The anomaly of angst-filled Aussies

By Ruth Limkin

Aussies are generally quite a laid back lot.

Yet several weeks ago I was in Sydney on a Saturday, and found myself walking through a protest against the planned carbon tax. In and of itself, there was nothing interesting per se about that – for protests are a glorious part of our democracy. The right to express our dissatisfaction is a right we should robustly defend.

What I found most interesting about it was the demographic of the protesters.

Baby boomers and retirees were standing on sidewalks, holding placards. And they were not impressed.

There’s a level of angst in our society at the moment that I don’t remember ever seeing before. It’s enough to get those who, I suspect, thought their protesting days were behind them back out on the streets and demonstrating against a government policy.

The feeling of not being heard, of being ignored, and of being saddled with consequences that we had no part in choosing is fuelling a rising tide of emotion.

How this will shape our politics, our society and our lives remains to be seen.