The top ten: Most interesting politicians
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.
Sunday 09 February 2014
I forgot to specify that I meant "British" and "active", so I am afraid I had to rule out some fine nominations. John Stonehouse, the Czech spy and Labour MP for Walsall North who disappeared to Australia in 1974 having staged his own death, suggested by Arieh Kovler, would have been a candidate. We'll do former politicians another day.
1. Ed Balls Quad-core intellectual processor who was Gordon Brown's spare brain capacity for 16 years; a better economist than the Chancellor.
2. Andrew Adonis With academies and HS2 (even if it never happens), he has achieved more than all but a handful of elected ministers. Now he wants to be mayor of London.
3. David Cameron Too easily dismissed as a privileged smoothie, he is an instinctive politician and fitfully ambitious thinker.
4. Stella Creasy Talks so fast and is so busy on Twitter it's easy to overlook how deeply she is steeped in political and psychological theory and Labour history.
5. Michael Gove Once a fierce Thatcherite, his conversion to advocate of comprehensive excellence for poor pupils is a lasting Blairite gain.
6. David Laws The only Lib Dem on the list. The job in the City pre-politics lends some depth.
7. Boris Johnson The combination buffoon and polymath is sufficiently dazzling to obscure a thin record as London mayor.
8. Grant Shapps It's unusual to have a front-rank politician who has traded under an assumed name (writing books such as How to Bounce Back from Recession under the pseudonym Michael Green).
9. Nicola Sturgeon After long being seen as an extra in Alex Salmond's film, turned out to have a mind of her own: insisted on a simple Yes-No referendum on Scottish independence.
10. Anna Soubry Deserves our lasting gratitude for banning civil-service jargon as health minister.
Next week: Words that used to mean the opposite (such as egregious, humbled)
Coming soon: Mixed metaphors. Send your suggestions, and ideas for future Top 10s, to email@example.com
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 3 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 4 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 5 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: A VERY HIGH QUALITY FIRM A high qual...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...