In a book he promises will “delight and upset right-wingers and progressives alike,” Fred Litwin tells the story of his evolution from left wing activist in Montreal and Toronto to right wing and pro-Israel activist in Ottawa in his new book, Conservative Confidential: Inside the Fabulous Blue Tent.
“It’s an explanation,” Litwin told the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin, “to former friends on the left side who were confused why I joined the Conservative Party.”
Litwin emphasized, though, that the book is “not a love letter to the Conservative Party.”
“Everybody is going to be upset,” said the founder and president of the Free Thinking Film Society, but he’s confident everybody will find something in it they’ll like.
“Progressives will find the first half upsetting for it largely critiques post-modern left wing movements, while the second half may upset Conservatives for it rethinks counter-jihad and gives a new look at the Conservative Party.”
Describing his book as being a compilation of stories he’s encountered, Litwin said it simultaneously provides a personal and global look at the issues.
Litwin, who is gay, includes two chapters on gay politics that will, he said, “take what people thought they knew and turn it on its head. Most people don’t realize the Harper government is the most gay-friendly government we’ve had.”
In a chapter that is particularly timely due to the current debates on the Iran nuclear deal, Litwin gives the inside story about what really happened when the Free Thinking Film Society’s scheduled screening of the documentary Iranium – which examines threats posed by a nuclear Iran – was cancelled in 2011 by officials at Library and Archives Canada under pressure from the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa. The film screening was ultimately rescheduled after then-federal heritage minister James Moore stepped in.
Litwin also includes a chapter on anti-Israel bias at the CBC, including information he gathered while co-producing, with James Cohen, the 2012 documentary, This Hour Could Have 10,000 Minutes: The Biases of the CBC.
Litwin said the idea to write the book stemmed from a conversation he had with his friend Terry Glavin, a National Post and Ottawa Citizen columnist. After talking about collaborating on a book, Litwin said it morphed into a proposal on his life memoir and about the stuff he’s lived through, “I have so many stories to tell on what has happened to me.”
Glavin, who edited the book, said “It’s a captivating memoir, but at the same time a meticulously researched work of journalism and serious analysis, written by a gifted storyteller.”
“Part of my book is trying to show how the left wing movements have lost their way in forgetting … to support internationalism,” said Litwin.
“In the end, my book is a plea for freedom and democracy… We need to stand up for Canada and help around the world.”
Conservative Confidential: Inside the Fabulous Blue Tent will be launched Monday, September 21, 7 pm at the Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street. Visit www.freethinkingfilmfest.ca for more information.