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Scotland Ready to Vote On Independence; President Barack Obama Set to Address Central Command; African Startup Pamoja Center; Kerry to Testify on Capitol Hill; Man Kidnapped with Sotloff Speaks; Scotland's Independence Vote Hours Away; "Yes" Vote Has Upper Hand on Social Media; Parting Shots: Edinburgh

Aired September 17, 2014 - 11:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Counting down to history, Scotland less than a day away from a vote that could see it break away from the United Kingdom.

This hour, a live debate on the pros and cons of independence.

Also ahead, the American president on the battle against ISIS. Obama set to speak from U.S. Central Command in Florida any moment. We will

take you there live.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.

ANDERSON: Well, a very good evening from London. And welcome to a special edition of Connect the World from CNN's European broadcast center

where we are less than 15 hours away from what will be one of the most important events in Scottish and British history.

On Thursday, more than 4 million people will decide whether Scotland should stay in the UK or become an independent country.

Well, supporters of the vote yes and vote no campaigns are making their final pitches before the polls open at 7:00 a.m. local time on


The latest opinion polls show a slim majority oppose independence, 50 percent to 45 percent, 5 percent undecided, though the vote really still

too close to call.

Max Foster has been tracking the campaign and joins us now from Edinburgh in Scotland. And all hands on deck in these last few hours.

This is an historic vote, Max. Does the atmosphere where you are reflect that?

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know there's on one sense you feel that you've got to the end of a two year campaign and

a lot of people have heard the arguments in such detail. But at the same time, because of that, and then the final hours of debating this, because

the debates are really open -- really over tomorrow once they go to the polls and the media can't report it in the same way. So it's a last

rallying call, really, and they've wheeled out the big guns.

So, first of all, we can hear from Gordon Brown, who is representing the no campaign and really reenergized that no campaign in the last two

weeks, which is what it really, really needed. It had been very negative up until now.

So this is his final pitch to Scottish voters.


GORDON BROWN, FRM. PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: This is not their flag, their country, their culture, their streets, this is everyone's flag,

everyone's country, everyone's culture and everyone's streets.

And let us know the people of Scotland, that we who vote no love Scotland and love our country. This Scotland of the Enlightenment, and the

Scottish inventors, the Scotland that was the author of the Right to Work here in Glasgow and the right to free health care, the Scotland that helped

build the economic laws of this country, the welfare state of this country, and contributed to the development of international aid.

And you know, all these achievements, and all the more achievements I can mention, these happened not outside the union, but inside the union.

They happened not in spite of the union, but because of the union.


FOSTER: I mean, you've reported a lot on Gordon Brown, haven't you, Becky, as prime minister. It seems so energized on something that's going

to probably define him has been fascinating.

And what he's trying to do is take away this ownership of Scottishness that the yes campaign have really had until now.

ANDERSON: Yeah, fascinating.

All right, we're going to do more on this as we move through this hour with really, just what, 14 odd hours to go.

Make sure to stay with CNN for in depth coverage of this referendum. Coming up in just a few minutes, supporters of both yes and no joining me

for what I assume will be a lively debate over independence. And we'll also take a closer look at some of the key issues surrounding the vote.

And later this hour, we'll show you how social media has been playing a very big role in the campaign for independence.

Right, let's move on, I want to get you onto Iraq today. The U.S. president getting a military briefing on how to degrade and destroy, in

quotes, the Islamist militant group ISIS.

Barack Obama is at U.S. Central Command in Florida as we speak. He is due to speak shortly. And we will bring you that live.

Well, the military briefing comes a day after his top general opened the door to the possibility that U.S. ground troops could again be sent to


Well, meanwhile, the U.S. House debating whether to arm and train so- called moderate Syrian rebels. And authorities say a New York man has been indicted for funding ISIS trying to send jihadist recruits to Syria and

plotting to kill U.S. troops.

Let's get you bang up to date on what is going on. Joining me here in the studio is Faik Nerweyi, the Iraqi ambassador to the UK.

And we have to assume, sir, that we'll be getting more information on Obama's strategy when he speak, not to the nation, but he addresses the

press at least there within this next hour.

Still very few details, it has to be said, on what your Arab neighbors will be doing to step up in order to combat this extremist violence in the

shape of ISIS. Does that disappoint you somewhat in Iraq?

FAIK NERWEYI, IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO THE UK: I think the Arab neighbors have been coming forth. The situation in Syria is not very hopeful, but

the rest have been coming with -- in joining the international coalition.

ANDERSON: Do you think so? We haven't got many details. We know that maybe, or at least one Arab nation may put their planes in the sky,

maybe associated with the airstrikes, no real sense that anybody is going to put boots on the ground. I've just been a little surprised by what it -

- it seems to be this coalition of the unwilling rather than the willing.

NERWEYI: No, I think they are a coalition of the willing. And maybe it is not even required to have Arab countries (inaudible) and bombarding

Iraqi territory, whatever it is, because the president has not been very welcoming this initiative. There are lots of problems in the area to be

resolved before that decision could be clear and useful.

ANDERSON: Barack Obama has said that no U.S. ground troops would be part of the fight, but his top military man has raised that possibility.

Have a listen.


GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe that will

prove true. But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats to the United States, then I of course would go back to the president and make a

recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.


ANDERSON: Does that worry you?

NERWEYI: Yes, I assume that they are now already American troops on the ground. They are helping. They are gathering information. They are

helping in pinpointing the bombardment areas. They are working.

ANDERSON: These are in an advisory capacity, not in the sort of capacity that we are hearing there from Dempsey.

NERWEYI: We do hope -- we do hope if the political situation in Iraq would be put in place and also the consultations of how to start the ground

plan as to how to drive ISIS from the cities of Iraq, then might be we don't need in fact any further military forces, foreign military forces.

ANDERSON: We know that a military solution is simply a Band-aid at this point, that a political solution is the only way forward here. The

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the Iraqi government, and I quote him here, badly needs to get itself together so that it can

represent all of the country.

There are still portfolios without ministers, not least defense and the interior. How is this new government any more inclusive than the last,


NERWEYI: Well, the intention to put everybody on the wagon is there. It's only a technical question that they couldn't agree on the defense

minister --

ANDERSON: Well, tell that to the Kurdish politicians. They're not convinced.

NERWEYI: Well, the Kurdish politicians also they have given them -- given the government three months to solve the urgent questions, for

instance the salaries that -- for the officials which are for the KRG area. And there are some other problems.

ANDERSON: You are absolutely convinced that the government that you represent here in the UK going forward will be an inclusive government, a

government of unity, a government that can provide a political solution on the ground, not a government that has been bullied into place, as some

experts say, by the United States?

NERWEYI: This government is going to be absolutely different than its previous one, that's the prime minister has pledged. We have a new

president, very involved, very careful about keeping the constitution implemented and not violated.

ANDERSON: We wish you the best. Thank you, sir.

NERWEYI: Thank you.

ANDERSON: In the studio today in London where, of course, we are as we gather momentum on this Scottish referendum.

You're watching Connect the World. It's down to the wire with just hours to go before Scotland votes on independence. We break down the

arguments on both sides of the divide. That is coming up.


ANDERSON: Well, in less than 15 hours time, polls open in Scotland for what is an historic independence referendum. And politicians on both

sides, as you can imagine they are scrambling to secure votes.

In the final hours of campaigning, Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond has written an open letter to voters reminding them that they hold

the country's future in their hands.

Well, the latest opinion polls show a slim majority oppose independence. That will be the no vote, 50 percent to 45, 5 percent,

though, undecided.

So that vote is really too close to call.

But Salmond says whatever the result everyone should embrace a festival of democracy.


ALEX SALMOND, FIRST MINISTER OF SCOTLAND: The fact that people are participating in this joyous fashion that they're doing, this festival of

democracy, (inaudible) is a comprehensively magnificent thing. And I think what politicians should be doing instead of being negative about it, like

the no campaign are, is they should be embracing it. And they should be saying, look, how do we make sure that this sort of involvement, this sort

of vitality in politics can continue after the referendum, whatever the result actually.


ANDERSON: Well one of the major concerns for many is how it could affect security and defense. In the UK, some former UK defense chiefs are

warning that Scottish independence will, quote, weaken us all. Isa Soares has more on that angle of the story.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scotland has been a base for UK's nuclear defense for decades, a front line against the USSR during the Cold

War. At the heart of this defense is the $55 billion a year budget and a Trident submarine fleet.

