A deep-dive on the state of freedom in Canada and the world today with journalist and public intellectual Toby Young.
Whenever we go through traumatic events and periods of distress, and especially when our governments and institutions fail us, the media is supposed to be there to act as a kind of calibrator, an integral cog in a complex system of checks and balances to reveal untruths and missteps, to reveal what is often intentionally hidden, to ask whether and how we could have done better.
When our mainstream journalists fail to do this, as they have over the last two years, others — independent media, citizen journalists, whistleblowers, public intellectuals, lobbyists, and private citizens — need to step up to fill that role.
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of the best of them, British journalist and public intellectual, Toby Young. He is editor-in-chief of The Daily Skeptic, associate editor at The Spectator, and the author of QPR (Substack). To add to his litany of accomplishments, he is also the founder and general secretary of the Free Speech Union, a nonpartisan public interest body that aims to protect speech. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford and has written for Vanity Fair, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Telegraph. He is also the author of the 2001 memoir, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, which became the 2008 film starring Kristen Dunst, Jeff Bridges and Gillian Anderson.
I am quite honoured to have had the opportunity to do a deep-dive with one of our most tireless and probing public intellectuals.
We start with the recent developments in the UK — the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the succession of Charles III and the appointment of Liz Truss — and what they are likely to mean for the future of politics and freedom. Toby gives us his opinion on what the state of freedom in Canada looks like from the outside, including lockdowns, travel restrictions and the Freedom Convoy, and whether Poilievre is the saviour many think he will be.
We tackle everything from the monarchy and the importance of ritual to the politicization of science to rampant inflation and the lure of tribalism. Our conversation isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Toby offers his thoughts on the power of the silent majority and what we can do to regain our freedom.
I hope you will enjoy this deep dive with one of our foremost public intellectuals and friend ‘across the pond,’ Toby Young.