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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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We don’t need a show trial, just one that comes up with the RIGHT ANSWER, Eagle Eye

We don’t need a show trial, just one that comes up with the RIGHT ANSWER

I don’t read Henry Porter, but I know a man who does. Norman Geras, in fact. Whose journey into Didmagnacartadieinvainland yields this gem of idiocy on the Chilcot inquiry:
As with the other inquiries into Iraq, the British public has been deprived of proper satisfaction. We don’t need a show trial, just a sense that penitence [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 3:51 pm

The Case Against the Iraq War, Eagle Eye

The Case Against the Iraq War

Unusually, an anonymous commenter, rms3, has made a contribution to the debate about Iraq from an anti-war position that is clear, factual, well argued and reasonable. For the benefit of readers who have better things to do with their time than trawl through the bottom-dwelling creatures that dominate the comments, I reproduce this response to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 24 January 2011 at 2:20 pm

“A Python Getting Out of a Box”, Eagle Eye

“A Python Getting Out of a Box”

Nothing new in Tony Blair’s appearance at the Chilcot inquiry on Friday, but three additions to The Dictionary of Iraq War Quotations. All of them first picked up by Paul Waugh, proving that his journalistic sharpness has not been blunted by his move to Politics Home.
For those of my colleagues in the London-Based Liberal Media [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 10:39 pm

Haggis to save the USA?, Eagle Eye

Haggis to save the USA?

Number 491 in the never-ending series of Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Rumbold at Pickled Politics.
Thanks to Matthew.

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 7:44 pm

Top Secret Satire, Eagle Eye

Top Secret Satire

High quality satire from the Mail on Sunday today. Simon Walters reports that a former Cabinet Secretary who served under Tony Blair,* “speaking on condition of anonymity”, said it was “unfair” to keep the Blair-Bush memos secret.
I have tried to explain the constitutional principle of confidentiality as it applies to communications between the British prime minister [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 3:55 pm

A Biased Question, Eagle Eye

A Biased Question

The BBC series The Big Questions is re-asking number 180 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No tomorrow:
Should Tony Blair stand trial for war crimes?
Another step down the slope. In the past I have objected to studio guests on the BBC casually misusing such language to mean “I disagree with the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 8:14 pm

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

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