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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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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

New Labour’s failure, Eagle Eye

New Labour’s failure

Luke Bozier is a Labour member and activist who lives in central London. He worked for the party and is “a big fan” of Tony Blair. But he cannot find a school place for his daughter with which he would be happy. Anyone interested in assessing the New Labour years should read his story.
The Ofsted [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 4:54 pm

Peter Oborne, Richard Ingrams: meet the Tooth Fairy, Eagle Eye

Peter Oborne, Richard Ingrams: meet the Tooth Fairy

Peter Oborne in yesterday’s Daily Mail and Richard Ingrams in yesterday’s Independent both lend their meagre credibility to the conspiracy theory that David Kelly was murdered. They should read Tom Mangold, a friend of Kelly’s, in today’s Independent on Sunday. He explains what you have to believe in order to share the preposterous theory espoused [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 4 July 2010 at 12:12 pm

Why the squatter camp should go, Eagle Eye

Why the squatter camp should go

My colleague Archie Bland is upset that the squatter camp is to be evicted from Parliament Square and relieved that it has been reprieved. I am the opposite.
Because Archie’s strongly-held view is alarmingly common among liberal-minded people, allow me to explain why I think it is wrong. It seems to be a typical Did Magna [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 6:31 pm

In praise of the ticket tout, Uncategorized

In praise of the ticket tout

That was the headline on one of The Independent’s most celebrated leading articles. Well, celebrated by me, anyway.
Sharon Hodgson (right), the Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland North, wants a ban on ticket touts at all “crown jewel” sporting events, such as Wimbledon, the Grand National and the Six Nations Rugby. I fear that [...]

By | | Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 5:41 pm

Peerless entertainment, Eagle Eye

Peerless entertainment

Talking of good things in today’s Independent, Andy McSmith’s “Village People” column has quickly established itself as worth looking out for. Today, he has two gems. One is the story of Peter Walker (right), the Conservative cabinet minister who died last week, told entirely in words beginning with w:
Wet Walker wasn’t Welsh. Worcester Walker was [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 4:55 pm

Secret pleasures

Quotation of the day from Howard Jacobson, whose column in Saturday’s Independent is one of the joys of contemporary journalism, on the subject of “holiday reading”:
The dichotomy between great works of literature and the books we “secretly” enjoy is a false one. Trashy novels are less enjoyable to read than good ones. The [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 4:29 pm

Gerrymandering and other distractions, Eagle Eye

Gerrymandering and other distractions

Nicholas Watt has what he rightly calls an “intriguing detail” on the voting reform Bill to be announced next week:
Tory MPs have been told by Downing Street that even if the referendum is passed, the next general election will not be held under AV [Alternative Vote] until the boundary review to shrink the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 3 July 2010 at 11:50 am

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