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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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Is this the Monster of Lake Windermere?, Eagle Eye

Is this the Monster of Lake Windermere?

Too easy, as my informant says. Number 513, asked by Paul Byrne at the Mirror.
And bonus marks to Dr Ian Winfield, a lake ecologist at the University of Lancaster, who is quoted as saying:
It’s possible that it’s a catfish from Eastern Europe.

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 19 February 2011 at 1:12 pm

Blue blood and red cheeks: does David Cameron look like King William IV?, Eagle Eye

Blue blood and red cheeks: does David Cameron look like King William IV?

Number 512 in the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Political Scrapbook.
Thank you to garlick47.
Number 511 was asked yesterday by Toby Harnden of the Telegraph:
Will Osama bin Laden end up at Guantanamo Bay?

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 18 February 2011 at 10:47 pm

Iraq war was built on lies. But not Tony Blair’s, Eagle Eye

Iraq war was built on lies. But not Tony Blair’s

Dreary anti-war regurgitation by Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail today. A new fact has surfaced – or, rather, has been confirmed – in that Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, the intelligence source known as Curveball, has told The Guardian that he made up some stuff about mobile biological weapons labs.
So Glover simply restates all the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 17 February 2011 at 3:56 pm

“Losing to a $10m alarm clock”, Eagle Eye

“Losing to a $10m alarm clock”

Garry Kasparov has written an engrossing article about computers and chess in the New York Review of Books. Nominally a review of a book, of which Kasparov evidently has a low opinion, it is a wonderfully articulate meditation on his experience of being the best chess-player in the world at the very time when computers [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 February 2011 at 6:26 pm

1931 And All That, Part II, Eagle Eye

1931 And All That, Part II

3 February 1931 The Prime Minister (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald) (right):
Then we come to the point made by the right hon. Member for Chelsea (Sir S. Hoare) yesterday. He said that in the case of candidates A, B and C, that when C is eliminated and his second votes are added to the first votes of A [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 3:12 pm

1931 And All That, Part I, Eagle Eye

1931 And All That, Part I

2 February 1931 John Clynes (Lab), Home Secretary (right):
It is not claimed for the alternative vote that it is an absolutely accurate method. Even in this matter, as in so many other matters, a Labour Government must fall short of absolute perfection. It does, however, prevent the election of a candidate against the wishes of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 2:37 pm

Does the Alternative Vote Bring Tyranny to Australia?, Eagle Eye

Does the Alternative Vote Bring Tyranny to Australia?

Number 510 in the never-ending series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Antony Green, an Australian elections pundit.
It recalls the contribution made to the debate in the House of Commons on 4 March 1931 by Captain Anthony Eden (right):
I happened to be in Australia in 1925 when, by the working of this [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 2:07 pm

Vote Yes to AV for Mass Unemployment, Eagle Eye

Vote Yes to AV for Mass Unemployment

I promised not to write any more about the Alternative Vote in the newspaper, but I am still allowed to go on about it here. I am in favour of AV in principle, and opposed to proportional representation. It is not the most important thing, but it is a simple change that would give everyone [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 1:35 pm

Hands Off and Give Us the Money, Eagle Eye

Hands Off and Give Us the Money

Dan Hodges. Wrong on AV. Right about the Big Society. His post at Labour Uncut is excellent:
The prime minister announced, with a flourish, his ‘big idea’. ‘Our purse is empty. But do not worry. The voluntary sector will shoulder the burden.’ The volunteers looked up with a start. ‘But we can’t. You’ve taken all our [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 11:27 am

Not only the BBC is sneering and wrong, Eagle Eye

Not only the BBC is sneering and wrong

Two features in The Guardian are consistently worth reading. The “Corrections and Clarifications” column and Steve Bell.* The C&C column is like a disclosing tablet for LBLM&C† bias, and today’s is a fine example:
A report on the revolution in Egypt incorrectly stated that Hosni Mubarak “was on a plane with his family to Sharm el-Sheikh, where [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 15 February 2011 at 10:19 am

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