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Wings Over Scotland

Audience participation

Posted on August 22, 2012 by

We note with micro-interest that the Unionist parties have today announced their preferred question for the independence referendum – a policy they all strenuously opposed at the election, in which they were overwhelmingly defeated. And unusually for this blog, as a result we find ourselves having something in common with the “No” camp, because nobody gives a toss what we think the question should be either.

Bearing that in mind, we invite readers to suggest their own proposed question. We’ll gather up all the best ones at the end of the day and send them to the Electoral Commission, in case they’d like to scrutinise them.

Courtesy of the sadly-deceased CalMerc, here’s an example to get you started.

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    1. 24 08 12 10:28

      Great Responses | A.D. Quig

    76 to “Audience participation”

    1. Embradon says:

      “Do you agree that it would be a sin to tear Scotland, screaming, from the breast of Mother Union”

    2. Cuphook says:

      Do you agree that to SEPARATE Scotland from the loving heart of the great UNITED KINGDOM is an insult to the memory of Princess Diana?

    3. Juteman says:

      Do you want to stay in the family values Union, or separate into a fascist, communist dictatorship ruled by Chairman/Comrade Salmond, where pies will be banned?

    4. McHaggis says:

      “You need our subsidies. Tick box below to confirm you are too poor, too wee and too stupid. Otherwise, we bomb your airports.”

      (please note no-one from Orkney or Shetland need vote as we already know they want to stay with us jolly fair Westminster politicians) 

      1 – Yes, I am too poor, wee and stupid please don’t bomb our airports  
      2 – Goto 1

    5. Rolf says:

      Would you rather have Alex Salmond as King or all of the following? The Queen, your health, your safety, all your money, your job, your house, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and all Chris Hoy’s gold meals, victory in World War II.
      Options: 1 Alex Salmond as King; 2 All the thoroughly good, exclusively British stuff.

    6. mato21 says:

      Do you agree that we should continue to disagree with the people of Scotland many of whom   agree but may disagree  to remove the troughs from under our snouts by Separating the cream from the milk of human kindness  

    7. DuineBochd says:

      Do you disagree to the agreement of a joint United Kingdom. Or do you agree to to the disagreement of the United Kindgom?

      1 – Agree
      2 – Disagree

    8. Training Day says:

      Foulkes’ preferred question:

      1.  Do you want to wrench Scotland out of the United Kingdom?

      2.  And do you want to do it DELIBERATELY?

      First post on your great blog, Stu – keep up the good work.         

    9. DougtheDug says:

      Should the thousand year old nation of Britain be torn asunder by an Il Duce lookalike and his henchmen?

      Do you want your future children fleeing to freedom across the Tweed carrying only their meagre porridge rations as the dark forces of the SNP ravage Scotland?

      From Henry the II to good Queen Bess and Churchill this country has stood alone across the centuries. Do you want to leave and be invaded by foreign forces?

      Lord Jim Wallace has a good life with a pension, a seat in the House of Lords to park his arse and a flunkey serving him tea. Do you want to take it all from him and make him cry with your silly Scottish nonsense?

      Are you so mean that you’d put 41 Scottish Labour MP’s on the street. Begging, unemployable and desperate after years of massive expense accounts and no work. Is that what you want? Is that what you really want? Is your narrow nationalism that mean?

    10. Rolf says:

      Do you want to melt down all Team GB’s gold medals in order to make a crown for King Alex Salmond?
      Yes – I am a separatist extremist insurgent terrorist
      No – God save the Queen

    11. H Scott says:

      Gonnae no dae that…gonnae no?

    12. YesYesYes says:

      As a separatist, do you really want wee sausage rolls to become a distant relic of a British golden age?
      Maybe: I’m a bridie-man myself (hic). 

    13. Jeannie says:

      I think the Unionists might find the following question acceptable:
      Do you agree to being forcibly wrenched asunder from our greatest, all-time, best mates and equal partners in a flourishing economy and greatest Empire the world has ever known, which commands respect and envy the world o’er, especially in the former colonies and, instead, be condemned for evermore to fight for survival in a Third World hellhole where your starving children cry themselves to sleep everynight, your women walk the streets in fear of their very lives while trying to earn an honest crust, your pensioners lie screaming in agony, neglected by an uncaring Scottish NHS, your sons and daughters are illiterate, obese and out of control, your men are reduced to drunken wife-beaters with low self-esteem and no self-respect with a life-span of only 40 years, while the rest of the world spits on you and looks upon you only with vile contempt.
      1.  Agree
      2.  Disagree

    14. Theuniondivvie says:

      Would you like to see some puppies?

    15. Rolf says:

      Jeannie: you just copied yours from the Bitter Together leaflet, right? 🙂

    16. UkFacepalm says:

      Q. Have you ever been divorced ? You lose everything. Your partner sucks the last drop of life-blood from you. The kids blame you and hate you. Your friends pity you. The lawyers empty your bank-account. Kiss the big 3 bedroom semi-detached and garage goodbye, say hello to a tiny rented 1 room flat. That BMW is traded down to a 10 yr old Nissan Sunny. And then you have to start all over again. With NOTHING.
      So, do you agree or disagree that Scotland should divorce from the UK ?
      A. I agree / I disagree (delete as appropriate)

    17. steve mckay says:

      do you want to know what it is?
      westminster is everywhere, it is all around us – even now in this very room
      you can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television
      you can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes
      it is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth, that you are a slave jocko
      like everyone else you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch
      a prison for your mind
      unfortunately no one can be told what westminster really is – you have to see it for yourself
      this is your last chance, after this there is no turning back
      you take the red white and blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe
      you take the tartan pill you stay in wonderland and we show you how deep the financial hole goes
      remember, all were offering is the truth, nothing more
      follow me

      – and remember i’ll be wantin the wee pencil back efter yev voted

    18. Hearts Upwards says:

      Do you want England to keep supporting the Scotland team abroad or not? WELL DO YOU?

    19. DougtheDug says:

      Do you want to break up the most successful country in the world ever and have the burden of oil resources drag an independent Scotland into the financial abyss where anyone one with any sense will head south for an English passport along a trail of tears littered with discarded shortbread tins, deep fried pizza, broken needles and soiled saltires. Or do you want to stay North British and let Westminster shoulder the burden of the oil as a magnanimous favour to North Britons?

    20. steve mckay says:

      or an alternate ending for the Yes campaign…..

      this is your last chance, after this there is no turning back
      you take the red white and blue pill, the story ends, they really are bitter together and the overdose will have killed you
      you take the tartan pill you stay in wonderland and we show you how fast the oil well flows
      remember, all were offering is the truth, nothing more

    21. Macart says:




    22. YesYesYes says:

      Are you now or have you ever been a separatist? 

    23. Marcia says:

      Do you really want to force unemployment on Westminster politicians? Think of their weans and hangers on. Also the poor bankers in London who bleed Scotland dry. Do you really want them not to have their £££m bonuses each year.



    24. James Morton says:

      Do you agree with the statement – this far and no further

      1. Yes
      2. Yes

    25. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Do you agree that certain unionist scots who lie to their own people should face trial for treason?

      What about Lord Wallace of Tinkerbell land last night? What a feckin moron!     

    26. Doug says:

      Would you agree that separation is terribly disagreeable and that to disagree with the wanton destruction great historical agreement that is the Union would be rather more agreeable?  By agreeing you agree to our terms and conditions *

      1. Agree
      2. Disagree
      3. Ill defined 3rd option **

      * Terms and conditions are none of your business.  By asking, you are clearly a separatist stooge.
      ** Details available during the Hades Winter Season

    27. YesYesYes says:

      Do you agree that, even though you’ve never voted for the Tories in your lifetime, it’s worth putting up with them for another 40 years and accepting the inevitability of being regularly disenfranchised, because Labour is in coalition with them now, so the Tories can’t be that bad, can they?
      Yes (And I’ve thought of a cunning way round this. I’m going to spare myself the humiliation of being disenfranchised again at the next British general election by voting Tory for the first time)
      No (I don’t mind being regularly disenfranchised at British general elections. It’s a small price to pay to save British democracy)

    28. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      I wish everyone woud stop putting:-

      – I agree

      – I disagree

      as it is nothing but another ploy to improve the No camps chances.

      Pro Campaigners are saying Vote YES

      Anti Campaigners are saying Better Together as they are afraid to say NO.

      They dont want to see the word YES on the ballot as they feel it would remind people of the Pro Independence campaign so by getting the answers as I agree – I disagree they hope to remove that advantage.

    29. Doug says:

      @Scott Minto.

      I, er, concur.  A straight YES/NO question is clearest and simplest.  I actually see nothing wrong with the original proposed question and have long since been of the view that the question itself isn’t of huge importance.

    30. Doug says:

      Which is to say – I doubt that many people will change deeply held views for/against independence based on a subtle phrasing difference.

    31. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


      Yes, I concur with your concordance.

