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>Most people like the status quo
Ah yes. That's why they voted to leave the EU, and that's why such a song and dance was made about "Better, faster, safer change" in Scotland, because people love the status quo.
>give away bits of british territory to hard suffering foreign imperialists, or scrap the army, and suggest that all white people are secret racists and all men are secretly sexist and should feel guilty about it to convince people that they are a better choice the left
Ed Miliband did none of this and lost. Your hyperbolic examples are meaningless in light of this. (Ah, but he was too left wing. He... err... oohher... Well, he's nicknamed Red Ed, I mean come on!)
The reason Tony Blair was successful was entirely image. Image image image. You aren't wrong to say people believed he wouldn't fuck things up, but people were wrong to believe that. (Hey-ho, who let in all those immigrants again?)
I've once read that Harold Wilson was of the viewpoint that the largest mass of people don't actually pay attention to politics in detail and could be won-over by a good PR campaign with a good leader. If that was genuinely his viewpoint, it's no wonder that he's still the Labour leader who won the most elections. (But he did crazy lefty things, like ending the death penalty and allowing abortion, the virtue signalling bugger.)
On a more general note, It has just occurred to me that perhaps Labour only wins properly when:
a) some jiggery-pokery occurs during a crisis. (1924, 1929, 1974a [which they lost the popular vote but won anyway])
b) they capture a sense of modernity and hope sufficient for natural Tories to let them in (1964, 1966 in part, 1997)
c) they ride the incumbency effect, generally against an unprepared Conservative party. (1951, 1966 in part, 1974b, 2001 and 2005.)
Since a) isn't something you can stage manage and c) relies on winning, that leaves you with b), and I'd say B stands for "Bugger off and read about Harold Wilson until everyone remembers to worship him (He met the Beatles don't you know.)", definitely not "B" for "Blair"
p.s. harold despite everything i just said you're still not forgiven for buying polaris when the manifesto said you'd scrap it.