Here is why neoliberalism, whatever economic benefits it may have delivered to households since the 1980s, is inherently unstable and can only ever end in tears: the corporate sector never knows when to stop demanding that the rest of the community be forced to hand over resources to it. The demands for corporate tax cuts will never stop; the demands for punitive industrial relations reform aimed at cutting wages and curbing unions' already limited power will never stop.

Step forward the most rapacious, parasitic business lobby in the country, the Minerals Council of Australia, which has taken a break from spruiking the virtues of eating coal to issue a new call for industrial relations reform. Its campaign will be fronted by former Labor MP Martin Ferguson, who'll mumble his way through a list of demands today. The only surprise about Ferguson's involvement, Labor MPs would note, is that the whole thing wasn't leaked to The Australian the moment it was agreed.