01.07.14 4:25 PM ET
God Save the Comb Over: David Cameron Rewards His Hairdresser with a National Honor
Lino Carbosiero’s most notable achievement was a radical realignment of the British prime minister’s side parting—he switched it from the left, as you look at him, to the right in 2010. David Cameron has rewarded the hairdresser for bringing his haircut into line with his politics by including him on the traditional New Year honors list alongside diplomats, politicians, and business leaders.
The hairstylist will be anointed as a Member of the British Empire by the Queen at a ceremony inside Buckingham Palace. He will henceforth be known as Mr Carbosiero MBE.
The royal reward for Cameron’s personal grooming has prompted howls of indignation from critics who accuse him of cronyism and misuse of power. Britain’s honors system has been the subject of derision for years, with political supporters and party donors often benefitting from titles bestowed upon them by grateful politicians. But seldom are the appointees so intimately associated with the prime minister.
Carbosiero’s duties include regular trims at Downing Street, and an apparent effort to encourage Cameron’s hair to conceal signs of a thinning patch on the back of his head. “The bald truth is this—it must be a cover up,” said Labour MP Stephen Pound. “It certainly raises questions about cronyism.”
A Carbosiero cut will cost clients, who include Sir Paul McCartney, Madonna, and Lily Allen, about $150 for a man and $250 for a woman. The stylist said he was thrilled to be honored for “services to hairdressing” but seemed shaken by the negative reaction. “I hope it’s for the charity work that I’ve done…I’m not the only hairdresser to get one. Obviously people are realizing the importance of hairdressers within the community," he told the BBC.
Corbosiero joined some of the prime minister’s friends, supporters, and neighbors on the honors list. Alan Parker, a public relations executive who vacationed with Cameron, was knighted; Peter Emerson, a property developer who gave thousands of dollars to the Conservatives, received an OBE; and Marion Helen and Simon Mort, party activists near Cameron’s home in Oxfordshire, were both given OBEs.
“Honors should go to unsung heroes or heroines, not Cameron’s cronies,” said Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat in the House of Lords.