The event that must be sending little frissons of unease amongst the besuited oligarchs at the G8 is the spontaneous demonstration by about a million Brazilians last night. The Guardian reckons it was prompted by another rise in bus fares, but El Pais has the better story; it was unplanned, entirely unexpected, not organised, without leaders and with a simple and universal message "We want to change Brazil". Young and old, from all classes, they just appeared, committed and angry. El Pais quotes Brazilian historian Francisco Carlos Teixeira as explaining that people felt that politicians "no longer represent them".
It really does seem that this is more than just a temporary though global crisis of confidence in our political systems. It's really no good telling people they're being silly, it will all come to nothing and they're best off putting their trust in their local Tory MP and carrying on. That response misses the mood by a country mile and marks the responder as remote, out of touch and actually part of the problem.
Of course (whilst avoiding potentially racist national stereotypes etc) it's possible that Brazilians are a tad more spontaneous than the inhabitants of Esher, or that Brazilian Monday night TV is even more banal than our own or that the Brazilian streets are actually not a bad place to be on a weekday evening, but it's the sheer unexpectedness of the thing rather than its size or actions that is the key point. And that's why there will be a few anxious phone calls home today from Loch Erne