The Second Coming of John Anderson

John Anderson, Australia’s former Deputy Prime Minister and former leader of the Nationals Party, has put himself forward for pre-selection with the Nationals in the Senate in New South Wales. If successful, his name will be on the ballot at the upcoming federal election.

Anderson has the support of Nationals leader Michael McCormack, and he affirms that he has no intention of upsetting the party. Rather, he hopes to offer his experience to help advise and mentor the party’s leadership, having expressed concerns about the direction of the Nationals — and more so, the future of Australia.

There is no incumbent in the backbench role sought by Anderson, meaning that whoever is pre-selected is all but guaranteed to win the Senate seat. The Nationals will formalise their candidate in June.

John Anderson, who is now in his mid-60s, left politics in 2007. Since that time, he has remained a respected figure in Australia — in recent years particularly through his cultural commentary series Conversations with John Anderson.

If anything, Anderson’s profile has grown, both in Australia and globally, since interviewing high-profile thinkers like Jordan Peterson, Peter Hitchens and Douglas Murray. John Anderson’s YouTube channel has attracted around 13 million views since its launch in 2017.

Anderson is well known for his love of and advocacy for rural and regional Australia. But among the other concerns he would hope to address on a return to public life is identity politics. This has doubtless been shaped by his insightful Conversations series.

“What you’ve had is a winding back of an understanding and adherence to the traditional sort of political mainstream philosophies, and their overtaking by identity politics,” Anderson told the ABC in an interview this week.

When pressed by the host what issues he was referring to with the label “identity politics”, Anderson replied,

“They’re there every day. Read the newspapers, listen to the ABC… people know exactly what they are, and they’re very frustrated with it.”

He went on:

“The 70 or 80 per cent of Australians who live in the middle are crying out for a higher standard of public discourse.”

What John Anderson describes is a growing sense across the Western world that many of the priorities of our elite classes — politicians especially — do not truly represent the concerns of ordinary citizens. In fact, with restrictions on speech and conscience increasing in the West, a new class warfare appears to be emerging, which has been the source of much heat and little light.

For those who have followed John Anderson, it’s evident that this silver-crested sage will have an enormous amount of light to shed on these issues in Australian public life — with the political credentials to back him.

Welcome back, John Anderson.

By |2021-03-11T15:40:36+11:00March 11th, 2021|Australia, Leadership|5 Comments

About the Author:

Kurt Mahlburg is Canberra Declaration's Features Editor. He also works as a primary school teacher and a freelance writer. He blogs at Cross + Culture and is a regular contributor at the Spectator Australia, MercatorNet, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce, among other online publications.

Kurt has published a book, Cross and Culture: Can Jesus Save the West?, with rigorous analysis of the modern malaise in Western society.

He has a particular interest in speaking the truths of Jesus into the public square in a way that makes sense to a secular culture and that gives Christians courage to do the same.

Kurt has also studied architecture, has lived for two years on a remote island in Indonesia, is fluent in several Indonesian languages, and among his other interests are philosophy, history, surf, the outdoors, and travel.

5 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Ayres March 17, 2021 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    What fantastic news!
    Thank you John Anderson for being willing to serve our nation once again with wisdom and balance.
    Thanks also Kurt for this article.

  2. Lee Jones March 20, 2021 at 3:06 am - Reply

    Best news since the PM was elected. I, like so many others, was so disappointed when John left politics.
    . Great post from Kurt Mahlburg, loved the phrase ‘the silver-crested sage’.

  3. Robert McKilliam March 20, 2021 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I look forward to John Anderson bringing some wisdom into our political chambers.

  4. Lesley Parker March 20, 2021 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    This is extraordinary good news. I pray he will be pre-selected. At the moment I feel I am in a theatre, watching all the antics of the war against good and evil with the evil winning because the ‘good’ have lost their boldness in what they must surely believe in. I happened to see a bit of the last Q&A. I wasn’t appalled, or angry, I am deeply concerned that our Australian Broadcasting Corporation is obviously a political forum for those who have an agenda to not only trash the democratically elected government, but are out to destroy all that has brought us to being the a prosperous, homogenous society, accepting of all faiths, cultures, without physical wars, and enjoying the affluenza that is the envy of so many other nations. The ABC and those who are destroying our way of life are using that way of life to do so. What is the end result of this stage play. As a citizen who is very grateful for the peace, the largess this land enjoys and the roots of how we got here, I have no relationship with this ‘left’ pantomime agenda and I don’t think 95% of us do. Thank you John Anderson for coming onto the stage, and those who are already on the stage who fight for the ‘good’ side. I pray that many more will rise up to take on the fight, against the evil that appears to be the feature act on the main stage right now.

  5. Anna Soh March 20, 2021 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    110% behind John Anderson! Praying for many more like him to step up and be counted as he will truly represent just and fair government! God’s blessing and guidance not only for John but those involved in determining his pre-selection!

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