The Hon John Anderson is a sixth-generation farmer and grazier from New South Wales, who spent 19 years from 1989 in the Australian Parliament.  This included six years as Leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister. These days, John Anderson is best known for his “John Anderson” blog – offering a range of conversations and podcasts with opinion leaders. He recently sponsored the visit to Australia by Dr Jordan B Peterson. On Wednesday 11 September 2019, John Anderson addressed The Sydney Institute to explain why he created his blog and to air some of the issues that guests he speaks to have discussed.

WHY I BLOG – THE QUIET AUSTRALIANS

JOHN ANDERSON

Thank you very much for the invitation to be here tonight. I’ve been looking forward to it. I’ve always admired what you – Anne and Gerard – do and I’m thankful for it. You’re a voice, a clear voice, out there, for reason and for reasonableness. But you are intrigued, I think, and want me to talk about why I have become what you call a blogger. Why a website? Why re-engage in the public square?

Why re-engage in the public square?

The short answer is because I’m very worried about the public square. I’m not a very clever man. But I managed one utterly brilliant thing in my life – I chose my parents wisely. They were Australian and what a wonderful country for me to share, with those people who have become known as the quiet Australians, a deep concern about where the West, in general, is going, and where we are being dragged with it.

The short answer is because I’m very worried about the public square.

There is a tendency amongst young progressives to say that everything is going well and all of the indicators are positive. At one level, that’s true. Globally, longevity’s up, diets are better and people are enjoying higher living standards. But, in terms of the crucible of freedom, which is the West or English-speaking West, I’d have to say to you all of the indicators are deeply concerning.

I’m a farmer, although more accurately a farm labourer as my son and daughter-in-law now run our operation. They’re the subject of a big feature tomorrow in The Land talking about how they cope with the drought. So, I would make the point that when we go out and look at a crop we know instantly how good our agronomy has been. If a crop is healthy, if it’s flourishing, if it’s well on its way, we know we’ve got the nutrients right, we’ve got enough moisture on it, we haven’t developed a hardpan in the soils, it’s all hunky dory. If the crop’s not doing well, we start to look for the reasons.

If the crop’s not doing well, we start to look for the reasons.

Our young people are the oncoming crop and I tell you we ought to be very concerned. The levels of anxiety, of depression, of substance abuse and, horrifyingly in this wonderful country, of suicide amongst our young people tells you that our society is not providing them with what they need in terms of a soil, so to speak, to grow in. You look a little further at the data, and I am staggered at the breakdown of trust in our key institutions in the West and in this country as well.

I’m a great believer in data. You can talk anecdotally, you can talk from how you feel about things but you’ve got to go looking for the evidence. The Australian National University – that place that loathes the idea that we should study our own history but isn’t too bad on statistics – has been tracking confidence in the political system for some 4-5 decades. And we are in uncharted waters in terms of the breakdown in our political institutions and the players therein.

we are in uncharted waters in terms of the breakdown in our political institutions and the players therein.

I’m not sure that I need to start on the other institutions. We can talk about the banks, or we can talk about AMP, once the most revered and trusted institution in the country. Its official historian Geoffrey Blainey said a while back that it was the most trusted institution for economic and social good after the churches in Australia. Would anybody say it now? And I mean no disrespect to David Murray who is a very fine man and one who can sort it out if anybody can.

So, what is my point? You can single out tribalisation or identity politics, which is all about welding together amalgams of peoples with grievances rather than arguing broad policy outcomes, all of which is a concern.

We seem to be living in an age of very great confusion, if I can put it to you that way.

We seem to be living in an age of very great confusion, if I can put it to you that way.

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My father was an anti-tank gunner in the 9th Division during the Second World War. He’d never talk about his horrific stories and experiences. He was almost killed. But he loved yarns. One of my favourites was about the two diggers who, having survived the horrors of the Western Desert, found their way into the port of Plymouth for some leave. Relieved to be alive, they set off inland, found a pub a long way from the docks and got themselves well and truly written off. At closing time, finding themselves on the street with the door barred behind them and the publican not prepared enter into any conversation with them, one of them looks at the other and says, “Hey mate we’ve got a problem; I know about your sense of direction and mine’s failed me as well. We don’t know where the hell we are, we’re lost.” And the other one says, “That’s alright, this fella walking down the street, he’ll be able to help us.” And through the fog emerges the Vice-Admiral of the Royal Navy. He’s frightfully upright, covered in gold and fairly proper. “Hey mate we’re lost, can you tell us where we are?”. To which he replies, “I say, do you chaps know who I am?” And one of the Australians looks at the other one and says, “Mate now we are in trouble; we don’t know where we are and he doesn’t know who he is.”

That seems to me to be where we are at culturally. Some of my former colleagues in the National Party are perhaps not as interested in economic management as “dry Liberals” might be. I have always had a great interest in it. And one of the worst days of my life was being sworn in on 11 March 1996 when the Prime Minister decided we should have a razor gang which included five people and I was one of them. Since then, I’ve had an enormous interest in public finances and when the great financial meltdown happened it struck me that we were in grave danger. We had a very serious debt crisis that took us to within an ace of a complete meltdown of the Western global economic system. I’m sure you are all aware of that; it was a very close-run thing.

Since then, I’ve had an enormous interest in public finances and when the great financial meltdown happened it struck me that we were in grave danger.

But, we have solved that debt crisis with what? Mountains of more debt. Look at a graph and it is horrendous: we had zero debt, we had positive equity. But every other country, since then, including ours, has seen their debt rocket up with the exception of Germany, only for unique reasons, but there are inherent problems for Germany.

Wondering what on earth an ordinary private citizen could do about this, I was invited to a very small dinner only a couple of hundred metres from here with, I hesitate to say, some elder statesmen and a broken down farmer. The dinner with Niall Ferguson and his wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The conversation flowed freely, it was deeply fascinating and the next morning a couple of us said to Niall Ferguson, over coffee, wouldn’t it great if we could share your insights in a more general way? Would you be open to the idea of recording a conversation, not an interview, no entrapment, a conversation where you can tell us the things that you think you would most like us to know and then we float it off into cyberspace? He said yes, he’d love to do it.

The next morning a couple of us said to Niall Ferguson, over coffee, wouldn’t it great if we could share your insights in a more general way?

That was where the idea of the website, which I’m really essentially here to talk about tonight, started. However, we didn’t launch with Niall Ferguson but with Jordan Peterson. You will have all heard of Jordan Peterson although I hadn’t when it was first suggested to me. He was incredibly cooperative when we approached him while he was here with a Melbourne company that had invited him out for a tour. He did seven talks which were all sold out weeks in advance. Wondering who Peterson was and what he had to say, I briefed myself to the best of my ability. Jordan Peterson  and I sat on two high stools and recorded a very long conversation, a very spirited one. He’s a very engaging man, a very emotionally engaged as well, who knows his history and I love history. And we got into a very interesting discussion about the Gulag Archipelago and Solzhenitsyn’s time there, young people and so on.

Jordan Peterson  and I sat on two high stools and recorded a very long conversation, a very spirited one. He’s a very engaging man

At the end of it I thanked him very much. The recording went for just under an hour and a half so I suggested we would cut it down and use over a couple of episodes.  Immediately, he said. “Please no – I enjoyed the conversation … I don’t want you to even take an ‘um’ or an ‘er’ out of it.” I asked why not? And he said, “Young people today are hungry for content and young men especially are not reading books so widely but if you give them quality content they’ll sit down and listen for up three hours in a hit.” He added, “They won’t blink at the fact that this was an hour twenty-three long.”

So we took his word for it. He’s a smart guy and seemed to know what he was talking about. Indeed, we put it up just before Easter last year and I couldn’t believe the numbers. It was like that debt indicator in Times Square, New York. Remember that thing? Well that’s what it was like watching people log into it. My parents-in-law were with us at home as we sat in front of the computer. I was thinking good grief I’m a rock star overnight. Then I had to realise no I wasn’t, Jordan Peterson was. In fact, we’ve done three conversations with Peterson – all on my website and podcast. We have about a million and a half hits but on Peterson’s blog, because he’s been kind enough to distribute them himself, many times that.

We put it up just before Easter last year and I couldn’t believe the numbers. It was like that debt indicator in Times Square, New York.

