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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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Coffee? I’ll just have instant, Eagle Eye

Coffee? I’ll just have instant

We reported the massive study of Britain’s new middle class by BritainThinks, Deborah Mattinson’s new research company, in The Independent on Sunday yesterday.
The coverage included Mattinson’s account of her experience of talking about class in focus groups since the late 1980s, and three memoirs of being brought up in different classes, by an alarmingly thin [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 March 2011 at 6:25 pm

British military action against Gaddafi: for and against, Eagle Eye

British military action against Gaddafi: for and against

I haven’t had time to do a complete round-up, but here’s what I have so far…

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 9:51 pm

Is there a link between indie music and Gnosticism?, Eagle Eye

Is there a link between indie music and Gnosticism?

A rash of Questions to Which the Answer is No. Number 534, above, was asked of Bob Hardy at The Guardian.
Then we have number 535:
Mike Huckabee, a man to watch?
Number 536:
Will Tories’ honesty and new-found oomph be enough?
And number 537:
Could Artifical Intelligence Replace The Human Radio Personality?
Mind you, I’m not sure about that last one.
(Thanks [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 20 March 2011 at 7:30 pm

Libya: Europe’s Vietnam?, Eagle Eye

Libya: Europe’s Vietnam?

Number 533 in the world-famous series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Anthony Tucker-Jones on Channel 4 News.
There were a lot of similar questions asked, with similar answers, about Iraq, as I remember. And Afghanistan, although those were more along the lines of, Is Afghanistan Britain’s Afghanistan (1842), or Is Afghanistan [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 19 March 2011 at 1:09 pm

Whither the Blair Generation?, Eagle Eye

Whither the Blair Generation?

I received an email the other day from Darren Canning, which I reproduce with his permission. I think it speaks for itself:
I joined the Labour Party in 2005 to help fight an election where I feared Tony Blair’s New Labour could be defeated on the basis of the Iraq war. I had been a supporter [...]

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

Tory panic attack, Eagle Eye

Tory panic attack

Remarkable anecdote in James Forsyth’s Spectator column this week:
One Secretary of State is so fed up with his department’s refusal to answer his questions that he has asked a friend of his, an MP, to put in a Freedom of Information request.
The article provides an interesting assessment, suggesting that a mood close to panic is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 18 March 2011 at 9:43 pm

The Surrey Factor, Eagle Eye

The Surrey Factor

Just in case George Osborne does it in his Budget next week, I’ll say it here so that I can say I said it. (If he doesn’t, no one will remember.) The news that Surrey University has decided that it, too, is “exceptional” and will therefore charge the maximum £9,000-a-year tuition fee, has made me [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 18 March 2011 at 3:03 pm

“Son of Roadblock”, Eagle Eye

“Son of Roadblock”

I thought Ed Miliband did quite well at Prime Minister’s Questions because David Cameron seemed not to be answering his point about European competition law applying to the NHS. The Prime Minister seemed to think that it was enough (a) to point out that Labour’s manifesto, written by Miliband, supported competition in the NHS; and [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 4:47 pm

Yeah But No But Yeah to AV, Eagle Eye

Yeah But No But Yeah to AV

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union and a leading opponent of the Alternative Vote, got himself into an entertaining tangle on the Today programme this morning. It was put to him that the Labour Party uses AV for its internal elections, including the one that gave him his party back under the leadership [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 March 2011 at 11:14 am

Cameron, Liberal Interventionist, Eagle Eye

Cameron, Liberal Interventionist

He is edging towards it. The Heir to Blair said this in his statement on Libya to the Commons today:
To those who say it is nothing to do with us, I would simply respond, “Do we want a situation where a failed pariah state festers on Europe’s southern border, potentially threatening our security, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 14 March 2011 at 10:06 pm

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