Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, on TV debates, electorial reform and British society.

1. Ten things you'll learn from David Willetts's new book

The Tory frontbencher's new book has been widely praised. Andrew Sparrow picks out the ten most interesting statistics and facts about British society.

2. Ready for government

John Rentoul blogs on Philip Hammond's complete confusion over the number of quangos the Tories will cull.

3. What will a short election campaign mean for TV debates?

A debate every week might be unfeasible during a very short campaign, says Gary Gibbon.

4. Refocusing Washington's policy lens on Iran

At the Huffington Post, Ali Safavi argues that it is unjust for America to continue to ignore the Mujahedin-e Khalq, Iran's main opposition group.

5. How can we sell the single transferable vote to the public?

Liberal Democrat Voice's Stephen Tall outlines his three-point plan to sell proportional representation to the voters.


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En français, s'il vous plaît! EU lead negotiator wants to talk Brexit in French

C'est très difficile. 

In November 2015, after the Paris attacks, Theresa May said: "Nous sommes solidaires avec vous, nous sommes tous ensemble." ("We are in solidarity with you, we are all together.")

But now the Prime Minister might have to brush up her French and take it to a much higher level.

Reuters reports the EU's lead Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, would like to hold the talks in French, not English (an EU spokeswoman said no official language had been agreed). 

As for the Home office? Aucun commentaire.

But on Twitter, British social media users are finding it all très amusant.

In the UK, foreign language teaching has suffered from years of neglect. The government may regret this now . . .

Julia Rampen is the editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog. She was previously deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines.