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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The Golden Rule Revisited, Eagle Eye

The Golden Rule Revisited

Anyhow, my purpose in trying to get to grips with deficit reduction plans was to strengthen my defences against my admirable colleague, Steve Richards, who in his column in The Independent today urges Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to reject my advice:
They must not fall into the trap of apologising for the level of spending [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 9:59 pm

What does “too far, too fast” mean?, Eagle Eye

What does “too far, too fast” mean?

What is the difference between Labour’s plan to cut the deficit and the Coalition plan?
Two nuggets prompted this. One was George Osborne’s assertion that the Labour plan set out by Alistair Darling before the election was for spending cuts only £2bn smaller than the £16bn he was proposing for this fiscal year, 2011-12.
The other was [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 2:03 pm

British action in Libya (still) unpopular, Eagle Eye

British action in Libya (still) unpopular

I thought the difference between ComRes, showing public opinion against British military action in Libya, and YouGov, showing support, was down to timing. ComRes’s survey for ITV News was carried out just before and just after the planes went in on 19 March. YouGov’s surveys have been carried out wholly afterwards.
But ComRes continued (on Friday) [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 28 March 2011 at 10:00 pm

“Obama is Awesome”: the transcript, Eagle Eye

“Obama is Awesome”: the transcript

Can’t seem to update my blog on the “Obama is Awesome” video without losing the embed code.
One of my friends, who took a reasonable view in opposition to British participation in the Iraq invasion, didn’t appreciate it. “A crude caricature of a small portion of the anti-war majority in the US, mixed with some of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 28 March 2011 at 2:54 pm

Second City Blues, Eagle Eye

Second City Blues

Just caught up with a speech (pdf) given by Andrew Adonis, former Transport Secretary and driving force behind the academy schools programme, in Birmingham the other day.
Former Cabinet ministers tend not to give interesting speeches, but this is an exception. The Liberal Democrat deputy leader of Birmingham council found it a little too interesting for [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 27 March 2011 at 5:03 pm

“Obama is Awesome”, Eagle Eye

“Obama is Awesome”

Thanks to Blair Supporter for finding this fabulous YouTube film entitled “Coworkers Compare Iraq and Libya”. Satirising anti-war arguments against the Iraq war, he asks if she is happy that “Obomber” is attacking a country that has no WMD and innocent civilians will die. She responds: “Obama is awesome.” Or: “Obama is cool and awesome.” [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 10:26 pm

“Anybody who doesn’t have regrets is an idiot”, Eagle Eye

“Anybody who doesn’t have regrets is an idiot”

I haven’t covered Blair hatred for a while. It’s pretty irrelevant and I was getting no closer to understanding its psychopathology.
When a commenter on this blog says, “Blair is worse than Hitler, not in terms of scale, but in terms of honesty”, there doesn’t seem much point in even noting it. And just because Katharine [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 6:35 pm

Running Commentary by Paddy Ashdown, Eagle Eye

Running Commentary by Paddy Ashdown

Paddy Ashdown is interviewed by Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson in The Times today (pay wall). He is accurately rude about the Labour Party’s positioning:
He predicts that Labour will look increasingly like “a bunch of superannuated students shouting from the sidelines”.
But what is more interesting is his scepticism about the NHS reforms:
If someone asks me, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 5:35 pm

Clegg to go whole hog and join Tories?, Eagle Eye

Clegg to go whole hog and join Tories?

Number 545 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by William Hill in a news release this morning. Apparently the odds against Nick Clegg officially joining the Conservative Party before the next general election have been cut from 16-1 to 12-1.
Number 546 was asked by one of the best [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 5:14 pm

Best Placards on the March, Eagle Eye

Best Placards on the March

Ed Miliband has spoken. As if on cue, the anarchists in Oxford Street started scuffling with police the moment he started, so that both the BBC and Sky carried sound of his speech – unwisely comparing the demo to the suffragettes, the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid campaign – over pictures of troublemakers with [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 March 2011 at 2:17 pm

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