Silver bullets

We live in a world that demands simple solutions to complex problems.

There's a problem with runaway dads not supporting their children. Simple fix, according to David Cameron – stigmatise them. They're as bad as drunk drivers. Problem solved!

Some employers might be reluctant to take on disabled people. Simple fix, according to another Tory MP – make them work for less than the minimum wage. Problem solved!

There are too many teenage pregnancies. Simple fix, according to Nadine Dorries MP – give girls abstinence lessons in school. Problem solved!

Family relationships are breaking down. Simple fix, accord to John Major, former Conservative Prime Minister. Let's go back to basics. Problem solved!

I include the last point to underline that our longing for silver bullets is not just a phenomenom of 2011. It's also not an exclusively Conservative thing either – I can think of many silver bullets (the national identity database and contact point for example) that Labour politicians promoted in the last parliament too. And I'm sure that the last Liberal government in 19-oh-something had its as well.

So what's my silver bullet to sort out all of the ills of society? Simple. Any politician … No, strike that – anyone at all that suggests a silver bullet remedy to anything should be treated with the sympathy they deserve and then ignored. Problem solved!

Oh. I think I've just fallen into my own heffalump trap.

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