Australians hate change.

We’re inherently conservative with a small c – suspicious of the new in all its guises.

That’s a common trait for formerly colonial societies left behind by the empire that spawned us. The French spoken in Quebec has barely changed at all, while France speaks a modernised version. The Philippines is still hardline Catholic when its colonising power, Spain, is barely religious.

Australians generally only get involved in politics to oppose things, from NIMBYs opposing an apartment block to the anti-carbon tax truck convoy. So it’s no wonder that Julia Gillard’s suite of ambitious nation-building projects have encountered such huge resistance. A slimmed down mining tax aimed at keeping some of our national wealth in public hands before it dissipates overseas, a national broadband network superseding our aging copper wire infrastructure, and a carbon tax designed to gradually wean us off cheap and dirty black coal onto cleaner gas and wind options.

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