Johnny waited until Simon (16%) Crean was in Jakarta before announcing a
big reshuffle in the front benches, indicating that this was the line-up for the
Kay (weakest-link) Patterson gets dumped from Health because Johnny doesn't
want to have to do the job himself. She was obviously total ineffectual in the
last round of bickering health negotiations with the states but in her new role
in 'Families', she can wring her hands and say 'what about the little
children?' a lot. Little Johnny wants to wind down gracefully to his
retirement, and needs a hard hitter for the next round. So he's rung the bell
and moved Tony (punch-drunk) Abbott into the health portfolio.
Phil (cash-for-visas) Ruddock moves into Attorney General. Maybe he'll be
able to do something about all the judges who try to deal themselves back into
the law-making game when it comes to immigration hearings.
He's replaced by Amanda (Queen-of-compassion) Vandstone, who waddles into
Immigration and Indigenous Affairs. She is aggressive and generally answers
questions by making the questioner look stupid - a useful skill when taking
criticism over sinking children and cash-for-visas.
Richard (still-no-digital-TV) Alston is calling it a day and quitting
politics. His main contribution to politics is making a total fiasco of digital
TV and helping to retain Australia's entrenched media-baron oligopoly. His
'promotional' efforts have delayed digital TV in this country for about a
decade, and having realized that no amount of slithering self-justification or
government money could make this incompetence look like a success, he's decided
to take his parliamentary pension and run.
And Wilson (Iron-bar) Tuckey might think about running too, after being
dumped as territory minister for his little ministerial indiscretions. Trying
to use your ministerial powers to influence legal action against your
children is considered in bad taste by many, and even Teflon Johnny got a bit
stinky when that one hit the fan.
Iron-bar's departure is a sad blow for the liberals who used his
appointment to demonstrate their disdain of Canberra. What better way to annoy
Canberra's politically correct population than to appoint someone famous
for bashing an Aborigine with an iron bar?
Of course it wasn't all bad for the Canberrans - most Canberrans fondly
remember the time that Iron-bar strutted up to a suburban Canberra house in
front of the TV cameras and demanded that the occupant remove the swastika he
had painted on his own garage door. Tuckey and the Canberra Collective found
common ground that day - a deep-seated passion for preventing individualism and
free speech. Free speech, of course, is discouraged in the nation's capital
unless The Collective agrees with the speaker.
And Sweet-16%-Simon? After gloating that (unlike Little Johnny) he managed
to tee-up a meeting with Megawati (i-hate-Australians) Sukarnoputri, got
stood up. She canceled the meeting! She doesn't care if the ALP would suck up
to the Indonesians more than the Liberals or not - they ain't gonna win. Her
domestic political interests are better served by being seen to snub yet another
Simon, Simon, you've just been outmaneuvered again.