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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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Heading for a Hung Parliament?, Eagle Eye

Heading for a Hung Parliament?

I am grateful to Electoral Calculus for producing a special version of its Polling Chart of Everything, showing the history of party support this parliament, as measured by ComRes for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday (the average of the company’s two series, telephone polls for The Independent and online polls for The Independent [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at 4:23 pm

Genuine Shop Names: the next 20, Eagle Eye

Genuine Shop Names: the next 20

Still they keep coming. I listed the Top 10 Genuine Shop Names in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, at the weekend, and posted an overflow list of another 20 on the blog. In no time, thanks to the genius of Twitter, I have another 20, taking us up to a total of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at 12:11 pm

Top 30 Genuine Shop Names, Eagle Eye

Top 30 Genuine Shop Names

I have a Top 10 Genuine Shop Names in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, today. Here is photographic proof of my favourite, Melon Cauli, Birmingham. And below is a picture of Sellfridges, in Stoke Newington.
I had so many good nominations, though, that it would be a waste not to list the next [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 7:00 pm

“Rocks on which hopes of Mr Miliband will be dashed”, Eagle Eye

“Rocks on which hopes of Mr Miliband will be dashed”

Philip Collins in today’s Times (pay wall) says the Budget revealed Labour’s weakness:
The most calamitous error, from which there has never been a clear way back, was not to concede, early and clearly, that Labour had carried on spending long after retrenchment was needed. Refusing to admit any culpability at all gave Mr Osborne the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 21 March 2014 at 10:07 am

This parrot’s “retirement has ended”, Eagle Eye

This parrot’s “retirement has ended”

Ed Balls coined a new euphemism for death in his interview on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning. He was asked about the reform of defined contribution pensions in the Budget:
This is a very big and radical reform so it is important that we look hard to see what it is actually going [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 20 March 2014 at 9:20 pm

How to Respond to a Budget, Eagle Eye

How to Respond to a Budget

It is not as if the response to the Budget is so very difficult.
All Ed Miliband had to do was to remember one of Matthew Parris’s parliamentary sketches of the early Blair:
He tweaked this, prodded that, inspected the teeth of a clause or two – and pronounced that it did not pass muster. It was all [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 19 March 2014 at 9:39 pm

Death of the Great Anti-Authoritarian, Eagle Eye

Death of the Great Anti-Authoritarian

This is a cross-post by Martin H from Politics Is Moral Psychology.
In the many obituaries published last week for Tony Benn much was made of his personal warmth, charm and honesty, his conviction politics and his singular commitment to a particular brand of left wing politics, still not reconciled to capitalism. His convictions were on [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 4:37 pm

Top 10 Mixed Metaphors, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Mixed Metaphors

My Top 10 in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine, on Sunday was mixed metaphors. The best was possibly Ernest Bevin’s:
I don’t like it. When you open that Pandora’s box, you will find it full of Trojan horses.
This was supplied by the great and wondrous Francis Wheen, at whose feet I learned depressingly [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 4:15 pm

Peak UKIP Postponed, Eagle Eye

Peak UKIP Postponed

I may have been wrong about “peak UKIP”. I wrote recently that, having failed to come up with a sensational by-election win, of the kind that delivered the oxygen of publicity to the Liberals, the SDP and the Lib Dems in their years of trying to break up the two-party system, UKIP would probably come [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 17 March 2014 at 1:46 pm

Tony Benn: Maudlin Remembrances, Eagle Eye

Tony Benn: Maudlin Remembrances

Tom McNally, political secretary to James Callaghan, Labour MP 1979-81, SDP 1981-83, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords and Justice Minister until last year, to the Mile End Group in December 2006:
One of the reasons why I want to live a long life is to be around when Wedgie pops his [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 16 March 2014 at 7:34 pm

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