I Have Joined the Board of Directors of the Tor Project

This week, I have joined the board of directors of the Tor Project.

Slashdot thread. Hacker News thread.

Posted on July 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM • 70 Comments

Comments

DanielJuly 15, 2016 1:39 PM

WOW.

I think that is a huge coup for the Tor project. Given the turmoil that has been going with a new director, sexual harassment allegations, etc. I see this as a stabilizing move. When you have time I'm sure many people would be interested in hearing your vision for the future of Tor.

HugoJuly 15, 2016 2:01 PM

I heard about this earlier on the week; I'm surprised you didn't write about it sooner - congratulations!

I'm definitely pleased that you're on board Bruce as you've got the experience that is needed by an important project like TOR. And you're certainly one of the more trusted I.T. professionals out there.

The press release for anybody who's interested:

https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-project-elects-new-board%C2%A0-directors

Meanwhile something of interest to everybody;

MIT researchers unveil new anonymity scheme that could rival Tor

https://www.grahamcluley.com/2016/07/mit-researchers-unveil-new-anonymity-scheme-rival-tor/

Good luck Bruce.

Ergo SumJuly 15, 2016 2:07 PM

Great! I shouldn't set an agenda this early, but maybe you can have them fix the slowness and timeouts to your site? Albeit, it may not be TOR, could be your hosting service provider...

I am not certain that donation from Google to the TOR project will not result in a "Google backdoor" in the TOR browser, in one form or another...

Yes, that's how much I trust Google...

TorNoobJuly 15, 2016 2:12 PM

I'm not very familiar with Tor. I read that a lot of fast (thus preferred) nodes are controlled by the government (NSA etc.), and that it's trivial for them to de-anonymize traffic. This seems to make Tor vastly less valuable. Is that the general feeling?

NotYouAgainJuly 15, 2016 2:25 PM

Read about it on the Tor blog, congratulations! Tor project can be very proud to have you on board.

AlatarJuly 15, 2016 3:10 PM

Congratulations! We are lucky to have your talents contributing to such a fantastic project.

Lt Cmdr DataJuly 15, 2016 3:41 PM

The problem was not the Board. The problem all along has been Roger and Nick. They need to be removed from the org for it to be successful and healthy. This "new board" is the 3rd "new board" at Tor. It looks just like the last bunch of sycophants to Roger and Nick. Roger and Nick should stick to being sysadmins and code monkeys, not in any position of leadership nor management. Hire a real chief scientist and head of research. They stole the Navy's work, called it their own, and need to stop claiming they did any thinking at all.

Tor is a scam. It should go away like Napster, telnet, and fidonet.

WannabeJuly 15, 2016 3:47 PM

Great news! I follow Tor with interest, especially the anonymous browser, but haven't used it due to previously described weaknesses and my own paranoia that nothing is really ever "anonymous" anyway. :-) Still, it's a great goal and a project full of good people. Awesome to see my all time hero getting involved.

@TorNoob: You are right, it's not a panacea and has had some flaws...but they've been working on a rewrite to address that, which means it's the perfect time for Mr. Schneier to get involved! You can also get involved as a test or various other volunteer roles -- if enough people keep iterating together openly, we may eventually get it right! This could literally save someone's life some day -- like a journalist trying to expose rogue powers. It's certainly worth the effort.

CzernoJuly 15, 2016 3:48 PM

Congrats, Bruce ! I've been an early adopter of Tor, nearly as soon as they got public I think, was it 2000 ? or 2001 ? By all means before Torproject became an entity of its own, even before it was hosted by the EFF. Wow !

May I ask for a clarification : I read the announcement and while I comprehend Nick and Roger stay with Torproject in their technical roles, I am not understanding whether they step down as board members or if they will remain ?

aaaJuly 15, 2016 3:57 PM

So, keeping up with anonymous on the tor project, are you and the rest of board going to code and submit patches? I found that question funny ...

