back to article Jimbo Wales 'to advise Whitehall on transparency'

In what may prove to be a political gift to Labour, Wikipedia's spiritual leader Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales has been hired to advise Whitehall on openness and transparency. Rohan Silva, the No 10 advisor whose brainchild is rebranding the leisure startups of Shoreditch as "TechCity", announced the news at the SXSW conference and …


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  1. Richard Dudley

    Loss of SOH?

    Perhaps Jimbo is only doing it for the publicity or is blissfully unaware of the wisdom of Sir Arnold in 'Yes Minister' ('Open Government') -

    "My dear boy, it is a contradiction in terms: you can be open or you can have government.

  2. Mr Jolly

    "We want to be the most open and transparent government in the world. Already, we've published a huge amount of new information about the inner workings of government, and there's a lot more still to come" - David Cameron.

    Publishing the NHS risk register would be a good start, wouldn't it Dave?

    1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Are you mad?

      Publish the NHS risk register?

      That'll cause panic on the streets, dogs and cats living together, divide by zero.....

      Assuming they can find one to publish.

  3. Paul Sanders

    Laker principle?

    Didn't Branson hire Freddie Laker to advise on how to start up an airline?

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Laker principle?

      Presumably Branson just did the exact opposite of whatever Laker suggested?

      I flew once on Laker 2.0 (Laker Airways, vs the 80's 'SkyTrain') from Miami to LGW - flight was delayed from 11am to 'indefinitely', finally got a call at 3:30 am the next morning, got down to the terminal and both Laker and Laker jr were there apologising to the 30 or so unlucky sods who couldn't get on a BA flight.

      They went titsup 3 weeks later...

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Laker principle?


      And Freddie's best piece of advice regarding BA was

      'Sue the bastards.'

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You forgot to mention Jimbo's own tendency away from transparency, eg his tweaking of his own profile and the disappearance (currently looking ok-ish) of Sanger from wikipedia's wikipedia entry.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      This was probably worth a mention too:

      "...the Mantanmoreland account received heavy protection from the site's inner circle, including Wales... " … and an uber-administrator known only as SlimVirgin"

      Transparency in action.

  5. Cunningly Linguistic

    Sheesh, Jimbo is as transparent as a not very transparent thing.

    I wonder if he'll regale the Whitehall staff with anecdotes of his career publishing porn?

  6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    Porn King

    Why was Bomis Premium (Wales porn empire) not mentioned? Wouldn't the politicians like to know?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Porn King

      The past sure is tense ;-)

  7. despicable me


    On the downside we're going to get personal appeals when we visit

    On the upside anyone will be able to edit government policy documents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WikiGovernment

      Hey, a gay friend told me he was sad when those ads went and all the eye candy went out of doing research...

  8. Pete 2

    Transparent concealment

    If you have something you don't want people to see the traditional approach has been to try and hide it. Conceal it behind a sign that says "Nothing to see here", or disguise it as something else.

    Alternatively, you can conceal something by making it invisible. When something's invisible you can't see it - you see right through it. It's TRANSPARENT.

    So it's not a huge jump to go from using a disguise or concealment to prevent people from seeing what you're up to, to stopping them from seeing it by making it transparent and therefore invisible to view - or scrutiny. Should we therefore be worried that the real motivation behind a government "transparency" initiative is not to reveal to the general public how government works - but to stop us from seeing those workings by making them invisible, yet still present?

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: Transparent concealment

      This is a classic grubberment misinformation move, I expect the grubberment to also appoint the following advisors:-

      jeffrey archer will be hired to advise on ethics in politics

      bernie madoff will be hired to advise on financial investment

      fred goodwin will be hired to advise on banking policy

      maggie thatcher will be hired to advise on the coal industry.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't so dumb

    I normally laugh at these consultants and Cameron but I'm actually quite open to this-I've seen him speak (at my old university) and he really is a darn engaging person who's come to wikipedia from a very strong set of values-OK, he may have made his money hosting porn, but he really appreciates the value of knowledge and information, and you can tell how he persuaded people to work with him to put wikipedia together (even if it didn't last forever in the case of Sanger...). I can really see him having an effect in making civil servants see a major part of their work as being making sure the public understands what they're doing.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The man who for years would not confirm his own birthdate for his Wikipedia bio? That Jimbo? You must be joking!

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