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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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The end of consumerism?, Eagle Eye

The end of consumerism?

Number 635 in the series that keeps on giving (is that on the Banned List?), Questions to Which the Answer is No, is asked by Leo Hickman, maintaining the Guardian-Compass franchise on wistful anti-capitalism.
Thanks to Dan O’Connor.
This would be a good moment to say again how much I enjoy self-checkouts.
Meanwhile, Ashley Wise asks:
Have any of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 9:58 pm

I disagree with Tony Blair, Eagle Eye

I disagree with Tony Blair

I disagree with Tony Blair. But I’ll come back to that presently. I’ve been reading his introduction to the paperback edition of A Journey, in which he talks about religion.
But I also flicked through some of the rest of it, and was struck by this argument (page 681), which I didn’t take in first time [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 3:19 pm

The Banned List: Top 100, Eagle Eye

The Banned List: Top 100

I have an article in The Independent today about the Banned List, so I reproduce the latest version here. These are the top 100 words and phrases to avoid.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 14 June 2011 at 12:01 am

Left tokenism, hand waving and soporific sloganising … bound to fail, Eagle Eye

Left tokenism, hand waving and soporific sloganising … bound to fail

Hopi Sen has stopped blogging, temporarily we hope, but continues to deploy his brilliance in, of all ghastly dark corners of the internet, the Comment Is Free comment boxes. To save you going there, I reprint his response to Neal Lawson, chair of Compass, in full here…

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 13 June 2011 at 3:59 pm

Can We End Obesity Within A Decade?, Eagle Eye

Can We End Obesity Within A Decade?

Number 634 in the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Carole Carson, a “fitness advocate” (“Occupation?” “Fitness advocate.”), at the Huffington Post, or, as this part of it seems to be called, AOL Healthy Living.
Thanks to Dan.
Also today I bring you number 633, from the automatic QTWTAIN generator:
We’re all [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 13 June 2011 at 9:50 am

Labour tries to be interesting, Eagle Eye

Labour tries to be interesting

Alastair Campbell last week described Labour as the “third most interesting party”. Well, there is one way that Labour people know to fix that problem, and that is to launch a coruscating civil war.
We have had the leak of the Ed Balls files (my column in The Independent on Sunday is a defence of the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 12 June 2011 at 3:10 pm

Are boring films good for the soul?, Eagle Eye

Are boring films good for the soul?

At last, a Question to Which the Answer is No to which I can bring the authority of personal experience. As someone who has walked out of a Tarkovsky film, I can confidently say that this question, asked by Vanessa Thorpe in The Observer today, is number 630 in my series.
The Observer also provides number [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 12 June 2011 at 10:26 am

“Jilted”? Do They Mean Us?, Eagle Eye

“Jilted”? Do They Mean Us?

The young are less likely than older people to agree with Labour’s criticism of the Government for abandoning them. Ed Miliband borrowed the phrase “jilted generation” (right) the other day, but young people themselves are (slightly) less likely to think of themselves that way.
In a special ComRes opinion poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday and [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 10:30 pm

The Crash of 2008: No Left Turn, Eagle Eye

The Crash of 2008: No Left Turn

Extracts from the 31-page introduction to the paperback edition of Tony Blair’s A Journey are available on the book’s website. This bit, which is not on the website, is interesting, as it follows Blair’s warning to the left in the hardback original against taking the wrong lesson from the financial crisis:
In 2008, it was commonly [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 3:43 pm

Ken to Ed’s rescue, Eagle Eye

Ken to Ed’s rescue

Only one problem with the Dan Hodges deadline for Ed Miliband’s leadership, as laid down on Newsnight last night. Hodges said that the May local and London elections next year might be the occasion for the Labour Party to decide that it was not going to work. Michael Crick immediately saw the flaw: “So it’s [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 11 June 2011 at 11:27 am

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