For decades, negative gearing and capital gains tax reform was politically toxic. It was backed by the Greens, but neither major party wanted to go near it for fear of a scare campaign from their opponents, even though the case for reform was compelling -- as even Joe Hockey admitted in his valedictory speech, as even Scott Morrison acknowledged when he referred to "excesses" of negative gearing. Then Labor went there in an act of policy bravery unseen from an opposition for several parliamentary terms.

Fortune favoured the brave. The resulting Liberal scare campaign was crueled from the start by over-the-top claims from senior ministers, the government's own abandonment of meaningful tax reform and a decision by Turnbull to avoid negative campaigning in the 2016 election. After the election, we found out Treasury had given Scott Morrison very different advice to what he claimed about Labor's policies. You wonder what would have happened if Tony Abbott, the master of cut-through negative messaging, had still been Prime Minister.