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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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Top 10 Signs with Double Meanings, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Signs with Double Meanings

My Top 10 in the Independent on Sunday magazine last weekend was signs with double meanings. This was prompted by Mike Graham saying on Twitter that he would refuse to go into this room (pictured).
As so often, there were many good entries that didn’t make the holy of holies, so here is a round-up of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 April 2014 at 2:30 pm

Nick doesn’t agree with Nick, Eagle Eye

Nick doesn’t agree with Nick

One of these days someone ought to ask Nick Clegg what he has done to ensure the arrest of officers of the British armed forces who took part in what he called the “illegal invasion of Iraq”.
Presumably, Clegg knows that Tony Blair and the other 411 MPs who supported military action cannot, under the Bill of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 29 April 2014 at 10:48 am

Vote Quizzes, Eagle Eye

Vote Quizzes

Well, that was embarrassing. I’ve tried three websites that promise to advise you on how to vote in the European Parliament elections. Euandi (right) matched me with the Conservatives first, UKIP second. Euvox (below left) gave me Tories first, Labour second, Lib Dems third, which is obviously absurd as I do not agree with the Lib Dems [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 28 April 2014 at 7:16 pm

Monbiot: don’t take me seriously, Eagle Eye

Monbiot: don’t take me seriously

George Monbiot, the Guardian journalist behind the Arrest Blair website, has in effect admitted that his “war criminal” schtick was not serious.
I am grateful to Gavin Bailey for drawing Monbiot’s article to my attention, and to an organisation called Radiation Free Lakeland for setting up a website called Arrest Monbiot. This is a remarkable work of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 28 April 2014 at 3:08 pm

Magic Johnson, Eagle Eye

Magic Johnson

One of those Sundays yesterday when Matthew d’Ancona, Andrew Rawnsley and I all wrote about the same subject.
Rawnsley distinguished himself as a Borisceptic, and quoted the words of the Johnson’s “solemn vow” in his re-election campaign in 2012:
If I am fortunate enough to win I will need four years to deliver what I have promised. [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 28 April 2014 at 9:32 am

The Crossover Point, Eagle Eye

The Crossover Point

Labour’s lead in the opinion polls is narrowing. Last week Populus had the two parties tied on 35 per cent. Today Opinium had the lead down to two points and YouGov had it at five points.
This is, incidentally, happening while UKIP is enjoying another surge, so this time Nigel Farage’s rise is more at Labour’s [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 27 April 2014 at 4:15 pm

What do Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Stella Creasy have in common?, Eagle Eye

What do Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Stella Creasy have in common?

I interviewed Stella Creasy, one of the most interesting of the 2010 Labour intake, for Ethos Journal. She talks so fast that we had space for only a small fraction of what she said during our hour’s conversation, so I shall post a longer version here in parts.
This first part covers the broadening of her [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 26 April 2014 at 5:04 pm

Triumph of the Ticket Touts, Eagle Eye

Triumph of the Ticket Touts

Now that Sajid Javid (pictured), who once praised ticket touts, has been promoted to the Cabinet, it is safe to say that the campaign launched by The Independent in 1987 is nearing fruition.
The final surrender of the anti-ticket-tout movement (patron saint Paul Weller) is conveyed in the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 25 April 2014 at 11:30 am

Top 10 Unrelated Pairs of Words, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Unrelated Pairs of Words

My favourite Top 10 so far in The Independent on Sunday last weekend: surprisingly unrelated pairs of words. I started with male and female, which came to English from different Latin roots (masculus and femina), but which came close to rhyming in Old French (masle and femelle) and thus converged in modern English.
These kinds of [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 24 April 2014 at 3:11 pm

Late period Blair, hard edges sharpened, Eagle Eye

Late period Blair, hard edges sharpened

I commented on Tony Blair’s speech, “Why the Middle East Matters”, on BBC Radio 4 World At One today (starts at 13:29), which was followed by a discussion between Matthew Doyle, who used to be Blair’s press secretary, and Julian Lewis, the defence-minded Conservative MP.
Here is my script:
This speech was hardcore Tony Blair, delivered to an [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 23 April 2014 at 3:30 pm

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