24 February 2011
I was asked today what the English felt about the Guttenberg scandal and I had to admit I did not know. I had not heard it mentioned on the radio nor had I read any English newspapers this week. All I could do was give my own opinion, which I do again now.
Since the majority of my readers outside Germany are in the USA, UK, Singapore, Thailand, Macau, Cyprus and Egypt I wonder too what they think. To be sure it means little in the scheme of things to them.
The first question I asked myself concerning the plagiarism was, why had the university of Bayreuth not discovered the faults in his dissertation? It was first completed in August 2006 and the university then had to evaluate the work which they did by passing it and by giving him excellent marks and his now defunct Doctor title. So what did they do in the evaluation? Why did they not see the "mistakes" he made and return his work for correction? Surely the person or persons responsible for the evaluation in the university should now be called to question. If this is an example of how little university's check dissertations then how many other Doctors are saying to themselves, "there but for the grace of God, go I!"
That up to now Guttenberg has cut a fine figure and excels in selling himself is without question, one only needs to look at his web site to see that. Has it permanently damaged his image in Germany? Not at the moment, the majority of the public stand behind him, which just goes to show what a good job he has done in selling himself.
As an outsider living in Germany I ask, who was the whistle blower and who paid him or her? Why has it come out now, when the work was first published in 2009? Strangely no newspapers are asking these questions. The opposition parties, without exception have all jumped on the band wagon to call Guttenberg a lier and a cheat and to demand his resignation. To my mind those who live in glass houses should not be the first to throw stones, but then I, thankfully, am not a politician.!