John Rentoul

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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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Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. As well as asking people how they would vote in a general election, we have re-run the Favourability Index, asking whether people have a favourable or unfavourable view of leading politicians and, this week, three members of the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 14 June 2014 at 11:09 am

The Kinnock Comparison, Eagle Eye

The Kinnock Comparison

Before last week’s Newark by-election slips into the quiz night and footnote retrieval system, it is worth noting again what a good result it was for David Cameron.
Everyone has pointed out – I did two Sundays ago – that it was the first time the Tories have held onto a seat while they are in government since [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 13 June 2014 at 10:02 pm

Notes on Iraq, Eagle Eye

Notes on Iraq

Quite hard to keep up with the strangeness of views about Iraq, but let me note three things.
1. The advance of Islamist militia from Syria to Mosul is a disaster. To the extent that it was made possible by the US-led invasion of Iraq 11 years ago, it counts against that decision. But anyone who [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 13 June 2014 at 12:42 pm

“That leaves me apprehensive”, Eagle Eye

“That leaves me apprehensive”

Nugget from Jim Pickard in the Financial Times (registration):
Katherine Peacock, head of pollsters ComRes, has carried out focus groups where pictures of Mr Miliband are superimposed on 10 Downing Street. “The general reaction is, ‘that leaves me apprehensive, or even a little scared’ or ‘he doesn’t inspire confidence’,” she says. A common reaction is “they [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 13 June 2014 at 11:20 am

Is the lake pictured on every iPad secretly cursed?, Eagle Eye

Is the lake pictured on every iPad secretly cursed?

If I had not wound up my series of Questions To Which The Answer Is No (book still available here), this would be a jewel of the collection:
Is the lake pictured on every iPad secretly CURSED by the ghosts of disabled babies who were thrown into its waters because they wouldn’t survive?
To which the answer [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at 4:15 pm

Footballing History, Eagle Eye

Footballing History

There is a nice line in Jim Murphy’s book, The 10 Football Matches That Changed The World … and the One That Didn’t (that was the Christmas game in no-man’s land in 1914) about Tony Blair.
Murphy, now shadow International Development Secretary, tells the story of Blair’s visit to John Burton’s house in Sedgefield, the last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at 10:47 am

Sidesplitting, Eagle Eye


Say what you like about the Daily Mail, but when it does its humorous, sideways look at something, such as a tribute to Rik Mayall, the tears run down one’s face:
The idea of an MP-cum-weapons-dealer was funny in 1987, but it wouldn’t really become believable for another 15 years, until the Blair era.
Christopher Stevens, we [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 10 June 2014 at 6:07 pm

Top 10 Best Rhymes in Songs, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Best Rhymes in Songs

The Top 10 in The Independent on Sunday magazine yesterday was Best Rhymes in Songs, a sequel to Top 10 Worst Rhymes last year.
As ever, there is a bit of over-matter to be added to the record here:
“Two old ladies sittin’ in the sand, each one wishin’ the other was a man.” Lonnie Donegan. Nominated [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 10 June 2014 at 11:00 am

Blair is un-Blairite on free movement of EU workers, Eagle Eye

Blair is un-Blairite on free movement of EU workers

I agree with Ed Miliband and disagree with Tony Blair about Europe in my column for The Independent on Sunday today.
Here is a graph that shows the relative success of Miliband and Yvette Cooper’s approach to the question of immigration. YouGov regularly asks: “Which political party [do] you think would handle [asylum and immigration] best?” [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 8 June 2014 at 2:42 pm

Will Artificial Intelligence put my job at risk?, Eagle Eye

Will Artificial Intelligence put my job at risk?

It’s a QTWTAIN, a Question To Which The Answer Is No, asked by Jamie Bartlett at the Spectator. But I was struck by this sentence:
According to Google’s Ray Kurzweil, in 2045 we will reach what’s known as ‘Singularity’: the point at which artificial intelligence becomes so advanced that it begins to produce new and ever [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 6 June 2014 at 2:00 pm

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