These are four submarines carrying Trident nuclear warheads. They are based in Faslane in the west of Scotland.

But, now prospect of an independent Scotland are raising concerns about the UK's defense capabilities. That's because the leader of the

Scottish National Party says he wants the nuclear submarine fleet packed up and gone from Scottish waters if they gain independence.

MALCOLM CHALMERS, DIRECTOR, UK DEFENCE POLICY, RUSI: In the event of a no vote, I think the UK government would be in a real dilemma to its

nuclear force, because we're about to have orders placed for a new generation of submarines. Those new submarines will probably require some

new infrastructure work in Scotland to be able to support them properly. And I think if the MOD was a private business, then it would be seen to

minimize its risk and look at opportunities to relocate that base in England.

SOARES: It's the concern of senior military figures, too. In an open letter, 14 former armed forces chiefs say breaking up Britain would, quote,

weaken us all.

A yes vote, say British defense chiefs, would also cost billions of dollars and threaten more than 12,000 jobs.

There are around 50 defense sites in Scotland, nearly 10,500 military and 4,000 civilian workers based on Scotland. Moving them would take years

and cost billions of dollars in training.

CHALMERS: Our assessment based on experience in Scotland already is it might take around 12 or 13 years to build a new base in the southwest of

England or new bases, and it would cost something of the order of 3 billion or 4 billion pounds at today's prices.

SOARES: Whether it's the cost or the jobs, one thing is clear, the UK will face an uncertain and testing times if it does have to move Trident.

And Scotland will have reapply to NATO and train and recruit military personnel. And that, many argue, could take decades and leave both

vulnerable to attacks.

Isa Soares, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, CNN the best place for live coverage of the Scottish referendum. Polls open across Scotland 7:00 a.m. local time, that's 10:00

p -- sorry, 7:00 until 10:0 p of course local time. And we will bring you the results as soon as they come. CNN's live coverage starts Thursday at

10:00 p.m. in London.

You're watching Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.

Your world headlines are coming up. First though, after this break, an entrepreneur with a good sole. We're going to tell you about a shoe

company that's getting children off the streets in Uganda. That's next.



INNOCENT BYARUHANGA, FOUNDER, PAMOJA CENTER: My name is Innocent Byaruhanga, the founder of Pamoja Center. Welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Innocent Byaruhanga opened Pamoja Center in 2011 in the slums of Uganda's capital Kampala. It's a center where street

children are often training and a job in making shoes.

BYARUHANGA: What we did was come up with idea that can give skills to these children, both boys and girls, and therefore the boys are -- we came

out with an idea of making shoes. And we said what can we do that people are not doing? What can we do that will attract people to buy? What can

we do in order that will earn us money at the quickest speed at the same time which is very cheap.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With high unemployment rates here in Uganda, Birhanga shares Pamoja's profits with the children and helps them support


BYARUHANGA: We want to use the thing that people don't see that they are valuable.

Number one, Ugandan made. Two, Ugandan owned. Three, made from the thing that people don't see. Four, want to be -- to do something that is

very durable.

What we are doing is not only helping us to get employment for the valuable children, of the children, it's -- we also want to protect the


Basically, our products -- our product starts by getting tires that people have thrown out. We bring them here at our center and then we cut

them, we get the piece from the tire that we are interested in.

So you can now see the show is now coming up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite these shoes being quite beautiful and durable as well, penetrating the Ugandan market has been difficult.

BYARUHANGA: The challenges that we face as a startup company is number one, lack of capital. Number two, we need machines that can be able

to produce shoes and to have the good finish up.

The number three is also (inaudible) of many children who want to get skills from us.

The last one, is connections and getting grants, because if we get like grants to make this work grow big, then it will be an advantage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still, Byaruhanga dreams of a youth driven future.

BYARUHANGA: We want (inaudible) the entire Uganda as a nation.

We want to set up an industry. The young people should be the one to lead. We want to create our own jobs, want to create jobs for the youth,

want to create jobs for former (inaudible) children and also the orphans.



