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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“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

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

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