Thursday Speaker: Marc Sidwell

While running a libertarian meetup and researching libertarian personalities, there are various trends one observes in libertarians. To state the obvious they tend to be bookish intellectuals and are predominantly white and male – something which I have noticed is changing but nonetheless has been true. We also tend not to be the older sibling. We are younger siblings or only-childs, depending on who you talk to. It is perhaps obvious that many libertarians report being bullied at school. Rather less obvious is the trend in my speaker biographies for there to be an overlap between university and some other project, not bar or shop work, but serious commercial schemes.

How does Marc Sidwell stack up? Well on all the proceeding he is very typical. A white male younger sibling, bullied for being bookish, but an exceptionally successful creative in his own way. Marc is widely known from various roles amongst the top three or four people at City AM, an occasionally profitable London free-paper with a circulation over 100,000. Incidentally he says he got back at the bullies by being good at enough at drama to earn “grudging respect”. His entirely typical university side-project was exceptionally interesting – founding a company to shoot a Wild East film out in the Ukraine.

Marc seems to have taken the sort of unconventional route into journalism that would raise the eyebrow of an Equity Lord. He worked for two years as a “Literary Associate” for David Pugh theatre company, then took on gigs as a script writer at Shakespere’s Globe, as an adviser to an architect engaged to build a theatre and a researcher for ITV’s factual programming arm and as a PR consultant for the IEA. Again, in overlapping jobs he worked for the International Policy Network as a Research Fellow. Proofed and sub edited for Standpoint Magazine and worked as a freelance writer for a range of broadly right wing think tanks including the Adam Smith Institute for whom he wrote Unfair Trade, a criticism of the dominant Fairtrade brand in the UK. It was after all that in late 2010 that he settled down a little and started at City as Business Features Editor.

City AM eventually lost it’s editor Alister Heath to the Telegraph leaving room for Marc to rise to Executive Editor before a surprise cull sent Marc into another period of freelancing and he is now Content Director for Progressive Media – a stable of specialist magazines. This interesting career has left Marc very well qualified to speak on his topic “The Power of Fiction”.

Marc will be speaking tonight at the Two Chairmen, Westminster.

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