back to article Home Office appoints ID czar

The Home Office has appointed an ID Commissioner to oversee and monitor the roll-out of national ID cards. Sir Joseph Pilling has previous form as permanent secretary to the Northern Ireland Office between 1997 and 2005, reviewing senior jobs at the Church of England and the Civil Aviation Authority. He has been at the Home …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hear no evil see no evil

    I wonder how hard he looks and listens. He may find he recommends himself out of a post if he takes on-board the more likely negative majority position on these cards.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Let the turf war begin!

    Why do they bother?

    Andy "the man in Pink" Pandy has said it may well have to go on the back burner so the man has a temporary job from which the pension will be quite suitable!

    Instead of having to work in teh real world can I have a job like this one, please.

    Second thoughts, I wouldn't want to work with them...

  3. David 45

    Ditch the scheme - now!

    Oh dear, this looks bad. The government might even go ahead with it. Worst thing that could ever happen to the UK. I'll have one over my dead body!

  4. Jonathan McColl

    Here we go ...

    "I intend to listen to ... people outside the system"

    Great! No2ID to start with. That's them listened to and ignored. The non-Labour politicians who say we can't afford it. That's them listened to and ignored. El Reg of course. Listened to and ignored. ho next to listen to and ignore?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Crumbs - another independent observer. No public record of achievement - but in modern Britain who needs that?

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Been with the HO since 1966

    So completely impartial then.

    Your identity is safe in his hands.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proxy approval

    I hope he's not going to be another proxy approval man.

    You know the trick, they appoint an independent Czar, he pretends to be the representative of the people, he gives his permission for all kinds of ID giveaways (like the data Czar gives away all your private data for the greater good on your behalf).

    When confronted with the abuse of the ID, some Labour butt muchers says, well we'll send it to be checked by the independent Czar, who of course says he's 'concerned' and is 'monitoring' the situation, i.e. a tacit approval.

    Perhaps I'm cynical, but I don't see any honesty in their dealings at all. It seems every 'review' is a whitewash, every Czar simply some proxy substitute for someone else.

  8. dervheid

    43 years (-2) in the Home Office...

    and he wants us to believe he'll be an "independent voice"?

    Line up for back-of-head-zip installation everybody!

  9. Psigram

    For how long?

    A short-term appointment I assume?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    So they hate this guy then?

    After all, no-one really wants these cards. And the ones that apparently do are normally just ambivalent and don't see what the fuss is about rather than actively arguing for he cards.

    So when they fail to gain huge public support he'll get the blame and the boot.

    Saying that, this gov't has a pretty huge, highly-skilled propaganda engine and the UK public is pretty well turned-off from protesting; to paraphrase my dear ol' mum it's "something that hooligans do when they want to fight with the Police" rather than a legitimate part of the democratic process.

    So it's possible that they'll end up with a few thousand people protesting and that's it. A few thousand people is enough to be brushed over by the papers if they're not saying what they're supposed to.

  11. Columbus

    cough - new keyboard needed

    “I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended.

    I've been asked to swallow some bull in my time - but seriously, I bet he will be as about as effective as the Chief Surveillance Commissioner

    ( how many RIPA authorisations has he ruled against in the past few years - none....) and he still gets paid a wedge for just approving everything he is asked to.

    Keyboard - cos there isn't a cynic icon.

  12. Luther Blissett

    Luther Blissett

    > “In the early weeks and months as I work out how best to do the job I intend to listen to the people across the National Identity Service and to people outside the system with views about my new role.”

    After which, this Sir Humphrey failed to add, I will then put my feet up and leisurely await execution by the incoming Tory administration committed to hatchet-waving (and occasional success) , and then withdraw to my pleasant country house and listen to my orchids as they delight in the attention I can lavish on them on account of my enviably fat pension.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    czar? have we moved to Russia?

    Can el Reg ban this stupid word that is over used these days. gives the definition (4th down the list) as

    "any person exercising great authority or power in a particular field:"

    Although this may be accurate it is is still a damn silly name for an official appointment.


  14. Nomen Publicus

    Still no sign of ID cards in Mannchester

    The damned ID cards are supposed to be available in Greater Manchester very soon now, but still no leaflets through the door, no poster ads,nothing in the Metro free paper and nothing on the TV.

    Is this going to be another case of creating a government website and not telling anybody?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    And this is the problem... the time the Conservatives get elected, or even if Mandelson's weaselly words about cost cutting are true, the Home Office is carrying on embedding the bloody thing.

    It will require garlic, a wooden stake and a silver bullet to kill this thing.

