The entire Shadow Cabinet should be forced to drink Waitrose’s free coffee

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 3:16 pm Ed Miliband’s more-Blairite-than-Blair triumph of breaking the power of the trade union bosses in the Labour Party was nearly overshadowed by a silly row about Waitrose’s free coffee. Andy Sawford, a Labour frontbencher, criticised Waitrose for giving its customers free coffee (scroll down), because it undercuts … Continue reading The entire Shadow Cabinet should be forced to drink Waitrose’s free coffee

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Blair’s gone, Lord Owen, it’s safe to come back now

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 5:49 pm Talking of David Owen, how uplifting it was to see him back in the gateway to the Labour fold. (He’s not actually rejoining the party, he told BBC radio today, because he is too old to submit to the authority of the … Continue reading Blair’s gone, Lord Owen, it’s safe to come back now

The Velvet Curtain of Religion

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Monday, 3 March 2014 at 3:44 pm A friend draws my attention to a prophetic passage in Samuel Huntington’s 1993 essay, “The Clash of Civilisations?” In it, he predicted that post-Cold War conflicts would be at the edges of cultural tectonic plates. One of his examples was Ukraine, which … Continue reading The Velvet Curtain of Religion

David Owen nearly endorsed Labour in 2005

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 11:18 am Still talking of David Owen, who endorsed Ed Miliband’s Labour Party reforms at the weekend, I’m told that he was prepared to come out for the Labour Party in the 2005 election, but wasn’t taken up on it. I understand that, towards … Continue reading David Owen nearly endorsed Labour in 2005

David Owen and the Bad Fairy

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 2:55 pm Still further talking of David Owen, I forgot to repeat Denis Healey’s fine story about him: When he was born, all the good fairies gave him every virtue: “You’ll be beautiful, you’ll be intelligent, you’ll have charm and charisma.” And the bad fairy … Continue reading David Owen and the Bad Fairy

Chuka Umunna speech: mostly harmless

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Tuesday, 4 March 2014 at 9:59 pm Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, is giving a speech tonight about “Labour’s plan for long-term balanced growth” to the EEF, which used to stand for Engineering Employers’ Federation. As usual, it has some nice touches. He praises Ken Clarke, “who speaks a lot of … Continue reading Chuka Umunna speech: mostly harmless

“Tainted Pockets”

By John Rentoul Eagle Eye Last updated: Thursday, 6 March 2014 at 10:02 am The Daily Mail does seem to be off its game. The headline I imagined it would use on the story of Tony Blair’s possible donation to the Labour Party is much better than what it came up with today. I suggested: This Blood Money … Continue reading “Tainted Pockets”