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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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Farewell to the wertyipet, Eagle Eye

Farewell to the wertyipet

I am scared to go into my attic in case I confirm that I have thrown away my great aunt’s travel typewriter, a beautiful grey-green masterpiece of metal engineering. I once also had a Remington upright that didn’t work, like the one on the right, and eventually put it out for scrap. (I know I [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 7:57 pm

Are we all going to die next Wednesday?, Eagle Eye

Are we all going to die next Wednesday?

Returning to the internet after the Easter weekend in the real world (Banned List number 76), I discover a cornucopia of Questions to Which the Answer is No.
Number 597, above, was asked by the Daily Mail’s Rentoul-baiting factory on Saturday, so the Wednesday to which it refers is tomorrow.
Today, the factory has a much friendlier [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 26 April 2011 at 11:31 am

Could Nicolas Sarkozy be the next Humphrey Bogart?, Eagle Eye

Could Nicolas Sarkozy be the next Humphrey Bogart?

Off on a break, but just time to record number 595 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by the Lost in Showbiz blog at The Guardian. (Lost in something, anyway.)
And one more. Number 596:
Complicity in Oppression: Does the Media Aid Israel?
Asked by Middle East Monitor. As Oliver Kamm, who [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 21 April 2011 at 10:13 pm

Arnold Schwarzenegger, President of Europe?, Eagle Eye

Arnold Schwarzenegger, President of Europe?

Here we go. Number 594 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by Cranmer, who also asked it in a longer form:
Is Arnold Schwarzenegger about to take on Van Rompuy [right] to become President of Europe?
He’s Austrian, see? So he can’t be president of the United States. So it’s obvious, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 21 April 2011 at 2:26 pm

Does it matter what David Cameron wears to the Royal Wedding?, Eagle Eye

Does it matter what David Cameron wears to the Royal Wedding?

Asked by Conservative Home, a Question to Which the Answer is, Is Someone Getting Married?
Thanks to Graham.
Good photograph ripped off Guido Spoons.

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 20 April 2011 at 2:51 pm

Was JFK killed because of his interest in aliens?, Eagle Eye

Was JFK killed because of his interest in aliens?

Every time I am tempted to call a halt, or at least a pause, in the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, the Daily Mail frustrates me.
A corker. Including the written-by-robot sub-headline:
Secret memo shows president demanded UFO files 10 days before death
Number 591.
Thanks to Niall Gooch.
Picture from Steam Shovel Press.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 11:14 am

Purple prose, Eagle Eye

Purple prose

Oh well. It’s doomed then. The Purple Book, a collection of essays by Labour modernisers echoing The Orange Book of Liberal Democrats, will have a theme, according to Rachel Sylvester in The Times (pay wall):
The overarching theme will be the need to move away from reliance on a big State and redistribute power to individuals [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 19 April 2011 at 10:12 am

Footnotes to Genius, Eagle Eye

Footnotes to Genius

I am again dipping in and out of Christopher Hitchens’s memoir, Hitch-22, after a pause to digest the sudden succession of political memoirs (Mandelson, Blair, Campbell vol 2, Richards, Cowley and Kavanagh, Seldon and Lodge).
I have come across several gems, often in footnotes.
Exhibit 1.
The Hitch’s first proper job in journalism was as Social Science Correspondent [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 18 April 2011 at 5:46 pm

Is Sugar Toxic?, Eagle Eye

Is Sugar Toxic?

A question asked by the New York Times. Number 589 in the series. Along with number 590:
Is Sitting a Lethal Activity?
At a time when, as Peter Lattman pointed out (via Alex Massie), the top four most emailed NYT headlines were all questions.
And one of the articles begins with the words “Dr Levine’s magic underwear”.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 18 April 2011 at 4:05 pm

Really interesting point about AV, Eagle Eye

Really interesting point about AV

I give up, when such a talented and intelligent a statesman as John Reid is reduced to spouting rubbish about electoral reform (“above all AV is not British”) just because he is on the same platform as the Prime Minister doing the same.
The column I wrote in November pronouncing the death of the Alternative Vote [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 18 April 2011 at 1:17 pm

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