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

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

Migrants in Britain a decade on

They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
Why musicians play into their old age

Why musicians play into their old age

Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
How can you tell a gentleman?

How can you tell a gentleman?

A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

Sam Wallace

Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

Through the screen

British Pathé opens its archives
The man behind the papier mâché mask

Frank Sidebottom

The man behind the papier mâché mask
Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

Boston runs again

Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

40 years of fostering and holding the babies

In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents