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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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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

The Legend of “Tony Blair”, Eagle Eye

The Legend of “Tony Blair”

For many people, Tony Blair has now become a legendary figure, in the sense that he is based on a historical person, but he is used to mean something to make sense of people’s own worlds.
Exhibit 1.
Here’s Deborah Meaden, a judge on the BBC’s business talent show Dragons’ Den, talking about her politics to New [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 9 January 2011 at 10:38 am

Hit the Spot, Eagle Eye

Hit the Spot

Truly sophisticated entertainment:
Howard Jacobson, a thing of beauty and a joy for ever on a most unpromising subject. Genius.
Sarah Ellison, at Vanity Fair, reports on Julian Assange’s falling out with The Guardian, in the course of which he said that he “owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 7:15 pm

Like a Huge-Scale Skyrocket on Acid, Eagle Eye

Like a Huge-Scale Skyrocket on Acid

Further to piece and package, my correspondents also want to add to the Banned List:
Skyrocket (is it supposed to distinguish from underground or underwater rockets or rockets that operate only in outer space?) Amol Rajan.
“Like x on acid [/other substance]” Soho Politico; for example, “Terry and June on acid” Mitchell Stirling.
And I need to issue [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 8 January 2011 at 5:56 pm

The Moon on a Stick and Free Ponies for All, Eagle Eye

The Moon on a Stick and Free Ponies for All

As an addition to my comment on Martin Kettle’s article, and as a partial reply to a comment on my comment, I also commend to you Phil Collins in The Times today (pay wall) and Hopi Sen on what I still call A Blog From the Back Room.
Collins argues that Ed Miliband has made a [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 7 January 2011 at 11:05 pm

Internal Tory Matters, Eagle Eye

Internal Tory Matters

Seen on the internet:
Bagehot, in The Economist: “If some Tories hate coalitions so much, they might try winning a majority next time.”
Michael White, Guardian, asks: “Was David Cameron’s quip a way of distancing himself from Andy Coulson?” A question to which the answer is: Possibly.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 7 January 2011 at 10:32 pm

Suspect Packages, Eagle Eye

Suspect Packages

Apologies, but the Banned List has to be re-opened again. Print journalists keep referring to their articles as “pieces”. Television journalists, and even some of their studio guests, trying no doubt to sound knowledgeable, keep referring to their reports as “packages”.
You know who you are.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 7 January 2011 at 2:00 pm

Freudian Slip by Proxy, Eagle Eye

Freudian Slip by Proxy

I have identified a new medical condition. In Martin Kettle’s excellent online article today about Tony Blair’s attitude to Gordon Brown’s irresponsible overspending, he quotes this passage from Blair’s memoir (pages 574-5) about the Fundamental Savings Review (FSR), the purpose of which was to
move beyond the catch-up investment in public services and instead focus on [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 7 January 2011 at 12:58 pm

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