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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Miliband's attitude to Ukip has been criticised

Does the result in Newark confirm Ed Miliband as a Neil Kinnock?

Polls carried out before the by-election had the Tory vote too low and Labour's vote too high

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
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Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone