Judith Brett writes in The Conversation (19.10.18) that the federal government's stubborn commitment to coal is pulling the government’s economic policy towards the sort of 'state socialism' it is supposed to abhor.
'Last week Peter Costello accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to develop an economic narrative to unite the Coalition. Turnbull promised this when he challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but, said Costello, it never came, and the result is a government struggling to manage deep differences over social issues. There was “jobs and growth”, but this is really just a goal without much of a story about how to get there, except for the company tax cuts.
'The big question, though, is why the government does not have a coherent economic narrative.
'One possible answer is that it has been too preoccupied with social issues such as religious freedom and before that, same-sex marriage, to give the economy sufficient attention. There is something in that.
'But this does not get to the heart of the problem, which is the inability of the Coalition to face the reality of climate change and its stubborn determination to live in a parallel universe of business as usual. It is climate change denial that is preventing the government from developing a coherent economic narrative.'