the dead hand

the dead hand of (something)

The factor or influence of something that prohibits progress. Our children's education is being stymied by the dead hand of standardized testing.
See also: dead, hand, of

the dead hand

BRITISH
If you talk about the dead hand of someone or something, you mean that they have a very negative influence on a situation, for example by preventing change or progress. The dead hand of bureaucracy now lies heavily on the Space Quest Foundation. One crucial change is that the dead hand of the state looks like being removed from France Télécom.
See also: dead, hand
References in classic literature ?
She came, O King, because the dead hand of Baleka summoned her, as thou sawest.
As the dead hand relaxed its grasp upon Tara's wrist the girl leaped forward, without a backward glance, to Gahan's side.
By the dead hands at my throat but he shall die, Bar Comas.
You are withering away like the dead hands that wove you.
He puts the reader right in the action--in the control room during false alarm tracking of the Dead Hand and in the autopsy room while doctors discover black lesions and swollen lymph nodes that point to anthrax exposure.
MIGHT it be permissible on this lovely post-election morning to venture a totally non-political view, as a man "from away", on the gut feeling of despair I experienced that this beautiful vibrant little country is doomed to continue to suffer the dead hand of Cardiff government that ensures we always have a lower quality of life than the rest of the UK?
There is an immediate and increasing need for traders and employees to be free to go about their business, released from the dead hand of directives written by our European competitors.
The dead hand of government conservation bodies now poses the biggest threat to coastal communities in the 21st century.
Comedian Amy Schumer wrote and stars in Trainwreck but her charm can't overcome her own limited script or the dead hand of director Judd Apatow.
He fumed: "We still have the dead hand of the Government running things like trains and buses, generally pretty badly.
This was the effect of the dead hand of nationalisation on our railway system and it is only a matter of luck that the lines surrounding Harbury survived to become the success they are today.
The country needs a complete break from the dead hand of the two party system that stifles change, snuffing good will to all.
He said: "We are often called the dead hand of bureaucracy and told we should keep out of the way.
To put it all in simpler terms: Egypt's first revolution was to get rid of the dead hand, the second revolution was to get rid of the deadheads and the third revolution was to escape from the dead end.
Consider how much easier it would be to introduce new types of health worker without the dead hand of regulation clutching for evidence of their safety to practise.