by Decca Aitkenhead
Soubry offers an anecdote to illustrate how it should be done. During the referendum campaign she met a man in the east Midlands who told her that you no longer hear anyone speaking English in Newark.
“I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this.’ I looked him straight in the eye and said: ‘That’s crap and you know it’. I said, ‘That is crap and you know it. I know Newark, and that’s crap. Of course you hear people speaking English! Overwhelmingly they’re speaking English in Newark’. And you could see him thinking, that’s absolutely true.” She snorts. “Well of course it’s true! But it’s become acceptable to say that, and people weren’t being challenged. So I challenged him.” By now she is jabbing a finger at me and her eyes are burning. “And he went, ‘Yeah, but … but … yes you’re right. But they hang around on street corners drinking beer’. And I said, heavy with sarcasm, ‘Yeah, because of course, British-born people never do that, do they?’ And you could see again, he was thinking, ‘Oh, of course she’s right.’ You see, I was challenging him! That’s how you win this argument!”