13 January 2011

Cabinet Shuffle Bored

The back room plan to slide Kathy Dunderdale into the Premier’s job isn’t going so well.

The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight is back shooting itself in the foot.

Kathy Dunderdale meets with Danny Williams one day and then the next day there is a surprise cabinet shuffle that Dunderdale explains with some lame comment about getting fresh blood and shifting ministers around to give them experience.

That is most definitely NOT what this is about.

Oh and to be really sure, you can guarantee that it is not about Dunderdale “picking her key lieutenants” as CBC has been presenting it. None of the portfolios involved are biggies.  This is purely a shuffling around at the bottom end of the cabinet list.

So what is it about?

Well, for Derrick Dalley it is a huge promotion that can only mean he is in serious political trouble in his district.  Danny’s coat-tails were barely enough to get him elected last time and without the Old Man, that seat is likely to flip.  This way Dalley gets a nice boost in pay and a higher profile.

Dalley has no background in business so sticking him in that portfolio makes no sense at all.

Charlene Johnson got a sweet little promotion after years of slogging it out in a  department that is usually a starter department for ministers.  She’s a loyal Dan-ite so giving her a higher profile helps bolster the back-room deal crowd:  she takes direction very well.  Johnson’s never shown signs of understanding the portfolio she had and she’s unlikely to inject anything other than further listlessness in a new department that is still struggling.

Here’s hoping there are no more giant controversies in a department known to generate nasty headlines. Charlene had a tough time even with Danny on the ground to shore her up.  With the Old Man out of the picture, she could be a major disaster waiting to happen. 

Ross Wiseman slides downward to environment and conservation.  He isn’t likely to run again so this just keeps around one of the Dan-ite stalwarts until Dunderdale gets through the current crisis and the spring budget.

Darin King gets a huge demotion.  The leadership hopeful and likely internal dissident got the big ole bitch slap for something.  Like he’s paying a double price that includes a bill for the shitstorm he caused by trying to do his old job at Eastern School District.  Darin’s school reorganization is a cock-up of monumental proportions since it has served only to agitate voters needlessly in seats the Conservatives normally would call safe. 

Joan Burke is being called back to the limelight likely to clean up Darin’s mess.  It’s a novel concept and logically, Burke’s arrival should mean the plan goes in the bin.  Burke’s usual approach would be like adding gasoline to a political fire and even Dunderdale couldn’t blunder that badly. 

Putting her back in charge of education also gives Burke the chance to raise her profile again in anticipation of the leadership race that will inevitably follow the next election. 

Everyone knows Dunderdale is just a placeholder.  Well, everyone except people who think she is promoting her key lieutenants for the next election.

Sheesh, what a head-slapper of an idea.

- srbp -

Scrum Update:  Take a watch of the post-swearing in scrum. The most over-used line – after Charlene talking about “the children” and how important they are -  is the effort to portray this as some sort of renewal and refreshment.

The cliché is so over-worn that all you’d have to say is “deck chairs” but everyone will know instantly how true it is as a description of Thursday’s cabinet shuffle.

As for Darin King, notice that he spoke last of all and started by thanking Dunderdale for the privilege of serving.  If anyone has any doubt that this guy is being punished then let them watch the scrum and seen the proof.