 

Having interviewed Jordan Peterson, I then found myself in the privileged position of being asked to compere the night he was to talk at Chatswood, on Sydney’s north shore. I love reading a crowd and seeing who’s there, looking around, trying to get a feel for why they might be there, what their reactions are. The first thing that struck me was that every seat was sold, every seat was occupied – a thousand people. The second thing that struck me was that, overwhelmingly, they were young men and the ones who weren’t young men were predominantly younger Australians. The third thing that was to amaze me was that as Peterson walked on and before he had said a word, a thousand people stood and gave him a standing ovation. He spoke for 90 minutes from his book Rules for Living and they gave him another standing ovation. I told him he had five minutes for a break and to be please be back; no-one left! He came back in five minutes, he took questions for half an hour and they gave him a third standing ovation.

I love reading a crowd and seeing who’s there, looking around, trying to get a feel for why they might be there, what their reactions are.

What was the message? Well, the message was a very interesting one, particularly when you think about who was there to listen to it. It was: the world is a tough place and can be a terrible place, you are not the person that you know you ought to be, face the music and empathy culture will not solve your problems. I thought what an interesting term, empathy culture, what did he mean? He meant a culture that says, “It’s never your fault unless you’re a victim-maker, you a victim, it’s not your fault, it’s somebody else’s and we’ll affirm your victimhood.” Have you noticed that? And it plays out terribly in our politics as people try to weld together groups having stroked their grievances into enough of a team to get you enough votes. The ultimate example of it was Hillary Clinton, in the last American presidential election, where basically there were the deplorables and then there was every conceivable group of people you could think of who had some grievance that she’d stroked but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough. Very ugly. Very unfortunate. It diverts attention away for our political leaders, away from real debates about real policy needs. It also has a terrible tendency to divide us and have us focus on the things that we do not share in common rather than the greater things that we share in common as people.

He meant a culture that says, “It’s never your fault unless you’re a victim-maker, you a victim, it’s not your fault, it’s somebody else’s and we’ll affirm your victimhood.”

Empathy culture was an interesting throwaway line but then, I wondered, what was his more personal advice that these people were soaking up. Go back to your bedroom! You’ve probably all heard that, you know it’s amazing how the young people quote him. Go back to the bedroom! Sort yourself out, make your bed! Pull your shoulders back, come to grips with who you are and then go out and be noble. As noble as you can be, stretch yourself. And they loved it. I thought, isn’t that heart-warming? I’ll bet every one of those young men that night and probably most of those who weren’t young men as well, were what we might call quiet Australians. They don’t want to be victims or victim-makers. I think I can say this, the bulk of those young men were probably second, third, fourth generation young Australian men. They particularly feel in this extraordinary age of, if you like, division, that we have a situation where we’ve got women versus men, race versus race, generation versus generation but they’re painted of course as the sons of dreadful, white supremacist, colonial oppressors. A lot of them are saying, hey, we actually want to be decent people, we just want to get on with our lives and make a contribution and leave the world a better place. Let’s give them some credit.

Go back to the bedroom! Sort yourself out, make your bed! Pull your shoulders back, come to grips with who you are and then go out and be noble. As noble as you can be, stretch yourself.

Jordan Peterson talked with me about how in this age, where so many young men feel their masculinity is being described as toxic, they just need some encouragement. And he teared up as he said it in the interview. Somebody, as they do in this modern age of blogging, took that little excerpt and it went viral. Here’s this guy who cares about us.

so many young men feel their masculinity is being described as toxic, they just need some encouragement

Following that. I thought it would be interesting to get Tony Abbott, whose a highly articulate, deeply-thoughtful person when it comes to articulating his political perspectives, and Peter Baldwin, a man from what I will describe as the once-noble left. These two men represent something that we’re not really focused on. The main strands of political thinking have broken down. To Tony Abbott I put it that it was important in days gone by that a person did have a thought-out worldview. You were a conservative or you were a classic liberal or you were a Christian socialist or whatever, a modern day Labor Party supporter. It seemed to me that it was important for people to have coherent political frameworks by which they could dissect their perspectives, if you like, work out those perspectives on policy issues and then come to the negotiating table. On my website, Tony Abbott was entirely predictable and many of you will have heard him speak. He speaks with passion, with authority and with knowledge.

