The Long March: Or, the Scary Marxist Shuffle

What is the Long March, you may ask? Well, according to Marc Sidwell, it’s the infiltration and control of…all cultural and political institutions…by the Left…built upon theories expounded by Antonio Gramsci and Rudi Dutschke. Well, it certainly sounds intimidating, but what does this mean in practice?

            Isn’t it spooky how all universities have a left-leaning bias? Sidwell does use a statistic here, that 85% of university lecturers are left-wing, but does that mean all of academia and all the kids going to uni are being indoctrinated? In one paper, Herman G. van de Werfhorst, finds that whilst there is a general left-wing majority within the humanities this is not the case for social sciences. Werfhorst concludes: ‘[i]f universities were exclusionary organizations where diversity of opinions is undesired and conservative scholars are excluded, one would expect this would have resulted in a high level of homogeneity of opinions. The fact that that seems not to be very clearly the case is reassuring for the contemporary debates on ideological diversity in higher education.’ Although certain intellectuals may be more left-leaning than the rest of society, there is little to no evidence on the impact this has on their teaching or what their students believe.

            Uh, well that being said, what about the kids? Sidwell seems to think the high youth support for Labour could be due to universities, he cites John Gray as arguing that universities teach anti-Western values. Whilst this is certainly an interesting theory, I wonder whether living through two decades of neoliberalism could have radicalised these students instead. The tripling of university fees under the Coalition government might have had something to do with discontent towards the Tories. Not only this, but the general impact of austerity policies has done little in the way of wonders for young people, be it job opportunities or access to support for mental health. Living through uneasy times such as these could easily turn any individual towards even the mildest form of social democracy.

            Sidwell quickly moves on to what he views as a disappointing lack of conservatism…in the Conservative Party. Apparently, their drive to make sex education more wide-spread and compulsory just doesn’t cut mustard. Sidwell draws comparisons between this policy effort and the beliefs of several Marxists who advocated for compulsory sex education. I for one, am shocked, shocked I say, that György Lukács rose from his grave and drifted across the Channel to educate our children about sex! This seems like a fairly inane point. Sex education is incredibly important and anyone who attempts to undermine the careful implementation of it as a programme should be ridiculed. As Marta Reis et. al. note, sex education leads to less sexual risks, less sexually transmitted diseases, and less unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Surely all these benefits would be of great interest to conservatives, the standard-bearers of the pro-life cause?

            Enough about that! If people have proficient and positive knowledge about sex, they might have the wherewithal to spurn unwanted sexual advances. For example, in Sidwell’s case, why doesn’t anyone want to fuck Tories? This is surely a Marxist plot, and not the result of people freely choosing who they do and don’t want to sleep with. There is little to no evidence of dating apps using algorithms to prohibit conservatives from finding love, but if you put ‘Horny Thatcherite’ in your bio, there’s a large chance people aren’t going to send you nudes. Truly, the real bigotry isn’t racial violence by the police, the harassment and dehumanisation of trans people, the brutal treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, but the fact that Tories can’t get any if they vocalise their abhorrent ideology.

            You can tell Sidwell is a very Serious Writer Man with his evocation of the ‘Blob,’ an amorphous concept that he uses to highlight any and all political correctness within institutions, because of course the best way to unravel a very complicated and multi-layered concept such as ‘political correctness’ is to give it a dumb monster movie label and hope that passes for a forceful argument. Did you know that the Blob (not the one trademarked by Paramount Pictures but close enough) is also everything to do with critical theory? And that this Blob accounts for feminism and anti-racism in academia? Boy, I sure wish Sidwell did a better job of tracing the intellectual and theoretical genealogy of a lot of the garbage he’s spouting. The problem with this analogy is that Sidwell uses it fairly intermittently. It’s hard to tell if the Blob is what infiltrated Liverpool City Council in the 80s or whether this was Cultural Marxism (more on that later) or something else.

            At any rate, no progressive cause is legitimate because it could potentially have scary ties to *socialism*. The Militants that partly formed the Liverpool council certainly were controversial, but to say they were a ‘disaster in office, burning through the council budget,’ is a misnomer. They prioritised people over the budget and thought that Thatcher and central government had stolen millions, so they sought to take it back. Their urban regeneration provided new jobs, building new homes, sports centres, and nurseries, all vital for a thriving British society. Soon the Militants were ousted by Neil Kinnock, but Liverpool stayed Labour thereafter. Well, if urban regeneration doesn’t shiver your timbers (or something idk) how about the peace movement? Not only is peace disgusting and icky but it was all entirely funded by the Soviets! At least according to Sidwell, a very trustworthy and lettered man! Never mind the fact that British intelligence services have long considered the impact of the Soviets negligible on the peace movement, M15 has probably been infiltrated by degenerate Trotsky-Anarcho-Lib-Maoists.

