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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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Conservative image detoxified at last?, Eagle Eye

Conservative image detoxified at last?

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives remains squeezed, at two points, little changed from last month’s three-point margin, in the ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. But the poll’s Favourability Index finds that the Conservative Party is viewed more favourably than Labour for the first time, suggesting that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 7:28 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday, shared with the Sunday Mirror.
Last month Labour had a three-point lead. This month we have resumed our Favourability Index, asking if people have a favourable or unfavourable view of:
• five parties, including the Scottish National Party, now that we are into the final month of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 23 August 2014 at 10:10 am

Yvette Cooper blames Government for allowing British jihadis, Eagle Eye

Yvette Cooper blames Government for allowing British jihadis

Yvette Cooper linked British jihadists in Syria and Iraq with the Government’s having “stopped” a lot of the Prevent anti-radicalisation programme, when she was on BBC News Channel this morning.
Here is the transcript:
Simon McCoy: While I have you here and in your role as Shadow Home Secretary, could I just ask you about the overnight [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 20 August 2014 at 12:18 pm

There are no words – because I’ve banned them, Eagle Eye

There are no words – because I’ve banned them

If news continued to break while I was away, so too did crimes against the English language, which also demand my attention in my capacity as keeper of the Banned List. No, I do not “curate” it – one of my colleagues, on reading that someone had “curated a picnic” wanted to know if the word [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 1:53 pm

The Battle of Hastings

Guest post by Tom Doran
People like me know the script when it comes to defending Israel against its outright haters, the people currently attacking synagogues all over Europe in the name of Palestine. They are unhinged, implacable, terrifying… But for this very reason, a known quantity. We’ve been here before, again and again. We have [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 July 2014 at 10:45 am

Ed Miliband’s unwise speech, Eagle Eye

Ed Miliband’s unwise speech

Esteemed colleague Andrew Grice said: “Rarely in 30 years of reporting national politics have I seen such a candid, self-aware and self-deprecating speech.” Fellow Blairite zombie Daniel Hodges, on the other hand, thought it was “one of most breathtakingly cynical and hypocritical speeches I’ve ever seen delivered by a major British politician”.
I observe merely that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 July 2014 at 11:34 am

Voters say women promoted for “presentational reasons”, Eagle Eye

Voters say women promoted for “presentational reasons”

Voters are sceptical about the Government reshuffle, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror.
Most people, 56 per cent, said women were promoted for “presentational reasons” and only 24 per cent said women were promoted “on merit”. Overall, only 20 per cent said the reshuffle improved my view of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 19 July 2014 at 7:30 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror.
In addition to asking people how they intend to vote, we asked if people agree or disagreed with the following statements:
Politicians have probably covered up child sex abuse by other senior politicians in the past
Allegations of child sex abuse [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 19 July 2014 at 10:33 am

What Harriet Said And What Harriet Meant, Eagle Eye

What Harriet Said And What Harriet Meant

Labour was embarrassed at PMQs by David Cameron reading out something Harriet Harman had said on LBC yesterday. But if you read the full transcript, helpfully provided by the Conservatives, it would seem that she was trying to explain why middle-income people pay more in tax than those on lower incomes.
Embarrassment over.
Questioner: I would like to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 12:55 pm

Iraq’s WMD and the Test of Reasonableness, Eagle Eye

Iraq’s WMD and the Test of Reasonableness

Cross-post by Mugwump.
This 9,000-word article looks at why intelligence services around the world were so sure that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in 2003. I re-post it here because it is an impressive piece of work, bringing together evidence from a wide range of sources.
Photo of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 8 July 2014 at 1:48 pm

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