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: Best rhymes in songs

We did worst rhyming couplets last year, but recently I had a nostalgic Spotify session rediscovering Squeeze, which reminded me of the genius of Chris Difford's lyrics. A lot of nominations this week, but I was looking for more than 'clever lines in a song I like that also rhyme'...

The CIA crest at it's headquarters

After the CIA joins Twitter, other organisations may be considering how best to use the little bird

John Rentoul on the other unlikely organisations that are, or appear to be, in the Twitterverse
Conservative backbencher Zac Goldsmith has slammed David Cameron for dropping legislation to allow voters to remove their MPs

Recall Bill: This is not democracy, it's an incitement to malice and short-termism

We already have a recall power in the British constitution. It is called a general election

Quince: Middle English plural of Old French cooin

The Top Ten: Plurals that have become singular

I used "data" as a plural the other day, which is a bit old-fashioned. Data, dice, graffiti, panini, media and politics are usually singular nouns these days, and I know only one person who treats news as a plural, but Rich Greenhill came up with many other words that were once – unknown to me – plurals. Here are the best...

The Scottish independence referendum will decide David Cameron’s place in history

The Prime Minister will be recognised as an astute judge of high politics, which he hasn’t always been

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, peer Lord Oakeshott and the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, as the party faces a crisis over its leadership

If only Lord Oakeshott knew how to carry out a coup...

The Lib Dems would be better off with a new leader

Wrong track: The election campaign has exposed Ed Miliband’s organisational weaknesses

Labour has turned into a party at war with itself

The way it conducted last week's election campaign showed deep divisions and poisonous rivalries
'You’re fired': Christopher Hitchens' Hitch-22

The top ten: Footnotes

Thanks to Calum (again) for suggesting this list, after I had commented on the wonder of the footnotes in John Campbell's biography of Roy Jenkins, a fabulous old-fashioned book, with footnotes at the bottom of the page, plus endnotes, including endnotes in the footnotes.

Horse: Used to be hros. Which is impossible to say, so no wonder it changed
According to the blog posted by Dominic Cummings, all is not well between Nick Clegg and Micheal Gove

Blog post provides a rare insight into what goes on in a coalition

It is a remarkable document... setting out how the war between Michael Gove and Nick Clegg was fought
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Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup