It was a privilege to represent Family First at the inaugural ARC forum in London, England. Here are my reflections.
The inaugural Alliance for Responsible Citizenship forum held in London this week repudiated the direction our politicians are leading us.
Concluding on Wednesday with a live recital, complete with singers and orchestra, of “Did You Hear the People Sing?” from the musical Les Misérables, the ARC was a clarion call to rush the guards imposed by our woke elites and escape their totalitarian grip.
The conference stood in stark opposition to the economic and social policy direction pursued by Labor and the Coalition.
This was for centre right conservatives a foil to the dystopian vision of “permacrisis” and climate apocalypse preached by the World Economic Forum and the United Nations, from where Australian politicians take their cues on energy, social and environmental policy.
The brainchild of Canadian public intellectual Dr Jordan Petersen and organised by UK Baroness Philippa Stroud and former Australian deputy prime minister John Anderson, it warned of nothing short of civilisational collapse unless we change course.
If that sounds dramatic, it is.
The conference heard from philosopher Os Guinness who said western civilisation was like a “cut flower” and unless it rediscovered and nurtured its Judeo-Christian roots it would die.
But the ARC was careful to say that decline does not have to be inevitable and that it is not too late.
While rightly highlighting what’s wrong, ARC was no conservative whinge fest.
It told a “better story” – one where we rediscover and love the ancient paths of our Judeo Christian heritage, rebuild marriage and family and unlock the earth’s abundant resources so all can prosper.
Expert speakers constructed over three days a vision for the future where public policy allowed parents to be freer to prioritise children’s needs and where coal, gas and nuclear energy is used to lift billions more out of grinding poverty while simultaneously improving the natural environment.
This also fixes the politician-created cost of living crisis afflicting working families who live in the suburbs.
The myth that economic development trashed the environment was busted.
Innovation in agriculture meant farmers were producing more food than the world needs on less land.
Corruption is the only reason people go hungry.
Interviewing Professor Steven Koonin, ARC advisory board member and former Australian Coalition Senator Amanda Stoker asked what should be done.
“We should cancel the climate crisis,” Koonin said.
The irony is the Coalition is wedded to a policy of achieving net zero by 2050.
But people before emissions reductions was the refrain of the research presented at ARC which showed there was no immanent catastrophe.
At an event on the sidelines of the forum reported by the media, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said net zero by 2050, which is Coalition policy, was “not just utterly irrational but actually impossible.”
“The climate cult will eventually be discredited, I just hope we don’t have to endure energy catastrophe before that happens,” he said.
ARC treaded where western politician won’t, advocating for children to be provided, wherever possible, with the love of their mother and father.
Marriage, ARC said, should be at the heart of public policy.
“Children want two things,” Katy Faust of Them Before Us said.
“Their mum and dad to love them and for their mum and dad to love each other.”
Woke elites in the media in countries like Australia have typically characterised anyone promoting the social and energy policy views of ARC as “homophobes” or “deniers”.
That this event was held at all and attended by 1500 influential leaders from 71 nations, including 150 Australians, is extremely significant.
Common sense social and economic policy and pride in Western Civilisation broke out of the constraints of cancel culture this week in London.
Whether ARC has a future will depend on whether these leaders have the courage to fight for these ideas in public when they return.
The conference has done its part in equipping them with the evidence and a global community.
The rest will be up to us.
Family First has been championing these ideas since its founding. We are committed to the ARC vision for a better story that invokes our Judeo-Christian founding, puts the family at the centre and advocates economic prosperity knowing human ingenuity can achieve this in harmony with the environment.
It was a privilege to be at ARC and Family First is committed to playing its part in advancing its vision.
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