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.
09 September 2012 12:00 AM
If Miliband and Balls cannot stop pulling in opposite directions and agree a united front, Cameron is going to be the next election victor
02 September 2012 12:00 AM
The public likes Hague because he was a brave loser with a sense of humour
01 September 2012 12:00 AM
Eleven years ago, Guy Keleny began the column that would become Errors and Omissions. Now, 600 editions down the line, John Rentoul presents a selection of his finest pedantry.
26 August 2012 12:00 AM
Speculation about the Chancellor's future is wide of the mark and ignores deeper cracks at the top of the Opposition
22 August 2012 12:00 AM
Ed Miliband implies we should be affronted that in a recession people find it harder to make ends meet
19 August 2012 12:00 AM
The coalition is charged with letting playing fields fall to developers, but Michael Gove is merely going where Labour went before him
29 July 2012 12:00 AM
The London Mayor's record in office is thin, but his appeal is undoubted and he wants Cameron's job. Will his party be able to resist?
28 July 2012 12:00 AM
Extra care is required when one of our writers makes fun of someone for getting things wrong. On Monday, we mocked Jeremy Clarkson's grasp of averages. "The average adult sends 200 texts a month," the sage of The Sun had written. "Plainly, they never spoke to my eldest daughter about this." Our columnist explained: "If your eldest daughter sends 1,900 texts per month while nine non-relatives each send just 100, the average is not 1,900 but 200." Except that it is not. As Laura Newton, a reader, pointed out, if they "each" send 100 that makes 900, plus 1,900, which is 2,800. So the average is 280. The point is awarded to Clarkson.
22 July 2012 12:00 AM
21 July 2012 12:00 AM
Who and its related words often snag writers. In a feature about the housing for Olympic athletes, we wrote on Wednesday: "In all, 203 countries have teams staying in the village, many of whom's animosity towards one another extends far beyond the synchronised swimming pool." What a mess. That "whom's" should be "whose". Like him and her, which become his and hers, the possessive form of these pronouns loses its apostrophe and the word changes form. Whatever the word should be, it had also become separated from the "countries" to which it refers, as the teams themselves are presumably not all hostile to each other outside the sporting arena. (The "synchronised" was an attempted comic effect too far, as synchronised swimming takes place in the same Aquatics Centre as other pool-based so-called sports.) Finally, and not surprisingly in such a sentence, we lost track of "many countries" being plural, perhaps partly because of the use of "one another". The sentence could have read: "In all, 203 countries, many of whose animosities towards each other extend far beyond sporting competition, have teams staying in the village."
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