It seemed to me that it was important for people to have coherent political frameworks by which they could dissect their perspectives

Peter Baldwin was fascinating. I have referred to him as “once-noble left”. I think they were. Some of the harder left-figures that I knew when I went into the parliament as a young person. I might have completely disagreed with their economic and political prescriptions for the problem but not with their objectives. He was a guy who thought the great task for the Labor Party was to work on the behalf of the oppressed, the underpaid, and the marginalised so that they could be part of the mainstream family of Australians. That’s noble. I don’t knock that for a moment. Baldwin is a very intelligent, even quite an academic sort of guy, and he explained the way in which the modern Labor Party doesn’t seem interested in workers anymore.

A British, once-socialist I heard on the BBC the other day said, the Labor Party thinks by-and-large that working people are the problem now. They all want a motor car and a plasma television and their ruining Gaia, you know the environment. Baldwin deeply regrets the way in which the modern Labor Party seems to be obsessed with victimhood politics where you find people who have a grievance, you encourage them work themselves into a complete lather of indignation about the plight that they find themselves in and then you set them up as a new aristocracy. So, instead of being part of us, they’re a new aristocracy that you dare not attack, you have to support them and if you don’t support them you’re a hater! Or a bigot! Or a whatever. Or a racist! If you, on the other hand, seek to meet their needs then they won’t be thankful because they were owed it. Baldwin laments how serious this problem has become. I found that extremely illuminating and useful.

A British, once-socialist I heard on the BBC the other day said, the Labor Party thinks by-and-large that working people are the problem now.

On my blog, there is quite a long conversation with John Howard. I count him a dear friend. People sometimes ask me what I am most proud of in politics? I say, being part of a team. To have been part of the razor-gang, with that dreadful job that was given to us and drying up all that red ink and paying down the debt until it was gone and there was money in the bank. But, particularly, to have worked with Peter Costello and John Howard. How fortunate am I? And how fortunate are we as a country to have had men of principle. Scott Morrison has said, in more recent times, that he’s returned to something incredibly valuable. To respect our leaders is not a matter of us agreeing with them on everything. It’s knowing what they stand for and being clear about their objectives.

To respect our leaders is not a matter of us agreeing with them on everything. It’s knowing what they stand for and being clear about their objectives.

On my blog, there is quite a long conversation with John Howard. I count him a dear friend.

And, now, to Niall Ferguson. I have the utmost respect for Niall Ferguson. Many of you will have read his books, you will have seen him on television or whatever. He’s certainly the best known economic historian, Oxford and Harvard educated, now at Stanford at the Hoover Centre. He has produced 14 books, the latest of which is The Square and The Tower. I had the great good fortune to have an hour with him where we recorded a conversation at Stanford. He had just finished The Square and The Tower. The square represents community, society, our networking, the way we interact. The tower is meant to represent the institutions of our society, our governments, our courts, our legal system, education, military and so forth. Ferguson’s thesis is that this is an age when public debate has been degraded already and the loss of respect for other people poisons the environment in which we try to carry out the public discourse.

We now have a massive problem, and we’ve turbo-charged it with social media. Ferguson argues that there is a real danger of social media overcoming, or making unworkable, the institutions of free democratic societies. It’s an interesting and worrying proposition. He says the disruption is probably historically comparable to the impact of the printing press. The good news is that the printing press turned out to be an extraordinarily valuable thing, but there were decades of chaos and even bloodshed that followed its invention. He makes the point that the hatred and the pettiness that rises to the surface through social media is dangerously close to that which can spill over into violence and breakdown of society. He’s got a good point.

Ferguson argues that there is a real danger of social media overcoming, or making unworkable, the institutions of free democratic societies.

Another conversation ready to come online is my talk with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. We haven’t released it yet. He was the Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth and sits in the House of Lords. He’s an incredible public intellectual in Great Britain. He loves the website so much, when we asked would he do a chat he said absolutely! Come to my home not the office. We sat there with his 10,000 books and his assistant said, You point to any one of those books and ask him what’s in the middle of it and he’ll be able to tell you.”

We sat there with his 10,000 books and his assistant said, You point to any one of those books and ask him what’s in the middle of it and he’ll be able to tell you.”

Rabbi Sacks has just spent a lot of time cruising around young people in Britain trying to get a handle on what they are doing. He told me there’s good news and there is bad news. They have no moral code in the sense that they no longer really go to church and have no particular commitment to the Western ideals of the golden rule and so on. But the good news is that nearly all of them have identified good people that they would like to be like. He told me there are two huge dangers for these young people, amongst many other traps that may ensnare them including the debt that baby boomers of Britain are going to leave their children. Australia’s unfunded pension liabilities are around 3 per cent of GDP, Britain’s is more like 61 per cent, it’s a staggering figure.

