I am surprised by John’s comments. I think Corbyn did something extremely credible, that is to have a nuanced position. Like Corbyn, I voted not to join the EU in 1975, judging it a bosses’ club. Given the balance of forces in this year’s referendum, I voted Remain despite reservations over the EU’s treatment of Greece and its failure over the refugee crisis. The 20% rise in racism post-Brexit is serious and must be addressed, but Corbyn has an impeccable reocrd of fighting racism. He can hardly be blamed for post-Brexit racism when Labour voters were 62% Remain, roughly the same figure as the vigorously Euro-friendly SNP. The big fail was the Tories on 43%.
In a leadership election you have a binary choice, Smith or Corbyn. Corbyn has a proven anti-austerity, peace and anti-racist record. Smith does not. Smith has been very ambiguous over immigration. He says he does not support the ‘chicken coup’ and ‘did not resign on Sunday’, but he did resign on Monday! He has left very mixed messages over privatisation and even more mixed messages over the EU. In the Owen Jones interview he did a U-turn within thirty second over calling a second referendum. He did abstain in a welfare vote when Corbyn took the principled position and now has the odd position that he is ‘as radical’ and left wing as Corbyn, but felt he had to resign.
So, unlike John, I continue to be enthusiastic about Corbyn. The ten pledges are a good basis for a Labour appeal to the public. For socialists, I think he is the only choice.