Scottish Studies Newsletter - Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
No. 41, May 2013 Editors: Professor Dr. Horst Drescher Lothar Görke Professor Dr. Klaus Peter Müller Ronald Walker Dear Readers, Editorial With the date of the referendum having been set for 18 September 2014, the SNP now has only little more than one year left to convince the majority of (so far undecided or opposed) Scots that independence would be better for them than what they have at the moment. This is not much time, and we really wonder whether the SNP is actually doing what is necessary. They must show that independence would be an enormous advantage in all areas of everyday life. But are they themselves sure whether, e.g., there will be a Scottish pound, the same currency as now, or perhaps even the euro? It does not look as though they are, and this cannot be very convincing. On the other hand, there is also the question of how much freedom the European Union allows its members, in this case, a nation that already is a member of the EU, but now wants to leave the state it is part of and form its own state. The conservative German government evidently has a strategy that follows very narrow party political lines and has, therefore, chosen to support its conservative counterpart in Westminster rather than adopt a neutral European position, which would not see any significant cause for concern in Scottish independence, as long as international business, defence and other significant areas of European politics are not negatively influenced. But again, this is a question the EU in general is not tackling fairly or not at all. It is a state of affairs that can only increase people's dissatisfaction with politics in general. When will politicians at last deal with these evident problems? Have they not always just tried to fix problems when these come up, without any long-term vision or strategy for improving people's lives (and not only the lives of their party followers)? Is it not now the time to make them and many others aware of the enormously relevant contexts of the referendum? This is precisely what the 2013 conference 'Scotland 2014: Coming of Age and Loss of Innocence?' (17-20 October) intends to do. The current line-up of speakers is quite impressive and shows the diversity of areas and perspectives that will be presented there. You can, of course, find more current information, evaluations, and opinions on the referendum in the Newsletter section '(New) Media on Scotland'. There are also two new categories on the website with Scottish studies links, one with information on the Scottish (SNP) governments from 2007 till today (section 8), the other, section 9, dealing with 'Charities, Social, and Environmental Organisations'. There are not yet any significant conclusions or answers to important questions to be drawn from the 2011 Scottish Census after the publication of the first results in Releases 1A (December 2012) and 1B (March 2013). Will there be answers or any information revealing links between the financial crisis of 2008, the Eurozone crisis, or anything else of importance with significant results in the census? Will there be more than just figures? The next issue of our Newsletter in October 2013 will feature an updated report on these results of the census.
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54 and social change where the rela