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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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Special Relationship with Reality II, Eagle Eye

Special Relationship with Reality II

Paragluteus kindly summarised my previous post about BBC2’s The Special Relationship, featuring Dennis Quaid (left) and Michael Sheen (right) thus:
There was this telly programme I didn’t see, but I know someone who did, and from what he said I reckon I would have been annoyed by it if I’d seen it. And there was another bloke who [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 20 September 2010 at 1:48 pm

Vote Ralph, Eagle Eye

Vote Ralph

Tell you what. If Ed Miliband wins this thing, it’ll be a laugh. He gave a little speech at the end of 2008, after Lehman Bros went bust and the world’s credit system was poised on the cusp of a meltdown of confidence, at a Spectator awards bash, according to Steve Richards in Whatever It [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 20 September 2010 at 1:31 pm

Special Relationship with Reality, Eagle Eye

Special Relationship with Reality

I didn’t watch The Special Relationship, the television drama of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton’s dealings over Kosovo. Michael Sheen is a good actor, but his Blair irritates me, partly because he makes Blair look small, in both character and physique.
However, I know a man who has seen the film, and the number of simple [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 10:25 pm

That Blair-Brown Conversation in Full, Eagle Eye

That Blair-Brown Conversation in Full

Disappointed that neither the Mail group nor News International seem to have put a lip-reader on the case of the front-row chat in Westminster Hall as the politicians waited for the Pope. Fortunately, The Independent on Sunday’s leading article today can reveal all:
Although it must be unlikely that Benedict XVI will be remembered as a [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 8:19 pm

Nick Clegg: An Apology, Eagle Eye

Nick Clegg: An Apology

I have in the past suggested that Nick Clegg was an opportunist, and not a very good one.
Could he in fact be a principled, tactically astute leader who is going to secure long-term advance for the Liberal Democrat cause?
This is not number 388 in my long-running series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 3:10 pm

The Lib Dem Disillusion, Eagle Eye

The Lib Dem Disillusion

A ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow finds that 52% of people who voted Lib Dem say Clegg has “sold out”, and 40% say they would have voted differently if they had known about the coalition with the Conservatives.
The poll defines the scale of the problem faced by Nick Clegg (right) as he [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 7:30 pm

Clegg and the Centre Ground, Eagle Eye

Clegg and the Centre Ground

People have made the mistake of misjudging Nick Clegg before.
One nugget in Steve Richards’s Whatever It Takes is that Miriam “had her doubts” about the “sudden transformation” in her husband’s public status as a result of his good showing in the televised debates. She was “intelligently sceptical about the theatrical dimension in British politics”, he [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 5:31 pm

End of the World Was Nigh, Eagle Eye

End of the World Was Nigh

Terrific anecdote from Steve Richards’s Whatever It Takes, which I am reviewing for The Independent on Sunday next week. As queues formed outside branches of Northern Rock during Lib Dem conference in 2007, a “senior cabinet minister” told Richards he had just received a call from Will Hutton, the economist and former editor of The [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:22 am

Is Carole Caplin set to blow the lid on Tony and Cherie Blair’s sex secrets?, Eagle Eye

Is Carole Caplin set to blow the lid on Tony and Cherie Blair’s sex secrets?

I think we’ll put this from today’s Daily Innuendo down as number 387 in the long-running series.
It also belongs in a separate series, known as “How Journalism Works” (earlier entries here), not just for the use of seven further questions in the body of the article but for the ingenious use of “set to” in [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 10:05 am

The Politics of the Morgue, Eagle Eye

The Politics of the Morgue

Quotation of the day, from Paul Sinclair, who worked in No 10 under Gordon Brown, and who had this to say of his colleagues’ approach to politics to Steve Richards for his Radio 4 programme next week:
There was a line in The Untouchables that Sean Connery’s character [second from left] uses – ‘If they pull [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 17 September 2010 at 1:13 pm

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