While Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been making every post a winner lately, politically and in policy terms, he came up short yesterday when he travelled to the Illawarra to announce a "six-point plan" for the steel industry.

As a former head of the Australian Workers Union, Shorten is no stranger to steel plants; it's a sector he's been closely involved in. And Labor has enthusiastically seized on the public perception that the government has no interest in manufacturing, drove the car industry out of the country, and is staunchly free market in its view of Australian industry. But somewhere between Labor's instinct to protect manufacturing (which now employs just 7.4% of Australian workers), its unenthusiastic support for so-called "free trade agreements" and the rush to capitalise on the travails of Arrium, it crafted a "plan" held together with sticky tape and Clag.