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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Are we any closer to the truth?, Eagle Eye

Are we any closer to the truth?

The Rebuttal Service can put its feet up for a while, as we wait for the Iraq Inquiry to draft its report, although I should expect the LBLM&C* to find ever more excuses to recycle 101 ways of saying “We didn’t agree with the war”, even though it was eight years ago and no one [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 3 February 2011 at 3:02 pm

Straw: I tried to stop crazed warmonger, Eagle Eye

Straw: I tried to stop crazed warmonger

Thus the reporting of the Iraq Inquiry hearings ends, as it began, with distortion. The Evening Standard puts this headline on the former Foreign Secretary’s evidence:
Jack Straw: I told Tony Blair days before Iraq invasion not to send British troops
At least intelligent readers can work out for themselves that the headline does not reflect the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 2 February 2011 at 9:47 pm

Who and Why is Craig Oliver?, Eagle Eye

Who and Why is Craig Oliver?

I can offer no snippets about the private life of Craig Oliver, the Prime Minister’s new head of communications. But I can make two observations.
1. He was responsible for the BBC’s election night programme. I can remember Andrew Neil on a boat (right). I can remember giving up on the BBC’s coverage because Sky, ITV [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 2 February 2011 at 6:57 pm

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

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