|Author(s)||Charles Antaki, Ivan Leudar|
|Title||Recruiting the record: using opponents’ exact words in Parliamentary argumentation|
Members of parliamentary institutions have a special feature of their discourse community open to them in argumentation — the use of the public record as an authority for others' exact words. We show how members of the British House of Commons use the official record explicitly to recruit their political opponents' words to promote their own projects. We identify a robust set of elements in which a speaker quotes someone understood to be a political opponent, invoking the unimpeachable source of the parliamentary record. Speakers can exploit the basic framework of the device to emphasize (with dramatic or comic effect) the identity of the quoted source. The rhetorical effect in all cases is that such words are especially unchallengeable, and the fact that they are sourced from an opponent's own mouth makes the message they carry immune to attack as interested or partial.