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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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Questions to Which the Answer is Nyet, Eagle Eye

Questions to Which the Answer is Nyet

“Is Russia’s puppet president ready to stand up to his master?”
Well, the Telegraph changed the headline to “Is Dmitry Medvedev ready to stand up to Vladimir Putin?”, but the original is preserved in the url (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8451710/Is-Russias-puppet-president-ready-to-stand-up-to-his-master.html)
Is that because they realised that a puppet cannot stand up to his master unless the blue fairy turns him [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 15 April 2011 at 10:14 pm

Should Zsa Zsa Gabor Become a New Mom at Age 94?, Eagle Eye

Should Zsa Zsa Gabor Become a New Mom at Age 94?

Um, wait. Er, I know the answer to this one. Anyway, this is number 579 in the unstoppable series.  Thank you to Damian Counsell at PootBlog.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, at age younger than 94, right.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:59 pm

Michael Meacher Demands an Inquiry into Why He Was So Useless, Eagle Eye

Michael Meacher Demands an Inquiry into Why He Was So Useless

A former minister has demanded an official investigation into his approval of a controversial nuclear fuel plant at Sellafield in Cumbria, reports The Independent.
“Tony Blair made me do it,” said Mr Meacher, 71. “Only a full public judicial inquiry into why I took a decision with which I didn’t agree would put this matter to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 15 April 2011 at 9:43 pm

Is Sunday School the root of all evil?, Eagle Eye

Is Sunday School the root of all evil?

Has the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No jumped the shark? That’s number 577, and the specimen above, from the Telegraph blogs, is 578.
I do not care that the Daily Mail has realised that I was making fun of it and is therefore manufacturing QTWTAINs solely for the purpose of seeing them [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 15 April 2011 at 12:21 pm

Stuff their mouths with gold, part III, Eagle Eye

Stuff their mouths with gold, part III

“I stuffed their mouths with gold.”
Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the National Health Service,* explained at a private dinner circa 1956 how he had secured the doctors’ consent for the 1948 settlement. It was a remark made public by Professor Brian Abel-Smith only in 1964. (Nicholas Timmins, The Five Giants, p115.)
Unfortunately, the British Medical Association, one of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 10:36 pm

Socially mobile politicians, Eagle Eye

Socially mobile politicians

Zac Murdoch made an interesting point in a comment on my post yesterday announcing that “social mobility” had been added to the Banned List. I had said that Alan Milburn, David Blunkett and Alan Johnson were evidence that people brought up in poverty could reach the top in politics at least:
It’s notable that the three [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 6:04 pm

Could a fry-up followed by doughnuts be good for the heart?, Eagle Eye

Could a fry-up followed by doughnuts be good for the heart?

I know the Daily Mail has now hired people specifically for the purpose of ensuring that it is frequently plugged on this blog, but duty calls. Number 574 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked today (above).
Thanks to Patrick Hennessy.
And The Independent is playing catch-up, with number 575:
Has an [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 14 April 2011 at 3:39 pm

What kind of hypocrisy, again?, Eagle Eye

What kind of hypocrisy, again?

And if I did restart the Banned List, I would add “breathtaking hypocrisy”, as used by Yasmin Qureshi, Labour MP for Bolton South-East, to describe the Prime Minister’s comments about his old university (right).
Well, it was either that kind or rank.
Thanks to Daniel Knowles, who pointed it out. And thanks to Adam Gray.
But, asks Damesignora, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 9:30 pm

Social Mobility is Not Allowed, Eagle Eye

Social Mobility is Not Allowed

If I ever revive the  Banned List – and I am on the cusp – one of the first phrases to go on it will be social mobility. Nick Clegg last week made a speech and published a document on the subject. Faisal Islam at Channel 4 News summed up the Government’s new “strategy” thus:
1. Rename [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 April 2011 at 3:50 pm

The Nye Bevan Memorial Quiz, Eagle Eye

The Nye Bevan Memorial Quiz

We haven’t had a quiz for a while. So let’s have an NHS modernisation quiz. Who said this?
As society evolves, so too must the NHS. The Bill will deliver a modern NHS fit for the 21st century. It is the natural progression of the original vision to deliver the finest health care for all our [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 April 2011 at 10:17 pm

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