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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The Betrayal of Science, Eagle Eye

The Betrayal of Science

The third inquiry into the University of East Anglia climate change emails imbroglio has cleared Professor Phil Jones of any misconduct, although it still hasn’t quite explained why he wrote to a colleague that he had used “a trick” to “hide the decline” in temperatures implied by tree ring data.
I would have thought that the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 2:39 pm

“Hyper expectation, dawning realisation”, Eagle Eye

“Hyper expectation, dawning realisation”

There is a a quotation from an alleged but anonymous Norwegian journalist* about England’s approach to international association football tournaments that is popular on the internet:
Hyper expectation, dawning realisation, bitter recrimination, inquest, forget, repeat.
I don’t know much about football, but it sounds awfully like the British approach to politics. It reminds me of William [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 12:45 pm

“I don’t think we’ll bother with that”, Eagle Eye

“I don’t think we’ll bother with that”

But what was it with which we wouldn’t bother? John Bercow, the Speaker, prevented David Cameron from quoting from Deborah Mattinson’s new book, Talking to a Brick Wall, at Prime Minister’s Questions today.*
Cameron was miffed, but accepted the rebuke with the courtesy we have come to expect.
It was wonderful free publicity for Mattinson, who used to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 10:29 pm

Journey to the Indefinite Article, Eagle Eye

Journey to the Indefinite Article

When, asks Blair Supporter, did The Journey become A Journey? Before and after:

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 11:59 am

How the voting reform referendum could be lost, Eagle Eye

How the voting reform referendum could be lost

YouGov has put up the details of its poll on the Alternative Vote, and Anthony Wells has an excellent summary here. The key points:
People were given six arguments for AV and six arguments against, and for each one asked if they thought it was an effective or ineffective argument. At the end they were asked [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 9:56 am

Miliband mania spreads, Eagle Eye

Miliband mania spreads

A picture from Jessica Asato:

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 5 July 2010 at 7:24 pm

More squattery, Eagle Eye

More squattery

Grateful for Archie Bland’s clarification of the argument about the squatter camp in Parliament Square. He replies to my post of yesterday, and in essence the difference between us seems to be that he says, “They might as well,” and I say, “I don’t see why.”
Two minor pedantries. The Palace of Westminster is not the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 5 July 2010 at 3:17 pm

Is Jeremy Hunt the next Tory leader?, Eagle Eye

Is Jeremy Hunt the next Tory leader?

I couldn’t believe that as sharp a commentator as Matthew d’Ancona could have suggested such a thing, and was relieved to see that the Conservative Home summary of his article for next month’s GQ does not predict anything quite so daring.
Although d’Ancona does say that Hunt is the “man to watch”. For someone who carries [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 5 July 2010 at 2:38 pm

The tectonics of voting reform, Eagle Eye

The tectonics of voting reform

The tectonic plates of politics are on the move again. As I suggested in The Independent on Sunday yesterday, David Cameron is less opposed to voting reform than his spokesman pretends, while Labour is moving, quite quickly, away from its official policy of support for the Alternative Vote.
We are witnessing the beginnings of a historic [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 5 July 2010 at 11:56 am

Tooth fairy update, Eagle Eye

Tooth fairy update

No point in prolonging the nonsense a minute further, of course. But I have replied to various of the Tooth Fairy Cult who cropped up in the comments on my post earlier today, and it may be worth holding up one of the main lines of the conspiracists to the light of reason for more [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 10:42 pm

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