A new report from the Institute for Government argues that there has been too much policy reinvention in British government, leading to waste and lost policy effectiveness. Three areas which have certainly suffered from constantly changing policies are examined in detail: further education, regional governance and industrial strategy: All change?
What one can do about it is another question, given the susceptibility of governing parties to fads and fashions and the incentives for ministers to build a reputation as policy innovators, even if the policies are reheated.
One suggestion made by the report is that the institutional memory of departments needs to be improved, but current personnel policies militate against this. One might also heretically that the days of paper files provided more prompts about what had been tried in the past.