Just as energy morphed from a political issue into a genuine policy crisis for the government, housing prices are now emerging as another challenge that not merely threaten to deal the Turnbull government a political mugging but risk the real economy.

The paths of both issues are eerily the same. The government has engaged in self-delusion on energy for years, unwilling to see that its climate denialism was creating an investment environment so uncertain to investors that they abandoned not merely investment in coal-fired power but also in renewables. As the consequences began to make themselves felt, the government's first instinct was to use it as the basis of a scare campaign against Labor, until the spreading impact of gas exports began threatening manufacturing jobs up and down the east coast. Cue summits and policy on the fly as the government moved heaven and earth to create the impression it was Doing Something -- culminating in Malcolm Turnbull's silly, poll-motivated Snowy Hydro 2 media release.