This article is from the archive of our partner .

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 – 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.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to