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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The Top Ten: Fictional buildings

The recent Top 10 Great Buildings we ran here was inspired by Tom Wilkinson's book 'Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made', which started with the Tower of Babel. As no one knows what that looked like, or whether it existed, I thought fictional buildings deserved a list of their own.

Miliband has decided that five-year parliaments might give him the chance to make “long-term decisions in the national interest”

Now Ed Miliband joins the five-year bandwagon

Osborne had a light-bulb moment, he leaned in, crossed out "four" and wrote "five"

Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage

Running for Parliament? Change your name to Aardvark: New book claims voters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet

Research has found 2,050 councillors elected between 1973 and 2012 owe their success to their ballot position alone

Daily catch-up: EU news, and other reasons to be cheerful

Your guide to British miserablism and other possible reactions to current events

Daily catch-up: Hislop the Younger, by-election polling and all about the olden days

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Prime Minister’s Questions: Yah Miliband versus Boo Cameron

A full, detailed and balanced account of today’s exchanges in the House of Commons

Daily catch-up: unbuilt buildings, the new Establishment and polling on Europe

Scouring the websphere to bring you the oldest and the latest news

Daily catch-up: Recall Bill, pangrams and buildings that never were

Keeping you up to date with politics, language and architecture

Daily catch-up: out of time, polling and immigration and old words

Your guide to things of interest on the internet over the weekend

The top ten: Old words that sound new

Jan Huntingdon said she has a tattered 1790 edition of the K-Z volume of Thomas Sheridan's 'Dictionary of the English Language', and the first word under Z is the first on this list, defined as: 'One employed to raise laughter by his gestures, actions, and speeches; a merry Andrew, a buffoon.'

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?