Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read posts from today, on spending cuts, soft power and tsars.

1. Women at work should fear spending cuts

At Left Foot Forward, Nicola Smith warns that swingeing public-sector cuts would quickly lead to significant job losses for women.

2. If Obama's America can't make soft power work, what hope does Europe have?

A series of foreign policy failures by Barack Obama throws the EU's approach into doubt as well, says the Economist's Charlemagne.

3. Samantha Cameron vs Sarah Brown: This could get nasty

As the election race gathers pace, the leaders' wives will be competing directly for the first time. Things may get messy, says the Telegraph's Will Heaven.

4. Where to place the Lib Dems on the political spectrum

Luke Akehurst says that the Liberal Democrats' plan to reduce the deficit by spending cuts alone puts them to the right of the Conservatives.

5. Government creates more tsars than Russia

The Commons public administration committee is not impressed by the proliferation of informal government appointments, says Andrew Sparrow.

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David Cameron calls Sadiq Khan a “proud Muslim” – after trying to link him to Islamic extremism

The PM has his best flipflops on.

After months of backing the nasty racial politics of the Tory mayoral campaign, the Prime Minister has taken the bold move of sharing a platform with infamous moderate Sadiq Khan on the EU Remain campaign trail. Quite a spectacular about-turn.

Compare and contrast, readers.

David Cameron, 20 April 2016

“If we are going to condemn not just violent extremism, but also the extremism that seeks to justify violence in any way, it is very important that we do not back these people, and we do not appear on platforms with them. And I have to say, I am concerned about Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, who has appeared again and again and again . . . The Honourable Member for Tooting has appeared on a platform with him [imam Suliman Gani] nine times. This man supports IS.”

David Cameron, 30 May 2016

“Let me first of all congratulate Sadiq on his victory. He talked about his father. He’s the son of a bus driver. I’m the son of a stockbroker, which is not quite so romantic. But he makes an important point about our country. In one generation someone who’s a proud Muslim, a proud Brit and a proud Londoner can become mayor of the greatest city on Earth. That says something about our country. There are still glass ceilings we have got to smash. There’s still discrimination we have got to fight.”

What a difference a month makes, eh?

I'm a mole, innit.