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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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China and Russia: arbiters of global morality, Eagle Eye

China and Russia: arbiters of global morality

I was pleased to see that Bianca Jagger on BBC1 Question Time last night (right) supported military action in Libya. Ken Livingstone comprehensively lost the argument as the only supporter of a bloodbath in Benghazi on a panel that included Rory Stewart, a self-confessed wobbly Conservative.
The case for the limited use of military force is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 25 March 2011 at 12:18 pm

Gove (fails to) recruit another Blairite, Eagle Eye

Gove (fails to) recruit another Blairite

Next month’s Prospect (not online) reports that Professor Sir Michael Barber, head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit 2001-05, author of Instruction to Deliver and partner at McKinsey, has been recruited by Michael Gove to be the next permanent secretary at the Department of Education.
Unfortunately, this turns out not to be true. I know that Gove would [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 10:27 pm

Is this big foot?, Eagle Eye

Is this big foot?

“Is this big foot? New video emerges of ‘ape man’.”
I told you, the Daily Mail has rumbled me. They have realised what I am up to, and are now doing it on purpose.
Is that going to stop me?
Number 543. And 544.
Grateful to Hayes Thompson.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 8:29 pm

The Great Tax Unsimplifier, Eagle Eye

The Great Tax Unsimplifier

As you might have gathered from my textual analysis of the Budget speech for The Independent today, I disliked almost everything in it.
You would have thought that a Conservative such as George Osborne would understand (a) market economics and (b) the virtues of tax simplification. Indeed, his spinners presented him as the new Nigel Lawson, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 3:02 pm

Is John Rentoul a closet Tory?, Eagle Eye

Is John Rentoul a closet Tory?

Daniel Hannan, the Conservative Euro-MP, asks number 541 in saying generous things about my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No. I had better not draw attention to the fact that he was the subject of number 258, and direct the reader’s attention instead to my praise for him here.
Meanwhile, I am grateful [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 March 2011 at 10:16 am

Sometimes we need a bit of Commons traditionalisation, Eagle Eye

Sometimes we need a bit of Commons traditionalisation

A shocking trend worsened at Prime Minister’s Questions today. I do not refer to the Speaker’s habit of adding on time for stoppages. (Today’s was not the worst, possibly because the Budget was following – the last question was called at nearly 12.32 – I haven’t kept a record, but I am sure that others [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 10:20 pm

A Dog That Just Barked, Eagle Eye

A Dog That Just Barked

The bomb in Jerusalem today reminds me of a dog that hasn’t barked for a while – since, according to the BBC, 2004. There was a time, it seemed, when suicide bombings were a frequent occurrence in Israeli life, especially in Jerusalem. Then they built The Wall.
The separation barrier was widely condemned outside Israel. Plainly, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 9:45 pm

Was all alien life sucked into a black hole after ‘white dwarf hypernova’ star explosion… and could it wipe us out too?, Eagle Eye

Was all alien life sucked into a black hole after ‘white dwarf hypernova’ star explosion… and could it wipe us out too?

They have twigged at the Daily Mail. Someone up there has finally seen my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No on this blog. So now they are doing it on purpose. Two in one. Numbers 539 and 540.
I should end it here.
But they won’t stop me that easily.
Many thanks to PaulH61.
Picture: Alamy

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 7:52 pm

And the New Statesman’s view on Libya is …, Eagle Eye

And the New Statesman’s view on Libya is …

I quote from the press release announcing the position taken by the New Statesman on the issue of the day, namely military intervention in Libya:
In an Editor’s Note, Jason Cowley argues that today’s politicians should heed the warnings of John Stuart Mill before embarking on another military adventure in a Muslim country.
“This week, once again, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 March 2011 at 4:28 pm

Was the world’s favourite polar bear, Knut, killed by fame?, Eagle Eye

Was the world’s favourite polar bear, Knut, killed by fame?

Didn’t have time to record number 538 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by the Daily Mail yesterday.
But can’t really let it go by.
Thanks to Matthew Burchell and Paul Sims.
Photograph: AP

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 22 March 2011 at 9:40 pm

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