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Are Scottish Nationalists voting for Judy Murray to undermine Strictly Come Dancing? Better Together's latest brainwave: 'Listen peasants, clever people are voting No!' Look!

Better Together's latest brainwave: 'Listen peasants, clever people are voting No!'

SCIENCE says VOTE NO! I’ve just received the worst political press release I’ve had in quite a while. It’s from the Better Together campaign against Scottish independence. Here’s a taste: NEWS FROM BETTER TOGETHER: NEW POLL – EXPERTS BACK A NO VOTEA new, authoritative poll has shown that academic experts from across Scotland’s universities have overwhelmingly said No Thanks to separation.The Times Higher Education Referendum poll had more than 1,000 responses, which were verified to have all come from academics with ac.uk email address.The poll found that 54% of academics were voting No, compared to 40% voting for separation.It goes on to quote no less a figure than Professor Hugh Pennington, Emeritus Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, saying that independence would be bad.

Nigel Farage to stage anti-independence rally days before Scottish referendum. There are fears Mr Farage's message clashes with attempts to win over wavering Labour voters and Left-leaning Scots – a key battleground in the independence debate.

Nigel Farage to stage anti-independence rally days before Scottish referendum

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said last week he had "no plans" to involve Ukip in the pro-UK campaign, adding he would "certainly not embrace them" in any way. A Better Together spokesman distanced themselves from Mr Farage yesterday, saying: "As we have stated on a number of occasions, Ukip are not a part of our campaign. " A return visit from Mr Farage so close to the independence vote on September 18 represents something of a wild card in the run-in, given previous experiences. How the sight of a podgy, naked Alan Bissett convinced me there's no hope for an independent Scotland.

Alan Bissett: could lose a pound or ten (Photo: Rex) I have this Left-wing friend called Tom.

How the sight of a podgy, naked Alan Bissett convinced me there's no hope for an independent Scotland

He's a good egg, even if he is wrong about pretty much everything. A few months ago when I arrived in London he asked if I'd like to see some feminist theatre. Damn right I would. I was fully prepared to spend the evening in a dark room listening to an attractive young woman tell me that I'm the reason puppies get run over sometimes. Scottish independence: Who has put the Union in jeopardy? It’s time David Cameron showed Scots that England does care. David Cameron in Ayr.

It’s time David Cameron showed Scots that England does care

(Photo: PA) Tory indifference and Labour infighting have made heavy work of the pro-Union campaign David Cameron will resign if he loses Scotland. A Prime Minister who allows the break-up of the United Kingdom cannot suffer such a statement of no confidence and continue in office. British have invaded nine out of ten countries - so look out Luxembourg. The analysis is contained in a new book, All the Countries We've Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To.

British have invaded nine out of ten countries - so look out Luxembourg

Stuart Laycock, the author, has worked his way around the globe, through each country alphabetically, researching its history to establish whether, at any point, they have experienced an incursion by Britain. Only a comparatively small proportion of the total in Mr Laycock's list of invaded states actually formed an official part of the empire. The remainder have been included because the British were found to have achieved some sort of military presence in the territory – however transitory – either through force, the threat of force, negotiation or payment.

Incursions by British pirates, privateers or armed explorers have also been included, provided they were operating with the approval of their government. Margaret Curran's doubts over Scottish devolution. Was George Osborne really the best person to send to win over Scotland? Mr Osborne's arguments presented today about the economic issues surrounding Scottish independence are for the most part very well made and quite right.

Was George Osborne really the best person to send to win over Scotland?

The question arises, however: why has Mr Osborne been chosen to make them? There are two problems. First, Mr Osborne is Chancellor of the Exchequer at a time of grave economic crisis, and as so often, one wishes that he would focus on running the economy rather than embarking on an excursion into areas that he hardly understands.

The bigger problem is this: certainly Mr Osborne has powerful arguments to make about Scotland, but why allow him to articulate them? Scottish independence: a history of Anglo-Scottish rivalry. Braveheart (1995) Starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace.

Scottish independence: a history of Anglo-Scottish rivalry

Britain's enemies will 'exploit Scottish independence to cut UK power' Separate Scotland would have 'paltry' defence budget. While the SNP has insisted a separate Scotland’s annual defence budget would be around £2.5 billion, Mr Williams said defence spending in similar-sized small countries like Norway suggest it would be between £1.7 billion and £2 billion.

Separate Scotland would have 'paltry' defence budget

“This would make Scotland among the smallest defence spenders in Europe. While it is possible for many nations in northern Europe to run on small budgets, this discounts the significant start-up costs and independent Scotland will incur,” he told the Commons defence select committee. Alex Salmond turns Scottish Cabinet tour into independence drive. Opposition parties said the unique response showed SNP ministers were intent on using the tour as a campaign to drum up support for separation ahead of the independence referendum in 2014.

Alex Salmond turns Scottish Cabinet tour into independence drive

The Catholic Church and the Free Church of Scotland said the number of questions about gay marriage showed what people were most concerned about. Cameron may have to act if Salmond continues stalling. The official statement said that he will no longer be the First Minister’s senior special adviser and, as such, a temporary civil servant.

Cameron may have to act if Salmond continues stalling

Instead he is to become the SNP’s “director of strategic communication” and in charge of the Nats’ referendum campaign. But, although he won’t now be paid by the taxpayer – not directly anyway – the idea that his role will change in any shape or form is entirely risible. He will continue doing what he’s always done and that is to run the SNP’s spin machine which, thanks to the politicisation of St Andrew’s House, is now indistinguishable from that of the Scottish Government. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and David Cairns: intolerance, ignorance and betrayal. The newly appointed Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia (left) and the late David Cairns MP Hiring the right people is tricky for big organisations at the best of times. If you’re a big organisation in the public eye which attracts strong feelings, it’s trickier still. Not only do you have to pick people who can present themselves properly to the outside world, you have to be on the lookout for potential infiltrators and troublemakers.

Whether it’s foreign governments trying to put their people into British intelligence agencies or rival political parties trying to smuggle their agents into each others’ HQs, or companies at risk of corporate espionage, major institutions must be ever wary. Yet another change in SNP terminology. And if you can find me a Scot who’s still in favour of the Euro, I shall buy him, or her, a pint … or, sorry, a half litre. There is a myth that’s put about by my Nat friends that we Scots like Europe much more than do our English neighbours. It’s rubbish; we’re as suspicious of the EU’s controlling instincts as are the English but the Nats like to pretend differently for the simple reason that they think it gets the principal EU countries, like Germany and France, on the side of an independent Scotland. Oh yes, and all that stuff about the “Auld Alliance” with France; well, after 20 years of holidays in rural France, I’ve yet to find a Frenchman who’s heard of it.

Scotland isn't a beacon of freedom. Its support for gay marriage is just another excuse to pry into private lives. Scotland has been praised for fast-tracking gay marriage legislation Something about the praise being heaped on Scotland this morning doesn’t add up. The Scottish Parliament is being hailed as brave and liberal and “committed to freedom and equality” for its decision to fast-track the legalisation of gay marriage. Liberal? Committed to freedom? Alex Salmond turns Scottish Cabinet tour into independence drive. Scottish Labour has fight ahead for Glasgow as rampant SNP circles. Alex Salmond threatened to 'sabotage' any attempt by Westminster to hold a referendeum on Scottish independence. Alex Salmond: Scotland could be independent by 2016.