ANDERSON: Well, 14 odd hours and counting until what could be history in the making, that is if the Scots at least decide to break from the


I'm joined by Hamish McDonell, former -- let me start that again, former political editor of the Scotsman Newspaper -- and Ian MacWhirter,

political commentator of the Sunday Herald, the one paper that actually supports independence.

Chaps, thank you for joining us.

Whatever happens Thursday, this is the a most extraordinary exercise in democracy, of course, with 97 percent of those eligible to vote actually

registered to vote.

16 to 17-year-olds enfranchised for the first time. Ian, you're backing the yes vote. In a sentence, sir, why?

IAN MACWHIRTER, SUNDAY HERALD: Well, we took, you know, a considered position on this. We felt it was undemocratic for every single UK and

Scottish newspaper to be opposed to independence. And I think the Sunday Herald's position has been vindicated, because we find now that nearly half

of Scots voters in this extraordinary campaign are now minded to vote yes, that's despite some frankly hysterical comment in the press.

ANDERSON: Hysterical comments in the press, Hamish, from those who do not seek to break away from the UK. And that includes you in a sentence.


HAMISH MCDONELL, FRM. POLTICAL EDITOR, SCOTSMAN NEWSPAPER: Because I think there are just far too many risks. I think there's an awful lot of

people -- yes, the media in general is against independence, but that doesn't mean that they're wrong, it means that what they're doing is that

they're pointing out the huge economic risks that many of us think that we would get if we went through independence, particularly with the currency,

but also in terms of the great weight that the UK has in terms of the world in terms of world trade.

ANDERSON: Yeah, Ian, it is very unclear what currency newly independent Scotland would us, how the UK and Scotland would divide up the

military, for example, where the nuclear submarines Trident would go to. There are many questions, which certainly when you're looking at this from

the outside in look very, very murky.

Why would anybody decides -- sorry, why would anybody decide to vote for a break if the political and economic issues of the day aren't


MCWHIRTER: Well, the position is pretty murky. The future is pretty murky any way you look at it.

I mean, in two year's time there's going to be almost certainly a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union. And at the

moment, it looks like that very well could go towards no, which means that the United Kingdom would be coming out of the EU, which is not something

that anyone wants here in Scotland.

You have to understand, this is after a very long period in which Scots, many of them have felt that they've been governed by a Westminster

government they do not subscribe to, the values of which are alien to Scots political and moral outlook. Remember, there's only one conservative MP in

the whole of Scotland, and yet the conservatives are the government in the United Kingdom.

So you have had a political divergence in the United Kingdom. And I think the best way to resolve that is to allow the Scottish parliament to

have full economic control within the overall wrapping of a United Kingdom.

ANDERSON: Hamish, the no campaign, or better together camp, had a 22 point lead at one stage. Isn't this narrowing in the polls because of the

following: the more the British government weighs in the more Scots are determined not to be dictated to?

MCDONNELL: No, I don't. I actually think that the reason the polls have narrowed is because the yes campaign have done very, very well at

persuading people on the ground. I think their campaign has been an object lesson in how you go about persuading people one to one in community halls

and town halls around the country and you avoid the media and you avoid all the politicians talking at the top. And I think that's where the yes

campaign have really scored a success.

ANDERSON: As the polls have narrowed, it seems the arguments in favor of independence in are more about fairness and social justice than they are

about Scottish nationalism to a certain extent. Would a yes vote be more a defeat for the British government than a victory, do you think, for

Scottish nationalists at this point?

MCWHIRTER: Well, yeah. I mean, I think this is very important, because the vast majority of people who are contemplating voting yes are

not nationalists, would not describe themselves as nationalists. I mean, I'm not a member of the Scottish National Party, never have been. I

wouldn't describe myself as a nationalist at all.

Most Scots, as I kind of indicated earlier would ideally want full economic autonomy within the overall wrapping of a United Kingdom. So

you'd still have maybe currency, overall foreign affairs and defense arranged at United Kingdom level, a bit like you have in America, which

after all has a country with states and a federal democratic system.

It works very well in other parts of the world like Germany, Australia and Canada where these federal systems were actually introduced by the old

British empire. But not here, not here, there's been a centralized control. And I think as Hamish has indicated, the way in which this has

been -- people feel they've been talked down to in Scotland has played very strongly to this yes campaign which is a popular movement. It's not a top-

down movement.

