Politicians are under huge pressure, particularly when things are going horribly wrong as they seem to be with England’s efforts to convince the Scots to spurn independence, to say something profound. They rarely become politicians because they are capable of profound thinking however, so in every nation their efforts at being thoughtful often turn out tragicomic. The vote “No” effort is so desperate that it has recruited former Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and John Major, the UK’s most unpopular, failed leaders. They have made it their mission, very late in the contest, to try to convince Scots not to recover their independence. The “No” leaders relied primarily on threats to punish the Scots should they dare to vote for independence. This turned a referendum they were almost sure to win by a wide margin into a PR disaster. Now, with the polls showing that the “No” forces could succeed in snatching defeat from what should have been a decisive victory, they are casting about desperately for some positive reason that will resonate with the average Scot to make her or him want to be a Brit. The anti-independence politicians have tried over a dozen variants of this latest strategy in the last two days (along with a switching from extortion to last minute promises of greater autonomy).
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