UK Eurosceptics' secret weapon is a top eurocrat
As debate rages on the UK Right on changing Britain's relationship with Brussels, never underestimate the capacity of the EU "elites" to bring the whole house of cards crashing down without a eurosceptic in sight
He could yet prove to be the man who makes Britain's exit from the European Union a certainty. He's not even British. And he's definitely not a eurosceptic. Indeed he's nothing short of a fanatic in his almost religious-style veneration of the EU.
We're talking about Martin Schulz, now president of the European Parliament and the European left's top tip to replace Jose Manuel Barroso as President of the European Commission later this year.
We've alerted readers to this character before, but it's certainly worth repeating after his recent remarks against Britain, and mainly because, while we focus on our own domestic debate about attempting to reduce the EU's powers over our democracy, there's always the risk of forgetting that the EU is quite capable of destroying both itself and its relationship with Britain all on its own.
Schulz is effectively mad, and we mean that in both senses of the term. We've spoken to MEPs (including europhiles; not just UKIP types) who themselves say the man is "permanently angry" -- a phrase we keep hearing.
It is perfectly possible he has never had a serious in-depth debate with a serious opponent of the European Union in his life.
And if you've ever watched any of those hilarious take-downs in the European parliament of Council President Herman Van Rompuy et al by Nigel Farage, the man over on the right of the picture (look them up on youtube) shouting, screaming, waving his arms in fury and looking as though he's about to have a stroke is Martin Schulz..
That was before he got his job as president of the European Parliament. But as 2014 really starts to get going, there is more and more talk that he will indeed get the real top job in Brussels, as Commission President, in October.
If hardline Conservative eurosceptics and UKIPers have any sense they'll do all in their power to ensure he gets that job, simply on the grounds that he'll discredit the EU so badly that if we do get a referendum in 2017, the chances of a British vote to leave increase exponentially.
He's for all the usual things: making countries vote again if they ever have referendums and the vote goes the "wrong way", for example. By the same token, he's also against all the usual things: democracy, serious debate, national sovereignty etc.
Last week, dismissing out of hand any notion Britain could regain the right to control immigration he scowled:
"Cameron should make his suggestions for reform of the EU and then we can discuss it openly. I don't believe it is good to say 'these are my points and if you don't agree I'm going out'. It is not in the interests of the UK to go in this direction. Let's be pragmatic and not look at it ideologically."
This from one of the most extreme EU ideologues, who is open in saying he won't compromise on anything of any substance anyway.
At the end of the day, we have to keep pushing from our side. But, to repeat, never underestimate the capacity of the ludicrously termed "elites" in Brussels to bring the whole house of cards crashing down on top of themselves, without a single eurosceptic in sight.
Martin: We hope you get the job.
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