Thursday 17 December 2015

Over-Interpreting Jeremy Corbyn's Christmas Card

The Daily Mail have apparently had a "fun" go at the hidden meanings of Jeremy Corbyn's Christmas card, which is annoying as I'd pre-announced this post on the Twitter a few days ago. No matter. Here's my take on the hidden symbolism written in the snow and bikes and stuff.

1. Let's go with the obvious. The Merry Christmas legend isn't dressed up in the swirly-whirly font that usually festoons this sort of thing. It's all a bit redolent of far left newspaper fonts (specifically the Weekly Worker), an italicised - playful - version of the distinctly humourless, revolutionary headlines past and present. It could be read as a polite reminder that Jeremy's politics remain and won't be a-changin'.

2. The snow has multiple meanings:

a) What kind of cyclist leaves their bike out in the snow? One, I would suggest, who didn't know the white stuff was about to hit. Up until the tax credit debacle Jez was doing alright, but the backlash Harriet's instruction to abstain on the vote generated fired the boosters underneath Jeremy's campaign and won him the leadership. The snow here is suggestive of the surprise situation Jeremy finds himself in, of a man unprepared for the political weather.

b) We know the bike is Jeremy's favoured method of transport. We know that his leadership so far hasn't proven the smoothest of rides either, and yet he ploughs on. A bike covered in snow not only shows that Jeremy is aware of his journey's difficulties, by popping it on his card he's advertising his awareness.

c) The snow covers a quintessentially British scene, much like the blanket of radicalism now settling upon the old Westminster consensus.

3. Bicycles have a special place in the official narrative of the Chinese civil war/revolution. That these bikes are in deep freeze could be saying there will definitely be no more Chairman Mao gaffes.

4. You'll notice there are three or four bicycles in the scene, and they're probably not going anywhere. In other words, and unfortunately for rebellious-minded MPs, Jeremy and his team are not getting on their bikes. They're sticking around and won't be shifted. Merry Jezmas!


jim mclean said...

Naw it means Boris's bikes have come to the end of their road.

David Timoney said...

A picture that shows a means of transport snow/ice-bound is a sign that we can stop working. That is the true message of Christmas: work is not what should define us.

Boffy said...


Rather than Christmas cards, why not send your friends a copy of my new, exciting novel 2017 to read over Christmas, and don't forget to get your own copy.

Gary Elsby said...

The card clearly gives the message:

Fuck you Dan Hodges!

Vladimir P. said...

Boffy embraces capitalism.

Capitalist pig!

Speedy said...

It's a subliminal reminder of the Winter of Discontent, when a Labour government was torpedoed by the Left Wing of the party (well, at least cheered on by the Bennites), ushering in 17 years of Tory rule.

Since you asked.

Paul Nightingale said...

It was 18 years of Tory rule, helped on by SDP renegades and Kinnock's piss-poor leadership. If the bicycle is the truth, the snow represents the right-wig revisionism that always blames the left. If you look closely, the snowflakes are inscribed: Labour governments always spend too much money.

jim mclean said...

Of course we must not forget the role of the Clarion Cycling Club, originally the Socialist Cycling Club, in spreading the word throughout the villages of the North Country.

Speedy said...

Paul Nightingale - it's always someone else's fault, eh?

BCFG said...

If the subliminal message is leave the car at home folks, the planet is in an environmental crisis then it isn't working!

But that is the civilising mission if capitalism for you!