Election pork and porky pies

The General Election here  on Sunday, has meant that valfläsk has been on the menu a lot this week. Literally, that means “election pork”: the rather airy promises that politicians make to get votes. Back in the day, political parties actually used to bribe the electorate with meat.

I can’t think of an equivalent to this expression in British English.

Americans talk about “pork-barrel politics.” That’s the ear-marking of funds to carry out projects which will benefit one particular group in society such as a new bridge or a road. The politician behind such an initiative hopes to be rewarded by the votes of those who have benefitted.

This trend has become so prevalent that certain right-wingers and libertarians have set up a movement to expose the more flagrant examples of government money being used in this way. It’s called (wait for it!): Porkbusters.

UK politicians may not offer election pork but their opponents would argue they are not averse to telling a few porkies.

Porkies?  It’s truncated rhyming slang. Porky pies are lies.

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