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Jeremy Corbyn's hat and the daunting trend for transparency

There have been distinct rumblings on social media this week about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's hat.

Before looking into the matter more closely, this reporter was sure this was some kind of metaphor - along the lines of what 'hat' has Mr Corbyn got on today? Is it his trade union, I'm one of the workers, let's man the picket lines, hat, his nationalisation, this is the real reason I won't come out against Brexit, hat, or his down with the kids, I'm best mates with a rapper, hat?

But no, far from an invisible, this is nothing but a figure of speech and there is no hat, kind of hat, we are talking about, an actual hat (of sorts). Clear as mud so far? Thought so. Follow me and let's go back to the tail end of last week to an episode of current affairs programme Newsnight where the issue of Corbyn's hat first grew legs.

During a segment about the poisoning of spy Sergei Skripal and the potential impending outbreak of cold war with Russia, an image of Corbyn was projected across the studio. It showed him against a backdrop of Moscow's Red Square, wearing what many people have since declared to be a hat designed to make him look as "Leninesque" as possible.

As you will be aware, there has been much chatter in recent months about Corbyn's alleged Russian sympathies and his resistance to come out and damn Russia for poisoning a former spy on British soil has been taken as further proof of Corbyn's allegiance.

The Newsnight photo has been seen to only inflame the situation. Prominent left-wing writer, Owen Jones, has accused the BBC Two programme of photoshopping Corbyn's image. On Twitter he claimed the programme's editors had "stitched up" Corbyn to look like a "Soviet stooge".

He added that even Corbyn's hat had been photoshopped to make it look more Russian. For those who have not seen the image, this reporter can clarify that Corbyn appears to be wearing a ushanka - the traditional fur hat with ear flaps worn by the Russian military.

Newsnight has denied the hat was altered. Acting editor Jess Brammer clarified this in a bizarre and technologically snooze-worthy series of tweets, which she felt the need to explain that she was sending whilst at the hairdressers.

This reporter won't bore you with the details, but will say that it is amazing how sending an innocent photo of Corbyn wearing a bobble hat through 37 TV monitors, 19 camera lenses, down a secret trap door, through an underground ventilation system and finally onto a school projector screen behind presenter Evan Davis' head, can distort things.

Meanwhile, this reporter questions why Newsnight didn't just use a picture of Corbyn with no hat on to avoid any kind of confusion, like they did with Defence Minister, "just tell the Russians to shut up and go away", Gavin Williamson, last week.

This reporter suspects Corbyn's supporters are right to sniff the scent of corruption.

Perhaps we could all do with a good dose of transparency, and that is just what the fashion industry is proposing. All things see-through are in. See-through shoes, see-through bags, see-through trench coats, see-through, everything.

This reporter feels this could be quite an alarming trend to master, especially when it comes to transparent bags. Whilst good for airport check-ins, this could induce some quite serious bouts of anxiety over how to organise your everyday bag clutter into a more appealingly arranged and photogenic display, potentially leading to necessary but less attractive belongings being left at home.

Maybe start small with this belt from Zara. In this era where we could do with all political cards being laid openly on the table, this reporter thinks we are nevertheless quite daunted by the prospect of just how dog-eared those cards may be.

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