Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, on Eton, voter turnout and gay rights.

1. David Cameron's Eton schooldays

Paul Waugh reports on a new book, out next month, that gives a fictitious account of the Tory leader's days at school.

2. The great turnout quandary

Turnout will rise to between 65 and 70 per cent at the next election, predicts PoliticalBetting's Mike Smithson.

3. The Oscars adopt the Alternative Vote

At Next Left, Sunder Katwala blogs on electoral reform . . . at the Oscars.

4. James Purnell's confusion on markets

Liberal Conspiracy's Chris Dillow argues that Purnell's belief that politicans can intervene both to override markets and to build new ones is naive.

5. Gay rights -- what will you believe: the Tory spin or the Tory voting record?

Stephen Tall at Liberal Democrat Voice looks at the Conservatives' voting record on gay issues, and questions whether they will seriously advance gay equality if they come into power.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.