John Oliver Breaks Down the Incredibly Polite Battle for Scottish Independence

"'No thanks' is a violently British way to refuse something," the Last Week Tonight host joked of the anti-independence campaign's slogan.

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As one of our most valuable English imports, John Oliver took time on last night's Last Week Tonight to explain to Americans the Scottish battle for independence. In short: it all sounds very polite.

No, we don't need a Braveheart situation, as Oliver jokingly compared Thursday's vote to. But this is less a spirited war of wit and more "of a 300-year arranged marriage," as Oliver put it. "[And] I will be the first one to acknowledge England has been a little bit of a dick since the honeymoon."

So the duel of campaigns is probably deserved and necessary. But does it have to be so pleasant? Think of the anti-independence movement's slogan: "No thanks."

"'No thanks' is a violently British way to refuse something," Oliver joked. "That is just one step away from 'Oh, I couldn't possibly.'"

One figure who hasn't been particularly polite throughout this is British Prime Minister David Cameron ā€“ who has hardly best represented Scottish interests. So Oliver took the chance to poke fun, including having a laugh at an infamous photo of the PM at Oxford in coat and tails.

"Can we get a close-up on his face?" Oliver asked. "Because that is the face of a man who fast-forwards through the servant parts of Downton Abbey."

Watch the clip above for more of Oliver's thoughts on Cameron, the anti-independence movement's bad commercials, and the UK's potential loss of the Union Jack.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.