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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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Is the Archbish right?, Eagle Eye

Is the Archbish right?

Is Rowan Williams right to say that “no one voted” for the Coalition Government’s policies?
He was talking about its “radical long-term policies” on health and education, but the charge would be more accurate if made of the Government’s deficit-reduction plan. Labour and the Lib Dems agreed on two-thirds of the Conservative spending cuts and tax rises.
And [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 9 June 2011 at 11:59 am

Did Giotto paint the Turin Shroud?, Eagle Eye

Did Giotto paint the Turin Shroud?

Number 626 in the endless series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by the automatic story generator at the Daily Mail (right; the online version does not ask a question and therefore risks failing Paul Dacre’s requirement that his entire organisation be devoted to trying to get mentioned on this blog).
Thanks [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 8 June 2011 at 9:31 am

What Michael Gove and Theresa May argued about, Eagle Eye

What Michael Gove and Theresa May argued about

A puzzling story in the Mail on Sunday was headlined, “Theresa May and Michael Gove at war over crackdown on home-grown terror”. Puzzling because Brendan Carlin’s byline was on it, and he is a proper journalist, yet the story did not say directly what it was that May and Gove disagreed about.
We can guess, of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 7 June 2011 at 7:30 pm

Cameron aide’s key role at bank that oversaw sale of troubled Southern Cross empire, Eagle Eye

Cameron aide’s key role at bank that oversaw sale of troubled Southern Cross empire

Even by Daily Mail standards, today’s front page is low. Jeremy Heywood was principal private secretary to Tony Blair, left to work for Morgan Stanley, and is now back in Downing Street as No 10 permanent secretary at the centre of David Cameron’s coalition government.
So the strap above the headline reads: “Blair aide’s key role [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 7 June 2011 at 2:12 pm

Will your mobile turn you into a hunchback?, Eagle Eye

Will your mobile turn you into a hunchback?

Fast. Thick. Number 620 in the inexhaustible series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by a newspaper autoqtwtain-generation machine.
Thanks to Louise Phillips.
Number 621 comes from the same source:
Has equality destroyed your sex life?
Thanks to Sam.
And, just to prove that I am not obsessed with the Daily Mail, number 622 comes from [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 6 June 2011 at 10:19 am

Is David Cameron the most Europhile prime minister since Edward Heath?, Eagle Eye

Is David Cameron the most Europhile prime minister since Edward Heath?

Peter Oborne. Number 619. Douglas Carswell rephrases the question here:
The most Euro integrationist government since Ted Heath’s?
The fruitcake count is high. All those Europhobe Tories who described Tony Blair as the most dangerous man in Britain because he wanted the euro to succeed, and expected Britain to join it, now condemn the most Eurosceptic prime minister since [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 5 June 2011 at 9:34 pm

I admit I was wrong, Eagle Eye

I admit I was wrong

If there is one group of internet commenters that rivals the Blair-haters for vituperation and dogmatism, it is the cannabis-legalisers. My article in The Independent on Sunday today, in which I argue (against the Cardoso Commission, right) that drugs that are illegal should stay illegal, has provoked them.
Several commenters have angrily demanded (a) that I [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 5 June 2011 at 5:29 pm

Is this a secret space station on Mars?, Eagle Eye

Is this a secret space station on Mars?

The Daily Mail storybot generated this automatic headline on the website’s front page (copied, right, because it will presumably be taken off the front page soon), but put a straight headline on the story itself. Still, a worthy number 617 for my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No.
Thanks to Paul McConville.
And here [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 5 June 2011 at 3:35 pm

Were the Smurfs Nazis?, Eagle Eye

Were the Smurfs Nazis?

Number 616 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Tim Karan at Newser.
The Smurfs were socialists and “the embodiment of a totalitarian utopia, steeped in Stalinism and Nazism,” says Antoine Buéno, a French sociologist, in a new book, Le Petit Livre Bleu.
Thanks to Andrew Scheuber.
And number 615 was [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 4 June 2011 at 10:16 am

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court judges?, Eagle Eye

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court judges?

James Grant in this month’s Prospect has raised the issue again of the composition of the Supreme Court (new chamber, right), what we know of the judges’ ideological leanings, and whether we should have American-style confirmation hearings on their appointment.
Alexander Horne, in his paper last year on the problems of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 3 June 2011 at 1:45 pm

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