Solutions in search of a problem

Bureaucrats have a habit (and I should know, because I am one) of maintaining a list of policies they want to see implemented, and then offering them opportunistically as solutions to whatever the problème du jour happens to be.

We have been offered identity cards as a possible solution to benefit fraud, asylum seekers and now terrorism.  (I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Home Office argues at some point that they will also prevent climate change).  The trouble is, nobody can explan how identity cards will help the government to combat any of these things (answer: they won’t).

And now we have the absurd religious hatred bill.  Neil Addison, a barrister, has written a letter in Muslim News which says:

Part of the problem with this entire debate on the Religious Hatred law is that nobody who supports the Bill has come up yet with an example of behaviour which should be prosecuted but which is not already a criminal offence. If anyone can give me such an example I would be glad to hear it.

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