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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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Ed Miliband’s Big Speech, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband’s Big Speech

I cannot make up my mind whether what Ed Miliband is proposing is so vacuous that it wouldn’t matter if he led a government, or if such woolly thinking would be dangerous.
He does us a favour in his big speech today of summarising his economic policy succinctly:
We need to see more good quality middle income [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 April 2014 at 12:20 pm

Words With Opposite Meanings, Eagle Eye

Words With Opposite Meanings

I chose my Top 10 Words With Opposite Meanings in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, yesterday. I admit that many of them are not quite opposite. Buckle to join together and buckle to collapse are not at 180 degrees to each other.
Tom Freeman correctly points out that literally as an intensifier does [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 7 April 2014 at 8:44 pm

In Partial Defence of Maria Miller, Eagle Eye

In Partial Defence of Maria Miller

Are the rest of us mome raths entitled to feel outgrabed? asks Malcolm Redfellow, about my article in partial defence of Maria Miller in The Independent on Sunday today. He points out that I am in the uffish minority holding out against the slithy toves of even the Tory press in vorpal killing mode.
I know [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 April 2014 at 6:43 pm

Snicker-snack, Eagle Eye

Snicker-snack

First I come to praise sub-editors, and Adrian Read in particular. Usually writers like to complain about how subs take out their jokes and put in mistakes. One of the joys of writing for The Independent on Sunday is that its sub-editors make my writing better.
Thanks to Adrian I was saved from misquoting Lewis Carroll [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 6 April 2014 at 5:09 pm

The war over “over” is over, Eagle Eye

The war over “over” is over

Tom Freeman has a wonderful long post on his blog about the American Civil War. The recent one about the use of “over” to mean “more than”. In the course of which he sets out the essential rule about usage:
If you have good reason to think that a significant number of your readers care about [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 5 April 2014 at 1:32 pm

Who will stop clapping first?, Eagle Eye

Who will stop clapping first?

The more I think about it, the more damning this passage in my esteemed colleague Steve Richards’s New Statesman article about Ed Miliband seems:
Nearly all those who work for Miliband are dependent on his patronage. He chose them and they are pleased to be close to him. They do not want to say things that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 4 April 2014 at 9:39 pm

Andrew Adonis: London 2030, Eagle Eye

Andrew Adonis: London 2030

Andrew Adonis gave a great lecture on the 39th floor of Canary Wharf tower last night. An edited version of it is published on The Independent website.
After surveying London’s history since Christopher Wren, Lord Adonis concluded that the city has expanded successfully when it has had a plan. Then he set out his vision of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 8:04 pm

“Nothing wrong with being a bit weird”, Eagle Eye

“Nothing wrong with being a bit weird”

Lance Price, former press officer for Tony Blair, advises Ed Miliband in The Guardian:
Like most politicians, Miliband is at his best when he is himself. The problem lies not in his presentation but in the sense that too often comes through that, either he hasn’t made up his mind on an issue, or if he [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 3 April 2014 at 11:25 am

Remember: Tristram’s Handy, Eagle Eye

Remember: Tristram’s Handy

News coming in of Tristram Hunt’s turn at a fundraiser for Hornsey and Wood Green Labour Party last night. The shadow education secretary “did what I haven’t seen someone on the Labour front bench do for four years”, according to one witness: “He simply refused to agree with the leftists and political conservatives in the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 2 April 2014 at 9:38 pm

Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”, Eagle Eye

Roy Jenkins: “Second-Class Mind”

One more thing from the last chapter of John Campbell’s wonderful biography of Roy Jenkins. My special interest in it is in its charting of Jenkins’ growing disenchantment with his protégé, which is entirely to Tony Blair’s credit.
I particularly enjoyed Campbell’s account of Jenkins’ description of Blair’s “second-class mind”.
Just because I could, I dug out [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 1 April 2014 at 4:53 pm

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