Shorten SSM speech

The Prime Minister was in a hurry to move on from marriage equality this week. Having declared he would be too busy to actually campaign for a Yes vote in either a proper plebiscite -- an option that was knocked off by lunchtime Wednesday -- or the junk mail survey, he wanted to get onto more substantive issues. The actual details of the ABS' mega marriage survey had not been -- still have not been -- resolved, but Turnbull, doubtless conscious of the criticism that obsessing over marriage equality made it look like the government was out of touch with voters, wanted to get on with other things.

The first was to address electricity prices, on the back of summoning power company executives to Canberra. The result of the meeting was up there with the Rudd government's early initiatives on fuel and grocery prices -- half-arsed ideas around making sure consumers would find it easier to shop around. If Fuelwatch etc under Rudd was the product of the era of High Neoliberalism, when governments of all stripes thought it heretical to ever intervene in any market anywhere, Turnbull's version was more reflective of the grim reality that no intervention was going to conjure lower power prices. Turnbull, after all, has already shown he's moved into the Post Neoliberalism era by intervening directly in gas markets. He lacks no willingness to intervene if it will produce a result. But there'd be little point in following the Greens' suggestion about capping power prices. That would just lead to rationing, because there's an actual supply problem created by the Coalition's policy uncertainty of recent years.