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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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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

Ed Balls on the lessons he has learned, Eagle Eye

Ed Balls on the lessons he has learned

Ed Balls was on The Andrew Marr Show this morning. He had a nice line about learning from experience, trying to turn his service in Gordon Brown’s government to his advantage:
I’ve made mistakes as well. We should have been tougher on regulating the banks when George Osborne kept telling me I was being too tough. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 16 March 2014 at 3:56 pm

UKIP leading in Euro elections race, Eagle Eye

UKIP leading in Euro elections race

The UK Independence Party is on course to win the largest share of the vote in the European Parliament elections in May, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror.
UKIP 30% (+3)
Lab 28% (+5)
Con [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 March 2014 at 7:27 pm

When Labour rejected free school lunches, Eagle Eye

When Labour rejected free school lunches

Michael Gove’s former special adviser, Dominic Cummings, has written a blog post about why he thinks Nick Clegg’s plan to provide free school lunches for all younger primary-school pupils is a “gimmick”.
Gove himself now pretends it is a marvellous idea, and it is true that it has some merit, mainly that it removes a means [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 March 2014 at 12:29 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. Several recent polls have suggested a tightening of the Labour lead (ICM three points, Ipsos MORI three points, YouGov five points, Populus one point), so it will be interesting to see what ComRes’s online series has to say.
Also, we [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 15 March 2014 at 11:51 am

Top 40 Lost Positives, Eagle Eye

Top 40 Lost Positives

I ended up with so many lost positives that I could have compiled a small dictionary of them. There are certainly enough to use in a story. Jack Winter has already done that: “How I Met My Wife“, brought to my attention by Toby Manhire.
I selected a Top 10 for The Independent on Sunday magazine last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 14 March 2014 at 10:18 pm

The Peculiar Antique Politics of Bob Crow, Eagle Eye

The Peculiar Antique Politics of Bob Crow

Suzanne Moore in The Guardian detected a trace of hypocrisy in some of the coverage of the death of Bob Crow at the age of 52:
The shock of Bob Crow’s death was closely followed by another peculiar aftershock: those who had hated him while he was alive queued up to praise him.
One of those who [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 13 March 2014 at 10:36 am

Never Closer Union, part 2, Eagle Eye

Never Closer Union, part 2

Further to my previous post, a footnote on Ed Miliband’s article in the Financial Times (limited free access). He says that “ever closer union” – the phrase that David Cameron wants to excise from the EU treaties – is “not Labour’s vision for Europe”. And he wants to transfer power to national parliaments. But he doesn’t say [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 12 March 2014 at 11:31 am

“No, we don’t want an in-out referendum”: Ed Miliband, right first time, Eagle Eye

“No, we don’t want an in-out referendum”: Ed Miliband, right first time

“No, we don’t want an in-out referendum,” Ed Miliband told the House of Commons in January last year. There was uproar, and afterwards Ed Balls told him off for not adding “now” at the end of the sentence. But what Miliband said then has turned out to be what he meant.
Today is a triumph [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 12 March 2014 at 11:14 am

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