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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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Prone to Error, Eagle Eye

Prone to Error

I am not alone in seeking to correct errors in the antiwar reporting of the Iraq Inquiry. My excellent colleague Guy Keleny makes an important point in his Errors & Omissions column today:
A leading article on Wednesday, commenting on the Chilcot inquiry, spoke of Tony Blair’s “supine stance before a US president intent on invasion”. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 4:53 pm

The Postbuttal Service, Eagle Eye

The Postbuttal Service

It looks as if my prebuttal on Thursday anticipated most of the nonsense in the biased media coverage of Tony Blair’s appearance at the Iraq Inquiry. This was made easier by the absence of anything new of substance in either the questions or his answers.
I have already taken issue, rather unnecessarily, with my colleague Ben [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 4:41 pm

“The Calculus of Risk”, Eagle Eye

“The Calculus of Risk”

My good colleague Ben Chu is taken by the opening paragraph of Tony Blair’s written statement to the Chilcot inquiry, published yesterday:
Following the attack of September 11th 2001, the calculus of risk on global security had radically and fundamentally changed.  In this context, the issue of Saddam Hussein and his long-standing defiance of the UN [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 21 January 2011 at 11:52 pm

“Meryl Streep? What, literally?”, Eagle Eye

“Meryl Streep? What, literally?”

One thing from yesterday’s Independent before it slips into the sediment of history. Simon Carr’s report of Meryl Streep’s visit to the House of Commons:
Meryl Streep’s down there.” “Meryl Streep? What, literally? Where?”
“Down there in the Chamber.”
“No, that’s Norman Baker. You can tell by the teeth. If you have difficulty telling Meryl Streep from Norman [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 21 January 2011 at 12:32 am

The Brace Position, Eagle Eye

The Brace Position

To assist colleagues in preparation for tomorrow’s hate fest – I mean tomorrow’s session of the dispassionate inquiry into the lessons of the Iraq invasion – I offer a brief guide to the main points.
1. It is not a secret that Tony Blair, from at least November 1997, supported the use of military force to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 20 January 2011 at 12:43 pm

Is the net finally closing in?, Eagle Eye

Is the net finally closing in?

A warm welcome back, and a green award for environmentally friendly recycled journalism, to Stephen Glover, who has decided that now is the time to start again with the series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, by going back to number 356 in the Daily Mail tomorrow. (The series is up to 490 [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 10:52 pm

Filibusters and First Principles, Eagle Eye

Filibusters and First Principles

Thanks to Danny Finkelstein (pay wall), I’ve just remembered the Salisbury Convention:
The Conservatives found a way to address (or more correctly try and address – I don’t think it will succeed) anti-politician sentiment and the difficulties they have with seat distribution with one measure – reducing the number of MPs. This was in their manifesto [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 7:27 pm

Has Michael Gove just come out for a general election pact with the Liberal Democrats?, Eagle Eye

Has Michael Gove just come out for a general election pact with the Liberal Democrats?

Number 490 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Paul Goodman, the excellent former Tory MP at Conservative Home. Speaking of the voters of Hull, Michael Gove said:
If they’re wise enough to vote Liberal Democrat at the next local elections in Hull, or for the Conservatives in any [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 19 January 2011 at 6:02 pm

Gus O’Donnell is right, Eagle Eye

Gus O’Donnell is right

More work for the Rebuttal Service. My colleagues in the LBLM&C (London-based liberal media and culturati) will be excited in tomorrow’s newspapers about Sir John Chilcot’s exchange of correspondence with Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary (below), which the Iraq Inquiry published today.
Sir John says he is “disappointed” that Sir Gus won’t agree to the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 10:53 pm

Is organic donkey milk the next big thing?, Eagle Eye

Is organic donkey milk the next big thing?

Number 488 in the series that goes on giving, of Questions to Which the Answer is No, is asked by the Soil Association, of this Guardian report.
Thank you to James Whetlor.
Number 487, meanwhile, will be asked by Jim O’Neill, Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, according to Policy Exchange:
Do Any Of Us Understand The Modern World?

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 18 January 2011 at 12:18 pm

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