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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How the leadership election was won, Eagle Eye

How the leadership election was won

Two interesting political items behind the pay wall at The Times today. One is an interview with Charlie Whelan, who has just retired as political director of Unite, having played a central role in giving Neil Kinnock his party back. The photograph by Tom Main alone is worth the subscription (a small version, right).
The article starts [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 9 October 2010 at 12:54 pm

The Three (or Four) Wasted Years, Eagle Eye

The Three (or Four) Wasted Years

By the way, did you notice that line in David Cameron’s speech yesterday?
When we are done with these cuts, spending on public services will actually still be at the same level that it was in 2006.
Is that all? What, you might ask, have the last four years all been about? Well, I’ll tell you. Tony [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 9:58 pm

Who Didn’t Say What, Eagle Eye

Who Didn’t Say What

As a service to digital archiving, I seek to preserve the gems of the occasional paragraph called “Notes” in The Independent’s Viewspaper. Possibly because they are printed in an odd typeface, they are not on the website. But two of the recent “Notes”, from 20 and 21 September, were particularly good, so I reproduce them [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 4:00 pm

Some other people disagreed with the Iraq war, Eagle Eye

Some other people disagreed with the Iraq war

This was not the headline the Law Society Gazette chose for its report of the report of the Solicitors International Human Rights Group and the Law Society’s international action team, which has been submitted to the Iraq Inquiry, just as you or I could submit our opinions. It opted for:
‘No legal case’ for Iraq invasion
The [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 3:04 pm

Dead parrots, rap and a red head, Eagle Eye

Dead parrots, rap and a red head

My commentary on David Cameron’s speech for The Independent is here. Three bits for which there wasn’t space are here:
Remember what they said about us? They called us a dead parrot. They said we had ceased to be. That we were an ex-party. Turns out we really were only resting.
This was the first joke, an [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 1:25 pm

Was Cameron playing a little too freely with Balls quote?, Eagle Eye

Was Cameron playing a little too freely with Balls quote?

Never mind the innuendo, this, asked by Michael Crick, Newsnight’s political editor, is number 395 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No. I must admit that I assumed, when David Cameron in his conference speech today quoted Ed Balls, that he had distorted the shadow shadow chancellor’s meaning:
Ed Balls, the man [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 10:26 pm

Sofa, so good, Eagle Eye

Sofa, so good

Obvious from Theresa May on Newsnight last night, Iain Duncan Smith in The Independent this morning and Eric Pickles on ITV News just now that the Cabinet was not consulted about the decision to abolish child benefit for higher-rate income-tax payers.
But where oh where are the Peter Hennessys, Henry Porters, Peter Obornes and all the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 2:21 pm

Mustard Corduroys, Eagle Eye

Mustard Corduroys

In one of the small variations from the speech he gave to Conservative conference last year, the year before that and the year before that, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, played Classic Canon Bingo with his admiring audience yesterday.
Most Tory representatives had ticked off each name and were shouting “House!” by the time he got [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 6 October 2010 at 1:54 pm

Is the Channel Wider than the Atlantic?, Eagle Eye

Is the Channel Wider than the Atlantic?

I know the answer to this one! It’s number 394 in the series. Thanks to Robert for supplying this photograph.

Sorry – I missed number 392. That was asked on Saturday by champion contributor Mike Smithson at Political Betting:
Is Balls at Defence the coalition’s biggest fear?

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 4 October 2010 at 8:08 pm

Why Fox Might Have Leaked, Eagle Eye

Why Fox Might Have Leaked

A rather unenlightening “Diary of a Civil Servant” in The Observer yesterday. Its anonymous author opines that “leakers have different motives”, and suggests that ministers and their advisers sometimes leak “for political advantage”.
The most vulnerable time for any minister is when their policy proposal is sent round a cabinet committee for approval. If a colleague [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 4 October 2010 at 7:25 pm

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