the dead hand of (something)

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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

the dead hand of something

an influence that controls or restricts something: We need to free business from the dead hand of bureaucracy.
See also: dead, hand, of, something
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
It seems that Scrooge's calling card was found in the cold, dead hand of Fezziwig's body, and someone scribbled "Humbug" in blood on the floor nearby.
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.
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.
I want to bring such talents together to create a strong team ready to replace the dead hand of Labour in 2016.
The fingerprints of the dead hand of Prince Charles were all over the day's programme of events.
In many areas of administration, Bulgaria has languished too long under the dead hand of incompetence and complacency.
They are to do with the dead hand of the current political control and administration of the council.
The wastelands of dereliction in this city are not due to the hand of God, nor market forces, but socialist-type policies combined with the dead hand of council bureaucracy.