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: Unrelated pairs of words

Thanks to Calum for suggesting this list: I did not believe that there were as many as 10 examples, thinking 'female', 'island' and 'outrage' quite enough excitement for one language. And thanks to Rich Greenhill, whose four examples proved me wrong...

The top ten: Last sentences of novels

My esteemed colleague Guy Keleny had no suggestions for First Sentences, which we did on 3 March, but said he liked the last line of 'The Lord of the Rings'. Single, complete sentences with a 140-character limit turned out to be quite restrictive, but, with the usual warning about spoilers, here we go…

It looks as if Ukip will win the European Parliament elections next month

With no EU reform, will David Cameron ditch the vote on membership?

Even if Angela Merkel wanted to, she cannot rewrite an EU treaty if Malta says no

PMQs review: Cameron was late to realise Miller had to resign, but Miliband hadn't called for it either

Perhaps he had been intending to demand Miller's resignation at the PMQs

Maria Miller resigns: By behaving gracelessly Miller has paid a much heavier price than she needed to

The Culture Secretary's reluctance to accept culpability meant the resignation had become inevitable

The top ten: Words with opposite meanings

Following the Top 10 words that used to mean the opposite – words which had changed meaning over time, such as awful, presently and humbled – Stryker McGuire suggested I compile a list of words that can mean one thing and its opposite in contemporary English...

Maria Miller has come under fire for her - very - short apology

Maria Miller's as mimsy as a borogove with 'attitude'

Even if the Culture Secretary thinks she did no wrong, she should know the import of a show of contrition

PMQs: More sport than seriousness in bad-tempered debate over privatisation

Miliband knew the subject of the Royal Mail was tricky territory

The top ten: Fictional villains

I caught up with the television series 'Sherlock' only recently, and was struck by how unconvincing and un-sinister the character of Moriarty seemed. From my dim memory of the books, there wasn't much to him in Conan Doyle's original either. Here are some proper baddies…

Experts have warned the search for the missing plane will not be easy

Malaysian Flight MH370: Black holes, aliens and trips to the Moon - online theories

In the absence of evidence, explanation or understanding, a vacuum has been created.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit