conservative government, deemed Wood fit to work. Just 16 weeks later, with all but £40 of his pension stripped away, he was found dead of malnutrition.

Anyhow, that's just three days. Three days when we weren't paying attention. God knows what else they've done or plan to do but I urge you to concentrate on every little thing this government does.

Tell everyone you know, loudly. Write letters to the editor or comment on websites. If you aren't online in some way, start today. You are never, ever, too old to tell people what you think.

Be loud, proud and persistent. And don't relax. Not until you've voted them out.

@jennaprice or

jenna_p@bigpond.net.au