ONIdunnoJuly 15, 2016 5:08 PM

Lt Cmdr Data, what do mean, stole the Navy's work? If my taxes paid for it, it's mine. It's our public good not yours. And if it's just a scam, what do you care who steals it anyway? And what's with this irrelevant denigration of the founders? (Pro tip: nobody trusts some chairborne ranger to do performance evals, you guys give every deck ape straight outstandings, except if they have balls.) Leadership, management, the good-enough-for-government-work bureaucratic org charts you want to write for them, nobody cares about that. Tor project is not a government bureaucracy anymore, in case you haven't noticed. All they need is people with the integrity to resist your totalitarian government's attacks on privacy.

jdgaltJuly 15, 2016 6:08 PM

I have never trusted Tor because it gets most of its funding from the US federal government. But maybe you can make things a bit more transparent. Or maybe -- we have to wonder about you now.

PeterJuly 15, 2016 6:53 PM

What jdgalt said ..
But I guess it will draw in a whole bunch of new users, so the US-spooks have more people to hide amongst .

Colonel PanikJuly 15, 2016 7:00 PM

Mr. Schneier, Thank you. I don't know how you can squeeze in any more projects
but this one is important.

Nick PJuly 15, 2016 7:10 PM

@ Bruce

Good for you. Also nice to see Matt Blaze on. Maybe first aim is better transparency. Last time I got chat logs they were worried about the "Pando situation." That was disturbing, but not due to Pando. The article made case that Tor was US-government funded with implications worth considering. Overdid it on implications but made some accurate points. Disturbing part was Tor project supporters' responses which ranged from hatchet job to him not breathing to not news to conspiracy claim. Pretty crazy given how such people act about anything another subversive group, NSA, is funding or has touched in anyway.

So, State and CIA puppets primarily fund Tor to aid subversive work overseas and possibly enable SIGINT for NSA if they're running the local, high-bandwidth relays. It also benefits all kinds of other people in the process if such things are outside the threat model. Disturbing that they work so hard to look like they're independent of U.S. government, though, then full-on smear anyone pointing it out instead of simply countering any erroneous claims in the piece. Worse that they publically acted like Pando piece was meaningless then privately were worried about it. Patterns that worry me for group about government accountability & defending civil liberties against roguish governments.

Note: I still see the effect here vs here. The latter shows some government funding but looks more spread out. The financial report indicates that 85.4% of revenue was U.S. government groups connected to spying or defense industry (not counting NSF or small stuff). So, gotta wonder if Tor could survive if U.S. government did nothing other than cut funding given their current expenses. Quite a dependency.

IYKWMJuly 16, 2016 5:13 AM

Congratulations and commiserations. Pretty sure being in that position will definitely not enhance your 'citizen score', if you catch my drift.

JardaJuly 16, 2016 5:41 AM

Good luck with that, you have become the enemy of many states including yours. I suggest to be accompanied 24/7 by a large group of attorneys who will document every move you make and advice you if you should actually make such move. Otherwise you might be the next one accused of something. Rape, child pornography, whatever which might be used to discredit you.

Miles ArcherJuly 16, 2016 9:10 AM

Congratulations and thank you for performing a valuable service. I am not currently a Tor user, but I'm sure glad it's there if I need it.

JimJuly 16, 2016 10:03 AM

This is great news! Congratulations! The Tor project can really use someone of your stature. Please help uphold the integrity of the project and its mission of anonymity on the internet. Being able to freely exchange ideas and search for information without fear of corporate/government surveillance should be the right of every human being. Tor is going against the tide - corporations spy on us for profit and governments spy to maintain power and control. The trend today is toward less privacy. Tor is a very important (and often misunderstood) tool in the fight to be left alone. We need to know that the Tor Project is doing its best to maintain anonymity and that the project can be trusted. People like you are an important part of building that trust. Good luck.

FabulousJuly 16, 2016 11:55 AM

@ Bruce Schneier

Great news! Congratulations!

One issue I'd like to address to you:

How do you (or does Tor in general) counter all those silly allegations against Tor (which are partially expressed in this thread here)?

Do you personally (or some PR team) aim to push back all those smears und lies against/about Tor?

I think that's even one of the most important tasks for you and Tor as an organization. Accurate information about Tor needs to be spread around.

Aldrich HazenJuly 16, 2016 1:12 PM

Absolutely!

It's important to make sure accurate P.R. is spread about Tor. Because we know Tor would never do something like quietly hire CIA officers.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/-tor-project-battled-over-hiring-ex-cia-agent-chat-logs-show

By the way, it's interesting to recall the the term "Public Relations" was invented by Edward Bernays because he wanted to avoid the stigma associated with the term "propaganda." Same thing, really. See the movie "Century of the Self"

https://freedocumentaries.org/documentary/bbc-the-century-of-the-self-happiness-machines-season-1-episode-1

Yoo hoo!July 16, 2016 3:46 PM

Congrats! Enjoy the 600 CIA honey traps they're going to throw at you! Maybe you should specify your sexual predilections in advance, to avoid hurt feelings. MI6's twelve-year-old child trafficking victims can be quite sensitive when you turn them down.

The nuts and bolts of Applebaum's Zersetzung are very enlightening. Take horndogs with subpar interpersonal skills competing oafishly for girls, add COINTELPRO destabilization and character assassination, and stir.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2858345/Statement-by-JB-for-IMMEDIATE-RELEASE.txt

http://theindicter.com/the-weaponising-of-social-part-1-the-crucifixion-of-ioerror/

http://theindicter.com/the-weaponising-of-social-part-2-stomping-on-ioerrors-grave/

Though things might actually calm down now. The government went after Applebaum more because of his journalistic collaboration with Snowden than because of his Tor work.

HarryJuly 16, 2016 4:16 PM

@ moderator

You should take an eye on all the conspiracies, lies, smears and simply bullshit spread in this thread. It's definitively sad to see how many of those creepy guys are attracted by Bruce's announcement.

Not Secure AsJuly 16, 2016 4:34 PM

I'm glad Bruce is involved with Tor as perhaps it will provide a modicum of professionalism that the project badly needs. Tor can be useful for some people in specific circumstances (like people in an oppressive, yet technologically primitive, regimes). Of course, it's also useful for criminals who are dumb enough to use it (as it acts as a honeypot to catch them, which is good for society).

However, I think it is utterly useless for stopping sophisticated mass surveillance by the usual suspects.

rJuly 16, 2016 4:47 PM

Funny thing about the naysayers,

If you look at the riffle.pdf from MIT you'll see attacks against Tor are only getting easier. One no longer really requires nation state resources for some of the attacks, SO I POSIT:

What's good for the CIA, is generally good for the remainder of the Tor ecosystem.

More to the point, if they keep developing the TBB it shouldn't be a far cry to replace Tor with the MIT backend if one so deemed ideal.

HadoolJuly 16, 2016 5:21 PM

Aside from the obvious attempt trying to improve the public image of Tor, is this board actually going to do things differently than the previous board?

And why is nobody working on hardening the Tor Hidden Services default setup configuration, to make it easier for everyone to enforce 2-factor authentication, send push notifications after each login and javascript change (so it won't take days to discover a potential XSS attack or FBI exploit injection), block bots that look for vulnerabilities on the site, detect server IP address leakages and so on.

anonyJuly 16, 2016 6:53 PM

why do you think two-factor authentication and push notifications are features?

they cross link your fone and email with website account info...makes tracking and crosslinking info on you far easier...

gahJuly 16, 2016 11:27 PM

@Bruce

And you don't have a ton of government-employed women suddenly mysteriously accusing you of rape yet?

StephenJuly 17, 2016 9:11 AM

Please look into Riffle (MIT) and consider its implementation on the onion routing network.

