Scott Morrison lapel pin

Bill Shorten’s call for a royal commission into the banking industry is just another distraction, just a thought bubble.

That was Malcolm Turnbull in April 2016, in the months before that year's federal election. It was a demonstration of the structure of power in Australia: the Liberal Party providing protection for the country's biggest corporations, who generously rewarded them with donations. The Liberals had long provided such protection -- gutting the corporate regulator, ASIC; opposing financial advice laws that the big banks objected to; attacking industry super funds. The big banks would also be the biggest beneficiaries of the only result of Malcolm Turnbull’s flirtation with tax reform -- a massive tax cut for large corporations worth scores of billions over a decade.