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.

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August catch-up: architecture, suitcases and ‘pathetic figures’

Our political columnist rounds up things of interest that you may have missed

August catch-up: Barack's phone calls, tribute to Norm and my Desert Island Discs

Half a dozen things collated by our political columnist in which you might be interested

Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station

Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape

August catch-up: The Hitch on Americans, literature, liberal intervention and language

Our political columnist on his book of the summer

August catch-up: a modern sculpture I like, a new rule for life and a tribute to Boy George

Half a dozen things you may have missed in the becalmed weeks of the summer holidays

August catch-up: What Damian McBride said about Ed Miliband

A former special adviser criticises a fellow former special adviser for combining the worst traits of their two former bosses — rather unfairly, says our political columnist

Clatter, bell and carriage return of a typewriter

The Top Ten: Once-common sounds

This list was suggested by this magazine's editor, Mike Higgins, who proposed dial-up modems and electric milk floats. Telephone-related noises, including the pips when you needed to insert more coins in a phone box (Terry Stiastny), were popular, and I cannot find the old pre-digital UK dialling tone on the internet.

Students demonstrating about the rising costs of education fees in 2000

On tuition fees, we ain't seen nothing yet

In a vindication for those behind the last two rises, more people from poor families are going to university

August catch-up: great buildings, momentous events and silly jokes

Still trying to bring you some of the things you may have missed in the holiday hiatus

Seat of power: Angela Merkel prefers to use a small writing desk rather than Gerhard Schröder's behemoth

Angela Merkel dislikes Gerhard Schröder's big black desk - so what does their choice of workspace says about other leaders?

Merkel revealed she doesn't like the four-metre black desk she inherited from her predecessor, preferring to work at the small writing-table in front of it

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Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

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The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
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Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
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Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
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The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
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