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Remember Mr X? You won’t forget his stunts


No stunt was more memorable – for all the wrong reasons – than his 2018 TV state election advert, when he took on the Liberals and Labor but failed. It featured people walking backwards to signal SA’s regression. But nothing could prepare the viewer for the sight of candidates dancing very badly while singing a not-so-catchy jingle. It was like Gough Whitlam’s star-studded “It’s Time” advertisement after a long night on the booze.In 2013 bookie Tom Waterhouse had to apologise for advertisements which stepped over the line. When he spoke about how difficult it was to compete against the big companies, Mr Xenophon was on hand to play the “smallest violin in the world” to show his proverbial lack of sympathy. Arriving in odd vehicles was one of his most common stunts. There was a tiny model BMW to protest MPs car perks.A hastily made submarine cake was made for one media appearance to remind the federal government at the time of a so-far failed promise.At another submarine stunt, an Elvis impersonator sang Where’s The Tender? to the tune of Love Me Tender.Only once did anyone out-stunt the stunt master. The protest group GetUp arrived on his doorstep with two donkeys after he supported federal government business tax cuts. Nick Xenophon had once said the trouble with horse trading is that you might end up with a donkey or you might make an ass of yourself. “Well, in this case he’s done both,” GetUp teased.At one stunt he enthusiastically took to a poker machine with a sledgehammer in a wrecking yard.His “no porkies” election campaign launch was supported by, of course, a live pig.Animals were a favourite including one to represent a “cash cow”.His least favourite publicity came in 2016 when he failed to declare his connection with a company run by his father. It at one time owed $2.5m to the Australian Taxation Office.The father’s development of a small tower in the East End of Adelaide was celebrated by the family but little known beyond. Everyone knew by June 2016 when it emerged that international students had made their own room dividers to accommodate more people, creating slum-like conditions inside.Video obtained Tuesday, February 20, 2018, of the first TV ad released by SA-BEST leader Nick Xenophon for the upcoming South Australian election. The advertisement features the former senator rapping about South Australia’s problems and an assortment of characters including a robber, Bollywood dancers and a doctor as Mr Xenophon tries to get across the message it’s time to break up the two-party monopoly.    

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