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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Labour’s local election results: “not good enough”, Eagle Eye

Labour’s local election results: “not good enough”

Some customer resistance to the claim in my column for The Independent on Sunday that Labour’s results in the local elections last week were “not good enough”. Typical Blairite rubbish, no more than you would expect from, um, Ed Balls.
If the “Blair’s gone you know” people would care to pay attention to what the Shadow [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 25 May 2014 at 5:19 pm

Piketty Picked Apart, Eagle Eye

Piketty Picked Apart

Chris Giles on Financial Times Blogs has done a superb piece of work, investigating Thomas Piketty’s acclaimed “comprehensive” statistics on the distribution of wealth, and has found that the numbers for several European countries are hard to explain.
I thought Piketty’s figures did not match the British statistics with which I was familiar, as I said [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 24 May 2014 at 1:11 pm

Working-class culture, Eagle Eye

Working-class culture

Important article by Peter Kellner in next month’s Prospect about the changing relationship between class and voting. This takes me back to my early days in political journalism, not just because I learned so much from Kellner when he was political editor of the New Statesman in the 1980s, but because a debate raged then in academic [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Thursday, 22 May 2014 at 3:55 pm

Police Second, Eagle Eye

Police Second

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has just addressed the second-most ferocious trade union in the western world, the Police Federation. The most ferocious is of course the British Medical Association, and the Federation has suffered a bit of a setback recently in its handling of the Andrew Mitchell Gategate.
All praise to May, therefore, for taking [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at 2:59 pm

ComRes “Battlebus” poll for The Independent points to Cameron holding on as PM next year, Eagle Eye

ComRes “Battlebus” poll for The Independent points to Cameron holding on as PM next year

In The Independent tomorrow, ComRes launches a new “Battlebus” poll in 40 of the most marginal Conservative-Labour seats.
The figures are:
Con  33% (-4)
Lab  35% (-2)
LibDem  8% (-10)
UKIP  17% (+14)
Other  7% (+2)
Figures in brackets show changes since the 2010 general election results across the constituencies. These are the numbers to focus on. Labour is doing better than [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 10:30 pm

Government by Bounce, Leak and Screaming Match, Eagle Eye

Government by Bounce, Leak and Screaming Match

I used to think that the difference between this coalition and the one that preceded it was that the Blair-Brown coalition was dysfunctional and its two wings behaved badly towards each other. Now we know better. My column for The Independent on Sunday was about a historic document published last week: a blog post by [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 20 May 2014 at 3:57 pm

Another voting system that favours UKIP, Eagle Eye

Another voting system that favours UKIP

The voting system for the European Parliament elections on Thursday is horrible. The closed-list proportional representation system was one of the less glorious legacies of the golden Blair years. You vote for a party and a phalanx of people, just names listed in the small print on the ballot paper, slope off to Brussels on [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 19 May 2014 at 10:04 pm

Top 10 Metatheses: Orpah Winfrey, Eagle Eye

Top 10 Metatheses: Orpah Winfrey

This week’s Top 10 in the Independent on Sunday magazine is metatheses, the transposition of sounds in words.
Bird used to be brid (that’s not a misspelling, pictured, that’s etymology), wasp used to be waps and dusk used to be dox.
I could have had a separate category for people’s names. Matthew Bell says that in Nepal [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 19 May 2014 at 11:41 am

More Misunderstood Songs, Eagle Eye

More Misunderstood Songs

After posting last week’s Top 10 here, “Songs that mean the opposite of what most people think they mean”, I had some late nominations.
Stella Creasy: “In the Summertime”, by Mungo Jerry, as it’s about drink driving and date rape.
Tania Ziegler: “‏Young Girl”, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, about underage sex with older man.
James [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Sunday, 18 May 2014 at 9:08 pm

UKIP hold record 11-point lead in European election, Eagle Eye

UKIP hold record 11-point lead in European election

The UK Independence Party is heading for victory in next week’s European Parliament election, with the support of 35% of those who say they are “absolutely certain to vote”, according to a ComRes opinion poll for The Independent on Sunday, shared with the Sunday Mirror. This equals the record 11-point lead for UKIP reported by [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 17 May 2014 at 7:25 pm

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