            Not only are the security and intelligence services bought and paid for members of the Коммунистическая партия Советского Союза, but New Labour as well. Their managerial class and target-driven policies derived from the Thatcher era is akin to Stalinism. Interestingly, Mark Fisher made a much more convincing case for neoliberal targets being akin to Market Stalinism and the goal of financialising everything possible. Instead of the more objectively traceable link of privatisation and targets with a profit-motive, Sidwell thinks the real aim of all this managerialism is an equality of social outcomes. There is something within Sidwell’s writing that correctly points to the wrongness of Blatcherism but he’s not sophisticated enough to really appraise the legacy of Thatcher through Major to Blair and Brown.

            The real sadness of Sidwell’s writing comes across when he starts to criticise the Arts Council. Sidwell argues that the Arts Council is funding art to a political end (no-one tell him all art is political) and supposedly ‘despite championing ‘ambition and quality’, the plan explicitly rejects the tradition of valuing high art.’ Now, here’s the thing. I don’t know for certain whether Sidwell actually read the Arts Council’s public statement because he only cites a Telegraph journalist and not the Arts Council itself. However, I can attest to having read the ongoing and future goals of the Council and can only argue that they seem genuinely admirable and touching. Sidwell seems angry that the Council wants to make sure art is diverse and accessible to the entire country. The statement draws inspiration from what can only be described as a form of mass performance art piece, titled ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here.’ On July 1st 2016, 1,600 people across the UK appeared in military uniforms to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, where total causalities and deaths reached one million. These volunteers occupied everyday places like train stations and shopping centres, they were silent to the members of the public around them, but if approached they would hand a card over with the details of the soldier they represented. Public reaction to this artwork was immensely positive, and notably, not only was it performed by volunteers, but it was publicly funded. Surely, if this is the kind of publicly accessible as well as publicly funded art the Council has in mind, what objection could Sidwell have? Unless of course, Sidwell’s objections to the Council’s future plans are arbitrarily and childishly centred around fear of the words ‘diversity’ or ‘inclusion.’

            The jab at the Arts Council is but one of several examples Sidwell makes to show how ‘political elites’ have invaded the cultural beaches of Great Britain (or something else equally stupid sounding). Another example of culture war casualty, at least to Sidwell, is the Starbucks Mermaid Cookie which gave 50p of each sale to the Mermaids Charity. I’m not sure exactly what it is Sidwell wants to say here because he doesn’t elaborate as to why this is bad. I mean, there are plenty of good reasons to criticise Starbucks; they avoid paying taxes, they use cut-throat business practices to undermine competitors, and their coffee tastes pretty bad. But no, showing minor support for a very important charity invested in the wellbeing of transgender youth is taking things too far. This is where Sidwell draws the line. Next, you’ll say we have to respect trans people, as well as giving them vital services for their wellbeing. The nerve!

            Sidwell states that ‘Britain’s post-Blairite political class – the final product of the left’s long march into our institutions – has failed. It has been rejected decisively at the ballot box.’ Here is the thing about that…I don’t think any serious analysis would suggest the reason Labour lost at the last election is because of the institutional leftist boogeyman but a myriad of complicated factors surrounding Brexit as well as issues like the Anti-Semitism Crisis which were dominant in the media at the time of the election. Take for example, the infamous Red Wall, the Northern constituencies which traditionally voted Labour but turned Conservative. It was not a repulsion towards Corbyn but a desire to see Brexit finished which compelled many voters to swing Conservative. There is no stand-out culture war in the Red Wall area, the values there typically align with the rest of the country in terms of immigration, free speech, transgender rights, and teaching about Britain’s colonial history.

            If Britain is fed up with all this wokeness and political correctness, then what will it take to see it gone? Sidwell turns to the edgy bad-boys of the right, be they Laurence Fox, Andrew Doyle, James Lindsay or Helen Pluckrose. Who else has the fortitude to take on the amorphous and largely imaginary politically correct machine than an uneducated actor from Harrow, a Twitter comedian who relies on 2015 humour, or two academics who submitted articles to pay-to-publish journals to try and make some sort of point about postmodernism? Sidwell also points to online groups like the Daily Wire (he smartly omits mentioning Ben Shapiro by name because that would be incredibly embarrassing) as well as grifters like Dave Rubin, who nobody, right or left, seems to take seriously.

