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  • Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to Deliver Thatcher Freedom Lecture

    On Tuesday, September 28, at 4 pm, the former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, will deliver the seventh Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture at The Heritage Foundation, under the auspices of the Margaret Thatcher Center, on The Anglosphere and the Advance of Freedom.

    The Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture invites distinguished advocates of freedom to explore fundamental questions surrounding freedom as a primary principle of foreign policy. The first Freedom Lecture was delivered on September 7, 2006, by the Honorable Natan Sharansky, who asked the eloquent question “Is Freedom for Everyone?” That lecture was followed by others on economic freedom, religious freedom, the United Nations, the relationship between security and freedom, and President Obama’s universalism. The full texts of all the Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lectures are available through the Thatcher Center.

    John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007 and won four consecutive general elections. He presided over a period of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity, and of Australian leadership in world affairs. After the 9/11 attacks, he announced Australia’s “steadfast commitment to work with the United States,” and committed Australia’s military to the war in Afghanistan. In 2003, Australia joined the U.S. in Operation Iraqi Freedom, after Howard stated that this “is right, it is lawful, and it is in Australia’s national interest.” In 2009, he received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush.

    Like The Heritage Foundation, John Howard believes that freedom is for everyone. But throughout his career, Howard has fought for his belief that the English-speaking nations, the Anglosphere, have a special role to play in promoting the cause of freedom around the world. These nations have enduringly democratic political systems that are ultimately rooted in their shared commitment to individual freedoms and the rule of law. They are sovereign nation states, and deserve their sovereignty because of the liberties they embody.

    The nations of the Anglosphere must retain their cultural self-confidence, which if lost will limit their commitment to liberty, and be wary of supranationalism, which will erode their ability to govern themselves and to collaborate freely with each other. In this lecture, Howard will speak on these life-long convictions, and on the unique contributions the Anglosphere nations have made—and must continue to make—to the advance of freedom.

    The lecture is free and open to the public: click here to RSVP. If you cannot attend in person, the lecture will be available live on-line through heritage.org

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard to Deliver Thatcher Freedom Lecture

    1. Pingback: PA Pundits - International

    2. Michael Murphy, OFal says:

      I do not value or treasure,comments,opinions,or principles of freedom,,from a former Prime Minister of Australia. A so-called sovereign nation,whose very existence was based on self-determination,and personal liberties of it's people.Free from the clutches of western powers,this shining star ,an example in relevence,and fullfillment,for all nations to see,saw fit to limit and restrict personal choices,liberties of men,in the arbitrary banning of firearms.Democratic system? I think not. Freedom of the classes? Perhaps. Remember, With a gun,I am a citizen.Without a gun,a mere subject to the crown! Thatcher Freedom Award? Give me a break!

    3. John Elsegood, Perth says:

      Michael Murphy should realise that while Australians and Americans have many similiar values guns are not one of them. Australian conservatives are generally not pro-gun and are against every nutter being able to get a 'Saturday night specia'l or semi-automatic weapon. I for one do not appreciate the Supreme Court determining the right to have arms is for everyone where once it was for village militia.

      Mr Murphy should realise that ex-PM Howard did not hesitate to invoke the ANZUS Treaty when the US was so brazenly and treacherously attacked on 11/9/01 (that's 9/11/01 to you-another difference!). He might also check his history facts and find out that in all the major wars of the 20th century onwards only one nation has ALWAYS fought alongside the US -guess who?… AUSTRALIA.

    4. Jim Thomas, Perth WA says:

      Although I agree Michael Murphy's comments are a little over the top he does make a good point John. Progressively respect for individual freedom in Australia is being eroded in the name of security and the best interests of society. For example stop and search laws, gun bans, hate speech, land tax, restrictions on knives and in fact our Federal Government (not under Mr Howard's party for any Americans) has even proposed centrally filtering the internet for censorship.

      Unfortunately our Constitution adopts a quintessentially British approach in that it is practical, flexible and pragmatic and although in some ways I would argue it works better than the American Constitution, it has no firm foundation of ideals or principles laid down for reference other than the right to vote and freedom of religion.

      John did you know at one point that Australia had a higher percentage gun ownership than the United States? The Parliament of the State of New South Wales also (at least until recently, I'm not sure of its current status) had a shooter's rights party with elected members of parliament. So it’s not fair to say we were never a gun country like the United States. We have a large rural population with a strong tradition of shooting that is simply not understood or respected by the vast majority of Australians who live in coastal cities.

      In terms of Democratic rights Australia is a beacon to our region and much of the world….. However when it comes to individual liberty we are increasingly restricting the rights of the individual in the supposed interests of the majority. With a strong economy and high standard of living most Australians don't seem to care at least when it comes to election time but ideologically these actions are wrong and are increasingly taking us towards the nanny State that Britain has become. The people of this country seem to increasingly want the Government to protect them and provide them with services rather than being independent and I for one think that's unhealthy.

      Unfortunately I think this is because despite the functional strengths of our Constitution the principles that underlie it are not enshrined in a Bill of Rights or enforceable by our Courts, they are easily overridden by Legislation. Also our education system should take a lot of blame as it doesn't educate Australians on the foundations of British law and individual rights that underpin our history, political correctness and rejection of the British monarchy (and the resulting concious choice to neglect education on British history) can take a lot of the blame for that.

    5. John Elsegood, Perth says:

      Jim Thomas says at one point Australia pro-rata had more guns than the US. Yes,, and for a brief moment (1972) the Perth Cup was worth more than the Melbourne Cup!

      As someone who spent 25 years in the WA wheatbelt (until January 2008) I am well aware that farmers have guns. I also restate my argument that Australia has never had a gun culture like the US and usually weapons are subject to strict licensing and security provisions -you don't just carry them to church,the corner store-or leave them in the car. It is simply misleading to imply that Australians are gun-toters and further it is only since the 1980s that WA police have worn guns on a regular basis.

      As for the Shooters Party it got 2.8% of the vote in the last NSW state election-and no other Australian parliament has ever looked like having MPs representing shooters interests.

      As for advocating Bills of Rights, the US model is instructive as to why Australia should never one.The dangers of allowing judges to determine the meaning of words is patently obvious-and the recents attacks on marriage are but one example.

      First amendment rights in the US have allowed for a veritable cesspit of judicial garbage to be foistered on Americans whereas the original intention was to provide for freedom of political speech.

      As for the failings of the Australian education system you should put the blame where it belongs -on politicians, theorists and bureaucrats.

      In my history classes (including American history) PC nonsense gets exposed for what it is-PC nonsense!

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