Bill Shorten, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard appeared to bury the hatchets (and not in each other’s backs this time) at Labor’s campaign launch on Sunday.

The two former Prime Ministers were all smiles as they played nice in a bid to elect the “faceless man” who helped them knife each other.

After a decade of backstabbing and factional dealing, Bill Shorten took to the stage like a prince about to assume his birthright, and managed to say nothing of substance while speaking for 50 minutes. The gathered faithful and media listened to Labor’s well-worn talking points about workers, while avoiding any mention of internal conflict over whether to scrap thousands of jobs at the Adani coal mine.

But there was one thing the people did not hear amid the many promises of Labor’s utopian vision: Any way to pay for it. Not once did Bill Shorten outline how much his promises will cost or how he’d pay for them. The former union boss wouldn’t explain the impact of his tax hikes – on retirees, housing, incomes, investments, family businesses, electricity and more.

And then, as if to highlight the fact that Labor hasn’t delivered a budget surplus since 1989, they trotted out Paul “the recession we had to have” Keating. This time, the talking points were all negative and included calls to scuttle Australia’s anti-terrorism ability while pandering to China’s rising power. However, Keating failed to mention that his time as a reckless mismanager of Australia’s finances delivered high unemployment and eye-watering 17.5% interest rates.

Labor would love nothing more than for Australians to forget that the last time they were in government they delivered six record deficits totalling $240 billion. Labor can’t manage money. That’s why they’re coming after ours.