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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 Mail’s poison, Eagle Eye

The Mail’s poison

Today’s Daily Mail recycles The Guardian’s latest hard-to-follow reports of British “complicity” – a favourite word with Blair haters of right and left. The leftie moral posturing of the Mail on the issue of torture is hard to understand except in the context of Paul Dacre’s hatred of New Labour, which happily coincides with the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 16 July 2010 at 5:44 pm

Historical revisionism, Eagle Eye

Historical revisionism

Charles Nevin is one of The Independent’s brightest stars. Indeed, it would not be excessive to describe him as the finest peace-time writer of third leaders. When I was a leader-writer, his short endpieces were the standard to which I aspired. So successful was he that he has now been given his own endpiece slot, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 6:12 pm

The Manchu Court, Eagle Eye

The Manchu Court

Paul Keating, Bob Hawke’s successor as prime minister of Australia, is not happy about Hawke’s wife’s new book. As Danny Finkelstein points out, the Blair-Brown hate fest has nothing on this:
Photograph of Hawke and Keating, 1991: Peter Morris

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 5:56 pm

We want to move on about it for ever, Eagle Eye

We want to move on about it for ever

In respect of yesterday’s post at Labour List by Joe Caluori, entitled,
We need to learn the lessons of Iraq before we can move on
another correspondent, James, writes to propose a new series:
Headlines to which the subtext is, No, we want to go on about it for ever.

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 4:01 pm

Could this persuade Dave to ditch Nick?, Eagle Eye

Could this persuade Dave to ditch Nick?

The third leader in The Times this morning begins thus:
William Blake’s Jerusalem is a series of great historical questions to each of which the answer is “no”.
Well, I’m not sure about “those feet in ancient time”, because there is a bit of poetic ambiguity about whose feet they are, but the second question is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 3:52 pm

Chatham House Rules in the Twitter Era, Eagle Eye

Chatham House Rules in the Twitter Era

Alastair Campbell repeated in yesterday’s Financial Times his dictum that, at least for most people in the public eye, “life is on the record”, and that it is difficult for the famous Chatham House rule to survive in a world with Twitter and Facebook. The Guardian reports that Keith Burnet, the communications [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 15 July 2010 at 12:11 pm

Why a graduate tax is a bad idea, Eagle Eye

Why a graduate tax is a bad idea

David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions today said the Labour leadership election “basically involves sucking up to the trade unions”, playing into the prevailing view of it as an exercise in telling the Labour Party what it wants to hear.
This is not true of one candidate. David Miliband has not joined the herd rushing from [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 8:41 pm

Why Alastair Campbell turned down the money, Eagle Eye

Why Alastair Campbell turned down the money

Alastair Campbell has a great line in a waspish article in The Daily Telegraph today on the virtues of keeping a diary rather than writing a memoir based on hazy recollection. Just in case we were unsure to whom he was referring, he corrects a point of detail in Peter Mandelson’s The Third Man, serialised [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 14 July 2010 at 2:22 pm

Barack Obama wins, Eagle Eye

Barack Obama wins

Under Godwin’s Law,* the North Iowa Tea Party has lost the argument:

*Godwin’s Law: “The first person to make a Nazi analogy is out.”
Via The Staggers.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 11:09 pm

Andrew Lansley’s disaster, Eagle Eye

Andrew Lansley’s disaster

I haven’t opined on Andrew Lansley (right) and his reform plans for the NHS because I haven’t read the white paper or spoken to anyone who understands it. Judging by the coverage, I am not in a minority among the journalistic class.
As a holding position, therefore, two things.
One, the reforms may well be the the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 13 July 2010 at 3:12 pm

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