Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Christmas card depicts a snow coloured bicycle in front of a red telephone box – a nice, seasonal and non-denominational message, you might think, from the Islington North MP and Leader of the Opposition.
But as with his preference for two wheels as a way of getting round London, it’s an image that has attracted a fair bit of criticism both on social media and in the mainstream press.
A number of outlets, such as Telegraph.co.uk, pointed out that the stock image shown on the card was taken in 2009 (though Prime Minister David Cameron’s isn’t bang up to date either – it shows him and wife Samantha outside No 10 Downing Street the day after May’s general election.
Meanwhile, the Independent reports that one of the members of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet reacted to the card with the words, “What the fuck?”
The Guardian’s political editor Patrick Wintour – who has been a strong critic of the Labour leader – clearly couldn't resist sticking the boot in, parodying the card in a tweet.
Merry Christmas pic.twitter.com/kFxbqXvuKq
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) December 14, 2015
Theo Bertram, a former advisor to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, noticed a hidden message in the card, however.
Tough on security: the frame is double-locked, thru both wheels too pic.twitter.com/A7qJmUuvkY
— Theo Bertram (@theobertram) December 14, 2015
That theme was picked up by Mikey Smith in the Mirror, who suggested there could be as many as seven hidden messages in the card.
On the use of two locks, he said: “This is obviously a coded signal that Ed Miliband's pledge of a double lock on NHS funding is to make a return in Corbyn's manifesto.
“Or it could be a street crime thing. We're not 100 per cent sure.”
The reverse of the card gives a seasonal twist on Labour’s red rose logo, something that was welcomed by some.
— Conor Pope (@Conorpope) December 14, 2015
Still, it makes a nice change from the typical party leaders’ Christmas cards that take the form of a portrait with family or spouse ... we’ll spare you those on the grounds of taste.
Back to Corbyn’s card, it’s definitely got the chattering classes, well, chattering – even Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones has had a pop at deconstructing it (tongue firmly in cheek, of course – we hope).
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.