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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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

Clegg Rage, Eagle Eye

Clegg Rage

One line from Andrew Grice’s analysis yesterday of the Liberal Democrat leader’s predicament struck me:
Mr Clegg is frustrated that he gets a kicking from both The Guardian and the Daily Mail. The former reflects the anger on the left that he hopped into bed with the Conservatives. The right-wing press would – [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 11:32 am

No to AV takes lead in referendum campaign, Eagle Eye

No to AV takes lead in referendum campaign

The No vote has overtaken Yes for the first time in a poll asking the official referendum question on changing the voting system, reports a new ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow.
At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 March 2011 at 7:38 pm

Conversional Wisdom, Eagle Eye

Conversional Wisdom

I missed this from Alastair Campbell on Monday, which sums up the “Col Gaddafi is Tony Blair’s Fault” idiocy better than any other:
A lot of this is about our media, which moves so easily from one conventional wisdom – ‘Gaddafi is changing’ – to another – ‘It was so obvious he was never changing at [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 March 2011 at 1:00 pm

Warning: this item contains high-strength grammar, Eagle Eye

Warning: this item contains high-strength grammar

And a badly painted door (right). It is about compound adjectives, the hypenating or non-hyphenating thereof. The priceless Guy Keleny, proving that he is a prince among pedants:
“The former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, said: ‘This mission was ill-conceived, poorly-planned and embarrassingly-executed.’” That is from Tuesday’s report of William Hague’s Commons statement about the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 March 2011 at 11:50 am

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow.
It will be interesting to see whether it supports Thursday’s YouGov poll, which gave Labour an 11-point lead, its largest since the “election that never was” in September 2007.
We have also repeated our Alternative Vote referendum question, as will be asked [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 March 2011 at 11:29 am

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