Out they've come over the last two days, lured by the imminent announcement of the carbon price details -- more corporate shills, more politicians, more unionists, more polluters, with their hands stuck out, making that distinctive bleating noise of the rentseeker in full cry. It's like a zombie film, with a shuffling, clumsy but somehow inescapable horde of the undead -- braindead, more correctly -- roaming the streets, demanding "compensation".

Ralph Hillman rose at the Press Club a short while ago to repeat his long-discredited claims about the impact of a carbon price on the coal industry, a sector which faces only one real problem, how to count all the money that's going to roll in from China in the next few years. Instead, Hillman wants handouts from taxpayers for an industry that is the chief dealer to the cheap energy and cheap steel junkies of the planet.