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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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Sometimes we need a bit of Commons traditionalisation, Eagle Eye

Sometimes we need a bit of Commons traditionalisation

A shocking trend worsened at Prime Minister’s Questions today. I do not refer to the Speaker’s habit of adding on time for stoppages. (Today’s was not the worst, possibly because the Budget was following – the last question was called at nearly 12.32 – I haven’t kept a record, but I am sure that others [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 10:20 pm

A Dog That Just Barked, Eagle Eye

A Dog That Just Barked

The bomb in Jerusalem today reminds me of a dog that hasn’t barked for a while – since, according to the BBC, 2004. There was a time, it seemed, when suicide bombings were a frequent occurrence in Israeli life, especially in Jerusalem. Then they built The Wall.
The separation barrier was widely condemned outside Israel. Plainly, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 9:45 pm

Was all alien life sucked into a black hole after ‘white dwarf hypernova’ star explosion… and could it wipe us out too?, Eagle Eye

Was all alien life sucked into a black hole after ‘white dwarf hypernova’ star explosion… and could it wipe us out too?

They have twigged at the Daily Mail. Someone up there has finally seen my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No on this blog. So now they are doing it on purpose. Two in one. Numbers 539 and 540.
I should end it here.
But they won’t stop me that easily.
Many thanks to PaulH61.
Picture: Alamy

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 7:52 pm

And the New Statesman’s view on Libya is …, Eagle Eye

And the New Statesman’s view on Libya is …

I quote from the press release announcing the position taken by the New Statesman on the issue of the day, namely military intervention in Libya:
In an Editor’s Note, Jason Cowley argues that today’s politicians should heed the warnings of John Stuart Mill before embarking on another military adventure in a Muslim country.
“This week, once again, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 4:28 pm

Was the world’s favourite polar bear, Knut, killed by fame?, Eagle Eye

Was the world’s favourite polar bear, Knut, killed by fame?

Didn’t have time to record number 538 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by the Daily Mail yesterday.
But can’t really let it go by.
Thanks to Matthew Burchell and Paul Sims.
Photograph: AP

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 9:40 pm

British action in Libya unpopular, Eagle Eye

British action in Libya unpopular

It is not even as well supported by the British public as the Iraq invasion, according to a ComRes/ ITV News poll out tonight. The poll shows that 53% of people think British forces shouldn’t risk death to protect Libyan opposition forces against Gaddafi’s regime.
Only 35% agree it is right for the UK to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 March 2011 at 10:00 pm

The “Why Should I Tidy My Bedroom” Theory, Eagle Eye

The “Why Should I Tidy My Bedroom” Theory

The House of Commons is debating Libya – after the planes have gone in, for the Henry Porter Tendency who accuse Tony Blair of riding cliché over parliamentary accountability.
It seems as if it is an interesting debate, and as if Ed Miliband got the tone right in supporting liberal interventionism – a welcome recovery from [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 March 2011 at 7:53 pm

Coffee? I’ll just have instant, Eagle Eye

Coffee? I’ll just have instant

We reported the massive study of Britain’s new middle class by BritainThinks, Deborah Mattinson’s new research company, in The Independent on Sunday yesterday.
The coverage included Mattinson’s account of her experience of talking about class in focus groups since the late 1980s, and three memoirs of being brought up in different classes, by an alarmingly thin [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 March 2011 at 6:25 pm

British military action against Gaddafi: for and against, Eagle Eye

British military action against Gaddafi: for and against

I haven’t had time to do a complete round-up, but here’s what I have so far…

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 9:51 pm

Is there a link between indie music and Gnosticism?, Eagle Eye

Is there a link between indie music and Gnosticism?

A rash of Questions to Which the Answer is No. Number 534, above, was asked of Bob Hardy at The Guardian.
Then we have number 535:
Mike Huckabee, a man to watch?
Number 536:
Will Tories’ honesty and new-found oomph be enough?
And number 537:
Could Artifical Intelligence Replace The Human Radio Personality?
Mind you, I’m not sure about that last one.
(Thanks [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 7:30 pm

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