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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Commerce and the Common Good, Eagle Eye

Commerce and the Common Good

Ed Miliband won good notices for his interview with Andrew Marr this morning, which help to offset the poor reviews of his speech to the Fabian Society yesterday.
Much of this is to do with style, which is important (good today, not so good yesterday), but my column for The Independent on Sunday is about the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 16 January 2011 at 11:22 am

Six-Point Lead for Yes Campaign in AV Referendum, Eagle Eye

Six-Point Lead for Yes Campaign in AV Referendum

ComRes for the The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow asked the official question drafted by the Electoral Commission (the Government’s earlier version, right) for the referendum in May:
At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons.  Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?
Yes 36%
No 30%
Don’t [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 7:30 pm

Poll Alert, Eagle Eye

Poll Alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror. As well as the usual voting intention question, we have asked people how they would vote in the May referendum by putting to them the wording of the official question, proposed by the Electoral Commission:
At present, the UK uses the “first [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 January 2011 at 11:19 am

“Something is going on with him”, Eagle Eye

“Something is going on with him”

A lot of people have commented, and brilliantly, on Barack Obama’s Tucson speech on Wednesday. But this is the biscuit. Peggy Noonan (right), one of the greatest political wordsmiths, and a conservative, who has been bitingly dismissive of the President recently, hails the speech in the grandest terms:
About a third of the way through, the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 14 January 2011 at 10:49 pm

Did Australia’s obsession with global warming contribute to the Brisbane floods?, Eagle Eye

Did Australia’s obsession with global warming contribute to the Brisbane floods?

Rich pickings in the wreckage. A second Question to Which the Answer is No about the Queensland floods. The above is number 486 in the series, asked by Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, at the Daily Telegraph.
Thank you to New Humanist.
Number 485 was asked by Accuracy in Media:
Will Piers Morgan Save CNN?
This is, strictly, a Question [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 14 January 2011 at 4:34 pm

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

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