ANDERSON: And it's -- yeah, and it's very interesting, Hamish, isn't it? Even if Scotland were to vote no on Thursday, so much has now been

conceded by the British government so far as devolution max is concerned. But a no vote is sort of independence in all but name to a certain extent

isn't it anyway?

MCDONNELL: Well, I mean, I think that's the irony. I mean, there were a lot of people at the start who were pushing to have that kind of

devo max, or maximum devolution thing put on the ballet paper. And it was the UK government who said no it's going to be a straight independence yes

or no. And I think Ian's right, the majority opinion in Scotland is -- oh, I think it was a huge mistake. If devo max had been put on the ballet

paper, I think that would have won and I think it would have satisfied the majority of Scots who I think, as Ian says, they want to have more

autonomy, but they don't necessarily want to lose those links in terms of the pound and defense and things, and that's where we should be.

And unfortunately we're now in the position where it's going to be independence, which breaks a lot of those bounds, or it's going to be some

kind of higgledy piggledy devolution of thing which people don't quite know what they're voting for and don't know what they're going to get.

ANDERSON: Well, there are 14 hours to make those decisions and an awful love as far as the polls are concerned, undecided voters.

So, listen, good luck. It'll be in a very interesting next 24 hours or so. And perhaps we'll speak again in the hours to come. Both of you,

thank you very much indeed for joining us here on CNN.

We're going to take a very, very short break at this point.

Your headlines follow this.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me Becky Anderson. The top stories this hour.

In less than 15 hours, Scotland heads to the polls to vote on independence. If the referendum passes, it will end the country's 300-year

union with England. Opinion polls suggest it's going to be a very tight race.

The US president has been focused on the Ebola outbreak this week. He says the United States will step up its effort to fight the disease in West

Africa, sending in 3,000 more military personnel to build treatment centers and train medical workers.

Well, he is at US Central Command headquarters as we speak in Florida to get a briefing on the military mission to dismantle and destroy ISIS in

Iraq. Obama expected to speak anytime from now until the top of the hour. We'll bring you that as and when it happens, of course.

And US secretary of state John Kerry is to go before a US House committee investigating the ISIS threat and the US response. Global

Affairs correspondent Elise Labott is with us from Washington with a preview.

And as we await word from President Obama, we're not sure -- we can only assume he's going to talk ISIS. We're not sure whether we'll get any

more details. Anything more from John Kerry as he's been speaking?

ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, I think John Kerry is in the hot seat after yesterday's testimony by the Joint

Chiefs of Staff -- the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, saying that even though the president had laid out that he wouldn't be

sending combat troops, that he would leave himself the possibility of making such a recommendation to the president at some point.

So, Secretary Kerry obviously will be forced to answer questions along the lines of what is exactly the mission? I think the message from this

administration, is this war?


LABOTT: Is it not war? Is it -- what is the strategy, has gotten a little bit muddled. And certainly, Secretary Kerry will be asked to give

an update on who will be in this global coalition that the administration keeps talking about. He just returned from the Middle East, where he was

really kind of putting on his single sales objective, was to get countries for this global coalition --


LABOTT: -- particularly in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, meeting with all those nations.

ANDERSON: That's right, meeting with those nations. We were told through an interview that he was doing with one of the Sunday chat shows

that there was at least one Arab nation prepared to put its jets in the sky, as it were, and conduct air strikes.

We have no more details on that. Should we expect to hear more detail on exactly who it is in this coalition of the willing and inverted comments

from the Arab nation?

LABOTT: I think he's going to speak in very general terms, and I think we need to make the distinction between willing to take part on

airstrikes and will take part in airstrikes. What officials have told me is they do expect the Western nations to take the lead in terms of

airstrikes, but there are Arab nations that are putting up their hands so to speak, saying yes, I'd be willing to take part.

Whether they have the hardware, whether they have the precision targeting remains to be seen. So right now, what the administration is

doing is they have a list of things they need, countries are coming forward saying, I can do this. They're going to try and match what country has the

best resources for their particular need.

I think what they're going to be looking for from those countries in the region in addition to intelligence, in addition to basing and

overflight rights is the aspect of shutting down the flow of foreign fighters, cracking down on the illegal financing that's going to ISIS.

