As part of our Road to Character series, we were delighted to host John Anderson, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, who spoke on the importance of respect and civility in public life.
John Anderson served as a senior Cabinet Minister in the reformist government led by John Howard (1996 to 2005), one of the most successful governments in Australian parliamentary history. This included six years as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister. In a political environment often marred by partisan animosity, Anderson stood out among his contemporaries as a man of civility, respect and admiration towards colleagues across the political spectrum. Upon leaving office in 2005, Kim Beazley, the leader of the opposition (and Anderson’s political opponent) remarked, “I must say I am deeply sorry to see the honourable gentleman resign…I think that the Deputy Prime Minister has made a name for himself in this parliament as a man of great heart – a good-hearted family man.” The then Prime Minister, John Howard, also added, “I have not met a person with greater integrity in public life.”
Since stepping back from public life, Anderson has been a regular commentator and author on topics such as civic freedoms, global food security, modern slavery, and the economy.
The Legatum Institute’s Road to Character series examines those values which most strengthen and enrich the wellbeing of people, communities and nations by inviting leading thinkers to discuss a character trait they most value. The series comprises a key part of the Legatum Institute’s Cultural Transformation programme which seeks to help the UK’s great institutions examine how they can make a significant contribution to the strength, integrity and health of our society.
Full event video
Philippa Stroud in conversation with John Anderson