Political Metaphors, Analogies and Similes

War is capitalism with the gloves off.

Tom Stoppard

Appointing Gordon Brown as the head of the IMF is like asking a mosquito to find a cure for malaria.

In Mexico, an air conditioner is called a 'politician' because it makes lots of noise but doesn't work well.

A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted in the air; a conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who has never learned to walk forward; a liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the command of his head.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Political metpahors - National Flags

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes: our ancestors. It's a democracy that includes the dead.

Politicians are not born; they are excreted.


A politician is an appendix: useless when inert but dangerous when active.

At the rally, speeches contained words, not as a means of communication, but as a way to shower the audience with audible confetti.

Members of Parliament were baying like baboons in an opulent zoo.

The government is like a baby, making a loud noise at one end with no sense of responsibility at the other.

Tax hikes are to markets what bacon grease is to human arteries.

Politicians are interested in people. Not that it is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.

P. J. O'Rourke

Tribes tend to overplay their historical card, e.g. the Scottish thinking Bannockburn has modern political significance.

Political analogies - Houses of Parliament

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

The showgirls saw Berlusconi as a cash machine for which you need no PIN.

He deserves to be President as much as Elvis deserved his black belt in karate.

Gordon Brown's budget speech sounded like a blindfolded man riding a unicycle on the rim of a volcano.

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.

Nikita Khrushchev

Replacing the Prime Minister is like replacing the captain of the Titanic.

I regard the law court not as a cathedral, but as a casino.

An aristocrat in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off; it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead.

Nancy Mitford

Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.

Martin Luther King

Society is a contract not only among the living, but also the dead and the unborn.

He is the cutlery man of politics: born with a silver spoon in his mouth, speaks with a fork tongue, and knifes his colleagues in the back.

Wherever you have efficient government, you have dictatorship.

Harry S. Truman

The jargon of bureaucracy spreads like a disease.

Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron.

Josef Stalin

A politician is an animal that can sit on the fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

The Prime Minister has an absolute genius for putting flamboyant labels on empty luggage.

There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.

John F. Kennedy

Cosiness between government and business is a perfect feedback loop: from power to money, and money to power; tax breaks to corporations, donations to politicians.

Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man how to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.

Karl Marx

Democracy is four wolves and a lamb sitting down to vote on what to have for luncheon.

Determining the cause of the credit crunch is akin to asking who started the First World War.

An election is coming. Universal peace had been declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

George Eliot

The MPs' expenses claims don't seem right, like the gleam of freshly-forged banknotes.

Great nations have always acted like gangsters and small ones like prostitutes.

Stanley Kubrick

The art of taxation is to pluck the goose for the largest amount of feathers with the smallest amount of hissing.

Truth is the glue that holds governments together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go.

Gerald Ford

Politics is Hollywood for ugly people.

The ultra-modern politician is an ink-blot test in which the electors can read anything they want.

In politics, those who seek to promote only the public good end up led by an invisible hand to support special interests that they never intended to promote.

It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make experiment on journalists and politicians.

Death is the most convenient time to tax rich people, not when they're basking in jacuzzis of cash.

Your apology is incomplete like the Japanese Prime Minister apologising for Japan’s part in World War II, but not mentioning karaoke.

Tony Blair does the work of two men — Laurel and Hardy.

If only there was liposuction for all the bloated current affairs I've consumed.

Air force bravery is knowing that in a military aircraft your safety is determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.

Margaret Thatcher has the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula.

François Mitterand

Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.

Albert Einstein

Politician are like monkeys. The higher they climb, the more revolting are the parts they expose.

Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.

Aldous Huxley

Finishing second in the Olympics get you a silver medal. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion.

All the President is, is a glorified public-relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do.

Harry S. Truman

In politics: you campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.

The president of today is the postage stamp of tomorrow.

Communism is, like prohibition, a good idea that doesn't work.

Private data collected by corporations and governmental agencies is radioactive nuclear waste in its tenacity and longevity.

The revolution eats its own. Capitalism re-creates itself.

Mordecai Richler

A successful revolution puts on the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.

News is the first rough draft of history.

Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see how they are made.

Otto Von Bismark

Politicians complaining about the media are like sea captains complaining about the sea.

In politics, as on the sickbed, people toss from side to side, thinking they will be more comfortable.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slave: the prisoner of addiction and the prisoner of envy.

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.

Franz Kafka

His argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death.

Abraham Lincoln

Written laws are like a spiders' webs; they will catch the weak and poor, but are torn to pieces by the rich and powerful.

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

Thomas Jefferson

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

Winston Churchill

If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it.

Jonathan Aitken

'How do you treat a cold?' One nanny said,'Feed a cold' – she was a neo-Keynesian. Another nanny said,'Starve a cold' – she was a monetarist.

Harold Macmillan

Private property is theft! Justice demands redistribution on the basis of need. ( or ) Redistribution is theft! Each individual has the right to what is lawfully gained. Justice demands that each should develop his or her potential, unhampered by false applications of equality.

Dictators ride to and from upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

Winston Churchill

David Cameron repeatedly bleats "change" like a tramp in a doorway.

A nation without charity is like a country without trees.

Brown's tax rises were like undetectable carbon monoxide in our financial lungs.

She glowered at me as though I was a tub of slime sprouting the heads of four US presidents.

The Prime Minister's autocue jammed and he was a ventriloquist's dummy having a gottle of gear too many.

All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.

Chou En-Lai

Slavery, the world over, is the weed that grows in every soil.

Giving money and power to the government is like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.

It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favour of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

In drunken terms, Yeltsin was the Michael Phelps of politicians.

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere.

Nelson Mandela

A leader is a dealer in hope.

Napoleon Bonaparte

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