Abbott Reshuffles Ministry, Rearranges Deck-chairs and Declares All Barnacles Gone and Ship Unsinkable!

Today’s Guest Poster is Rossleigh, from The Australian Independent Media Network, with an admirably pithy post on this afternoon’s reshuffle. Many thanks, Rossleigh, and yes, I’d love another cocktail.

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912

(Image Credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of weeks ago, Mr Abbott suggested that some of his colleagues had a problem with Peta Credlin because of her gender, and that they had trouble relating to a woman who was so powerful. He made it clear that her sex was irrelevant to him and that he’d have the same relationship with her whatever sex she was. Some people, however, argued charges of sexism were pretty hypocritical coming from a man who’d only appointed one woman to Cabinet.

In a very exciting development, Abbott has doubled the number of women in Cabinet. One senior Liberal source said this was a welcome development as there’d now be someone else to clear the cups when Julie Bishop is overseas, before hastily adding that this was a joke and that they actually had tea-ladies to do that sort of thing.

Still, this Ministerial reshuffle achieves most of Mr Abbott’s aims.

The promotion of a woman to the Health Portfolio – albeit one who doesn’t know how to spell “Susan” properly – should stop those screeching feminist harpies who are complaining that the Minister for Women has only announced initiatives for women with children, while the promotion of Josh Frydenberg rewards young talent.

But the moving of Scott Morrison to Social Services has a twofold effect. If he’s effective, it should enable the government to slash spending in this area, while also reducing Morrison’s popularity and thereby putting a dent in any leadership aspirations he may have. It’s one thing to be popular while holding foreign children offshore, but it’ll be a different matter when it’s Australian children ringing Senator Muir to ask him to please support government legislation so that they can be returned to their parents!

In a move that surprised most keen observers, David Johnston has lost the Defence portfolio. Johnston’s lacklustre performance and canoe comments meant that most thought he was absolutely secure, because once Mr Abbott starts demoting underperforming Ministers, a dangerous precedent may have been set. If Johnston wasn’t safe, then one must also consider that Hockey, Pyne, and Joyce can’t simply presume that hiding in one’s office for three months after saying something foolish is enough to keep one in the Ministry.

Peter Dutton – the mostly invisible Minister for Health – moves to Immigration, where he can merely cite “operational matters” as a reason for having nothing to say.

Kevin Andrews – a keen euthanasia opponent – has been given a portfolio consistent with his views on the sanctity of human life: Defence.

All in all, this looks like a very successful reshuffle and all those screaming about icebergs should just sit back in their deckchairs, order another cocktail and enjoy the ride.

396 thoughts on “Abbott Reshuffles Ministry, Rearranges Deck-chairs and Declares All Barnacles Gone and Ship Unsinkable!

  1. I concur with BSA Bob. I don’t think Robertson had much of a chance of winning the election, but he seemed honest enough to me (none of the “scandals” he was supposed to have been involved in really stacked up) and he put up with the kind of mockery and shit that would have broken better men.

    This was not the way for him to go, for doing something far less serious – three years ago – than those accusing him have done, even up to recent weeks.

  2. So there we go…

    New data shows record fall in carbon emissions
    Environment Minister Greg Hunt has quietly published data, just two days before Christmas, showing the second year of operation of Australia’s carbon price was more successful at reducing emissions than the first.

    New data from Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory show emissions declined across Australia by 1.4 per cent over the 12 months to June.

    That compares to a decline in emissions of 0.8 per cent for the previous 12 months.

    While Labor were matching Abbott’s wrecking ball efforts, tack-for-tack, on compensation (which too many believed they were not getting and which was – and still is – ignored in the political discussion), bullshit about the cost of pizza boxes, and with poles and wires and even local council tip charges raised under cover of the Carbon Tax, turns out it was working all along… doing what it was supposed to do, reducing emissions.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why Labor didn’t hammer this point endlessly. The Carbon Tax had a job to do and it did it.

