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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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High-Minded Vacuities, Eagle Eye

High-Minded Vacuities

David Cameron did it last week, so Lloyd Evans, who provides the best review of Prime Minister’s Questions for the Spectator, could be forgiven for it this week. They both referred to the House of Commons as the “mother of parliaments”.
England is the mother of parliaments.
But Evans captured the essence of today’s unusually consensual exchanges [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 2 February 2011 at 5:48 pm

Counter-Baiting the Haters, Eagle Eye

Counter-Baiting the Haters

Grateful to Benedict Brogan, deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph, for publicising the Ban Blair Baiting petition, and for attributing its inauguration to me. In fact, that accolade belongs to Stan Rosenthal, who also placed a half-page advert for the campaign in the New Statesman this week.
Brogan notes that the latest Iraq Inquiry hearings have [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 1 February 2011 at 1:05 pm

Will the Republicans pick a Mormon?, Eagle Eye

Will the Republicans pick a Mormon?

Jonathan Freedland asks number 495 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, after it appeared that Jon Huntsman, despite having been appointed by Barack Obama as ambassador to China, is preparing to run.
Freedland seems to think that Mitt Romney (right) has a serious chance of the GOP nomination, when they didn’t [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 1 February 2011 at 12:00 pm

“Born on a cloud, suckled on unicorn milk”, Eagle Eye

“Born on a cloud, suckled on unicorn milk”

Howard Jacobson, yesterday:
It’s been said that when Cameron lost Andy Coulson as his communications director he lost not only a skilled operator but a link to the concerns of the ordinary voter.
Cameron, as we know, was born on a cloud, suckled on unicorn milk, and kept apart from untitled men and women until he assumed [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 30 January 2011 at 6:21 pm

Revenge of the Mandarins, Eagle Eye

Revenge of the Mandarins

The Iraq Inquiry is winding up. The last re-interviewees appear this week, ending with Jack Straw on Wednesday. Then we wait for the report, and the completely predictable reaction – “whitewash” – from the London-based liberal media and culturati when it fails to find that Tony Blair is a liar and a criminal.
That said, there [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 30 January 2011 at 5:10 pm

“That’s all Boris’s”, Eagle Eye

“That’s all Boris’s”

A snippet from Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail:
A week before the 2010 election, I was ­flying back to London with David Cameron. As he gazed out of the window over the city, I said: ‘That could all be yours.’ He smiled and replied: ‘No, that’s all Boris’s.’
Boris Johnson preys on Cameron’s mind more than [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 12:50 pm

Iraq: “honest people did and can still disagree”, Eagle Eye

Iraq: “honest people did and can still disagree”

Another fine anonymous contribution to the Groundhog debate about the Iraq invasion by rms3, whose comment on my blog I wrote about here. Today rms3, who opposed the invasion but from a reasonable perspective, has replied to Johann Hari:
Much as I admire your writing in general and the intent and spirit behind this piece, I [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 12:06 pm

Chirac changed mind on Iraq, Eagle Eye

Chirac changed mind on Iraq

Good letter from Denis MacShane, who was in 2003 a Foreign Office minister, in The Independent today:
Nicholas Wood is being economical with history when he describes ex-President Chirac’s famous March 2003 interview in which he announced France would veto a second UN resolution on Iraq (letter, 27 January). Chirac made his statement not once but [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 28 January 2011 at 11:43 am

Son of Brown, Eagle Eye

Son of Brown

Anthony Wells at UK Polling Report summarises attitudes to parties and leaders in Ipsos-MORI’s latest poll:
For David Cameron, 30% of people like both him and his party, 39% like neither. 17% like Cameron but not his party, 7% like the Conservatives but not Cameron. Hence, in total Cameron is liked by 47% of people (down 6 [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 27 January 2011 at 12:11 pm

“The biggest and most far-reaching mistake”, Eagle Eye

“The biggest and most far-reaching mistake”

No, I haven’t read much of Gordon Brown’s book, Beyond the Crash. My faltering and dutiful attempt prompted musings on the fascinating and life-enhancing qualities of ditch water.
In my defence, I can only say that few others have made much more progress. Or else someone would have reported by now, seven weeks after it was [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 26 January 2011 at 9:44 pm

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