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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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Will Royal wedding put people in an AV mood?, Eagle Eye

Will Royal wedding put people in an AV mood?

Number 506 in the increasingly ridiculous series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by the often embarrassing Yes campaign in the referendum on the Alternative Vote:
Around the wedding it will be a coming-into-summer, more optimistic, more of a yes mood.
Jim Pickard at the fine FT Westminster blog has repackaged this preposterous [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 February 2011 at 12:07 pm

Labour’s Lack of Leadership, Eagle Eye

Labour’s Lack of Leadership

I am baffled by the Labour leadership’s policy on votes for criminals. You can either be against giving criminals the vote or, if you are a principled eccentric, for it. I do not see how you can not take a view.
I can even understand, although I do not agree with it, why the Government decided [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 10 February 2011 at 10:23 pm

Is Obama Already A War Criminal?, Eagle Eye

Is Obama Already A War Criminal?

I saved up this gem for number 500 in the series of Questions to Which the Answer is … Well, What Do You Think? Oliver Kamm spotted it, which is fitting, because I stole the idea for the series from him in the first place (although, as the series started at 94, I should perhaps [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 9 February 2011 at 9:52 pm

Rank Play-Acting, Eagle Eye

Rank Play-Acting

The irreplaceable Simon Carr is away, so The Independent has had to find some mug to replace him and I was hustled, mock-reluctantly, to his empty chair. I missed a trick in my “sketch” (what an inadequate word that is to describe what Carr does) of David Cameron’s sly triumphalism over Megrahi in the Commons [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 February 2011 at 11:07 am

(Tiny Corner of) Paradise Regained, Eagle Eye

(Tiny Corner of) Paradise Regained

Peter Hitchens discusses David Cameron’s antimulticulturalism speech on his blog:
The real Fleet Street, in which one met journalists on rival newspapers every day, long ago ceased to exist. But a tiny corner of this lost paradise has been recreated. The Associated Newspapers building now hosts the offices of the ‘Independent’ and the ‘Independent on Sunday’ [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 February 2011 at 9:47 am

Health Department mandarin says reforms are a “nightmare”, Eagle Eye

Health Department mandarin says reforms are a “nightmare”

Reading the minutes of the the Public Accounts Committee for 25 January, as one does while one waits for kickoff in the Super Bowl, this leapt out at me.
After a complicated discussion about “risk pools” in the new NHS with Sir David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS,* Richard Bacon, Conservative MP for South Norfolk, asked him about accountability.
What [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 11:04 pm

Nick Clegg, heir to Blair, Eagle Eye

Nick Clegg, heir to Blair

It is not only Cameronian Conservatives who read Tony Blair’s book looking for lessons for government. A Liberal Democrat close to Nick Clegg told me they had just read the bit (pages 482-490) about the tuition fees vote of 2004 – which Blair won with a majority of five and which consumed the entire Downing [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 4:06 pm

Tonight’s American Ritual, Eagle Eye

Tonight’s American Ritual

Just in case you missed my preview of tonight’s Super Bowl for The Independent on Sunday – the online version is buried beneath an article about prostitution – here it is:
If you have never watched American football, tonight’s Super Bowl will be as incomprehensible a spectacle as an Aztec sacrifice would have been to the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 11:48 am

Will Cameron sanction a campaign that is hostile to his deputy?, Eagle Eye

Will Cameron sanction a campaign that is hostile to his deputy?

My column for The Independent on Sunday features number 499 in the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, which was asked by Tim Montgomerie at the New Statesman last week:
An all-out attack on Clegg’s screeching U-turn on tuition fees may be the best chance of keeping first-past-the-post, but will Cameron sanction a [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 February 2011 at 10:39 am

Pedantrys, Eagle Eye

Pedantrys

I am pleased to report that the Lord Keleny, Pedant in Chief, has ruled in my favour on the vexed issue of a plural smart phone. It’s BlackBerrys, not BlackBerries. As what I wrote, here and here.
But I had forgotten, if I had ever known, about the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Update: And it also [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 5 February 2011 at 4:46 pm

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