Those kind of things are what I think the US is looking for those countries to do.

Also getting their religious clerics to speak out against ISIS, to condemn the group saying this is really the enemy. And I think the kind of

traditional partners that you would think in Europe, maybe in Australia, they've said they'd take part, those will be the ones doing the kind of

targeting and the military, I would think.

ANDERSON: Yes. More details as we get them on what John Kerry says today and also what the president of the US says. He is due to speak to

soldiers at US Central Command in Tampa in Florida shortly.

Well, new details, now, on the abduction of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by ISIS. A man who was kidnapped with Sotloff

now says US officials never questioned him about the incident, but our Karl Penhaul did.



KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As he wanders through old Istanbul, Yosef Abobaker's mind floats back to the

friend he could not save. Abobaker was a producer, also called "fixer," for US journalist Steven Sotloff. They were kidnapped just inside Syria by

ISIS gunmen in August 2013. Sotloff never made it out alive.

They were just 20 minutes into their drive to Aleppo, Abobaker explains. Three cars were parked by the highway. About 15 gunmen, armed

with assault rifles, leaped out when they saw them approach. He says the gunmen ordered him and Sotloff to cover their eyes.

YOSEF ABOBAKER, JOURNALIST FIXER: They hit him with the gun and say "Close your face. Close it," but in Arabic.

I explained to him, "Steve, close your eyes or they will hit you."

They hit me and say to me, "Shut up. Don't talk English."

PENHAUL: Before working as a fixer, Abobaker said he'd spent a few months fighting in the ranks of the rebel Tawhid Brigade, a moderate

Islamist faction. Shortly after they were snatched, Abu Baker says the gunmen took him to a textile factory on the outskirts of Aleppo.

ABOBAKER: Took us to -- up to a floor inside building, and put everybody in the room alone. After that, I hear one, he told Steve, he

said to him, "Give me your password." Just -- he say to him, "Password." And Steve gave him the password for telephone, for laptop, I don't know.

And after that, I didn't hear the voice of Steve.

PENHAUL: Abobaker, his brother, and cousins, were held for 15 days. He did not see or hear any American or British jihadis.

ABOBAKER: "Do you know who is us?"

I tell them, "I think you are ISIS, Islamic State and Iraq and Sham."

He said, "Yes, you are in Islamic State of Iraq and Sham. Should we kill you because you are a spy, you work with America? With CIA and FBI?

We believe you now because you have these papers, you can go now. But if we hear you are working with journalists again, we will kill you for sure."

PENHAUL: Abobaker said he'd worked safely with scores of other international journalists before Sotloff's abduction. Reporters who knew

him and were consulted by CNN say he was trustworthy. He believes a border guard may have tipped off ISIS.

After he was freed, he says he was never interviewed by any US officials or investigators.

ABOBAKER: No, from the government of American, didn't anyone -- any officer, they didn't contact me and ask me about that, anything about how

were you kidnapped or tried to take any information about my kidnappers or Steve.

PENHAUL: The rebel fighter-turned-fixer learned of Sotloff's execution from the video ISIS posted online September 2nd.

ABOBAKER: You don't have to send any message to the killer. The killer is a killer. But I send message to the world to say it's not really

Islam. They are liars. And I say that to everybody. To all the people. I say they are not Muslims. Don't care about him. They are the enemy.

PENHAUL: Karl Penhaul, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Just ahead, we're going to bring you the latest poll

numbers ahead of Thursday's Scottish independence vote, and I'm going to show you how social media has played a huge campaign in both the "yes" and

"no" campaigns themselves.


ANDERSON: With just hours to go before polls open for the Scottish independence referendum, opinion polls show that the race is still too

close to call. Both camps in the final hours of campaigning trying to sway the undecided voters.

Phil Black joins me now from Downing Street. I know you're with Robin Oakley, there. Your sense from this side of the border as to the concerns,

the atmosphere? What's the story here?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the British government in recent days has tried to play down the degree of fear

or panic that others have accused it of feeling, but perhaps not very convincingly.

Today, the British prime minister admitted that he is nervous. He says like all people who love the United Kingdom, but I think it is fair to

suggest that he is feeling a lot nervous than others because he stands to possibly become Friday morning the prime minister that lost a big part of

that United Kingdom.

