It’s time to stand up! Why are we letting them take our pensions away?

All around the world people come out in the hundreds of thousands to protest against their government when it steps
Let's Talk

All around the world people come out in the hundreds of thousands to protest against their government when it steps out of line or goes against promises they made in elections. All around the world it seems, except in Australia.

As the Greek government readies to make further cuts to the pension system, thousands of ordinary Greek people are stepping up to protest against the proposal. Farmers, nurses and sailors all vowed to fight the government on the cuts and demand their voices be heard and their pensions be delivered.

Meanwhile, in America, millions of people marched upon Capitol Hill when President Obama introduced a new health care system, ensuring that politicians knew how angry they were about the proposal.

Over the past few years we in Australia have seen multiple governments wade through political turmoil, as one leader ousted another over and over again, and as controversial tax laws were introduced and then banished to the political wasteland after being branded a colossal failure. We have had political scandals involving prostitutes and gross misconduct of travel allowances and abuses of tax payer’s money. All the while though, we have never taken to the street to protest against any of it.

So what happened to idea of protesting in Australia? The last time we really took part in a large-scale demonstration was when we marched to protest the Vietnam War. Across Australia, over 200,000 people protested against the war in 1970 and we took to the streets to vent our frustration. These days though, it seems we are more likely to sit at home shaking our heads about the latest political scandal than to actually go out and let them know how we feel about it.

Some people have wondered if it is a generational matter whereby Generations X and Y simply aren’t interested in hitting the streets in protest like the youth of the 1970s did, or is it just not part of Australian culture?

Why is it that Greek pensioners will march upon their parliament to demand a better deal on their pensions, but we don’t? Some have suggested that Australian politicians wouldn’t get away with half the stuff they do if they knew the Australian people would hold them accountable for it. So is it time for us to start protesting more and letting politicians get away with less?

Let’s talk.

Do you think politicians get away with too much? Should we protest more to make sure our voices are heard?

  1. The only group who seem to protest now are green groups who are outraged by the destruction of our natural heritage for short term profit. Farmers have joined them in some areas to protest against mining in prime agricultural land. The last protest I marched in was a union organised event in Canberra against the Liberal Government, it must be over twenty years ago. It will happen with pensioners if we get to the point of feeling disempowered enough by the government. I imagine f the Liberals get in and some of the thought bubbles around the family home become a reality many will grab their placards and head out to protest.

    • those miserable little reclaim rallys of late but there are not many people there, and they only highlight the racial tension since this Liberal Government was elected

    • Oh David please something’s even see in my mind can not be erased……lol…..but yes something drastic is needed but believe me being half naked in the street is not a good look lol……I feel we have to do something to get the message across though….

    • Libbi Elliot yes of course those vile reclaim rallies. The vile, obnoxious and downright racists with their idiot claims and bigotry.

  2. .yes we need to do something. How many times do we say this? I’m all for it. They are treating us so badly. It’s as if we don’t matter once we hit a certain age. Why don’t we protest? Imagine if we got rallys going across the country all at once. Are we afraid? We shouldn’t be. Do we nit care? Not from what we say here. If we want things tp change it is us who has to change them. We need to stand up and be counted.

    • Lol. I’ll be voting green, but if you are going to vote LNP, you are endorsing the suffering.

    • No way am I voting Liberal Marleen, you will need to wash your mouth out with soap even thinking of voting for the LNP, cast that demon from your mind 🙂

    • Yes thanks to the man that put us into the recession we had to have……
      Who now lives high on his Parliamentary pension and perks.
      Yep and thanks to Labor spending so much we are having trouble clawing back out debt and may well lose our triple A rating now.
      We need a true Statesman that will be fair, just and decent…….and it would be easier to find a flying pink piggy…….

    • Rubbish Trish Lesina, Howard wasted the mining boom, he was the one who gave baby bonuses to everyone who had a child, he also put wealthy retired people on the pension ad looks at the hundreds of million he wasted going to that illegal war in Iraq not to mention the Australian lives lost, the Liberal have more than double the deficit this term in Government and you want to blame Keating..grow a brain

    • Trish Lesina
      You really have been taken in by the LNP.
      They are doing nothing to claw back any debt. They have more than doubled the debt in less than two and half years. They gave themselves a pay rise two months ago. Howard sold off so many valuable assets and you still believe that he did a good job. Abbott signed the free trade agreement meaning that our producers not only have to fight for business, but Asian countries get to import goods here tax free. The LNP have effectively shut down our motoring industry and put thousands out of work. While all the time they continue to spend spend spend and blame the Labor party.

      • Val  

        Please get your facts right and look into pay rises for parliamentarians. They have nothing to do with their pay rises as most people think.

    • the ALP got us the AAA rating and we are in danger of losing it under the LNP Government. Only 10 countries in the world are rated AAA

    • The one thing I will add to this, all Politicians from all parties got the pay rise. I don’t hear anyone saying give my pay rise to the needy of this country.

    • When this govt is spending far more than labor ever did, I don’t see how you can suggest labor is responsible for the recession we are in. It is active government policy to lose australians their jobs (the most recent, the australian seafarers) It is active government policy to downgrade hospitals, schools, everywhere that helps people and employment! The liberals spend like mad, but on their mates with dubious contracts spending billions on searching for a plane, or royal commissions, or ‘think tanks’ that come up with even more distrastrous “policies” to follow. The liberals will destroy australia, and people like you will help them Trish.

    • The caption is wrong. Keating is a known paedophile. He was indicating his preferred appendage size. Filthy dog that he is. That’s way Anita left him.

  3. I have marched a couple of times since this Liberal Government came into power, there were people from all walks of life protesting that first budget from the disabled in wheel chairs , to people with young families, and pensioners, they were good sized protests too, and I would be prepared to march again. The big problem that I can see is letting everyone know, not all have the internet especially older Aussies.

  4. Marching in our underwear is the ONLY way for pensioner to go, we will be assured of publicity and it will go all around the world. People tend to want to get older people with grey hair or no hair at all and crinkly bodies off the streets if they are in their underwear, so they will give us what we want

  5. If I could I would be one of the first here to do so, they are treating us as if we don’t have a voice and I’m starting to believe we DON’T. So I say shout out loud at the next ELECTION and send them the best message we can, WE WILL NOT PUT UP WITH THE CRAP YOU THINK WE SHOULD ALL PUT UP WITH, because we do matter and don’t DESERVE THIS. Vote Labor!

    • They already know that Gayle and it hasn’t seemed to bother them, they we are to old and senile and will vote for them anyway

    • I think they assume we are so cemented into our voting patterns we will just keep voting the same way we always have, they forget that part of the swinging vote is from us oldies.

  6. We need a strong advocate who would organise and lead. It can all be done through a website like this ? Couldn’t it? If I said enough is enough. Come one come all and we’ll all meet a specific place time date. How would that work?

    • I’m in. I can’t walk too far but the steps of Parliament In each capital would be a start.

    • The budget buster Rallies and the March rallies were all done through the internet, they got very little publicity in main stream media and thousands turned it can be done

  7. Here in Australia we do not protest enough compared to many other Western nations. We are very complaint and that is because we are told we live in the best country, best people and it is unAustralian.

  8. These was lots of marching and protesting when the changes to Workcover were made but we all quickly discovered that it did nothing. By the time the public hears about intended changes it is already a done deal so marching against pension changes will not change what is happening. Sadly even changes to Government parties won’t make a difference as the opposition is very quiet about reversing these unfair new laws if they come into power.

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