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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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“What do we (not) want?”, Eagle Eye

“What do we (not) want?”

Also in pedantry, I am engaged in a debate about whether the Oldham East and Saddleworth election is a by-election or not (we’re currently leaning to yes, but someone has contacted the Electoral Commission for a definitive ruling).
Meanwhile, thanks to Paddy Briggs, number 54 on The Banned List is “storyline” as a verb. Not that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 5:26 pm

Exponential growth in misuse of exponential, Eagle Eye

Exponential growth in misuse of exponential

Guy Keleny proves, once again, that he is the finest exponent of pedantry with his philippic against the misuse of exponential in today’s Errors & Omissions column in The Independent:
Last Saturday, one columnist noted the increasing number of people who consider themselves middle class. Once “middle class” had been an insult. No longer: “Now that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 4:50 pm

Verb Oten, Eagle Eye

Verb Oten

Number 53 on The Banned List is toilet used as a verb.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 3 December 2010 at 3:50 pm

Phil Woolas and the Truth: the Re-Match, Eagle Eye

Phil Woolas and the Truth: the Re-Match

The judgment of the three High Court judges in Phil Woolas’s appeal case makes fascinating reading and is a fine and rigorous clarification of the law. I draw the honourable reader’s attention to paragraphs 113, 117, 121 and 124 in particular.

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 3 December 2010 at 2:03 pm

BBC bias on Iraq – delayed latest, Eagle Eye

BBC bias on Iraq – delayed latest

Nearly a year on, the BBC Trust has still failed to rule on Stan Rosenthal’s appeal against the way in which the Corporation grudgingly, belatedly and wrongly tried to excuse its error in reporting Sir Christopher Meyer’’s evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 2 December 2010 at 1:12 pm

Has Marilyn Monroe been reincarnated as a shop assistant called Chris?, Eagle Eye

Has Marilyn Monroe been reincarnated as a shop assistant called Chris?

It really is the headline on page 29 of today’s Daily Mail.

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 1 December 2010 at 11:23 am

Welfare benefits and fertility II, Eagle Eye

Welfare benefits and fertility II

There is more evidence that birth rates are influenced by levels of child-related welfare benefits than I cited on Sunday. I mentioned the Institute for Fiscal Studies paper that looked at the effect of Labour’s increase in benefits 1999-2003. Chris Dillow cited further British evidence as well as a French study and one that looked at child benefit among other factors in Israel.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 30 November 2010 at 10:07 pm

Heir to Blair, Eagle Eye

Heir to Blair

I was just thinking that David Cameron was in Total H2B mode on the radio, promoting England’s 2018 football World Cup bid and deftly dodging awkward questions about a process that is alleged to be riddled with bribery, when a fellow Blairite ultra sent me this screen grab.
Look who Twitter thinks is like Tony Blair.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 30 November 2010 at 1:47 pm

David Laws, “unreliable narrator”?, Eagle Eye

David Laws, “unreliable narrator”?

My esteemed colleague Steve Richards has an interesting column in today’s Independent on David Laws’s book on the negotiations that produced the Coalition Government. His summary of Laws’s account is succinct…

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 30 November 2010 at 1:04 pm

Is George Osborne really more influential than Cameron?, Eagle Eye

Is George Osborne really more influential than Cameron?

Number 453 in the inexhaustible series is asked by Tim Montgomerie of a GQ feature, which ranks Osborne the most influential man in Britain, and Simon Cowell above Nick Clegg.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 29 November 2010 at 7:43 pm

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