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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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“Yeah but no but”, Eagle Eye

“Yeah but no but”

The leading article in The Times today (pay wall) on Ed Miliband’s speech is very, very good. This is how it starts:
In his first keynote speech since his election as leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband’s task was daunting. His aims, most likely, were threefold: to heal the rifts of the past, to argue [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 1:00 pm

Looking forward to the “grown-up debate”, Eagle Eye

Looking forward to the “grown-up debate”

A correspondent writes to ask if I am OK: “Why aren’t you telling the world this week has been an absolute disaster?”
Grateful for his concern, but (a) I have made my views pretty clear, and (b) I try to look on the bright side of life.
On the bright side, it was cheering to see the characterisation [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 10:26 am

Labour leadership election latest, Eagle Eye

Labour leadership election latest

The Independent reports on the battle to succeed the Great Leader at the workers’ party conference.
Ed Il Band, on the right, was voted Supreme Leader by an overwhelming margin over his brother David, left, in an exemplary display of guided democracy, and acclaimed by a grateful nation.
Photograph: KNS/AFP/GETTY

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 27 September 2010 at 1:17 pm

Vote Panda, Eagle Eye

Vote Panda

I have an article in The Independent on Sunday today that Kevin Maguire regards as “savage”, in which I point out that the Labour Party and Labour MPs resisted the temptation to vote for The Panda:
He is soft, cuddly and panders to every oppositional instinct in the party.
They saw Ed Miliband’s pandering for what it [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 26 September 2010 at 3:04 pm

“Just a puppet on a lonely string. Oh, who would ever want to be king?”, Eagle Eye

“Just a puppet on a lonely string. Oh, who would ever want to be king?”

Whoever chose Coldplay for Ed Miliband’s election announcement didn’t read or understand the lyrics …
I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemies’ eyes
Listen as the crowd would sing
“Now [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 8:10 pm

The Plot That Nearly Was, Eagle Eye

The Plot That Nearly Was

Some good stuff in the updated paperback edition of Andrew Rawnsley’s The End of the Party.
We suspected from reports at the time that Harriet Harman and Jack Straw might have been implicated in the failed plot by Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon to force Gordon Brown out in January this year.
Steve Richards in his Whatever [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 10:16 pm

Will Andy Burnham quit?, Eagle Eye

Will Andy Burnham quit?

Curious story about the Labour leadership in the Daily Telegraph today. Either I have become more incomputerate all of a sudden, or it is not on the internets yet.* But Andrew Porter, political editor, reports that one of the candidates has told the Telegraph that it was “very likely” that “they” would refuse to serve [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 3:16 pm

Could we action that parameter, Eagle Eye

Could we action that parameter

Two additions to the Banned List. Tom Harris, for whom I urge Labour MPs not to vote in the Shadow Cabinet election because he says he will give up blogging if elected, and Mark Wallace point out that action is not a verb. The Committee has approved that addition to the Banned List, as no [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 1:51 pm

Hedgehogs: do we need to keep them as pets?

Pete Wedderburn, the Telegraph vet, asks number 391 of my Questions to Which the Answer is No.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 23 September 2010 at 10:40 am

In case of emergency, Eagle Eye

In case of emergency

Good issue of Prospect magazine just out. Apart from the cartoons (my favourite, right), it has a serious review of Tony Blair’s A Journey by David Goodhart, the editor. I’ve been surprised by how so few reviewers have engaged with the arguments in Blair’s book as opposed to drivelling on about the trivia. Not even the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 22 September 2010 at 1:28 pm

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