A beard provides the confidence to enter a fight,  but Joe Hockey remains clean shaven.

A beard provides the confidence to enter a fight, but Joe Hockey remains clean shaven. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Joe Hockey needs to grow a beard.

He can hide all sorts of nasties in there, like that "Detailed Family Outcomes" table missing from the budget papers and all his broken promises.

A hairy face will help him sell this budget, too, because he looks far too young to be believed when he says he's spreading the pain evenly.

The only beard in the lower house: Rowan Ramsey, centre, with Kelly O'Dwyer and and Bob Katter in 2011

The only beard in the lower house: Rowan Ramsey, centre, with Kelly O'Dwyer and and Bob Katter in 2011 Photo: Andrew Meares

And while we're talking midlife makeovers for our slimmed-down Treasurer, he should shave his head as well.

Imagine, a federal Treasurer who looks like Ned Kelly and fights for justice. 

Instead, we have Joe in his classy suits, with designer cigars and a full head of hair, looking like a right-wing ideologue from a private school who is out of touch with the real world; a lawyer or a banker or a politician or all three.

<i>Illustration: John Shakespeare.</i>

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

Joe, we know deep down you're a good person. So grow a beard. An estimated 17 per cent of all men (and 35 per cent of men aged 18-24) can’t be wrong.

Pollies are lagging badly on beards. 

Liberal Rowan Ramsey from South Australia is the lone beard in the lower house. In the Senate, there's only the Coalition's Nigel Scullion and Barry O'Sullivan (he's a goatee, so doesn’t really count), along with Labor's Kim Carr and trendy Peter Whish-Wilson from the Greens.

With such unrepresentative swill, no wonder voters don’t trust our MPs.

Some readers might ask why pollies are bare-faced liars, reluctant to grow like nature intended. Is it because beard growers are seen as weak, unsociable, revolting, untrustworthy or sad? No.

"Men grow beards to hide their faces," is how one very unkind daughter explains it.

Put another way, by an unkind son: "Beards exist to make ugly people think they look more attractive."

But to them and others who say beards are no longer a growing trend, I say this: a bearded drag queen won the Eurovision Song Contest.

What's more, the proportion of men with beards has risen about 4 percentage points during the past four years.

Just visit the hipster hangouts of Sydney, or even the once clean-shaven corridors of power in Canberra.

Last week's budget lock-up revealed how a great many smart young men from the federal Treasury and Department of Finance have become brave sons of Kelly, sporting full, glorious beards.

In an even greater challenge to their conservative masters, many have shaved their heads or gone for the No.1 buzz cut.

Everyone knows shaving the dome will increase your chances of promotion in the corporate world, but never before have we seen the shiny pate coupled with the Ned Kelly beard in a brazen attempt to run the country.

It's spread to the erudite columns of this august journal too.

You might have noticed that during my five-week absence, I have morphed from a fresh faced 40-something with irrelevance issues into an ancient geezer with a grey dribble strips who deserves to be taken very seriously indeed.

So come on Joe, join us.

We will never grow a beard in some vain attempt to attract love (because University of NSW researchers have found that beard styles are likely to grow less attractive as they become more popular).

No, for us a beard provides the confidence to enter a fight and know we'll prevail even though our rival could pull at the hairs, especially those little wiry ones we fiddle with while watching the footy until it gets all too stressful and, "thhhttt", out it comes, to be deposited sneakily in the cracks between the cushions on the couch.

With a beard we feel healthy enough to repel the parasites that fester beneath the sheath, feeding on flaky skin and injecting their fertilised eggs which will hatch in days and irritate so much that mere scratching will not do, so instead we shall take a scalpel dipped in hot water and pierce the boil, setting free the maggoty mites.

With a beard we show aggression and masculinity.

We are seen as having a higher social status.

We look older and wiser.

Joe, we owe it to our children to grow this nation.

As that doyen of Adelaide rock bands the Beards said, "If your dad doesn’t have a beard, you’ve got two mums – two beardless mums".

Such is life…

Twitter: @alanstokes4