            Sidwell concludes that the Conservatives ‘as cultural exiles’ are in an ideal position to fight back against the ‘elite consensus,’ I suppose despite the fact the Conservatives are elite in every serious meaning of the term. This is the tragedy or comedy of conservatives like Sidwell, they are the winning side, situating themselves within the most efficient political machine on the planet, but ultimately their cultural values will become undermined through progressive struggle. Racism will continue to be countered, transphobia will be challenged, and class struggle will be waged. Sidwell will have to content himself, like the rest of the poor-hating twits at the New Culture Forum, with the production of flimsy publications like the one I have just spent the afternoon reading through. The work here is a scattered mess of ideas that lack nuance, relying on the old framework of ‘Cultural Marxism,’ the far-right conspiracy theory which lunatics like Anders Breivik evoked in his manifesto before subsequently murdering over seventy people, most of whom were democratic socialist youths. As Joan Bruane writes ‘[p]roponents of this theory, whether they quietly write books or livestream themselves conducting mass shootings, are perpetuating untruths that make the world more dangerous and less humane.’


The Long March: How the left won the culture war and what to do about it:

 Are universities left-wing bastions? The political orientation of professors, professionals, and managers in Europe:

The effects of sex education in promoting sexual and reproductive health in Portuguese university students:,less%20unwanted%20pregnancies%20and%20abortions

Militant Tendency Liverpool:

Soviet Influence on Peace Movement:

Arts Council ‘Let’s Create’ Statement:

Is the stereotypical image of ‘Red Wall’ residents actually accurate?

Who’s Afraid of the Frankfurt School? “Cultural Marxism” as an Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory:


Plandemic: Covid, Conspiracy, and Child Abuse

I don’t think anyone would contest that 2020 has been a strange and exhausting experience so far. The thing that has suffused our recent, collective history and our daily experiences has of course been Coronavirus. We are all sick of it, so to speak. The science on Coronavirus is in parts sketchy, we are still getting to grips with the disease and how to combat it. There have been human trials ongoing throughout the summer and talk of a possible vaccine by the end of the year, although this seems to be viewed with scepticism. At the time of writing, there have been over 40 million cases of Coronavirus worldwide with over 1 million deaths. In the UK, there has been nearly 800,000 cases and over 40,000 deaths. In America, there has been over 8.5 million cases and over 227,000 deaths. With these numbers it’s hard to dispute the gravity of the situation except…some people appear to be doing just that, including the President of the United States. How reassuring.


A certain word has been thrown around social media in relation to Coronavirus: Plandemic. It is an incredulity by the population with our leaders and with the media that by way of conspiracy theory they have concluded the pandemic is a means of societal control à la 1984. I think the root of this distrust of authority comes from a place of genuine neglect on the part of the people in positions of power. That is not to say that outrageous conspiracy theories can solely be blamed on the people at the top, scientific education and critical thinking are two disciplines that need to be better instilled amongst populations. I am not advocating for thought-control or strict party lines, only that we should focus ever more on discerning and refuting fake news.

            The origin of the term Plandemic, as far as I can see, is with the documentary, ‘Plandemic: The Hidden Agenda Behind COVID-19.’ The video was taken down from Youtube and Facebook but had already accrued millions of views. Judy Mikovits, a discredited doctor, is the central voice of the documentary and proceeds to make numerous false claims such as the virus being manipulated in a laboratory, that hydroxychloroquine is effective against the virus family, and that wearing a mask ‘activates’ your own virus. Mikovits isn’t merely some scientifically incorrect eccentric, she’s an opportunist who works for dubious medical companies and organisations that prey on desperate and sick people. Leonid Schneider, writing at For Better Science, extensively documents her career and highlights the many job roles she has had including but not limited to Genyous Biomed International which peddled Traditional Chinese Medicine as cancer cures by rebranding them ‘with more clinical-sounding titles to increase their credibility.’

