Phillip Slayton Talks Freedom of Expression, Antisemitism and Identity Politics
Author of the Best-Selling Book, 'Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex, and Madness'
Philip Slayton is a well-known author, Canadian lawyer, and commentator on issues related to law, culture, and politics. He has written several books, including Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex, and Madness in Canada's Legal Profession, Nothing Left To Lose: An Impolite Report On The State Of Freedom In Canada, Antisemitism: An Ancient Hatred In The Age Of Identity Politics and others which have sparked many discussions.
Slayton is also a frequent commentator on issues related to law, society, and politics. He has written for several publications, including The Globe and Mail and The National Post, and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss current events and legal issues.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the legal profession and public service, Slayton has been awarded several honors and awards, including the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor in Canada.
A major theme throughout our discussion freedom in Canada. Slayton points out, “There’s no such thing as absolute freedom if absolute freedom is no freedom at all”. He continues, “In order to protect the important parts of it, sometimes you have to limit the less important parts of it. It’s a complicated concept. It requires a lot of thinking and balance but is certainly worth protecting and fighting for”.
We discuss his book Nothing Left To Lose: An Impolite Report On The State Of Freedom In Canada and the current state of Freedom of Expression in Canada. Philip Slayton provides a variety of examples of rights being impacted or infringed. We also talk about the rise of self-censorship and the dangers of spreading bad ideas, in particular to social media.
Philip and I also discuss identity politics and woke culture. Personally, I’m not a fan of land acknowledgements as they are currently done. I don’t like them in email signatures, and I don’t like when they are expressed at the beginning of meetings. However, I do support acknowledging and reconnecting with the land. I believe people should be judged on the content of their character, not on the colour of their skin, or their ethnicity - no matter how well intentioned the person. In our conversation, Philip reminds us that this doesn’t mean forgetting about or ignoring the great atrocities throughout history.
My big takeaway from the interview was learning how we can have difficult conversations in healthy ways. Indeed, it is possible for us to have different perspectives and learn from each other. In fact, this is a sign of a healthy society and democracy.
Philip Slayton is a remarkable individual who has had a meaningful impact on the legal profession and Canadian culture. His contributions and accomplishments are a testament to his dedication, hard work, and leadership. His work as a lawyer, author, and commentator has inspired and influenced people across Canada. You can listen to our podcast interview on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.