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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That David Miliband “What If?” Updated, Eagle Eye

That David Miliband “What If?” Updated

Provoked by Mike Smithson and his commenter Edmund in Tokyo, I return to the subject of what would have happened had David Miliband won the Labour leadership in 2010. I have said before that the party would have been in a worse position, because the naive left would have reacted badly to being led by [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 21 June 2014 at 6:31 pm

Iraq, in 560 characters, Eagle Eye

Iraq, in 560 characters

For all the people on Twitter, including George Monbiot, Mehdi Hasan and their followers, who bombard me with what they think are embarrassing questions about Iraq:
1. No, I do not accept that the decision to take military action against Saddam Hussein was a mistake, because no one can know what would have happened had the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 19 June 2014 at 1:04 pm

Impeachment, Eagle Eye


I was going to explain why Sir Peter Tapsell, the longest-serving MP, had shown that neither length of service nor a grand manner is a guarantee of good sense. He asked David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Questions:
Is he aware of the growing sentiment that, as the publication of the Chilcot report is being so long [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 18 June 2014 at 8:57 pm

Liberty, Piketty, Fraternity, Eagle Eye

Liberty, Piketty, Fraternity

We are agreed. Thomas Piketty has been on Channel 4 News and accepted that there has been “only a limited rise in wealth inequality in Europe” in recent decades, whereas it has risen greatly in America. This is what I said. (Video below thanks to Guido Fawkes.)
The situation in America is quite different. Indeed, Piketty [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 9:49 pm

Am I incapable of putting a gif on a blog?, Eagle Eye

Am I incapable of putting a gif on a blog?

Thanks to Patrick Smith at Buzzfeed for compiling an animated Top 20 Questions To Which The Answer Is No. It turns out that I do know how to put a gif in here after all.

The book is here.

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 2:13 pm

RIP the Iraq dossier distinction, Eagle Eye

RIP the Iraq dossier distinction

All right, I’ll admit defeat. In debating the Iraq war I can no longer hold the line. I shall have to give up trying to maintain the distinction between the main dossier of September 2002 and the “dodgy” dossier of February 2003.
Some of us who were paying attention at the time and who think that [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 1:54 pm

“Hindsight makes hypocrites of us all”, Eagle Eye

“Hindsight makes hypocrites of us all”

Hugo Rifkind is very, very good in The Times today (pay wall). He was against the use of force in Iraq in 2003, and went on marches, but he is honest about it:
Most of all, though, I remember the powerful sense, the knowledge, really, that none of it would make any difference. It wasn’t a [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 10:41 am

Kellner’s Law rewritten, Eagle Eye

Kellner’s Law rewritten

Just as I thought I had got the Four Square Rule firmly imprinted on my brain – that the Conservatives need to be four points ahead in share of the vote to be the largest party at the election next year – Peter Kellner returns from another trip up the mountain with a new tablet.
He has [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 16 June 2014 at 5:14 pm

Clare Short and the language of the Iraq debate, Eagle Eye

Clare Short and the language of the Iraq debate

Just caught up with Clare Short and John McTernan on BBC2 Newsnight on Friday (starts at 24 minutes in).
Unfortunately, Laura Kuenssberg introduces Short as a Cabinet minister who “resigned in protest at the decision to invade Iraq”. She was a member of the government and voted for military action against Saddam Hussein. She resigned after [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 15 June 2014 at 8:00 pm

Prince William more popular than Queen, Eagle Eye

Prince William more popular than Queen

Prince William is more popular than the Queen, according to a ComRes poll for tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday, shared with the Sunday Mirror. Prince Charles is less favourably regarded, being only a little more popular than Boris Johnson, the highest-scoring politician on the list.
The poll puts Labour’s lead over the Conservatives at two points, the [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 14 June 2014 at 7:31 pm

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