    Anonymous because they already know who we all are...

  16. Hashem
    Big Brother

    A translation for you....

    “I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended.

    “In the early weeks and months as I work out how best to do the job I intend to listen to the people across the National Identity Service and to people outside the system with views about my new role.”


    I am delighted to accept this post so that I can start screwing the public's privacy and identity rights at the earliest opportunity, as Parliament intended.

    In the early weeks and months, as Gordon Brown personally trains me in the most effective ways to ruin the country I intent to listen to people across the National Identity Service, and ignore entirely any views that contradict Labour's.

  17. Pink Duck


    So, so pointless when the next government will scrap the role.

  18. Anonymous John

    "safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights"


    Argh! It's that word again.


    Mandelson suggested today that ID cards may be cancelled, along with Trident.

  19. Chris 67


    Is it a contract role or permanent? Cause he'll not be doing that job when the tories get in.

  20. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    "I am delighted" for this opportunity to increase my household income without having to actually do any meaningful work in the meantime.

    "In the early weeks and months as I" organize and attend as many champagne receptions at the taxpayer's account as possible while awaiting the inevitable demise of the Labour Government I will seek to ingratiate myself with the private sector so that I can be sure that a nice and cushy job will await me after my current post is axed following the General elections.

  21. lukewarmdog
    Big Brother

    Pilling Said

    "Gordon, it's me. I need a job to tide me over for the next few months. Not really bothered what it is, I just need it to max out my pension. Anything you can throw my way would be most appreciated and in return I'll carry on telling people how great you are. Thanks in advance."

  22. dunncha

    I'd love this job

    But I don't think actually wanting this job to 'Make a difference' would have got me a job.

    Interviewer: If you got this job what would you do with it?

    Hump: I would take all my friends out for lunch you'd be invited of course.

    Interviewer: Yes but what about the job?

    Hump: What job?


    Can I have an icon for 'Don't complain: VOTE


  23. Anonymous Coward

    Chip everyone

    - when they're born. Very cheap

  24. Captain Mainwaring

    End of career posting

    This will probably turn out to be a short-lived posting for a senior civil servant who is coming to the end of his working life. If there is to be a change of government next spring, it will be very important for the new Home Secretary to strangle this ID Card scheme at birth to make sure that it never develops into a ubiquitous, all-embracing national system. The Identity Card act needs to be repealed in it's entirerety and any allied legislation looked at very carefully to ensure that it cannot be used to achieve the same end. It would be all to easy for the Home Office to use the Biometric Passport, that has been issued for the past few years, to become a substitute National Identity document, especially as they are being issued at the rate of 5-6 million a year to UK nationals. Let us all hope that Her Majesty's main opposition party, if given the oppurtunity, will be true to their word and roll back the Database state that Nu Labour has worked so hard to create

  25. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    Joseph Pilling's words show Public Relations is really Propaganda

    “I am delighted to accept this post, and plan to be an independent voice in my work towards safeguarding the public’s privacy and identity rights, as Parliament intended."

    Wow, I guess upon hearing this, they gave him the job, as they know an expert in PR bullshit when they hear it.

    So now ID cards are going to be leaked to us all via multiple departments. That's just great. Thanks. So attempt to fight off one department and they will use the excuse, well they have them as well.

    “In the early weeks and months as I work out how best to do the job I intend to listen to the people across the National Identity Service and to people outside the system with views about my new role.”

    I guess firing everyone in your department including yourself is off the table? ... yep, thought so. Therefore the only option is how they bring in the ID cards, not if they bring in the ID cards ... Therefore so much for the lie of listening to people. They keep showing they only listen to people who agree with themselves, so other peoples views are meaningless. If you disagree with them, they ignore you and if you agree with them they are going to do it anyway so no point in opening your mouth. So ultimately it makes no difference if you disagree or agree with them, they still do what they want, the only difference is, if you disagree you've highlighted yourself as an opponent for their people to watch and punish in the future. So effectively every government department run by people like this, is effectively being run as a dictatorship.

    Why don't they just fit us with radio tags and then burn bar codes on our foreheads and be done with it.

    @Pink Duck : "So, so pointless when the next government will scrap the role."

    Yeah right, dream on, its far more likely they absorb the role into another department under a different name and then claim its gone. Remember all politicians regardless of which party they are in, all ultimately seek power over people and if they don't others that do push them out of their jobs, so they all fight for power over people and ID cards are a new powerful source of tracking everyone. (Also how long before that data is sold to market research companies).

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