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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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Could Jim Davidson be reinvented for a 21st century audience?, Eagle Eye

Could Jim Davidson be reinvented for a 21st century audience?

Number 520 in the series asked by the BBC.
Thanks to PaulH61.

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 February 2011 at 11:48 am

A Shadow Chancellor from Outside the Shadow Cabinet?, Eagle Eye

A Shadow Chancellor from Outside the Shadow Cabinet?

Ed Miliband wanted his brother David to be shadow chancellor, rather than Ed Balls, when Alan Johnson stood down. So The Sun reported yesterday and it has not been denied. I can imagine why David was not keen: having to take orders from his brother, with whose politics he disagrees, while fending off the continuing [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 25 February 2011 at 2:40 pm

Will George Galloway retract his claim that Libya was framed?, Eagle Eye

Will George Galloway retract his claim that Libya was framed?

Number 519 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Oliver Kamm, referring to this article by George Galloway, and in the light of Libya’s former justice minister saying that Gaddafi ordered Lockerbie.
Before I have any complaints, Kamm is allowed to break the rules because I copied the series from him in the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 5:21 pm

Wallis and Gromit, Eagle Eye

Wallis and Gromit

I blame Ed Miliband for making all those silly Wallace and Gromit jokes. Marvellous error on the front page skyline of The Guardian yesterday.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 4:02 pm

The New New New No 10, Eagle Eye

The New New New No 10

Luxuriating in feeling very old, I read Tim Montgomerie’s description of “the new 10 Downing Street” as if from another planet. It is only the millionth time since about 1854 that the organogram of the prime minister’s office has been redrawn in an attempt to achieve Montgomerie’s three goals: to “force Whitehall to focus” on [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 February 2011 at 12:50 pm

Is Tony Blair secretly backing the No2AV cause?, Eagle Eye

Is Tony Blair secretly backing the No2AV cause?

I do not actually know the answer to this question, posed by Sunder Katwala on the basis of a line in a Benedict Brogan post, so it does not yet qualify as number 517 in my “illuminating“ series.
Katwala does a brilliant job of tracing Blair’s pretended interest in AV Plus, or AV Top-Up, the compromise system [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 February 2011 at 10:17 pm

Best Prime Minister We Never Had, Eagle Eye

Best Prime Minister We Never Had

It is an old device, but a good one, and Francis Beckett seems to have put together a fine collection of essays for a book on a variation of the theme, The Prime Ministers Who Never Were, to be published next month:
Austen Chamberlain Stephen Bates
J. R. Clynes Phil Woolas
Lord Halifax Hugh Purcell
Oswald Mosley [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 February 2011 at 6:26 pm

Paxman Can’t Be Biased, Because Wossy Agrees With Him, Eagle Eye

Paxman Can’t Be Biased, Because Wossy Agrees With Him

Stan Rosenthal, who forced the BBC Trust to admit, three months after the event, that Jeremy Paxman was guilty of bias and in breach of the BBC Charter requirement of impartiality, has complained about his presenting of Newsnight last night.
Paxman opened an interview with Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary (8′45″ in), by asking: “Are you [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 22 February 2011 at 8:55 pm

Did Jack the Ripper paint this?, Eagle Eye

Did Jack the Ripper paint this?

Number 516 in the illuminating series. Asked by the Daily Telegraph.
(It’s to do with the Walter Sickert theory. Or the Earl of Oxford. Or the Grassy Knoll. Or something.)
Thanks to Glyn.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 February 2011 at 9:49 pm

The “Pariah State” Argument, Eagle Eye

The “Pariah State” Argument

By way of a further footnote to my column yesterday suggesting that Britain should pull out of the European Court of Human Rights while remaining signatory to the Convention, a correspondent takes issue with my rather compressed reference to the Chahal judgment of 1996. I wrote:
At other times [Tony Blair] and his home secretaries talked of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 21 February 2011 at 7:30 pm

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