LISTENING NOW: Australia is listening to regional Australia, thanks to a story about Gympie in the Weekend Australian.
LISTENING NOW: Australia is listening to regional Australia, thanks to a story about Gympie in the Weekend Australian.

Forgotten no more, the nation comes to us...

"DISEMPOWERED, disillusioned... and angry as Hell,” The Weekend Australian Magazine reported at the weekend.

And writer Trent Dalton was talking about us.

We are, as the national daily headlined the piece, "Hanson's Trump Card.”

Hanson and Trump seem to be the words on everyone's lips as capital city commentators cast about for an explanation for the anger and confusion they have so skilfully ignored.

The Australian's "Humans of New York”-style tour of Gympie, which formed the skeleton of its weekend article, presents Gympie as an intriguing microcosm of something big, almost a kind of unstructured revolt, happening all over Australia.

It presents a sense of unexpected political outcomes forged from disillusionment, alienation and anger.

For years it has seemed that elections are like those bad dreams where you open your mouth and try to scream but no-one can hear you.

Political campaigns have seemed like a conversation in which the participants are talking to everyone else in the room but you.

Like you are invisible. And can't speak. And no-one cares what you think anyway.

"Oh, we're not happy here,” says Ron Owen in the article.

"People in Gympie are realising they get no representation from the major parties...

"They don't represent the people any more,” the always quotable gun dealer sums it up.

Our television shows present self-styled "insiders” increasingly talking among themselves, while self-styled "outsiders” - like Hanson and Trump - walk away with the votes. As I read in The Australian recently, the forgotten people know you can't even have a cheap car, delivered by free trade agreements, if you don't have a job.

ARTHUR GORRIE