When Ministers don't know what to do about a particular subject, they set up a committee (or a commission as they are now more fashionably known). When Ministers know what they want to do but fear it may upset some of their supporters, they set up a committee. When Ministers disagree among themselves about what they should do, they set up a committee.
The purpose of these committees/commissions is to postpone the evil day when Ministers have to make decisions. Such a postponement may amount to many months, even years. And in the end nothing may happen. Cynical? You bet.
Unbelievably, the Cameron/Clegg regime, in its brief existence, is proposing to establish nine such commissions.
Reform of the House of Lords? It will not take place within the foreseeable future. Dealing with the West Lothian Question? Ditto. Sorting out the banks? Ditto with knobs on.
Bring back Gordon Brown: he only set up three or four commissions per year. And he knew what he wanted to do; he just needed some intellectual underpinning.
Update: The Guardian suggests that there are actually 27 reviews about to get under way.