Now, of course, that wasn't his plan. Two years ago when he agreed to this referendum, he sought to put this issue to bed once and for all. But

he set the rules, he insisted on a single question, in or out, yes, no, agree to the terms and so forth.

It hasn't really worked out that way. And the opinion polls today are much closer than I think he would have wanted, those two years ago when he

agreed to all of this.

But to discuss all of this, yes, I am joined -- we'd like to bring in now our political contributor, Robin Oakley. Robin, those opinion polls

just 4 percent apart. What must the emotion be like on the other side of Number 10?

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is a mood of blind panic in many ways in Number 10 at the moment, Phil. I hear talk of

gallows humor. And certainly, what Mr. Cameron and his colleagues will be hoping at the moment is you often get in referendums like this a bit of a

swing back towards the status quo at the very last minute.

In Quebec, 1995, the independence supporters thought they had it in the bag, and in the end, a margin of about four points in the polls were

swung around on election day and Quebec didn't vote for independence. David Cameron will be desperately hoping the same happens here.

BLACK: It's a remarkable change, though, isn't it? Because I think two years ago, they were confident of securing a big win that would put

this issue to bed. Now, they're just hoping for any win, no matter how narrow.

OAKLEY: I think Westminster politicians in both major parties had played it wrong for a long time. They used to argue that if they gave the

Scots their own assembly, the Scottish Assembly, that would buy off the whole idea of nationalism.

Instead, it has fed it steadily, and Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party, the leader of the Scottish government, one of the

wiliest, cleverest politicians in the whole of the British Isles, he's played it superbly, because he's managed to get the Scottish government

blessed for everything that's gone right in Scotland, and Westminster is still blamed, the other major parties, for everything that's gone wrong.

But of course, it's not only David Cameron who's to blame, the Labour Party has a massive support in Scotland. They've seen many of their

supporters move over to the Scottish Nationalists and to the independence cause. And their leader, Ed Miliband, has been a mere cipher in this


BLACK: Britain's international standing, one way or another, regardless of the vote, it stands to change as a result of this, because

come Friday morning, whether it's a yes or a no, this is going to be a country significantly involved looking inward with major constitutional

change. That's going to affect the role it can play on the world stage.

OAKLEY: Yes. David Cameron as prime minister and other leading figures, they're going to be digging around in the entrails of the British

constitution. If it's a yes vote, massive questions to be settled about the future trident, whether Scotland is allowed to keep the pound, issues

like that.

But even if there's a no vote, the promises they've made of greater powers going to the Scottish Assembly, they're going to be fought by many

MPs in the Westminster parliament who want to see concessions for England, too.

It's all going to be an internal focus, and allies of Britain who, like the United States, who want Britain to be playing a big part in the

fight against ISIS and other key questions in the outer world, they're going to find Britain is much too concerned with its own affairs to be as

significant figure as they would like.

BLACK: And looking a little further ahead, if Scotland -- if there is a yes and there is a return to conservative government at the next election

just over a year away, then in that case, we're looking at another referendum on whether to stay in or to leave the European Union. That's

more looking inward, and it is a result that is more likely to vote in favor of an exit without Scotland.

OAKLEY: Almost certainly so, yes. The Scots have tended to be more pro-EU than the rest of the United Kingdom. So, yes, that problem will

continue. David Cameron is unpopular in his own party for not being sufficiently euro-skeptic.

If we do get a referendum on the European Union at the moment, the odds are that Britain would vote to pull out of that, and that's going to

upset a lot of people in the rest of the world, too.

BLACK: Robin, thank you very much. So, Becky, so much at stake here. Domestically, huge changes for Britain either way. But also potentially

for Britain's role in the world, and that will obviously have international ramifications as well.

ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. All right, Phil, thank you for that. Well, while opinion polls show that the vote is too close to call, the

"Yes" campaign looks to be in the lead, at least, on social media.

I want to discuss that with Carl Miller. He's the co-founder and research director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos.

Exciting times for you, not least because you have suggested this it he first true social media election in the UK. That surprises me, because

2010 must have been a fairly decent social media campaign or election, wasn't it?

