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.