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 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

“It’s the politics that got small”, Eagle Eye

“It’s the politics that got small”

Grateful to The Daily Telegraph for supplying a useful bundle of primary source material for next year’s Masters course in The Labour Governments 1997-2007 at Queen Mary, University of London.
Some of the students from previous years’ undergraduate course in The Blair Government talked to the BBC about what it was like to study ultra-contemporary history.
Yesterday [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 10 June 2011 at 12:39 pm

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

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