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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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President Obama, Republican?, Eagle Eye

President Obama, Republican?

Questions to Which the Answer is No, number 367. This one asked by Andrew Murphy at Harry’s Place.

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 19 July 2010 at 9:29 am

Lord Goldsmith on Torture: the full transcript, Eagle Eye

Lord Goldsmith on Torture: the full transcript

We have an interview with Peter Goldsmith, who was Attorney General 2001-07, in The Independent on Sunday.
I think it is an interesting and important interview, primarily about the inquiry, which David Cameron announced last week, into allegations that the Government in which Goldsmith served, and to which he was the chief legal adviser, was complicit [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 18 July 2010 at 12:01 am

The Guardian, David Miliband and Torture, Eagle Eye

The Guardian, David Miliband and Torture

“Is David Miliband, the former foreign secretary and current candidate for the Labour leadership, right to protest that none of this happened on his watch? No.” Thus The Guardian leading article on “torture” yesterday.
By which of course it meant Yes.
The Guardian this morning has grudgingly and misleadingly corrected its slur:
In a leader yesterday [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 5:32 pm

Couldn’t Make It Up: the Non-Union Picket Line, Eagle Eye

Couldn’t Make It Up: the Non-Union Picket Line

Michael Ezra at Harry’s Place has spotted a fabulous story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. A union in Washington DC, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, is paying non-union members to picket a building in protest against work being carried out there by non-union workers. The non-union picketers are paid the minimum wage to [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 5:15 pm

Will necktie fatwas unravel Iran’s leadership?, Eagle Eye

Will necktie fatwas unravel Iran’s leadership?

And now number 366 of my Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by Sylvie Stein at Foreign Policy.
It seems that there is a theological dispute between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs in Iran over the wearing of ties.
Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, normally close ally of the Iranian president, said: “I say to him [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 3:10 pm

Are ageing lefties in denial?, Eagle Eye

Are ageing lefties in denial?

Grateful to Oliver Kamm for drawing my attention to number 365 in my series of Questions to Which the Answer is No, asked by Jon Kelly at the BBC:
A study is being used to support the theory many educated, middle-aged left-wingers are in fact conservatives who can’t admit it. Is this true?
As Oliver says, no. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 2:37 pm

As clear as technical “mud”, Eagle Eye

As clear as technical “mud”

As BP suddenly becomes a British company again – the capping of the oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig seems to be working – I apply the full weight of pedantry to the The Independent’s reporting of this and other important matters in this week’s Errors & Omissions column:
A report on the Business pages [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 July 2010 at 11:00 am

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

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