rearrange (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

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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?
References in periodicals archive ?
This looks more like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
As we wrote last week (see Divorce Settlement Shows Frank McCourt is Rearranging Deckchairs on the Titanic with the Dodgers (http://bizofbaseball.
Project director Rod Street and his colleagues have been likened to sailors rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic by critics demanding much more decisive and radical action to save what many regard as a badly holed, if not sinking, ship.
Fianna Fail seems to be rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic rather than steering us away from the icebergs.
SNP chief Michael Russell said: "Shuffling convenerships around and giving them back to the old discredited guard is akin to rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
A better analogy might be this: Frank McCourt is rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.