            Perhaps Mikovits is an exception, who else would take her or any of these claims seriously? In March, Donald Trump touted hydroxychloroquine (a malaria drug) as a possible treatment for Coronavirus despite there being negligible evidence that the drug was effective. The danger of this careless statement resulted in panic buying of the drug meaning people who required it as a form of regular medication were finding it more difficult to obtain, as noted by Mendel, Bernatsky, Thorne, et al. for the British Medical Journal. Not only this but one man in America died from consuming a parasite treatment intended for fish because it contained chloroquine phosphate. Clearly the discourse surrounding Coronavirus and potential treatments can be dangerous. If this needs further testimony, Trump reported to be taking doses of hydroxychloroquine to ward off the virus before then contracting it at the beginning of October. The White House’s flouting of safety guidelines at public events and downplaying the severity of the virus made for a potent combination which undoubtedly led to Trump taking ill.


A concern I want to raise is the presence of the QAnon conspiracy, a product of Trump’s rise to power, that seems to have married into Coronavirus denialism. If postmodernism is the cultural logic of late capitalism as Frederic Jameson claims, then with QAnon comes the most postmodern type of belief system. The followers believe shadowy satanic paedophiles control society and that Trump is going to bring them all down in ‘the Storm’, an event quintessential to any good doomsday cult. The anonymous Q, propagator of the namesake conspiracy, leaves breadcrumbs of information for followers to pore over and interpret, essentially allowing any conclusion desirable to be made.

            It makes sense that this outlandish conspiracy does merge with Coronavirus denialism, as I said before there seems to be a distrust of governments regarding the coronavirus response, at least from my perspective of the American and British landscapes. The merge begins when QAnon followers and adjacent conspiracy theorists claim that the virus and all the government action is a way of covering up the ongoing elite paedophile ring. The problem here is that not only is the virus very much real and very serious, but there is no elite paedophile ring, at least not one that controls all of society as we know it. There are undoubtedly paedophiles in the top echelons of society, Jimmy Saville’s fetid presence still lingers in the public conscience, and Jeffrey Epstein’s suspicious death and extensive network is fresh on everyone’s minds. Child abuse and assault are violent issues that must be combatted at all levels of society, that it occurs at the top is not especially significant except that sometimes the rich get away with it. If I could cast any doubt on the QAnon conspiracy, it would be that child sexual abuse is often committed by individuals known to the victims, only 7% of the time are the perpetrators strangers. I also find it interesting that the people who want to bring the elite paedophile ring to justice rely on Trump to do this task. Trump has been accused by at least 26 women of sexual misconduct, not only this but he had close ties with Jeffrey Epstein and had a lawsuit brought against him for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1994. The lawsuit was dropped after the victim had received numerous threats in the same manner of many of Trump’s other accusers. This is the man who will pull back the curtain and expose the paedophiles in the Democratic Party and Hollywood. I wait with bated breath.

            There has been a long diversion here and for that I’m sorry. I have made visible a small fragment of the varying discourses and claims that interlink and undermine the safety of ourselves and society. Governments need to be challenged and there does need to open debate about policies and abuses of power. However, the charlatans behind Plandemic, Trump, QAnon, none of these groups or figures are the way to go about it. I’ve seen QAnon spread to the UK and it is a scary thing to behold. Ultimately these ideas play on people’s fears and doubts, much in the way that Judy Mikovits and her colleagues profit from rebranded Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In a discussion (argument) on Facebook, a man criticised my cautionary stance by mentioning some 12,000 scientists and doctors who warned against using masks or going into lockdown. The closest thing Google could throw up was the Great Barrington Declaration, and what a great declaration it is. The Declaration calls for herd immunity as a way of combatting the virus, although there are two interesting points to this document as noted by Nafeez Ahmed. Firstly, the vetting process for signing the Declaration seems next to non-existent so anyone can claim to be a medical professional. Secondly, the funding for the meeting that sparked the Declaration was from the American Institute for Economic Research, a beneficiary of none other than billionaire Charles Koch, the man behind much of America’s climate denial discourse. I am sure he and all the libertarian think tanks he props up with oil money has the population’s best interests at heart when he wants people to get back to work. But that’s just rude. Surely nobody in Britain acted dangerously in order to pursue financial and political gain during a pandemic?


The Coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, late last year. By the end of January, the World Health Organisation had declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, a declaration usually considered a last resort and one that states have a legal duty to respond to under the International Health Regulations. Sadly, Johnson neglected to attend five consecutive Cobra meetings in January and February but did find time to host a Chinese New Year reception at Downing Street. Maybe it’s cynical to assume this was a trade-related move and not a celebration of culture. In a speech at Greenwich on British trade deals, Johnson outlined that Britain must be the Superman-like figure of trade contrasting those who have ‘a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage’ in the face of the virus.