Harry Edgar Hoover's feather boaJuly 17, 2016 10:45 AM

Interesting 30-min bot response to all the unauthorized information in the 3:46 links, which include:

- personal testimony rebutting hearsay claims of sexual harassment by Applebaum; and

- analysis by a woman sexual assault victim of the throw-everything-and-see-what-sticks internet vilification campaign.

The pseudonymous 4:16 response calls for suppression of unspecified "conspiracies, lies, smears and simply bullshit," and refers to 'creepy guys' in the most portentous McCarthy-hearing tones. What's interesting about this is that the credible accusers of Applebaum, like Alison Macrina, do not fixate on Applebaum's personal destruction. They are concerned with setting up support networks to prevent sexual assault and harassment in an environment where law enforcement cannot be trusted because US and NATO governments will use law enforcement as a weapon against their work.

This instant bot response is useful anecdotal evidence of a project to hijack the activists' DIY reparative-justice work and turn it into an attack on Applebaum's reputation in his capacity as human rights defender.

But who would do that?

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

JimmyJuly 17, 2016 12:21 PM

@ "Harry Edgar Hoover's feather boa"

Haha! Thanks for confirming.

Five advices for you:

First, get a life.
Second, get sober.
Third, learn to write Jacob Appelbaum's name correctly. He's called AppELbaum!
Fourth, take off your tinfoil hat right now.
Fifth, please don't waste other people's time with childish bullshit. No JTRIG here, really.

@ Bruce Schneier

I really hope you will encounter less ridiculousness during your work for Tor.

CarpetCatJuly 17, 2016 12:23 PM

At first I was like, yeah! This will make Tor better! I trust and admire Bruce.

But then I was like, No! This will only make Bruce look and smell bad. Tor *must* be massivly screwed up, what sane non-front org handles the Jacob Applebaum thing this way?

Now I have doubts about Bruce, and I am sad.


Whats the over/under on how long until he "quits"? 6 months to 2 1/2 years I wager, stating "overworked, spread too thin, needs to refocus, recent health, etc"

rJuly 17, 2016 1:15 PM

@CarpetCat,

Maybe that's the angle, now that they've defaced Mr Applebaum someone has set their sights on Matthew Blaze and Bruce Schneier.

KendallJuly 17, 2016 1:52 PM

Oh my gosh! How much crap will certain individuals spill out here? Someone has to step in here and end that 4chan-like crap. But hey, welcome to the Internet! A place full of conspiracies, hatred, lies, smears and bullshit. Lonely and sad young men lingering and trolling the whole day. Come on humanity, you deserve better!

Green SquirrelJuly 17, 2016 2:26 PM

First off, congratulations - its more of a step up than becoming part of IBM :-).

However, more interesting is the the frankly hatstand comments that this announcement has attracted. Its well known there has been a lot of problems around some individuals here but really, its just people. Dont make a drama out of people being people and occasionally mistakes happening or idiots being idiots.

Jimmy Tolson spooning with J. Edgar KendallJuly 17, 2016 8:28 PM

The proliferating bots are all remarkably upset about three statements on the Applebaum incident by personally-involved women. These bots are struggling awfully hard to associate the words of these women with 4chan and psycho gamer-type misogynists. It's almost as if they were trying to scare you away from what these women have to say. So let's plop it on the rug again, shall we?

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2858345/Statement-by-JB-for-IMMEDIATE-RELEASE.txt

http://theindicter.com/the-weaponising-of-social-part-1-the-crucifixion-of-ioerror/

http://theindicter.com/the-weaponising-of-social-part-2-stomping-on-ioerrors-grave/

And consider, all the actual aggrieved parties here thought hard about what to do, with none of the childish with-him-or-against-him shunning that we see here. The aggrieved parties pulled together. They denounced COINTELPRO tricks like death threats or painting Applebaum's place with Nazified graffiti. In fact, remarkably, they treated Appelbaum with compassion. These admirable women fixed their problem and got back to work.

It's not them here whipping up the two minutes hate. That's what government scumbags do. Government scumbags try to get their civil-society enemies fighting among themselves. But it doesn't work anymore. Didn't work with Assange either. They're onto you. People hate your NATO pedo puppet regimes way too much to fight among themselves.

vJuly 18, 2016 6:34 AM

Congratulations Bruce I think it's a great move for both sides.

Fortunately, I've never had the need to use Tor but I have no doubt it's existence - and strength - is a fundamental requisite for dissent in parts of the world that will not improve without it.

In a sense when the US government attacks/weakens Tor it's really attacking democracy and freedom - and the people fighting for them around the world.

Such decisions should involve philosophers as well as anti-terror specialists.

Dirk PraetJuly 18, 2016 7:22 AM

Nice to see the board getting a full overhaul with our host and Matt Blaze among others, but many of us are much less impressed with what's happening in the developers team. There has been the recent vilification of Jake Appelbaum, Isis Agora Lovecruft's voluntary exile and now Lucky Green's departure with a somewhat ominous sounding farewell note.

Unless the new board comes up fast with a formal statement that Tor has not been served with an NSL or similar, I am now assuming that the entire project has been deeply infiltrated and fully compromised.

ianfJuly 18, 2016 8:12 AM


What if the TOR board members are under gag orders from some American Kangaroo Court or other not to disclose existence of anything that might have been lobbed at them by the Man? Let us agree that, in light of USG practices, that is far from an implausible scenario.

[Then again, lots of commenters assume wrongly that, by joining the board, Bruce Schneier will be involved in any hands-on capacity for rewriting/ closely reviewing the actual .onion code.]

BagrationeJuly 18, 2016 12:52 PM

@Dirk
What's up with LG's departure note? MoFo-ing google can't find anything. I only managed to find one that vaguely mentions "recent events". Lots of "30 best farewell notes to bosses" too.

PeterJuly 18, 2016 4:34 PM

@ Kendall, Harry and the other mindless TLA tools :
TOR was originally developed by United States Naval Research Laboratory and DARPA .
TOR has mostly been funded with US-government money .
Where is the "conspiracy-theory" ??

Do you guys seriously believe the US Government is funding this project so you can browse pron "anonymously" ?

You guys can do whatever you want, personally I do not trust TOR one iota .
And now that Bruce has joined, I have serious issues trusting him ....

JasonJuly 20, 2016 2:24 AM

@ Peter, "Where is the "conspiracy-theory" ??"

It's written all over the wall.

Compared to other alternatives, TOR is the least common denominator. Using TOR is better than no TOR at all.

Fr3ddyJuly 20, 2016 4:25 AM

@Jason

Using TOR is better than no TOR at all.

Only until a false sense of security in a high risk scenario gets you killed, or your family persecuted. Tor is what it is. IPSec is what it is. GPG is what it is. SSH is what it is. If you believe that anything like those is some kind of means for true dissent against truly powerful governments that don't want to hear that particular type of dissent that particular week...

Part of the foundation of the bigger problems in my opinion is that very large corporations sold the public on their software and hardware as being some kind of secure product that it never was. In a fantasy land with better justice, those companies would be bankrupted by fraud lawsuits. I don't want to see the same kind of fraud leveled with Tor (or Tails, or whatever flavor of the day). These systems are vastly complex. When you advertise your latest Tor enhancements to the world, including dissidents against very powerful governments, please think very carefully about the ramifications. Sure, it's not exactly your fault if somebody takes an unfortunate risk relying too heavily on your software. But...

AlexT July 20, 2016 5:15 AM

Bruce

Sounds like a nice move but I would (and I guess many others) be interested to hear what this position actually entails?

Also any comments on the Green withdrawal?

-alexT

CzernoJuly 20, 2016 12:45 PM

@AlexT, @All :
«... comments on the Green withdrawal? »

I sure would also like to read Bruce's (and others' "in the know") opinions on this disturbing move!

Doesn't Lucky's departure notice, explicitly mentioning a question of "ethics" without more details, suggest him being the target of a "Lavabit" kind of NSL or a similar gag order from authorities demanding compromising access to his systems ?

Begs the question... will Bruce and other informed persons be allowed to tell what they might know, albeit allusively ? Where is / was their respective "canary birds" to be found ?

Jones JamesJuly 23, 2016 3:13 AM

I suspect the vectors used to target Tor may used malware installed on to target machines after exploiting firefox vulnerabilities. Perhaps MiTM or crafted website.The machines could have initially been targeted by a number of ways like special crafted cookie, beacon or any other number of ways exposed by the browser or header. Perhaps the users did not have their software up to date, or a particular server was seized or backdoored and then those accessing it could have malware loaded onto their system using a firefox vulnerability or a tracking method to identify them later on when they were not securely browsing the web.

I take it these sad people accessing the child porn were doing it straight from their home computers, so it serves them right for looking at such sick things as exploitation material.I imagine the vast majority of such people would have the kind of behavioural patterns that will eventually lead them to being caught and perhaps also blackmailed exploited themselves.

joni trumpJuly 23, 2016 6:55 PM

Congratulations

Bruce, place a photo of a canary on the blog. if you find the network is compromised or someone comes in to place a backdoor, remove the canary photo. =)

Mr. Obvious (aghast)July 23, 2016 10:38 PM

On topic:

My commiserations to Schneier on being appointed, I would run away screaming if I were him :)

Slightly off topic:

Anyone else unable to stomach reading to the end of that TOR IRC log linked by Github Augean Stable? I got about 7/10ths through. The silly nonsense was rather equally distributed among all of them including ioerror although in fairness it is very easy to misread what is being said in the fluidity of an IRC environment.

These people still don't understand what Snowden revealed: trust does not exist.

Anyone still talking about trusting someone or something have lost.

Luckily other ways do exist as used by science. One isn't supposed to trust science, one is supposed to be able to reproduce it and continuously correct it.

Aside from all that and many other issues it was also sad to see fossilized simplistic and static world views being flaunted as holy gospel & righteous wrath no different in nature to other ideological and religious stampedes of the past and present.

MonkeyshineMay 6, 2017 10:58 PM

Third time was charm.

After years of hosting wimpy relays - have now placed a real one into operation sharing our home fiber connection.

Doing it openly, until this ISP squawks - whereupon I'll shove it through a VPN connection. But only after hairpullin' and dragging their name through as many newspapers as possible.

There's not much that ails Tor besides apathy. If the propellerheads can fix the system - there's no reason for the public to refrain from using it to beat the government and corporations senseless.

Most important task for the Tor people is to insure that *anyone* can publish untraceable "fake news". We'll then slit their throats a little at a time.

Right now, all this is too much of a science experiment. Why hasn't anyone posted .isos for whonix protected locally hosted free onion servers? And hardened relays?

KISS is ignored by the Tor organization. Always has. They are aloof.


BTW, these guys did what the Tor people haven't. Turnkey hardened relay: ipfire.org
Tor doesn't even mention them. "Not developed here syndrome"?


Clive RobinsonMay 7, 2017 4:26 AM

@ Monkeyshine,

If the propellerheads can fix the system - there's no reason for the public to refrain from using it to beat the government and corporations senseless.

That is the crux of the problem. Tor has known deficiencies when it comes to traffic analysis, but the powers that be in Tor see no reason to consider them let alone fix them.

The problem with this is that whilst Tor might give you a degree of anonymity now, If and only If you take certain other precautions it almost certainly will cease to do so in the future.

You then get into the issue of invested resourses which means even if a better system is developed people will not move over because of the investment they have made. Instead they will go into "magic umbrella" thinking based on nothing more than faux correlations.

Thus Tor will be used for decades after it is nolonger safe to do so, the consequences of which might take a long time to surface.

Also is the issue of what the UK is upto currently, there has been a document leaked that in essence makes it illegal to use a crypto protected communications system that is not somehow MITMed so the plain text can be recovered, which makes Tor and it's use illegal.