  3. When will Abbott get out of our faces?

    He’s already turned Christmas into a soap opera of restructure and resetting, barnacles and bombast. Now he’s upped the terror threat.

    “Chatter” has apparently revealed that a terror attack is “imminent”. This is another way of saying that the government is powerless to do anything about it. For all their surveillance, meta data hacking and phone tapping, for all their infiltration of Apocalyptic Death Cult Millennialist Zombie Jihadist cells, they still can’t say when, where or who. I guess any publicity is good publicity.

    There will enough people who keep their kids away from public places, cancel bookings and generally panic. More distrust of the Muslim community at large will take place. Nutters from both sides will go over the top, hopefully only rhetorically.

    We’ve had false dawns on everything from MH-370 through to Budget Emergencies. This boy has made a lifetime’s effort of crying “Wolf!”. Not content with merely upping the “threat” level from “Medium” to “High”, he’s now told us it’s on. Something is likely to happen. He’s wrecked everything else from parliament and governance through to the economy. Why not wreck Christmas as well with his obsession about himself and his political survival?

    Abbott would be praying nothing happens. Not for the obvious reason, but because if something does happen, it’ll be his responsibility to explain why they picked up chatter and then couldn’t do a thing about it.

    It’s Christmas Eve and Abbott is STILL braying into any microphone he comes within coo-ee of. ENOUGH! Go away! We don’t care! Take your problems elsewhere! What happened to your holiday? Take it! Now! Just leave us in peace!

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    How bloody plastic, stultified and non-genuine was the Christmas message from Tony and Marg!

    A serendipitous gaffe from Robbo?
    This may be so, but he is being believed less and less.
    Not a lot of support for Abbott and his terror message at the end of this Guardian article.
    How the political capital of fear helps governments.
    David Marr reviews 2014. A very good, very long read.
    Labor should belt the hell out of these impressive facts on CO2 reduction under the carbon pricing regime. Wait until the next year or two to show their results!
    2015: The beginning of the end for climate change sceptics.
    The potato-headed visage of Peter Dutton will strike the fear of death into the bikies. They will be aquiver within their fortresses.
    Julia Gillard’s book sales are still going strong.

  5. Section 2 . . .

    The twenty three worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    All she wants for Christmas is a cheaper way to iron and cook. Thankyou Tony.
    Reading this and then realising that Morrison now has control it makes me fearful.
    How can one dislike a guy whose name is Steve Smith?
    Ross Gittins knows how to attend to mental health.–for-your-mental-health-get-back-in-touch-with-nature-20141223-12cnv2.html
    This is the footy league that our local team plays in.
    Alan Moir on the reshuffle. He’s right you know.

    David Pope does it again! A rough ride for Santa Tony and his disabled sleigh.
    John Spooner with a Christmas message for the banks.


  6. The photo of Abbott and Ley was not photo-shopped. It was taken by Andrew Meares, political photojournalist for Fairfax, a man who turns out some excellent work. The source was his own Twitter account. Andrew tweeted it to the world.

  7. BK

    A very merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for all your work and effort here all year, we are all very grateful. Give all your critters a little extra feed and love tomorrow. Thinking of your son, and hoping things are looking up for him now.

  8. Being a normal bloke, I will be doing my Christmas shopping today. Best wishes to all of youse for a great Christmas, and a special thanks to BK for his dawn patrol efforts

  9. If you didn’t believe Abbott’s reshuffle was more about heading off a leadership challenge (and a challenge to Brandis) than about ‘refreshing and re-setting’ then read this.

    Brett Mason was Julie Bishop’s parliamentary secretary, they worked well together. Abbott kicked Mason out and Jules has now lost an ally. Even worse, she has to share her new secretary, Steve Ciobo, a Hockey ally, with Andrew Robb, who will now be keeping an eye on her full time and no doubt reporting back to Abbott and Credlin. And Brandis is safe from a challenge to his senate leadership.

