The Sydney Morning Herald reports alarming news from the home front. Hitherto, waves of popular unrest were confined to places like Egypt, Columbia and Thailand. Now we learn:
Senior Government ministers are signalling a willingness to compromise on key budget reforms after a wave of popular unrest, and in the face of entrenched opposition from interest groups and a hostile Senate.
Distinguishing a wave of popular unrest from the noisy protests of an unrepresentative but articulate minority is a subjective judgment that foreign correspondents are frequently required to make.
It is a rough and ready measure, but in a closed, undemocratic society it is often the only guide we have to popular opinion. In Australia, however, there is no excuse for confusing the leaden narrative of the bien pensant and the illiberal aggression of Socialist Alternative with the popular mood.
The Herald labels its story about the government’s willingness to compromise in the Senate as ‘exclusive,’ thus demonstrating what a sheltered workshop it has become. What the Herald calls ‘pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’ is in fact normal business in a bi-cameral parliament.
As Tony Abbott told Macquarie Radio on May 13, ‘obviously a certain amount of horse-trading is something that you just accept is part of the business.’