John Rentoul

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John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning. Click here and 'like' to receive updates on Facebook

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Labour’s Vanishing Lead, Eagle Eye

Labour’s Vanishing Lead

We now have three different attempts to quantify the average movement of opinion polls in the last year or so before British general elections.
Here are Leo Barasi’s new calculations. His rule for the polls a year before an election is: halve the lead (of whichever party) and then move the lead 3½ points in the governing [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 5:34 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. I don’t want to give anything away, but a record has been broken.
As well as asking how people would vote in the general election, we have resumed our Favourability Index, asking about the four party leaders, George Osborne, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 12:54 pm

Good sense from Osborne, Eagle Eye

Good sense from Osborne

The Chancellor has just delivered a thoughtful speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. I thought this section, rebutting Ed Miliband’s “broken link” and “hollowed out middle” theses, was clear and persuasive:
I believe that if we reward hard work and support people’s aspirations to provide a better life for their family then there is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 8:56 pm

“I voted for a mass murderer”, Eagle Eye

“I voted for a mass murderer”

Arieh Kovler asked the question:
I wonder how many people who claim that Blair was a war criminal still voted for him in 2005.
And Joe Twyman of YouGov has generously supplied the answer: Among those who voted Labour in 2005, YouGov found 9 per cent who said in January 2010 that Tony Blair “should be tried [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 2:19 pm

Don’t mention the war, Eagle Eye

Don’t mention the war

My eyes hurt when I read this article in The Guardian by Zoe Williams. She praises the achievements of the Blair government and laments the failure of many members of the Labour Party to do so:
Generally speaking they have allowed Blair to become a pariah – and this leaves them unable to celebrate his achievements, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 4:48 pm

The Cult of Tony Benn, Eagle Eye

The Cult of Tony Benn

Once again, David Hayes has wrought his magic. He writes beautifully and thoughtfully about British politics for an Australian website, Inside Story. Now he has turned his attention to Tony Benn. His response to the challenge is a bit like that of the audience at the typical Benn revival meeting that he describes at the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 April 2014 at 2:53 pm

Ed Miliband’s Big Speech, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband’s Big Speech

I cannot make up my mind whether what Ed Miliband is proposing is so vacuous that it wouldn’t matter if he led a government, or if such woolly thinking would be dangerous.
He does us a favour in his big speech today of summarising his economic policy succinctly:
We need to see more good quality middle income [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 April 2014 at 12:20 pm

Words With Opposite Meanings, Eagle Eye

Words With Opposite Meanings

I chose my Top 10 Words With Opposite Meanings in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, yesterday. I admit that many of them are not quite opposite. Buckle to join together and buckle to collapse are not at 180 degrees to each other.
Tom Freeman correctly points out that literally as an intensifier does [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 7 April 2014 at 8:44 pm

In Partial Defence of Maria Miller, Eagle Eye

In Partial Defence of Maria Miller

Are the rest of us mome raths entitled to feel outgrabed? asks Malcolm Redfellow, about my article in partial defence of Maria Miller in The Independent on Sunday today. He points out that I am in the uffish minority holding out against the slithy toves of even the Tory press in vorpal killing mode.
I know [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 April 2014 at 6:43 pm

Snicker-snack, Eagle Eye


First I come to praise sub-editors, and Adrian Read in particular. Usually writers like to complain about how subs take out their jokes and put in mistakes. One of the joys of writing for The Independent on Sunday is that its sub-editors make my writing better.
Thanks to Adrian I was saved from misquoting Lewis Carroll [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 April 2014 at 5:09 pm

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