I’m mildly amused by yesterdays revelations that Number 10 use false names on letters. It’s not unusual for this to happen for “security reasons” even outside of the civil service. I briefly worked for a car finance company and many of the collections/fraud staff used pseudonyms to avoid trouble.
(The kind of person who can obtain or fake the documents required to get a car loan fraudulently isn’t necessarily a Nice Person. Our staff telephone lists, with two names for some people, became quite sensitive documents!)
This seemed to work very well, even as far as using that name in court, as long as you are consistent so that letters and phone calls are attributed to an individual. Indeed, it’s rather more common than many people might initially think as many professional women will keep their maiden name at work while changing their name for other purposes. The trouble was that Number 10’s system is to use completely random names each time. Today’s Mr F Bloggs is tomorrow’s Mrs J Doe, so if you ring up and ask for Mr F Bloggs then they have no idea who you’re talking about!
Perhaps they just need more diversity at higher levels of their communications office. Many married professional women and most Trans folk will know that in this country at least, a name isn’t anything special.