Party leaders show off their Christmas cards

 

Political battles don't just involve policies and speeches. These guys are always trying to one-up each other, and Christmas is no exception. The festive cards sent out by the country's biggest political leaders are as good a time as any to score a point or two, and send out a message about the kind of guy (they're all guys) you are.

Here we take a look at some of this year's offerings.

 

David Cameron - Prime Minister (photo above)

The Prime Minister has played it safe with an intimate and natural monochrome shot, bespeaking familial bliss behind Number 10's big black door.

Youngest daughter Florence features between SamCam and Dave, betraying little - if any - hint of a man whose in-tray includes EU angst, the future of press freedom in the UK, and the biggest drop in living standards since the Victorian age.

But the photo's simplicity (austerity?) didn't play well with Cheshire-based guitarist and Twitter user @nickmac72, who said: "Not even 'Merry Christmas' or some glitter on David Cameron Christmas Card. What an a***hole."

Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, also weighed in over the lack of obvious festive imagery, tweeting, "He could at least have worn a jaunty santa hat or a tinsel bow tie"

You can't please everyone.

Nick Clegg - Deputy Prime Minister

While Cameron made his offspring the focus of his card, Nick Clegg let his run riot.

He showed off his beige chinos as he and wife Miriam sat for a sedate domestic photo. But they then let sons Alberto, Antonio and Miguel go wild with an iPad, doodling antlers and a Father Christmas beard onto their parents' faces.

The Liberal Democrat leader seems to be mostly concentrating on doing keepy-uppies with a golf ball, which is a talent we never knew he had.

Nick Clegg's Christmas card Nick Clegg's Christmas card

Mr Clegg and his team have also built on a career theme of his - having digital pictures of himself manipulated to comic effect.

 

Ed Miliband - Labour leader

Ed Miliband's Christmas card Ed Miliband's Christmas card

Mr Miliband appears to have followed Cameron's lead, with Christmas mostly absent from his card too.

The simple picture shows the Labour leader and his young family (Wife Justine, and sons Daniel and Samuel) walking along Brighton beach, and is accompanied by a simple "Merry Christmas."

Miliband might be using the picture to stress his family values, having become the only unmarried man ever to be elected leader of the Labour Party, and saying at the time that he just hadn't got round to marriage. He and Justine have since married.

Alex Salmond - Scotland's First Minister

Alex Salmond isn't often accused of following the crowd, and the important arena of political Christmas cards is no exception.

The First Minister, who faces one of the biggest challenges of his career in next year's independence referendum, specially commissioned a painting by Peter Howson, showing the legend of Artaban - the fourth wise man, who arrived at Bethlehem too late to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Unveiling the original artwork, which will be auctioned off for charity, Mr Salmond said: "Artaban it is a hugely appropriate work for my 2013 Christmas card.

"The story reminds us that hope, faith and self-sacrifice are at the centre of the order of things."

Artaban was a Persian scholar who never made it to see the baby Jesus because he was delayed by helping the vulnerable. Whether the story of a noble but essentially doomed mission says anything about the upcoming referendum, Salmond never said.

Alex Salmond's Christmas card Alex Salmond's Christmas card

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