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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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

An ignominious end for 10 more words and phrases, Eagle Eye

An ignominious end for 10 more words and phrases

Far from being the authoritarian thought police it has been accused of being, the Banned List Committee is slow to act and tolerant in its judgments. Hashtags, selfies, artisan this and artisan that, hipsters and millennials were banned in The Independent on Sunday last month, but I forgot to add them to this blog’s running [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Tuesday, 22 April 2014 at 1:26 pm

Defensive, much?, Eagle Eye

Defensive, much?

Ed Balls was on BBC Radio 4’s World At One today, showing just how thin, defensive and selective Labour’s economic message is. Here’s the transcript:
Shaun Ley: If wages outstrip inflation, what cost of living crisis still exists?
Ed Balls: [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 April 2014 at 3:48 pm

League table of Prime Ministers, Eagle Eye

League table of Prime Ministers

ComRes carried out a poll of prime ministers since 1964 for The Independent on Sunday last weekend, using a simple “favourable or unfavourable view” question. The last time we did this, in February last year, we asked the question a different way, asking people to rate prime ministers as better or worse than David Cameron.
Last [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Wednesday, 16 April 2014 at 2:26 pm

Last Sentences of Novels, Eagle Eye

Last Sentences of Novels

I had a Top 10 Last Sentences of Novels in The New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine yesterday, a companion piece to Top 10 First Sentences. As I said, my rules about single, complete sentences shorter than 140 characters limit turned out to be quite restrictive.
Single sentences ruled out some promising entries:
Don’t ever tell [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Monday, 14 April 2014 at 10:36 am

UKIP at record high, Lib Dems at record low, Eagle Eye

UKIP at record high, Lib Dems at record low

Nigel Farage’s party has scored its highest poll rating yet in a ComRes poll, for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow. Labour’s lead has increased to six points as Conservative support falls:
Conservative 29% (-3)
Labour 35% (0)
Lib Dem 7% [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 7:29 pm

Labour’s Vanishing Lead, Eagle Eye

Labour’s Vanishing Lead

We now have three different attempts to quantify the average movement of opinion polls in the last year or so before British general elections.
Here are Leo Barasi’s new calculations. His rule for the polls a year before an election is: halve the lead (of whichever party) and then move the lead 3½ points in the governing [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 5:34 pm

Poll alert, Eagle Eye

Poll alert

We have a ComRes opinion poll in The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. I don’t want to give anything away, but a record has been broken.
As well as asking how people would vote in the general election, we have resumed our Favourability Index, asking about the four party leaders, George Osborne, [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 12:54 pm

Good sense from Osborne, Eagle Eye

Good sense from Osborne

The Chancellor has just delivered a thoughtful speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. I thought this section, rebutting Ed Miliband’s “broken link” and “hollowed out middle” theses, was clear and persuasive:
I believe that if we reward hard work and support people’s aspirations to provide a better life for their family then there is [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 8:56 pm

“I voted for a mass murderer”, Eagle Eye

“I voted for a mass murderer”

Arieh Kovler asked the question:
I wonder how many people who claim that Blair was a war criminal still voted for him in 2005.
And Joe Twyman of YouGov has generously supplied the answer: Among those who voted Labour in 2005, YouGov found 9 per cent who said in January 2010 that Tony Blair “should be tried [...]

By | Eagle Eye | Friday, 11 April 2014 at 2:19 pm

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