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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Military “Failure” in Helmand and Basra, Eagle Eye

Military “Failure” in Helmand and Basra

I’ve had an interesting response to my post on the recent lack of British military success in Afghanistan, which sought to summarise a thesis propounded by Matt Cavanagh, Denis MacShane, Anthony King and Lieutenant General Chris Brown.
Gavin Bailey, lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Dundee University, emailed to say that the buck passing from the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 15 May 2011 at 9:44 pm

Tories cut Labour lead to one point, Eagle Eye

Tories cut Labour lead to one point

David Cameron has emerged from last week’s elections and referendum in a strong position, cutting Labour’s lead to one point in our ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow.
Voting intention
Con       38% (+3)
Lab        39% (nc)
LD          11% (+1)
Others   12% (-4)
(Change since our poll [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 7:30 pm

Amis on Hitch, Eagle Eye

Amis on Hitch

I have only just finished Christopher Hitchens’s lovely memoir, Hitch-22. I’m a slow reader, but this time I was slower than usual because I didn’t want to get to the end.
The whole book is a meditation on mortality, as if he were aware of his imminent diagnosis (Hitchens writes about the latest stage of his [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 1:32 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday, shared with the Sunday Mirror, tomorrow.
This will give us a fix on the standing of the parties after the local and devolved elections and the referendum. Our last poll, carried out online rather than the telephone polls that ComRes runs concurrently for the daily [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 14 May 2011 at 10:53 am

How to Ban Things and Alienate People, Eagle Eye

How to Ban Things and Alienate People

It has been a busy time for the Banned List on the Twitter. Nominations for inclusion in the next edition are coming in at a steady rate.  The Committee has been sitting in emergency session for several weeks now.
While the compilers work on a new list of Prohibited Clichés, here is something that Graydon Carter, the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 13 May 2011 at 7:43 pm

Making the case for the Iraq war. Again., Eagle Eye

Making the case for the Iraq war. Again.

Once more into the breach. Just for the sake of completeness, you understand. No one is going to change their mind. No one has changed their mind on Iraq since Johann Hari in about 2005. But I have started the Iraq Inquiry Coverage Rebuttal Service, so I’ll finish.
A little flurry of excitement among the LBLM&C [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 5:18 pm

Chilcot apologises to Straw for ambush, Eagle Eye

Chilcot apologises to Straw for ambush

Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry team has apologised to Jack Straw (pdf), the former Foreign Secretary (right), for failing to tell him in advance about documents on which it would question him, contrary to its rules:
Because of an oversight by the Inquiry, Mr Straw was not specifically notified in advance that the Inquiry would wish to refer [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 3:56 pm

Great Expectations, Eagle Eye

Great Expectations

Important and passionate article written by Peter Hyman about why he is setting up a free school in Newham in today’s Times, which you can read free on his website.
I was particularly impressed by his assessment of what is wrong with so many schools today:
Schools are too big; children in need of frequent support get lost; [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 12:11 pm

Are Cameron and Clegg cracking up?, Eagle Eye

Are Cameron and Clegg cracking up?

The Daily Mail website now seems to be devoted to parodies designed to trick me into adding its headlines to my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No. I have fallen for it again. Here, thanks to my friend Graham (you don’t think I read this stuff myself, do you?), is number 608:
Are Cameron [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 5:41 pm

The finger and the flat hand, Eagle Eye

The finger and the flat hand

Anyone watching Prime Minister’s Questions on television (or what we must learn to call video, as live-streamed on computer) or listening on the radio will have missed the off-camera and off-microphone entertainment provided by Ed Balls.
While Ed Miliband and David Cameron were engaged in a six-round argument about whether NHS waiting times had risen or [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 11 May 2011 at 3:12 pm

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