While I was away...

A week is a long time in politics as our political editor discovered

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I've been away on a press trip for the celebrations of 60th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel, or "naqba" (catastrophe) if you ask the Palestinians. It was fascinating and I'll be writing about it in the New Statesman this week.

I left just after the local election results were announced and returned to find the country apparently in an open state of revolt against the government and Gordon Brown. What baffles me is the inability of the Labour Party and the wider left to come up with a strategy to counter this. The anti-posh propaganda deployed in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is pathetic, as is the attempt to show that the results in the London mayoral election were some sort of victory for the Labour left because they weren't as bad as the rest of the country.

This is clutching at straws. The Labour-supporting left needs to start thinking seriously now about the future of progressive politics otherwise there may be no party to vote for after the next election.