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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Lansley: “We expected some concern”, Eagle Eye

Lansley: “We expected some concern”

Andrew Lansley has a letter in today’s Times (pay wall), which tries to clarify – if that’s the correctly ambiguous word – the Government’s NHS changes…

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 1 April 2011 at 9:50 pm

Is this the grave of Robin Hood?, Eagle Eye

Is this the grave of Robin Hood?

Number 554. An earlier version of the same story, right, was number 553 of my Questions to Which the Answer is … You get the idea.
Thanks to Maurice Cousins.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 1 April 2011 at 9:01 pm

Osama Bin Laden In Chicago?, Eagle Eye

Osama Bin Laden In Chicago?

Once again, Oliver Kamm, from whom I borrowed the idea of recording Questions to Which the Answer is No,* proves that the original is better than the cover. The above is a headline taken from Huffington Post, which Oliver spotted. Number 552 in a series more than halfway to its first thousand.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 1 April 2011 at 2:15 pm

“Yes, we would make two-thirds of the cuts”, Eagle Eye

“Yes, we would make two-thirds of the cuts”

Gratified to see Evan Davis (right), in his interview with Ed Miliband on the Today programme, use the same analysis of Labour’s policy on the deficit as my post on Tuesday. He asked Miliband to accept that Labour planned to cut spending by two-thirds as much as the Government intends to do: 63 per cent [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 31 March 2011 at 3:29 pm

The Interrogative Mood, Eagle Eye

The Interrogative Mood

Time for a Questions to Which the Answer is No special.
I have been reading The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell, recommended to me by a reader, which consists entirely of questions.
The first is:
Are your emotions pure?
It proceeds, mostly haphazardly, with occasional sustained sequences of linked questions, all of which belong to a characteristic [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 10:26 pm

Origins of the Cameron-Balls Feud, Eagle Eye

Origins of the Cameron-Balls Feud

In tracing the origins of David Cameron’s hostility towards Ed Balls, I couldn’t dredge my profile of the shadow chancellor – he was then Children’s Secretary – for GQ, March 2009, from the internet. So I reproduce it here, because it includes the bit about Balls taking the fourth highest First in Philosophy, Politics and [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 5:25 pm

“The Most Annoying Person in Modern Politics”, Eagle Eye

“The Most Annoying Person in Modern Politics”

David Cameron’s loss of temper with Ed Balls, who was barracking him at Prime Minister’s Questions, instantly turned an unmemorable session into one that will enter the folklore.
On the substance of the clash between the principals, I thought Ed Miliband got the better of the Prime Minister on tuition fees, but lost on police numbers. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 1:51 pm

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

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