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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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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

Are these nails from the crucifixion?, Eagle Eye

Are these nails from the crucifixion?

Number 571 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by the Daily Doingitonpurpose.
Thanks to Arieh Kovler, who noted the original version of the question in Haaretz, a little more specific: “Are these the nails used to crucify Jesus?”
And to Benjamin, who noted the similarity to number 570, asked by the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 April 2011 at 6:24 pm

Did Winston Churchill ever win an election?, Eagle Eye

Did Winston Churchill ever win an election?

Working Class Tory repeats a formative grievance of mine from an unusual perspective. It used to be a left-wing complaint that Labour won more votes in the 1951 election while the Conservatives won more seats. WTC complains that Winston Churchill was useless at winning elections, losing in 1945, 1950 — and “losing” in 1951.
In fact the [...]

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

The Lib Dem Tax Sop, Eagle Eye

The Lib Dem Tax Sop

A belated footnote to the exchange I had with Matt Chorley, my brilliant colleague, in the pages of The Independent on Sunday about Nick Clegg. The feature arose because, after the Deputy Prime Minister’s interview with Jemima Khan in the New Statesman in which he said he sometimes cried listening to music, some of the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 12 April 2011 at 10:27 am

Is George Osborne the Martin Luther King of the Coalition?, Eagle Eye

Is George Osborne the Martin Luther King of the Coalition?

First the Daily Mail, now Paul Waugh. Doing it on purpose. Trying to get into the world-famous list of Questions to Which the Answer is No. It is a good question, though, even if the MLK connection is so tenuous you can see through it. Number 569.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 11 April 2011 at 6:59 pm

Competition in health care saves lives, Eagle Eye

Competition in health care saves lives

It may be hard to persuade the great British public of this, but it would be a more honest message than the current obfuscations of Andrew Lansley, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, which I discuss in The Independent on Sunday today.

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 10 April 2011 at 10:39 pm

“Interesting … and yet somehow deeply dull at the same time”, Eagle Eye

“Interesting … and yet somehow deeply dull at the same time”

That was Patrick Hennessy’s response, which I was thinking of having carved on my biodegradable memorial plaque, when I drew attention to these fascinating facts in Professor John Curtice’s article on the unimportance of the Alternative Vote in this month’s Parliamentary Brief…

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 9 April 2011 at 6:24 pm

Learn-and-Forget in Afghanistan, Eagle Eye

Learn-and-Forget in Afghanistan

How to explain Britain’s lack of success in Afghanistan? Matt Cavanagh, who was special adviser at the Ministry of Defence 2006-07 and then in No 10 for Gordon Brown 2007-10, has an important article in this week’s Spectator.

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 9 April 2011 at 11:18 am

The Man With the Plan, Eagle Eye

The Man With the Plan

Tony Blair at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington yesterday was an unapologetic interventionist in Libya. “Let’s assume we get Gaddafi out,” he said, blithely. “We’re going to have to help build those [civil institutions]; we need to be players not spectators.”

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 8 April 2011 at 1:07 pm

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