CARL MILLER, CENTRE FOR THE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MEDIA: Of course it was, and we've seen the kind of rise of social media as a new political

forum for quite some time. But this one, I think, would really have social media at its very heart.

It's been the beating heart of the debate, it's been one of the key ways in which the campaigns have tried to get new voters and reach those

crucial undecided ones. And it's also been the main way, really, that we've seen both the campaigns actually throwing insults and debating with

each other.

ANDERSON: Let's have a look at the trends map we've got here. Because this certainly shows that the yes vote is trending across Scotland,

no doubt it is. At one point, the Better Together, or "No" campaign was ahead by as much as 22 points in the polls. Clearly social media, as you

say, playing a big role. Why, do you think?

MILLER: Well, it's important to say that the yes vote has historically had a lead on social media, so there's no direct link between

social media and the polls, right? So, the "No" campaign has been ahead in the polls almost since the very beginning.

Now, really, over the last weeks, we've actually seen the "No" campaign actually rally on social media, too. So, we see them clawing back

some of that lost ground.

ANDERSON: What are people saying on social media? What's the discourse?

MILLER: Well, I think the really important truth, which we've really seen emerge in this campaign, and it's two very important echo chambers

have emerged. So, on the map behind you there a second ago, you saw #VoteYes, and there's also #VoteNo.

And these hash tags, these ways of annotating tweets have already caused kind of two quite hived-off sections to emerge, people supporting

either side of this debate. And what has actually happened is that people have started only encountering and throwing over points and information

which support their side of it.

So, we've seen this debate turn nastier and nastier in the last few days, and I think social media is really fueling that. It's kind of put

convincing people and persuading them that their side is more and more right. It's kind of removing uncertainty from the debate, and only for

people who already think one side or another. It's kind of making them think that even more and more.

ANDERSON: There are some undecided voters, if the polls are to be believed, to the tune of about 5 percent. How might social media make a

difference to how those people vote? Is it going to be the king-maker, do you think, here?

MILLER: It may well be one of the coronation platforms, that's right. So, we know that the best way in which you can change someone's vote is by

getting to them through their social networks. That's why getting volunteers out on the streets and on social media has been such a key part

of both the campaign strategies.

Now, really, in these last few hours we can see both the campaigns urging their foot soldiers into social media, spreading the messages and

the arguments that they want through the followers that everyone has on Twitter and Facebook to really persuade the people in each person's social

network that voting one way or the other is the right way.

ANDERSON: I don't think we should be surprised by the engagement by and on social media. I think it's such an emotional thing, this vote, that

I can see why, to a certain extent, perhaps it's more of a social media election than any before. For that, we thank you very much, indeed, for

joining us.

MILLER: Thank you.

ANDERSON: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, we've seen the political fighting over Scotland. Now, we'll

take you on a tour of the capital and show you a very different side. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: We are counting down to that historic Scotland vote in today's Parting Shots, and our wee Scottish producer on CONNECT THE WORLD

with me, Becky Anderson, Nicol Nicolson, takes a look at the global appeal of Scotland's capital, Edinburgh.



NICOL NICOLSON, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): Independence for Scotland is a highly-contentious issue. Edinburgh's status as a dynamic, modern

capital isn't really up for debate. Power has had a home here in one form or another for more than five and a half centuries.

It was certainly boosted by the establishment of a devolved Scottish parliament in 1999, but when I arrived here as a student the previous year,

I was in no doubt that this was a city with a global outlook and a global reputation.

Here you can find the world's biggest arts event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe shifted 2 million tickets this year. That's 4 tickets for

every person who lives here. And the cultural legacy doesn't stop there. UNESCO's first-ever City of Literature gave the world Sherlock Holmes, Long

John Silver, and even Harry Potter.

Non-fiction has had just as big an influence. David Hume's "Treatise of Human Nature" and Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" epitomized the

intellectual outpouring of the Scottish enlightenment. And Edinburgh's academic reputation lives on. I could see it in the multicultural makeup

of my lecture theaters 15 years ago.

As the craziness of the referendum campaign reaches fever pitch, I will, as always, find room for contemplation in Edinburgh's world-class

open spaces. There's nowhere better to reflect on its architecture, its institutions, and its influence. Independent or otherwise, this is a

capital with class.


ANDERSON: Yes, it is. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for watching.