On Thursday, September 18, Scottish voters will decide if Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom. Polling shows that the vote is too close to call and the outcome is heavily dependent on workers turning out
The dramatic surge in support for the yes vote has made next week’s referendum on Scottish independence too close to call, prompting a panic across London’s political spectrum that has prompted offers of new political concessions to persuade want-away Scots to stay. But the secessionist impulse is being fueled by long-term economic changes that have left Scotland’s working class increasingly disenchanted with the economic policies of Britain’s major political parties.
Last Monday former Labor Prime Minister Gordon Brown, a Scot, hurriedly announced that, if Scotland remains part of the union, it will get significant new financial powers as well as greater control over its welfare and benefits system. These reforms would be delivered, Brown said, on the basis of an accelerated legislative timetable. “A no vote on 18 September will not be an endpoint but the starting gun for action,” he said. “We are demanding a tight timetable with tough deadlines and streamlined procedures … The alternative to an irreversible separation is a more powerful Scottish parliament.”
The current Prime Minister David Cameron made dire warnings about the consequences of a slit with the UK:
In an emotional speech on his final visit north of the border before polling day, the prime minister warned that a yes vote would end the UK “for good, for ever” and would deprive the Scottish people of a shared currency and pooled pension arrangements.
In a seeming attempt to reach out to voters who might be tempted to support independence to free Scotland from the Tories, Cameron said that he would not be prime minister forever – but a break with the rest of the UK would be permanent.
Mr. Cameron got a little help from British ex-patriot, John Oliver, host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.” Well, almost.
Over the course of the show’s main segment, Oliver looked at the rival political operations, including the “Better Together” campaign’s slogan, “No thanks.” As the host said, “‘No thanks’ is a violently British way to refuse something. That is just one step away from ‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly.'”
Later, Oliver turned to British Prime Minister David Cameron’s feeble attempts to keep the United Kingdom united. “He embodies all of the things I hate most about England,” Oliver said of Cameron, “and I’m English!” Showing a particularly damning photo of Cameron at Oxford, he added, “That is the face of a man who fast-forwards through the servant parts of Downton Abbey.”
Finally, Oliver decided to make his case for Scotland staying with the UK using the kind of grand, sweeping, romantic gesture found in films like Love Actually. Surrounded by bagpipe players and Scotland’s inexplicable official animal, the unicorn, Oliver used written placards to plead, “Don’t go, Scotland!”