John Rentoul

John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at King's College, London, and at Queen Mary University of London. 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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The Top Ten: Shortest wars

'The belief in the possibility of a short, decisive war appears to be one of the most ancient and dangerous of human illusions.'

Daily catch-up: Liz Kendall speaks to the Westminster press pack – kamikaze or courage?

Labour Party members will choose the candidate who scares the Conservatives most

Daily catch-up: Steve Hilton, creator of
Cameronism 1.0, returns to survey version 2.0

Plus the Human Rights Act, Ed’s tombstone and alcohol consumption

Daily catch-up: Labour prepares to choose a leader to fight the last election

Plus further election-result pedantry and another outstanding genuine shop name

Daily catch-up: a new term starts at Mr Cameron’s Academy, with a new Camera-on

Plus: How will the opinion polls change, and is Labour over-thinking its post-election analysis?

Daily catch-up: political tribalism, Ed Miliband’s vanity and the receding of the SNP tide

A miscellany of political musings and furies, plus the original ‘Stairway to Heaven

The Top Ten: Different songs with the same title

This was started by Tim Mickleburgh, who remembered No 1 and reminded me of No 2, one of my favourite pop curios. There's a website that has collected 5,009 examples, many of which are one-word titles, so the premium here was on longer, more specific entries.

Our elected MPs are more unpopular than ever, so what are the best ways to connect with the public and regain faith in politics?

How to burst the Westminster bubble: Simple steps MPs could make to connect us all

This election left voters feeling jaded with the conduct of British politics, but it doesn't have to be this way

The SNP surge tilted the election by putting English and Welsh voters off Labour

The waiting game will work against the SNP

David Cameron did not call the SNP's bluff, hoping that its leader will overplay her hand

Daily catch-up: I am glad the opinion polls got it wrong because it means we’re not robots

Essential post-election reading brought to you by an actual human

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Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?