As I've pointed out in the past this is a compleatly pointless endevor against criminals and terrorists because there is a simple work around they can use. Thus the only possible explanation for bringing in such legislation is to spy on innocent people.

Further the UK legislation defines the extent of it's writ in a very ambiguous way and it boils down to any communications it can reach by whatever method independent of any other Sovereign States jurisdiction.

Which means the UK government has given it's self the power not just to spy on all those in it's jurisdiction but everyone in any any place any where any time by whatever method they can.

As Isaac Asimov once said "Welcome to the world of the goldfish bowl".

RatioMay 9, 2017 5:17 AM

@Clive Robinson,

[...] the UK government has given it's self the power [...]

Powers were granted by Parliament.

And who were those who voted for the Investigatory Powers Bill? Who voted against? Who abstained?

But let's not let facts get in the way of the narrative...

Clive RobinsonMay 9, 2017 9:12 AM

@ Ratio,

Powers were granted by Parliament.

Firstly look up what a "three line whip" is it might change your perspective a lot.

Then look at all the other methods of coercion available to the leader of a political party, even supposed "free votes" are anything but.

Such is the way of the UK Parliament.

Then have a look at this article written by a lawyer, that highlights how those in power try to mislead or hoodwing not just the House of Commons, but also the House of Lords over the IP Act,

http://www.cyberleagle.com/2017/05/back-doors-black-boxes-and-ipact.html

But as you say,

let's not let facts get in the way of the narrative...

Oh how's your Shakespeare comming along? Don't forget to keep brushing it up.

RatioMay 9, 2017 10:39 PM

@Clive Robinson,

Ayes in the House of Commons:

  • Conservative (269)
  • Democratic Unionist Party (8)
  • Independent (3)
  • Labour (162)
  • Ulster Unionist Party (2)

So much opposition from the Opposition.

In the House of Lords, where the Tories don't have a majority, the Bill could have been defeated outright. You can look up how things went there yourself if you want the details.

Your assertion that the UK government has given it's self the power is contradicted by reality. Powers were granted by Parliament.

But let's not let facts get in the way of your deluded narrative...

Clive RobinsonMay 10, 2017 1:37 AM

@ Ratio,

In the House of Lords, where the Tories don't have a majority, the Bill could have been defeated outright.

And a defeat in the Lords would achive what exactly?

Back to your Shakespeare lessons...

RatioMay 10, 2017 10:05 PM

@Clive Robinson,

And a defeat in the Lords would achive what exactly?

I'll leave it to you to ponder what would be achieved by defeats in both the Lords and the Commons (as you know, there are enough potential Opposition votes to defeat those 269 Tory votes).

Independently, and more to the point, the narrative that the UK government has given it's self the power is deluded twaddle. The Opposition actively collaborated in the form of 175 ayes in the Commons (see previous comment) and another number of ayes in the Lords. They didn't just not disapprove, they didn't even show their indifference by abstaining (as a host of Opposition MPs did), they approved of the Bill.

But who needs facts when you've got ideology...

RatioMay 10, 2017 10:15 PM

@Clive Robinson,

They didn't just not disapprove, they didn't even show their indifference by abstaining (as a host of Opposition MPs did), they approved of the Bill.

They also approved (no "of") the Bill.

Clive RobinsonMay 11, 2017 4:35 AM

@ Ratio,

You've failed to actually look at the way the two UK political houses work and their relationship to the executive and the way the executive can get what it wants.

So go back and look at it starting with why a defeat in the Lords means nothing, as does a defeat in the commons.

Especially the way both houses have been or are being reduced in size in a very selective way, even though the number of people in the UK has gone up.

Then sit and think on it for a while and think if you can come up with a better system of patronage that pretends to be democratic.

RatioMay 12, 2017 12:50 AM

@Clive Robinson,

You've failed to actually look at the way the two UK political houses work and their relationship to the executive and the way the executive can get what it wants. [...]

