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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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

The Tautological Description Crisis, Eagle Eye

The Tautological Description Crisis

Ed Miliband’s speech in Nottingham today, a copy of which is on Politics Home before it is on the Labour Party website, repeats the dreadful theme of the “cost of living crisis”.
Maybe it is because I is a Tory, although Peter Hoskin at the Tory Spectator describes it as an “analysis” that has “the benefit [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 25 March 2011 at 6:10 pm

Morality and Law, Part II, Eagle Eye

Morality and Law, Part II

A friend writes in response to my previous post, in which I said:
Suppose China or Russia had vetoed resolution 1973, rather than abstained. Would that make military action that would otherwise be morally right, to avert explicitly-threatened carnage, and supported by the Arab League, morally wrong?
He says:
Quite. This is exactly why the argument over the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 25 March 2011 at 3:15 pm

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

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