back to article Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ

GCHQ's eavesdropping concrete doughnut in Cheltenham is getting a new boss from autumn this year, the government confirmed today. Robert Hannigan is set to replace Sir Iain Lobban, who has been in the post for nearly six years. Lobban has faced political heat around expert spy-squealer Edward Snowden's revelations, as well as …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that is truly terrifying!

    1. LarsG

      Old Boys Network

      If I remember correctly Kim Philby got his job on the say so of one of the top security Knobs because 'he knew his people'.

      It just goes to show how ingrained this kind of thing is and how so many of the top jobs go to those in 'favour' 'friends' 'advisors' etc

      They try and tell you this kind of thing doesn't happen but increasingly in the upper echelons this is being promoted. Jobs for the Boys, old school tie, friend of the family, mates....

      To top it all they are trying to select Tony Blairs son to stand for a Labour safe seat in the next election.

      Nepotism at its worst especially when you consider Kinnocks son has also got into the act.

      They are all at it, establishment established practices.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Is this a train wreck I see before me?

    Expect reports of CyberWeaponsOfMassDestruction any time now.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Is this a train wreck I see before me?

      > Expect reports of CyberWeaponsOfMassDestruction any time now.

      - I'd say in about 45 minutes would be about right

  3. All names Taken

    Take note US

    Here in the UK we appoint arts trained administers to administrate in technologically demanding environments. So there?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Take note US

      Oh, the arts and GCHQ...

    2. Uffish

      Re: technologically demanding

      Good grief, you don't ask the Director of the Government Communications Headquarters to do "technologically demanding" - he has people for that. He makes decisions - because people who do "technologically demanding" wouldn't know how.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Take note US

      We already have our share of non-qualified administrators. The last place I worked was in health insurance. One of the VP's had a degree in.... wait for it.... geology. Rocks and insurance... good professional fit. Our government has the same good-old-boy politics. Consider the Kennedy's as a prime example. Then there's the Senator on the NASA budget committee who's a fundamental type and thinks the universe is only 6000 years old.

  4. Scroticus Canis
    Paris Hilton

    A Blair advisor? Oh good, someone we can trust at last...

    Said he reaching for the brandy bottle and chlopromazine flavoured mints while gently shaking head in disbelief.

    Paris because no other dazed and confused icon available.

  5. i like crisps
    Big Brother

    I WONDER....

    ....if GCHQ is still using XP?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I WONDER....

      Yes... if only to test exploits on it.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    In the US his counterpart flat out lied to Congress with *no* comeback

    So the bar for behaving like a right s**t is pretty high.

    The chief spookocrat who was behind the Snoopers Charter had a degree in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge but I doubt this one will have even that level of technological awareness.

    Process For Facial Recognition and store.

  7. Arachnoid

    Minister for Security

    I wonder what he keeps in his portfolio?

  8. charlie-charlie-tango-alpha
    Big Brother

    it could have been worse

    They could have chosen Charles Farr.

  9. Semtex451

    "studied classics at Wadham"

    Proof then, that one really does need a first rate education to get on in this world.

  10. Miek

    There be WMDs in them there hills y'all.

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