U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a plaintive lament worthy of a Scottish dirge as the British government escalates its campaign to keep Scotland part of the U.K.
"We matter more in the world together," Cameron said in a speech on Friday, ahead of a referendum on Scottish independence in September which could end more than three centuries of Scotland as part of the U.K. The loss of Scotland would "deeply diminish" the U.K., he argued.
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But will Cameron's plea be enough to woo the third of Scots who have yet to make up their mind on independence?
Cameron, an Old Etonian and the son of a millionaire, is perceived as out of touch and upper class in Scotland, where his Conservative Party has only one member of parliament.
In contrast, Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party who has spearheaded the referendum campaign, is a popular figure whose party won the most Scottish votes in the last election.
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Wary of interfering too closely, the British government has until now been content to let Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer under the last Labour government, lead the campaign against the referendum.
Yet there are concerns that the "No" campaign has not been rousing enough after a recent poll, conducted by researcher, revealed that the "Yes" campaign had gained ground.