I searched for the gloss you put on Corbyn’s words, John, and found precisely the opposite sentiment:
“The insecurity of work the lack of good well-paid jobs, the high cost of housing, whether to rent or to buy, how we adjust to, and pay for, an ageing society, the failure to ensure decent economic growth in all parts of the country and in which we all share.
That is the failure of politicians, not of the EU or of EU migrants for that matter.”
In the same speech, he blamed the actions of employers in driving down wages. Job security and anti-racism are two of his ten pledges.
By second referendum, I assume you mean Owen Smith’s statement that he would hold one, a promise on which he appeared to backtrack in his interview with Owen Jones. How exactly do you pull that off when seventeen million voted for Brexit with a one million margin? Any second referendum would have to be on a stage of the EU negotiations.
Brexit has led to a 20% rise in racist incidents. The exact nature of its impact on politics is uncertain as yet. It is simply too early to tell. It has caused something of a crisis in all the major political parties. It is not just Labour who face a crisis. UKIP has its own civil war, something many would have thought impossible after its dreams had allegedly come true so there is not necessarily an even shift to the right at this end of the spectrum. The Tories, one of Europe’s most ruthless and effective ruling class parties, appears to be the major initial beneficiary, but the presence of the ‘three bastards’ and the difficulty of the task at hand means the long-standing divisions over Europe will resurface. It will give Labour opportunities.
Can Labour take them? Two things are happening here. There is a radicalisation represented by a mass membership over half a million and ever growing meetings. The ten thousand strong meeting in Liverpool which I attended was quite astonishing. Hull had its biggest meeting in decades. This process is continuing. It is not a rightward shift that led to May’s honeymoon bounce. It was the wrecking tactics of the PLP majority. In March Labour had drawn level with the Tories. In the wake of the ‘chicken coup’ it is fourteen points behind.
Similarly, there is not only a growth in racist incidents, but also a growth in resistance in the form of Black Lives Matter. I joined both Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Liverpool, sharpened by the death in police custody of Mzee Mohammed. I met some of those activists at the St George’s plateau meeting.
In short, I think it makes far more sense in a complex and developing situation, with both dangers and opportunities, to support a leader with a history of anti-racism who visited the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, who has focussed the energies of the mass membership against austerity, than a continuity Miliband/Balls career politician like Owen Smith.