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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 the world’s largest super-volcano set to erupt for the first time in 600,000 years, wiping out two-thirds of the US?, Eagle Eye

Is the world’s largest super-volcano set to erupt for the first time in 600,000 years, wiping out two-thirds of the US?

Fabulous question for number 493 for my collection of those to which the answer is No. Asked by – you know – a newspaper. With a “How Journalism Works” second award for the use of “set to”.
Thank you to PaulH61.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 1:40 pm

Ed Miliband’s Blind Side, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband’s Blind Side

I have now read and enjoyed Ed Miliband’s favourite book, Michael Lewis’s The Blind Side, and it is every bit as good as my correspondent said it was. I don’t know how good the film, starring Sandra Bullock, is, but it is a made-for-movies story. The fairytale of Michael Oher, a successful American footballer from [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 10:11 pm

Wondering who this is?, Uncategorized

Wondering who this is?

Twitter is good, partly because it is so simple. As I have said before, at rather more than 140 characters’ length. So why do they make a new version that is more complicated? And why do they force people off the old version by repeatedly asking anyone left on it question number 492 in my [...]

By | | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 6:49 pm

Big tent in little tent, Eagle Eye

Big tent in little tent

Rob Marchant on what’s wrong with the signature sound bite of Ed Miliband’s recent speeches and articles:
The awkward truth is that there is no progressive majority, at least, not in the sense being proposed. A combination of the left wing of the Lib Dems and our own current political direction would not be the same as [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 4:19 pm

We don’t need a show trial, just one that comes up with the RIGHT ANSWER, Eagle Eye

We don’t need a show trial, just one that comes up with the RIGHT ANSWER

I don’t read Henry Porter, but I know a man who does. Norman Geras, in fact. Whose journey into Didmagnacartadieinvainland yields this gem of idiocy on the Chilcot inquiry:
As with the other inquiries into Iraq, the British public has been deprived of proper satisfaction. We don’t need a show trial, just a sense that penitence [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 3:51 pm

The Case Against the Iraq War, Eagle Eye

The Case Against the Iraq War

Unusually, an anonymous commenter, rms3, has made a contribution to the debate about Iraq from an anti-war position that is clear, factual, well argued and reasonable. For the benefit of readers who have better things to do with their time than trawl through the bottom-dwelling creatures that dominate the comments, I reproduce this response to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 2:20 pm

“A Python Getting Out of a Box”, Eagle Eye

“A Python Getting Out of a Box”

Nothing new in Tony Blair’s appearance at the Chilcot inquiry on Friday, but three additions to The Dictionary of Iraq War Quotations. All of them first picked up by Paul Waugh, proving that his journalistic sharpness has not been blunted by his move to Politics Home.
For those of my colleagues in the London-Based Liberal Media [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 10:39 pm

Haggis to save the USA?, Eagle Eye

Haggis to save the USA?

Number 491 in the never-ending series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Rumbold at Pickled Politics.
Thanks to Matthew.

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 7:44 pm

Top Secret Satire, Eagle Eye

Top Secret Satire

High quality satire from the Mail on Sunday today. Simon Walters reports that a former Cabinet Secretary who served under Tony Blair,* “speaking on condition of anonymity”, said it was “unfair” to keep the Blair-Bush memos secret.
I have tried to explain the constitutional principle of confidentiality as it applies to communications between the British prime minister [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 3:55 pm

A Biased Question, Eagle Eye

A Biased Question

The BBC series The Big Questions is re-asking number 180 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No tomorrow:
Should Tony Blair stand trial for war crimes?
Another step down the slope. In the past I have objected to studio guests on the BBC casually misusing such language to mean “I disagree with the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 8:14 pm

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