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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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“The most incredible feeling”, Eagle Eye

“The most incredible feeling”

Two quotations to deepen the gloom. A friend who left the Labour Party to join the SDP in the 1980s writes:
I was all ready to rejoin Labour before Ed got it. Even if I agreed with him on some things, his whole campaign was just so horribly cynical. Does anyone think that if he’d been [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 1 October 2010 at 5:49 pm

Whatever It Took, Eagle Eye

Whatever It Took

In a miserable failure of self-promotion by the seventh most popular media blog, I forgot to link to my review of Steve Richards’s excellent book, Whatever It Takes, on Sunday. The title of the book is taken from Brown’s speech at Labour conference in Manchester in September 2008, just after Lehman Brothers went bust: “When people [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 1 October 2010 at 11:40 am

The Mop-and-Bucket Government, Eagle Eye

The Mop-and-Bucket Government

Unused quotation of last week, from Nick Clegg’s diary for The Spectator:
If someone’s sick in the back of my cab, nobody blames the person who comes with a mop and bucket to clean it up, do they?
How “a Liverpool cabbie” explained the coalition’s political situation to the Liberal Democrat leader. “A little too graphic, I fear, for my conference speech.”
Photograph: The Taxi Project, Tate Liverpool [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 4:45 pm

The Chief Whip Mystery, Eagle Eye

The Chief Whip Mystery

The mystery deepens of Ed Miliband’s sacking of Nick Brown as Labour chief whip – my scoop yesterday, previously discussed on this blog.
Guido Fawkes reports that Brown shared an adviser with Rosie Winterton (right), whom Ed Miliband chose as chief whip to replace him.
Which lends credence to a theory put to me by a supporter of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 30 September 2010 at 2:11 pm

Three reasons why Iraq war was not wrong, Eagle Eye

Three reasons why Iraq war was not wrong

The Iraq war has been debated long enough, and to carry the debate on is backward-looking, but it was the Leader of the Opposition who raised it in his forward-looking, “optimistic” speech:
I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war and we need to be honest about that. Wrong because that war [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 4:38 pm

Ed Miliband’s coup against the machine, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband’s coup against the machine

Very occasionally, you get the news first if you follow me on Twitter. I had just reported hearing that Ed Miliband had spoken to Nick Brown, Labour’s chief whip (right), and said that he did not want him to continue in the post. Now Brown has announced that he will not be standing for election:
As [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 29 September 2010 at 3:11 pm

“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

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