Australia’s unfunded pension liabilities are around 3 per cent of GDP, Britain’s is more like 61 per cent, it’s a staggering figure.

Among his comments, Sacks made a couple of very interesting and astute observations. He said one of the great contributions to Western society is the Judeo-Christian idea of forgiveness. And, in a community such as a democracy where we depend upon a certain amount of goodwill and the ability to apologise, if we get it wrong or we damage someone else there is forgiveness. Our young people have largely, not through their own fault, not had that drilled into them. That means they are in trouble. I said to him, what happens when you don’t know how to forgive? Instantly, he said, then you have to hope people will forget but he said that’s not open to us because of social media.

Every mistake you make on social media is likely to be recorded there and be brought up against you at any time in the future. He made the point that Niall Ferguson had, that this is very dangerous and we are going to have to think long and hard about how to fix it. I wouldn’t trust the platforms to do anything responsible, or not to censor, but I’m not sure I’d really trust governments to get it right either. We’ve got to do some hard thinking about this because, as Sacks made the point, young people can discover that we’ve almost found a new way to burn people at the stake. A young person can be so ostracised if they dare to contribute a view that is outside the peer group perspective of the time that they can be, what he calls, cancelled. Declared persona non grata. And we know from our own news reports in this country, that this can literally drive young people to suicide. In other words, the quality of the debate and how we learn to live with one another’s deepest disagreements is something that is very important.

Young people can discover that we’ve almost found a new way to burn people at the stake.

To go back to Niall Ferguson, having had a conversation with him about this issue of social media, I asked him what he saw as the three greatest threats to Western freedom. Without hesitation, in ascending order, he listed the threat of militant Islamic activity, the chance of miscalculation between the superpowers and the rising superpowers and the fact that we no longer believe in ourselves, our history or our culture. We are our own worst enemy – the West finds its greatest enemy is the West. We’ve so lost confidence in our past and the struggles that gave us the democratic freedoms, the rule of law and so forth. Those are the mainstays of everything that we love about our culture and we are in danger of destroying them. It brings to mind those words of Winston Churchill in 1933, where he said that any culture that does not pass onto its children the story of its heroes and its religious faith is, in effect, saying that that culture is null and void. Thus, leaving young people without meaning purpose of direction in life and open to Karl Marx’s dictum that a people who do not know their history are easily persuaded.

It brings to mind those words of Winston Churchill in 1933, where he said that any culture that does not pass onto its children the story of its heroes and its religious faith is, in effect, saying that that culture is null and void.

So, we come back then to a very interesting historical perspective. Frank Furedi who now is not young and a professor emeritus of philosophy at Kent University. He’s written What’s Happening in our Universities. In it, he decries the closing of Western minds in our universities with all of the trigger warnings, platform denying, cuddly toys for offended students and the designing of whole courses to avoid offence rather than to challenge and encourage thinking. In our conversation, I quoted The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen who made the observation that free speech is our first freedom because it’s the one by which we defend all the others. When I put that to Frank Furedi he disagreed. He believed that this freedom is incredibly important but the first freedom was freedom of conscience.

When I put that to Frank Furedi he disagreed. He believed that this freedom is incredibly important but the first freedom was freedom of conscience.

Furedi then explained it to me saying you’re a Christian, I’m an Atheist but, he said, remember that we once burnt people at the stake for holding a minority view. I had  just been in Oxford where, not far from where we were at a summer school, there was a memorial to Latimer and Cranmer and Ridley. Burnt at the stake because they were in the minority at the time in terms of the views that they held in relation to their theology. That was pretty barbaric, it was far from Christian and it was also pretty dumb because today’s minority can be tomorrow’s majority. Particularly when you don’t know your history and your beliefs and values flop all over the place. You never know who’s going to be in the right place tomorrow do you?

But here’s the rub. Furedi argues that it was through that process that the West discovered its genius harmony. We learnt to live with one another in the face of our differences. Sometimes our deepest differences. What worries me is that we are now losing that, hand over fist. You cannot unbundle the freedoms quite frankly.

