Oona King, Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London
One of my deepest darkest secrets is that as a student in the ’80s I worked with the SWP. I used to stand outside meetings holding placards and shouting at people. I understand the attraction of being in permanent opposition. You get to air all your frustrations, and you have zero responsibility. You also have zero influence.
That’s not entirely true. The hard left can have serious influence but it’s often indirect. Sometimes what they do can enter the mainstream years later, often in somewhat changed form. So the influence can be there. But, yes, it can be howling on the fringes too.