            The UK went into lockdown at the end of March and some people question whether the country should have shut down sooner. I think a clear symptom of the government’s incompetence in the face of the virus is the inability of them to settle on what day lockdown started: was it the 16th March? the 23rd March? Matt Hancock and his colleagues had differing opinions it seemed. Regardless of when exactly it started there is a general sense that Johnson was staving off the lockdown for as long as possible for economic purposes. The case that lockdown measures were lifted early for economic growth is easier to see as much of the rhetoric around it was business-charged. Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme did in the short-term aid businesses across the country although during this period of eased restrictions Coronavirus cases were on the rise again. Multiple factors come into this naturally but the nationwide de-escalation of lockdown and the growing confidence in returning to a sense of normality cannot be discounted.

            My focus on the economic factors around Coronavirus is because there is a true antagonism in society that isn’t between us regular people and elite paedophile rings. It’s those who have and those who have not. A report from UBS highlights that billionaire wealth soared between April and July, a time in which many people were struggling either to hold onto work or find new work, and even having to dig into their savings to get by. Coronavirus denialism and QAnon conspiracy theories are useful strategies for the wealthy elite, they engineer the population to get back to working and to consuming, and they drive clefts into the possibilities of solidarity amongst all of us who might wish to make the ongoing crisis better. The people who believe in stuff like QAnon come from a place of sincere concern and presently if they wish to ‘save our children’, they could start nowhere more perfect than with the Tories having just voted down on providing free school meals for children over holidays. The free meals would benefit 1.4 million children across the UK, the government can prioritise getting people to eat in restaurants again but when it comes to the wellbeing of children where there may be no immediate financial gain, they are not concerned. At the time of writing, Coronavirus cases are still on an upward trend, the end is by no means in sight. At least the conspiracy theorists seem to come from a place of care, the government doesn’t give a shit.

Further Reading:

Nafeez Ahmed, Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration, Byline Times. Available at:

Pippa Allen-Kinross, When did lockdown begin in the UK?, Full Fact. Available at:

Nisreen A. Alwen, Rochelle Ann Burgess, Simon Ashworth, et al., Scientific consensus on the COVID-19 pandemic: we need to act now, The Lancet. Available at:

Rory Carroll, Woman accusing Trump of raping her at 13 cancels her plan to go public, The Guardian. Available at:

Stephanie Cockroft and Rebecca Speare-Cole, Trafalgar Square anti-lockdown protest shut down by police after thousands of maskless demonstrators ignore social distancing, Evening Standard. Available at:

Erika Edwards and Vaughn Hillyard, Man dies after taking chloroquine in an attempt to prevent coronavirus, NBC News. Available at:

Daniel Funke, Fact-checking ‘Plandemic’: A documentary full of false conspiracy theories about the coronavirus, Politifact. Available at:

Oliver Gadney, Aline Haerri, Annegret Meier, et al., Riding the storm: Market turbulence accelerates diverging fortunes, UBS. Available at:

Sara Hiom, How coronavirus is impacting cancer services in the UK, Cancer Research UK. Available at:

Boris Johnson, Boris Johnson: Britain must become the Superman of global free trade, The Spectator. Available at:

Brendan Joel Kelly and Hatewatch Staff, QAnon Conspiracy Increasingly Popular with Antigovernment Extremists, Southern Poverty Law Center. Available at:

Arielle Mendel, Sasha Bernatsky, J. Carter Thorne, et al., Hydroxychloroquine shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, British Medical Journal. Available at:

Maria Nicola, Zaid Alsafi, Catrin Sohrabi, et al., The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review, US National Institute of Health. Available at:

Toby Phillips, Eat Out to Help Out: crowded restaurants may have driven UK coronavirus spike – new findings, The Conversation. Available at:

RAINN, Children and Teens: Statistics, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Available at:

Eliza Relman, The 26 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, Business Insider. Available at:

Leonid Schneider, Judy Mikovits’ Plandemic COVID-portunism, For Better Science. Available at:

Will Sommer, What Is QAnon? The Craziest Theory of the Trump Era, Explained, Daily Beast. Available at:

Peter Walker, Boris Johnson missed five coronavirus Cobra meetings, Michael Gove says, The Guardian. Available at:

Ollie Williams, Post-Coronavirus The Rich Will Get Richer From Rising Inequality, Forbes. Available at:

Zoey Williams, How out of touch are the Tories? The free school meals row tells you everything you need to know, The Guardian. Available at: