'Ultra-nationalists, fascists, and former communists.'
Of all the people that the European Parliament could have chosen to be the favourite to succeed incumbent president Jerzy Buzek at the end of his term, German MEP Martin Schulz is the worst. Not because of his personal talent and political skills, which, compared to others in the European Parliament, is actually quite considerable. But because he is one of the best examples of a federalist that a Eurosceptic can point to to prove that what they say about the EU - namely, that it is undemocratic, elitist, distant, and contemptuous of the populace - is correct.
Martin Schulz shot to fame in Britain last year when UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom repeated a Nazi slogan at him, and then accused him of acting like a 'undemocratic fascist.' Bloom was then escorted from the chamber and evicted by a parliamentary vote. It made the headlines in the UK and had a significant impact on UKIP's poll ratings, but it was no surprise to Eurosceptics: those who've followed Schulz's actions in the chamber would know that he has been involved in several incidents over the past few years, and each of them have involved the word 'fascist' or accusations of fascism in some way.
Arguably the most famous was when he called Dutch MEP, Daniël van der Stoep, a 'fascist' for asking Barroso to publish details of his expenses accounts. There was once a video on YouTube but is has since been removed. It's a shame, because it would make Martin Schulz's denial a lot less believable. But there have been others. He once described all Eurosceptics as 'ultranationalists, fascists, and former Communists' - groups which, as everyone knows, make up over 60% of the British population. It speaks volumes about the intolerance of opposing views and Eurosceptics in general that is exhibited by a man who could one day be in charge of overseeing the European Parliament.
But they also reflect the intolerance of opposing views and Eurosceptics in general that is typical of the federalists in the European Parliament; as even Jon Worth admits, albeit reluctantly, this 'plays right into the hands of the loopy folks on the political fringes (i.e. the 60% of the British population that is Eurosceptic).' It enables them to 'seek to present the political mainstream as conspiring against them, and this incident looks like precisely that is happening.' If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. We don't 'seek to portray' the political 'mainstream' as conspiring against us; it just happens that way, because it is.
Take, for example, the eviction of Austrian MEP, Andreas Molzer, after a 'disturbance' in the European Parliament where eight MEPs protested against the EU's refusal to respect the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty. Andreas Molzer was accused of being one of the people who were involved, although it was pointed out at the time by Nigel Farage that he was actually not in the parliament at all. He was not even in the country. He was in Frankfurt. The President of the European Parliament is able to evict MEPs at will - as Roger Helmer says of the incident, 'HGP himself was witness, accuser, judge and jury in the case.' He can hand out fines of up to a thousand pounds, and, as Roger Helmer also points out, is more than capable of using these powers to 'settle scores.'
No better reason, then, for a person who thinks that transparency in government is the same as fascism, to be denied that office.
The original picture at the top of this article was made by High Contrast, on Wikimedia. The adapted version, used here, was made by Daffy123.