Whew! If you were concerned about the potential effects of another Ralph Nader presidential punt on the Bush/Kerry race, you can now officially relax! Phillip Adams and Barry Jones are on the job. According to Phillip, he and Barry are about to change Nader’s mind as only they can by writing him a letter (let’s hope, on recycled paper”¦). They made him. They alone can stop his misguided crusade!
In a wonderfully Adamesque column, complete with the classic ballistic missile fusillade of name dropping, Phillip reveals how it was Macfarlane Burnet’s views on solar power that changed Ralph forever back in 1972, at a gathering in Melbourne which also included Barry and Phillip, an inevitably, “slightly pissed” John Gorton and a couple of other slightly less luminous opinion-makers, who hadn’t been connected with the making of that iconic contribution to the western canon The Adventures of Barry Mackenzie in any way. How anyone got a word in edgeways in that coterie is unclear, but Phillip assures us that Ralph left the meeting a new man and with Barry’s contact details, which he’s apparently accessed constantly ever since. It may have been “Mac” who made the impact but it was Barry and Phillip who made the lasting impression on Ralph. For instance, Barry and Ralph were apparently invited to Russia together in the Gorbachev era when Gorby sought their help in energising a Russian consumer complaint culture. Why Gorby thought that this might be a priority at that great historical juncture is, sadly, not made clear. Given that your average Russian had about 75 years of hitherto suppressed consumer complaints stored up and seething away, it was arguably a redundant exercise as Gorby’s political demise shortly thereafter, might reasonably be seen to reveal. Still, somewhere in the Kremlin there may well still be a few sheets of A4 flowcharting diagrams, inscribed, “Consumer Complaints Nation,” just waiting to be unearthed.
Phillip’s column concludes thus: Jones has circulated a letter among Nader’s Australian friends and I think that all of us, without exception, will co-sign. Australia changed Nader’s mind back in 1972. Okay, it’s a long shot. But perhaps, just perhaps, Australia can do it again. Australia?! Oh come now Phillip! That’s way too modest”¦”¦