A fantasy budget can’t inhabit a totally fantasy world. You can’t assume infinite money or compliant citizens who remain inert while you utterly uproot the fabric of Australian society. A good fantasy budget, like any good story, is a tale of heroism in a world recognisably similar to our own.

This implies also that you can’t imagine away the delicate internal balance of the Coalition. Even in a fantasy world, Tony Abbott lurks -- emasculated and alone, Gollum-like perhaps -- but far from powerless.  The federal budget is made within a set of constraints, balancing financial, national and party needs more delicate than we perceive.