rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic

rearrange (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

To partake in or undertake some task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial or futile in its possible effect or outcome. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. For all his blustering about overhauling the education system, the prime minister might as well have been rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic for all the good these proposals will do. You're applying for arts council funding? Why don't you just rearrange deckchairs on the Titanic while you're at it?

rearrange the ˌdeckchairs on the Tiˈtanic

if something is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, it is an activity that is not worth doing because it cannot improve the situation: None of the staff believe that the new system will improve anything. It’s simply a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.This expression refers to the famous ship that sank after hitting an iceberg on its first voyage.
References in periodicals archive ?
His is more of a rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic type of contribution - on the level of counting the spare light bulbs, pointing out cobwebs and searching the internet for offers on wine and beer.
Although we are desperate for the club to find a new owner it is incumbent upon us also to make sure we do not allow ownership to change hands and then discover at a later date that all we have done is rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.