Another of my conversations was with Os Guinness, who is a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness the brewer. He’s written 33 books, but he is older than Neil Ferguson. His latest is Last Call for Liberty – How America’s Genius for Freedom is Threatening it’s Future Liberty. Freedom has become licence in essence. But Guinness would argue, and convinces me, that you can’t unbundle any of the freedoms. Freedom of conscience. Freedom of belief. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom of association. Freedom to own and control property within certain laws. They are a bundle. Unpick any of them, weaken any of them and you weaken all of them. I would say in relation to freedom of conscience, the measure of a free society is surely closely related to whether you can be fully human and own your deepest convictions and speak to them and act them out. Provided only that we do not harm others. That’s a very topical issue at the moment.

Freedom of conscience. Freedom of belief. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Freedom of association. Freedom to own and control property within certain laws. They are a bundle.

Let me finish then by mentioning two of the more recent conversations I’ve done – one is with David Goodheart, The Road to Somewhere, which is a story of Brexit. It’s a fascinating unpacking of the way in which traditional Britons who love home and their country and want London to run the place are what Goodheart calls “somewheres”. They resent the sophisticated “anywheres” who see themselves as having more in common with sophisticated Australians and Germans and French than their fellow Britons. When they had a chance to say, “we want our country back”, they took it. Not because they’re dumb or racist, but because they wanted London to run Britain, not Brussels.

Then there is Jonathan Haidt, a wonderful man, an academic at New York university who has written several books including The Righteous Mind – Why We Find it so Hard to Disagree. His thesis is that we retreat to positions of righteousness and we find it very hard to hear others. His latest book, The Coddling of the American Mind is a must read. In it, he posits that often, although well meaning, we are sending bad messages to that crop – our children. He went so far as to say that it’s got so bad in America that he doesn’t know if democracy will still be alive and healthy in 30 years’ time.

His thesis is that we retreat to positions of righteousness and we find it very hard to hear others.

Haidt’s warns of the three terrible things we are doing to our children. Firstly, we are saying to them: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker. Stop and think about how dangerous that is. We need to build not only resilience but what he calls “anti-fragility” in our children. Carefully managing exposure both physically and emotionally and morally to challenges builds not just resilience and an ability to cope but a capacity to grow as a person. All our forebearers understood that and we rejected it. The second thing we do that he says is a terrible mistake is we tell our children to always trust their feelings.

The second thing we do that he says is a terrible mistake is we tell our children to always trust their feelings.

This is the end of the age of reason. We see it everywhere. We need a return to calm, considered, evidence-based decision making. It’s the key to a more civil debate. Civility in debate is something we need urgently. Our little motto is that you can’t get good public policy out of a bad debate. But civility is not just about saying please and thank you nicely and holding your knife and fork correctly. It’s much more than that. Properly understood it’s a tough-minded civic responsibility or even a virtue that says, “I won’t give or take offence in debate.” Because the minute you personalise it, you fall into the trap that’s been set. And it becomes emotional. Whereas, what we need to do is have people put the facts on the table and debate them calmly and rationally.

what we need to do is have people put the facts on the table and debate them calmly and rationally.

The third thing he says is the really critical one. We are teaching our children that life is a battle between good people and bad people. That flies in the evidence of everything we know. We’re all a mixture. We all need from time to time to wake up because we get it wrong. We’re all capable of behaving very badly, we’re all capable of behaving nobly. We need to call out our better angels, but not deny our tendency to do the wrong thing.

We’re all capable of behaving very badly, we’re all capable of behaving nobly. We need to call out our better angels, but not deny our tendency to do the wrong thing.

I’ll close with something from the thoughts of Solzhenitsyn. If only it were so simple that the problem of evil could be solved by identifying those few evil people out there and getting rid of them, and then we’d all be perfect. But no, he said, that’s impossible because the dividing line between good and evil lies somewhere across every human heart.

Frank Furedi said one interesting thing that’s not on the tape. Echoing in a way what John Haidt said and what I want to say by way of a positive end. He said the great thing you’ve got going for you in Australia – a place I come to often and love – you still have the greatest proportion of reasonable, clear thinking, community minded people of any Western nation. I’m sure he’s not researched it, but I’m equally sure he’s right. And isn’t that great.

I’m sure he’s not researched it, but I’m equally sure he’s right. And isn’t that great.

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