Search icon


09th Jun 2020

Boris Johnson’s Black Lives Matter speech decoded

Rich Cooper

How does a politician say something without actually saying it?

Just ask Boris Johnson. In his speech delivered on Monday evening, Boris Johnson appeared to say, “Black Lives Matter”. But what he actually said was, “We’re right to say ‘Black Lives Matter.’”

Looking through Johnson’s speech carefully, it becomes easier to understand the ways in which a crafted speech allows politicians to make the viewer think they’re saying something that they’re actually not saying.

For this Johnson speech, that meant a slightly more polite version of one of Donald Trump’s law and order rhetoric tweets, but spoken in a manner which appeared polite and supportive to the BLM cause.