The nearest US equivalent is Michael Tomasky’s Left for Dead: The Life, Death and Possible Resurrection of Progressive Politics in America (American publishers love long sub-titles), where once again, there’s a clever play on the double meaning of ‘left’. However, my favourite example of the genre is Michael Sean Winters’ book about the falling-out between progressives and the Church: Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats (an even longer subtitle). You can imagine some editor dancing round the room when s/he came up with that one.
But with these three stock phrases spoken for, where are new authors to find eye-catching titles for their explorations of the condition of liberal politics? Here are a few back-of-the- envelope ideas I came up with, which prospective scribblers should feel free to borrow. On the other hand, if you want to join in with this little diversion, you're welcome to add suggestions of your own. Here goes:
'Left on the Shelf: Socialism and the Single Person'
'Left Out: the Gay Voice in Progressive Politics'
'Left in the Dark: Labour and the Energy Crisis'
'Left Back' (or Outside Left, or Inside Left): Soccer and Socialism (with its companion volume: 'Outside Right: Extremism on the Terraces')
And, on reflection, I think Tomasky’s choice of title is a waste. Surely ‘Left for Dead’ would be much more appropriate for a book about radicalism in the undertakers’ union?
Finally, to get really cheeky:
'Left Behind: Pippa Middleton’s Radical Past'