I was looking through the list of appointments following Kevin Rudd’s cabinet reshuffle  this morning (that is, I was looking at the list this morning, Kevin did not have a reshuffle this morning) and couldn’t help but be amused by some of the titles.
Of particular interest to me is one of Craig Emerson’s many titles, namely “Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation”. If we ever see that as the title given to Craig on a TV news super, I will fall off my chair, get back on the chair and fall off again just to make sure the point gets through.
What makes Craig’s title all the more amusing is that Senator Nick Sherry is the “Assistant Treasurer” and not the “Minister assisting the Treasurer” or even worse the “Minister assisting the Minister for the Treasury on matters of Treasure”.
Apart from that, there are just a whole heap of minor roles which I think we forget exist, and I am forced to wonder how many exist merely for the sake of ensuring that a certain number of MPs get an extra allowance because they are a minister or a minister assisting a minister.
[Greg] Combet becomes Minister for Defence Personnel, Material and Science and Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change.
[Chris] Bowen becomes Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, as well as Minister for Human Services.
Brendan O’Connor takes on the Homes Affairs portfolio, replacing [Bob] Debus, with responsibility for policing and law enforcement and the administration of Australian territories.
In other movements Craig Emerson, Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy and Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation, will also become Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.
Senator Nick Sherry a former Shadow Assistant Treasurer, will be appointed Assistant Treasurer.
Brendan O’Connor will be appointed Minister for Home Affairs, with responsibility for policing and law enforcement and the administration of Australian territories.
Warren Snowdon will be appointed Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery.
And Kate Ellis will be appointed Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare and Youth and will continue as Minister for Sport.
At the risk of picking on Craig Emerson again…the Minister for Independent Contractors? Seriously? Why don’t we just have a Minister for Baked Beans while we’re at it?