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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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The Eye of a Needle, Eagle Eye

The Eye of a Needle

Interesting contrast between two articles in The Independent today – a tribute to the newspaper’s pluralism – by Steve Richards, its political columnist, and Sean O’Grady, its economics editor.
Richards compares the challenge to governments posed by the banks to that posed by the trade unions in the 1970s. This is similar to the point made [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 7:41 pm

Do We Have Ahmadinejad All Wrong?, Eagle Eye

Do We Have Ahmadinejad All Wrong?

Number 484 of my Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Reza Aslan (cool name for Narnia fans) in The Atlantic, with a full-form supplementary question:
Is it possible that Iran’s blustering president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, long thought to be a leading force behind some of Iran’s most hard-line and repressive policies, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 13 January 2011 at 1:02 pm

Clegg and the Compost Accelerator, Eagle Eye

Clegg and the Compost Accelerator

Nick Cohen on scathing form on The Strange Death of Liberal England (Again) in the forthcoming Spectator (it is not online, but there is more via Alex Massie here):
The Liberals have no right to be surprised. Conservative-minded readers may think that the British liberal-left is good for nothing, but, trust me, we are world leaders [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 10:05 pm

The Game of Gaffe-Gotcha, Eagle Eye

The Game of Gaffe-Gotcha

The exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions were evenly balanced, if you like that kind of Punch and Judy thing.

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 12 January 2011 at 3:12 pm

Alarming Cliché Count, Eagle Eye

Alarming Cliché Count

David Mills draws Nick Clegg’s article for today’s Sun to my attention, saying, in the tone of Obi-Wan Kenobi when Qui-Gon Jinn tests Anakin Skywalker for midi-chlorians, that it contains “more clichés per 100 words than any piece of political copy I have ever seen.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 6:13 pm

Ed Miliband Ties Himself to the Wrong Gordon Brown, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband Ties Himself to the Wrong Gordon Brown

Esteemed Colleague Steve Richards has entered the debate between Gordon Brown Mk I and Gordon Brown Mk II.
GBI, you will remember, was the stickler for Prudence who, when the government raised £22bn from the sale of 3G licences in 2000 which now allow people to do clever things with smart phones and iPads, used it to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 10:18 am

Are the Queensland floods the result of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel?, Eagle Eye

Are the Queensland floods the result of Kevin Rudd speaking against Israel?

As soon as someone used the phrase, “of biblical proportions”,* I knew that there was trouble ahead. Yes, it’s number 483 in the celebrated series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by Daniel Nalliah at the Catch the Fire Ministries.
Thanks to Gwenhwyfaer.
*And thanks to tykejim in the comments for pointing out that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 11 January 2011 at 9:07 am

Has an open season of hate been declared on the Pakistani community in Britain?, Eagle Eye

Has an open season of hate been declared on the Pakistani community in Britain?

Number 482 of my Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by Yvonne Ridley (right), the unsuccessful Respect coalition politician.
Number 481 was asked this morning by Hopi Sen of the sudden hyperactivity at the start of the new political season, with Nick Clegg on the radio, Ed Miliband holding a news conference and [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 10 January 2011 at 5:11 pm

Labour’s False Dawn in Oldham, Eagle Eye

Labour’s False Dawn in Oldham

Two polls carried out in Oldham East and Saddleworth were published today, too late for me fully to update my article for The Independent on Sunday, in which I predict a Labour win.
That looks pretty likely if not, perhaps, “nailed on”, as I described it, although it looks unlikely that the Liberal Democrats will come [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 9 January 2011 at 8:56 pm

John Prescott Recants Brownism, Eagle Eye

John Prescott Recants Brownism

Senator Prescott* said some interesting things in a talk on a cruise on Queen Mary 2 (right). The former Deputy Prime Minister was accused by Tony Blair in A Journey of helping Gordon Brown to succeed him:
It’s not that John was ever personally disloyal – he wasn’t – but Gordon pitched his own position on [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 9 January 2011 at 1:49 pm

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