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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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A Lesson from The Boss, Eagle Eye

A Lesson from The Boss

For the last session of the Blair Government class at Queen Mary, University of London, the students went to see their subject himself at his London office on Friday. This year’s students were eight when Tony Blair became Prime Minister. (Also in the photograph are some of the postgraduates who help with the course and [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 23 May 2011 at 10:10 pm

“Plunged Into Chaos Last Night As”, Eagle Eye

“Plunged Into Chaos Last Night As”

Didn’t realise that the Daily Mail Automatic Story Generator had been left on overnight and is still turning out its tasteless satire, until I watched this one-sided clash between David Aaronovitch, sensible person, and Michael Power, conspiracy theorist, on the BBC’s Daily Politics.
These are the words of the first sentence assembled by the DMASG, known [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 23 May 2011 at 4:29 pm

Let Us Take Ed Miliband Seriously, Eagle Eye

Let Us Take Ed Miliband Seriously

Perhaps it was a little harsh to compare Ed Miliband to Harold Camping, the millennarian who said the world was going to end yesterday.
After all, lots of people had already accused him of making a fool of himself by calling for Ken Clarke’s resignation (including Suzanne Moore, Steve Richards, Mary Dejevsky and Christina Patterson).
Why could I [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 9:57 pm

Choice in the NHS, Eagle Eye

Choice in the NHS

A historical jewel in Paul Corrigan’s consistently excellent Health Matters blog earlier this week. He points out that when the first NHS leaflet (pdf, right and below) was delivered to every house in July 1948, it enshrined the principle of patient choice from the start:
When you turned over the first page, the very first thing [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 21 May 2011 at 5:51 pm

Miliband’s Bad History, Eagle Eye

Miliband’s Bad History

Ed Miliband has an article in The Guardian this morning, which sets out the themes on which he will elaborate in a speech to Progress shortly. It sets out, in stream-of-cliché form, the leader’s strategy. It is to “chart the future” by being “the optimists, the party with a positive, patriotic mission for our country”.
All one [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 21 May 2011 at 12:35 pm

Will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth?, Eagle Eye

Will this wind be so mighty as to lay low the mountains of the earth?

Here is a classic, but topical, Question to Which the Answer is No from 1962.
Thanks to James.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 20 May 2011 at 9:42 pm

Can taking Viagra make you go deaf?, Eagle Eye

Can taking Viagra make you go deaf?

Number 612 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by the newspaper that the Prime Minister Dared to Contradict. (I told you it would be cross. Cameron’s ill-advised outburst of common sense in the matter of David Kelly yesterday has “led to anger“. Frankly, its report today should have [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 19 May 2011 at 9:31 am

The Lizard People Are Going to be Very Cross, Eagle Eye

The Lizard People Are Going to be Very Cross

Uh oh. David Cameron has recklessly upset the lizard people from the lower levels of the fourth dimension who run the Daily Mail. Look at this exchange at Prime Minister’s Questions today:
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): Now that there is to be a full investigation into the abduction or murder of Madeleine McCann, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at 4:25 pm

Did a gluten-free diet make Novak Djokovic the best tennis player in the world?, Eagle Eye

Did a gluten-free diet make Novak Djokovic the best tennis player in the world?

I do not normally do sport, apart from American football. I have a particular aversion to tennis, until they abolish the babyish second-service rule. And I have never heard of Novak Djokovic. But this, asked by Irish website The Score, is good enough to be number 611 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at 4:06 pm

A phone call in Pizza Express, Eagle Eye

A phone call in Pizza Express

Daniel Finkelstein makes a persuasive argument in The Times today (pay wall) against Gordon Brown’s appointment as head of the IMF. Persuasive if not wholly convincing. He opens, however, with the fullest account of Brown’s attempt, when he was Chancellor, to persuade George Osborne to allow him to go on a trip to Israel:
Sitting in [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 18 May 2011 at 12:31 pm

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