Saturday, February 24, 2007

Forget everything you thought you knew about hair governance

Maiden speech, Roger Plimson-Clark MP, new Member for Crackalacka, SA.

Mr Speaker, it is with a trembling sense of occasion that I rise to first address this august chamber but any pleasure thereof must be second to the awesome responsibility which sits upon my shoulders like a giant desert-dwelling carrion bird.

Mr Speaker, there is a danger which stalks our land. A danger responsible for more grief and more tears than almost any I care to name and yet, due to the vile back-room machinations of entrenched interest groups, this danger has rarely if ever glared out from the front pages of our daily newspapers, let alone been properly debated in this mighty hall of our democracy.

Let me pose a thought experiment for you, Mr Speaker. Imagine yourself as a father – and indeed this is not difficult for you because I know you are a very good father – imagine you are pacing anxiously outside the theatre waiting for your youngest and dearest to be operated upon when a nurse introduces you to the “surgeon”. This is Kevin – she says – 10 minutes ago he was laying bricks and now we’re slapping a scalpel in his hand and allowing him to practice medicine. Well, such a thing is unthinkable.

And yet this very scenario, in a slightly different field of human endeavour, is played out every day in the towns, cities and villages of our nation.

It may surprise and shock you, Mr Speaker – as it did me – to learn that any Tom, Dick or Harriet may, without any formal training, any relevant experience, any Government licensing system, call themselves a hairdresser and begin cutting the hair of ordinary decent Australians, including I must emphasise, children.

Let me just give you a moment to let that sink in, Mr Speaker. No training, no experience, no licence, and they may then proceed to lawfully separate people from their hair in back-alley salons in some of the seedier quarters of our cities.

I was first alerted to this by a constituent, a delightful lass with her whole future ahead of her. This young lady attended a beauty spa that I will not name in order to receive a “colour, cut and style” so as to increase her chances at an up-coming job interview as well as to impress a gentleman friend that very night. I will not go into details except to say that this constituent could not relate this tale to me without her voice catching with emotion. Suffice to say, she did not get the job, is no longer seeing her man-friend and has resigned herself to wearing a variety of hats for the next two months.

Horrible as her story is, my own personal research endeavours have revealed that this tale of woe is all too common. I myself have received haircuts that were advertised as a “quick trim” but which left me psychologically scarred with my self-esteem in tatters.

Mr Speaker, the time for action is now. We cannot wait for a Royal Commission or similar fact finding body to establish what we already know.

Accordingly, I announce my intention to introduce a Private Member’s Bill at the earliest opportunity. This legislation, which I urge all members to support regardless of which side of the aisle they find themselves on, will insert new provisions into the Criminal Code making it an offence to set up as a hairdresser or an allied profession without a four-year university degree. Similarly, the sale of hairdressing implements such as scissors, clippers and water squirters will be subject to a strict code of conduct with a requirement that retailers report suspect transactions to a new body, the Australian Hair and Beauty Standards Commission.

Furthermore, new avenues of complaint for disgruntled customers will be created. If you show a hair-dresser (or ‘thatch butcher’ as I call them) a picture of Johnny Depp or Jennifer Anniston, you have every right to walk out of that salon looking like Mr Depp or Ms Annistion.

I see that my time is almost at an end, Mr Speaker. I am quite sure that this is not the last time I will speak on this important subject. I urge all other members to educate themselves about this looming threat and to support my forthcoming Bill. We must not allow these tress-fiends to cut-and-run. For the sake of the young growing follicles of this great country, we must act before it is too late.


Aurelius said...

Is this serious?
That's hilarious! Especially the bit about the girl and her date....

Spike said...

Bloody excellent piss-take, Mr Crustacean.