Aren’t we all so glad that the future of the country has come to this:
Ursula von der Leyen, who was confirmed as the first woman president of the European Commission in Strasbourg on Tuesday, has said she would support a Brexit extension but warned the Withdrawal Agreement would not be renegotiated. The election of Mrs von der Leyen by the European Parliament came as Boris Johnson sent tremors through Westminster by significantly hardening his Brexit demands by rejecting either a time-limit or a unilateral exit mechanism to the Irish backstop as insufficient to satisfy MPs.
Of course the agreement will be renegotiated. Because the current one won’t pass. And leaving without a deal is of course a renegotiation, isn’t it?
But think on the larger matter. Boris Johnson, for all his merits, was indeed once fired by The Times for making up quotes. And Der Leyen?
Following questions raised by the website VroniPlag Wiki regarding possible plagiarism in her doctoral dissertation, the German Higher Education Commission conducted an investigation that found only three “serious errors”, and lesser errors in 20% of the work. Christopher Baum, the president of the Hanover Medical School, said: “In the central part of the dissertation, no shortcomings were found. […] The results of the dissertation were scientifically new, valid and of practical relevance.” In particular, there was “no misconduct directed by the intention to deceive”. As the VroniPlag wiki shows, 43.5% of the thesis pages contained plagiarism, and in 23 cases citations were used to sources that did not contain the claimed content. The independence of the investigating commission was questioned as von der Leyen personally knew its director from joint work for an alumni association.
Hmm, eh, just hmm.
Aren’t we lucky that politics has thrown up two such gargantuans to negotiate our future?