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In this week's New Statesman: Labour's comeback

Why Labour can still win | Derek Simpson interview | Slavoj Žižek: Avatar is a racist fantasy.

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This week's New Statesman tells the story of Labour's remarkable resurgence in the polls. Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre talk to cabinet ministers and pollsters who describe how the party's long-term strategy is beginning to work.

Elsewhere, Mark Seddon interviews Derek Simpson, Britain's most powerful trade union leader. Simpson explains why the unions shouldn't talk to the Tories and anoints Ed Miliband as Labour's next leader.

In the columns, Andrew Stephen looks at the main contenders for the 2012 Republican nomination, David Blanchflower turns his guns on George "Slasher" Osborne, and Rafael Behr explores why neither Labour nor the Tories can inspire the voters.

In The Critics, ahead of the Oscars on Sunday, Slavoj Žižek argues that Avatar is a racist fantasy. Ryan Gilbey finds Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland a "crushing disappointment". And Will Self explains why he would like to ban goatee beards.

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