    Robb is an Abbott supporter. Peter Slipper always said his own vote gave Abbott the leadership but it could well have been Robb’s vote that did it.

    Plots within plots within plots……..

    Dumped Brett Mason planned to challenge George Brandis in government Senate stoush

    Brett Mason told colleagues he was planning to challenge George Brandis for the No. 1 spot on the LNP’s Senate ticket in the weeks leading up to his demotion from the frontbench, sparking speculation he may be offered an overseas posting to protect the Attorney-General’s position.

    Senator Mason was, until Sunday, the Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
    Several Liberals also believe Senator Mason may have been dumped because of his strong working relationship with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is seen as a leadership contender and is internally and publicly popular


    Rudderless NSW Labor faces wipeout after John Robertson resignation
    Mark Coultan State Political Correspondent Sydney
    Dan Box Crime Reporter Sydney

    A TERMINAL loss of support from Labor’s leadership group yesterday forced John Robertson to resign as NSW opposition leader, a day after revelations he backed Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis in a custody battle.

    Mr Robertson’s resignation has left Labor rudderless three months before an election, with the latest Newspoll showing it faces a heavy defeat.


    The latest Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian over the past two months but before this week’s revelations, shows Mr Robertson’s disapproval rating had surged eight percentage points to 38 per cent.

    Only 31 per cent were satisfied with the way he was doing his job as Opposition Leader, down four percentage points, while 38 per cent were dissatisfied, up eight points.

    Head to head, Mr Baird dominates his opponent 56-17 as preferred premier, the most one-sided result since April 2012.

    The Coalition held a 56-44 per cent lead on two-party-­preferred terms.

    In his resignation speech, Mr Robertson said he had dragged Labor out of the “pit of electoral oblivion … I have rid the party of those who betrayed the Labor cause”.

    He said he had built a new culture of “integrity and corruption resistance — a far, far cry from the culture I inherited as leader”.

  11. I wonder if the party bosses had access to that newspoll yesterday? If they did, I think that would have played a bigger part in his loss of support than that Monis letter.

    Either way, I wish they had the balls to come out in public and say that they no longer supported Robertson than keep up with all this backroom deals crap and fuel the “faceless men” fires.

  12. This, just received on my email, would have to be one of the miserablest Christmas messages I’ve ever seen.

    Take a look at the expression on Abbott’s face. He doesn’t know whether to smile or look “Prime Ministerially grim” in these dangerous times full of Death Cult Jihadi Zombies stalking the streets.


    Why would anyone bother watching this tool’s Christmas message?

  13. Oh, how cringeworthy. Just caught Tony and Margie on the ABC standing in front of a Christmas tree staring at a camera and mouthing something. The telly was on mute. What stood out was the body language: just a deliberate full on stare straight ahead, not even a glance to the beloved at their side.
    Of course it means nothing. I even ask: what compels the national broadcaster to show this stuff? It’s not news. It’s not even new. It belongs on the political party’s web site.
    Sorry, just a bit grumpy.
    To Fiona, Joe and BB who run this site, a warm thank you. It really is a place to learn and a place to relax. Compliments of the season.

  14. And in these dangerous times, who better to send Chrissy wishes than Cozzie the Shi’Tzu-Silky (aka. “Danger Dog”).

    He’ll protect youse…

  15. Sorry BB, I posted before I saw yours. We agree.

    Think about it… this was the GOOD photo! The keeper!

  16. Dedalus
    That photo of Abbott and Ley was from Fairfax photographer Andrew Meares twitter about 2pm yesterday. The picture in today’s Age is most likely photoshopped

  17. One suspects that a disaffected, departing member of Abbott’s PR staff selected that shot.

    And for the video, maybe they told him it was just a rehearsal?

  18. This just from the SMH…

    A man has been charged after he allegedly was found with documents designed to facilitate a terrorist attack against potential government targets in Sydney, police say.

    The 20-year-old man, from Regents Park in Sydney’s west, will face Parramatta Local Court on Wednesday after he was charged by counter-terrorism police overnight.

    Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said officers seized a significant amount of material during raids on a property on Thursday last week.

    Among that material were documents that police allege were “designed to facilitate a terrorist attack”, as well as a rifle, a shortened shotgun and a double-barrelled shotgun.

    Deputy Commissioner Phelan said he could not go into great detail about the documents that were seized.

    “But there was enough there that gave concern to us that something was being planned, and that’s why a person was charged. He was charged in relation to having a document that was designed to clearly facilitate an attack,” Deputy Commissioner Phelan said.

    “Certainly the documents talked a little bit about potential government targets and so on, and what that did, coupled with other things that were seized during the search warrant, gave us significant concern to be able to act early.”

    He said those potential targets were around “federal and state entities” in Sydney.

    There’s certainly nothing that indicates at all about any specific targets or timeframe in relation to this particular activity at all,” he said.

    In other words… bullshit.

  19. You know this ABC bias to the left the MSM keep waffling on about – well, if it exists, shouldn’t the MSM be wondering why Abbott has lured a ‘lefty’ like Simpkin into his office?

    That appointment should kill the whole ‘the ABC is a nest of raving lefties’ thing stone dead.

  20. After Abbott made a dick of himself with his ‘the terrorists are coming to ruin your Christmas’ fear-mongering yesterday something had to be done to make him look a bit less of a dick. If that could ever be possible. So of course today we have a terrorist plot ‘discovered’. Naturally no details can be released – because there aren’t any. It’s all bullshit, as BB says.

  21. It’s getting easier to be a conspiracy theorist in this country, probably because the conspiracies are getting bigger & bolder. And more obvious.

  22. Rudderless NSW Labor faces wipeout after John Robertson resignation

    So, According to the Australian, gaining fourteen seats is a wipe out now?

  23. I wonder if the party bosses had access to that newspoll yesterday? If they did, I think that would have played a bigger part in his loss of support than that Monis letter.

    Either way, I wish they had the balls to come out in public and say that they no longer supported Robertson than keep up with all this backroom deals crap and fuel the “faceless men” fires.

    Another possibility is that they were worried that Robertson wouldn’t have resigned after he lost the election, which might have been a possibility if the party gained more than ten seats from the coalition.

  24. This will be the first time for many years that I won’t be having a ‘Coolum Christmas’. So I will have to have a Pub one instead.

  25. Bloody hell, the abbott and Margie obviously are wishing us all a miserable, glum, no frills, Xmas and New Year….not a flicker of a smile or goodwill between them. Hope they choke on their Xmas dinner or at least get a great big painful bellyache.

  26. msadventure2
    The new Coolum Hotel opened yesterday. Looks good. Will be going down for a look inside shortly. I may have 1 shandy while I am there.

  27. Nice assessment from Tim Dunlop here
    He raises some interesting points beyond the Abbott Train Wreck. Regardless of party, we do need to challenge the corporate hijacking of our democracy. The assumptions of the Reagan Thatcher era such as ‘the problem of government is government’, so long discredited in reality as corporate thieves rip away our assets, are still followed in one form of spin or another.

    We need more leaders like Elizabeth Warren who are prepared to stand up for the essential role of government in providing fairness and equality of opportunity. The market cannot deliver that without overbearing restrictions, which defeat any benefit of deregulating anyway. Better to work from the other angle of making the public services more accountable.

    On that thought, i wish all Pubsters a very Merry Christmas.

  28. Gorgeous Dunny,

    We need more leaders like Elizabeth Warren who are prepared to stand up for the essential role of government in providing fairness and equality of opportunity.

    We had one.

    Julia Gillard.

  29. To all the lurkers here.

    Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year. Maybe Santa will bring you all some courage to add a few comments, join in the fun, or just have a rant. It is very daunting, took me a long long time to start commenting on another blog, then I just barged in here, fronted up to the bar, and starting spouting, and I haven’t stopped since. It is good fun.

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