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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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Gall’s Law, Eagle Eye

Gall’s Law

A letter to The Independent today:
There is an informal rule in internet comments that any comparison with Hitler and the Nazis immediately closes the discussion and causes the person who made the reference to lose the debate. Perhaps we could have a similar rule to be invoked when anyone blames events today on the prime minister [...]

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

Is this a squadron of UFOs flying over California?, Eagle Eye

Is this a squadron of UFOs flying over California?

They have done it again. Left the autostorybot on overnight. And this is the sort of gibberish it produces. Oh well. Number 614 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No.
And once again, first spotted by Oliver Kamm. He’s good at this, you know.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 31 May 2011 at 5:39 pm

Will Kissinger, Bush & Blair Be Brought Before the International Court?, Eagle Eye

Will Kissinger, Bush & Blair Be Brought Before the International Court?

Mark Seddon, former editor of Tribune, re-asks number 180 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No. It is a common enough way of saying “I didn’t agree with the Iraq war” but each time the questioner manages to add another layer of insult.
With Philippe Sands it was to compare Tony Blair’s [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 30 May 2011 at 5:41 pm

Competition, competition and competition, Eagle Eye

Competition, competition and competition

Prophet in own land. Vindication too late. That was the gist of my column for The Independent on Sunday yesterday, in which I celebrated the irrefutable demonstration that competition in schools provision raises standards not just in academies but in neighbouring schools. (On which I commented here last week.)
If I had had space, I would [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 30 May 2011 at 3:39 pm

Is this Bigfoot caught on video?, Eagle Eye

Is this Bigfoot caught on video?

I do not know what number this is in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, because I cannot find the first time I asked (and answered) it.
But the Daily Mail is now asking it again, and quoting a woman who insists that it really is Bigfoot this time.
Update: I’ve found it. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 28 May 2011 at 5:34 pm

Deceptiveness about Iraq, Eagle Eye

Deceptiveness about Iraq

The robustness of Philippe Sands’s opinion that he didn’t agree with the invasion of Iraq is undermined by an article he has written to introduce his talk at the Hay festival today. It praises Daniel Ellsberg, the New York Times and the US Supreme Court for the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 28 May 2011 at 4:53 pm

Haunted by the spectre of chaos, Eagle Eye

Haunted by the spectre of chaos

The trouble with pedantry is that there is always more of it. I remember the shock of being told, at the age of 24 when I thought I knew everything, that I had misspelt “minuscule”. (By Sarah Benton, the wonderful deputy editor of the New Statesman.) Guy Keleny in his Errors & Omissions column today [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 28 May 2011 at 11:54 am

Restart yourself by your own bootstraps, Eagle Eye

Restart yourself by your own bootstraps

I have not updated the Banned List much since it reached 100 prohibitions. The first 100 are here; some additions are here. There is also now in production a secret supplement, compiled under the terms of a superinjunction to which I am not allowed to refer. This is designed to keep you in a state [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 27 May 2011 at 1:41 pm

“If you set up a school and it becomes a good school …”, Eagle Eye

“If you set up a school and it becomes a good school …”

Taking a break from playing cliché bingo with Barack Obama’s speech (I was going to add “inextricably linked” to the new version of The Banned List, which I am compiling, only to discover that I had added it already), I must find time to record a new study of academy schools (pdf).
The research, by Stephen [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 25 May 2011 at 10:38 pm

Is This Cat a Great Photographer?, Eagle Eye

Is This Cat a Great Photographer?

Fine contribution  to my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No from Huffington Post: number 613.
The sample (right) proves my point.
Meanwhile, my attention has been drawn to this letter to The Daily Telegraph on Saturday:

SIR – I am reminded of an after-dinner game in which guests score points for coming up with a question to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 24 May 2011 at 9:46 am

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