That's quite the "argument": an unsubstantiated assertion, based on a premise that may well turn out to be false, followed by some suggestions for ways to keep myself busy.

Meanwhile, you've provided no evidence for the claim that the UK government has given it's self the power, not Parliament.

Nor have you presented any evidence for the (implicit) claim that Parliament is no more than a puppet of Her Majesty's Government.

Absent any evidence, those claims sure look like deluded twaddle. And maybe that's because that's exactly what they are...

Clive RobinsonMay 12, 2017 2:53 AM

@ Ratio,

If you had looked up what I suggested you would know you are wrong and more importantly why. But you have not as usual.

You appear to have forgoton you've pulled this crap on me before and got proved you either did not know what you were talking about or were trolling.

You then went on and tried the same crap with others who were quite reasonably less tolerant of your nonsence.

Why do you not either grow up or as others suggested get your medications checked.

At the very least "Brush up your Shakespeare".

RatioMay 12, 2017 8:07 PM

@Clive Robinson,

Whatever Government wants, Parliament delivers. And whipped voting guarantees the desired outcome. Or maybe not:

  • No 10 concedes Sunday trading defeat after Commons rebellion: No 10 has conceded that its plans to relax Sunday trading laws are dead in the water, after David Cameron suffered his biggest Commons defeat since the election at the hands of his own Conservative MPs. [...] The defeat is the second of this parliament in the Commons for Cameron, and the first major one since his failure to win a vote on military action in Syria in 2013. His first loss of the parliament was a vote won by Tory Eurosceptics and Labour over the “purdah” rules governing the EU referendum in September. [...] But the real damage to the government was done by 27 of its MPs, whose rebellion underlined Cameron’s weakened grasp over his parliamentary party and highlighted the fractious mood of backbenchers in the run-up to next week’s budget and June’s referendum on membership of the European Union.
  • Government suffers chaotic double defeat over bill to combat religious hatred: The government last night suffered a chaotic defeat over its bill to combat religious hatred when a lethal mixture of Labour rebels, abstentions and absentees from Westminster delivered an unexpected triumph to the combined Opposition in both Lords and Commons. [...] As the Home Secretary immediately confirmed to gleeful MPs in the Commons the two defeats - the first by 288 to 278 votes - mean that the bill will now go for royal assent in the version amended substantially by the Lords last autumn. [...] It was only the second Commons defeat for Mr Blair since 1997, just two months after his reduced 2005 election majority of 64 was overturned in the battle over 90 day detention for terror suspects. But it is certain to embolden critics - peers and MPs - who are determined to defeat the ID cards bill and to modify the secondary school reforms before a bill is published next month. David Cameron's reviving Conservatives were only on a two-line whip, in contrast to Labour and the Lib Dems, whose three-liner was intended to bring all MPs in to vote. But Labour whips miscalculated and did not think they had to bring their byelection team home, let alone keep the prime minister at Westminster.
  • Ministers have lost a vote on pubs after Lib Dem and Tory rebels united with Labour to back a proposal to loosen the control of pub companies over pub landlords.: The government has been defeated over proposals to allow pub tenants tied to big companies to demand a market rent only (MRO) agreement from their parent company. A broadly-backed amendment to the small business, enterprise and employment bill, signed by MPs from all three main parties, was approved by 284 votes to 269, majority 15. [...] It is thought to be the government’s first defeat on one of its own bills since the 2010 election.

These were some of the first results when searching The Guardian for "humiliating defeat government bill". Using "crushing defeat" instead of "humiliating defeat" might yield fun results, too. And "defeat bill defy whip" could prove informative. And of course there are other sites and terms you could use.

There's bound to be better examples that show that the Parliament doesn't just follow Government's orders and that whips can and will be defied, but there doesn't seem to be any amount of evidence that could convince you so I'm not wasting my time looking for them.

Where's the concrete evidence for the claims you make? There doesn't appear to be any. And thus I'll insist on calling them what they are: deluded twaddle.

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