      You would really have to be quite thick to go into a voting booth and go:

      “I was going to vote no but they’re asking if I agree and I dont want to be a loner so I’ll vote yes to stay with the crowd…”

      I have no problem with:

      Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes / No

    32. Jeannie says:

      @Scott Minto
      Yes, it does make you wonder – if the Unionists are as sure as they say they are of getting a majority “No” vote, why are they obsessing over the wording of the question to the extent of commissioning three experts to devise an alternative question?  I can only conclude that they’re much less confident than they’ve been saying.  Perhaps their actions speak louder than their words!

    33. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      They also want to change the word Country to State in their question also, but if you ask “the man in the street” they may not be clear on what you mean by state (As a direct result of things like the United States etc…)

      BUT if you ask them what a country is, they would nail that definition straight off the bat!

    34. Macart says:

      Do you really want to relocate a nuclear arsenal into the back yard of yer best bud?



    35. pa_broon says:

      Still thinking of a question…

      Noticed in the Scotsman peice a senior unionist source has said:

      “The two significant differences are it gets rid of the ‘Do you agree’ question and it says state rather than country. It’s also getting away from the Yes/No wording by using I agree/I disagree.
      “The important thing is this is independent experts suggesting this way forward. It will give people confidence there is not some trickery.”

      I for one will sleep soundly in the knowledge that if we were to heed the words of unionist politicians in the matter being discussed, there would be no trickery involved because as we know, only nationalist politicians are capable of such behaviour.

    36. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Do you agree or disagree with the separatists that an agreement to separate and be an independent state will cause much disagreement on the state of the state as it pertains to the Union?



      WTF did you just say (Counts as spoiled ballot) 

    37. Jeannie says:

      @ Scott Minto
      I agree with that.  The word “state” could imply a federal arrangement, that is, a state within a larger country, similar to the USA.  However, we often hear the word used in the media to describe countries in a negative way, e.g. describing somewhere as “a rogue state” or  “a lawless state”  I would not trust the Unionist media not to misuse this term in the run-up to the referendum in the hope of influencing the vote.

    38. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


      “we often hear the word used in the media to describe countries in a negative way, e.g. describing somewhere as “a rogue state” or  “a lawless state”  I would not trust the Unionist media not to misuse this term in the run-up to the referendum”

      That is an excellent point and one that proves that the word State is unsuitable for the question posed given that it has multiple connotations

    39. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Do you agree that Scotland should continue to be too poor, too wee too stupid and do you wish to continue eating wee sausage rolls whilst walking yer wee dug while Scotland continues to bathe in the glory of knowing it is the nuclear centre of the universe with nuclear submarines on both sides of the country leaking nuclear waste into our nations waters.
      Maybe’s AYE
      Maybe’s NAW
      Maybe’s I’m no sure
      Can you repeat the question please. (I was too busy eating my wee sausage roll and taking my wee dug for a walk next to the nuclear submarines to hear your question properly.)

    40. Jeannie says:

      @Scott Minto
      And just to totally contradict myself, I’ve found myself singing along to Donna Summer’s “State of Independence” -maybe, with this as a theme song, it could be a more effective word than first thought!

    41. wulie says:

      Do you agree or disagree that all unionist MP,s and members of the house of lords should be banned for ever from holding any public office in Scotland after independence
      1 Totally agree
      2 Absolutely agree

    42. William T says:

      Do you wish to remain as a loyal lapdog to your Westminster master with the occasional rubbing of the belly being told you’re a “good boy” and “we love you, yes we do”? Or do you wish to be taken out into the countryside and let off the leash to find your own way in the world?

    43. Michael says:

      Scotland could be an independent country – we know that you know we’re just saying this because we can’t say it can’t anymore because that would look like we were insulting our fellow country people but say for argument that we weren’t just saying this stuff but actually believed it would you say that your were in favour or against separate, separatist, separation, always remembering that the oil is definitely running out, 100% absolutely running out and anyway it all belongs to Shetland and the oil companies, and beer in Norway costs £450 a pint?



    44. nico says:

      Do you wish to join the United Kingdom of Scotland, France, Ireland and Quebec ?

    45. Juteman says:

      We have all had a laugh, but there is a serious side to this.
      This cabal knew full well that the Electoral Commision had stated that they would only deal with the Scottish Governments question.
      How much tax-payers money has been spent on this No propaganda?
      Isn”t it illegal for the UK government to do this during an independence campaign? 

    46. peter says:

      do you and yer maw, agree that if scotland becomes an indpendent state, your dad will leave your mum.

    47. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      My response on the guardian:

      The panel chosen were no doubt experts but they were steered to a conclusion by Lord Wallace and Michael Moore.

      That conclusion is to include the word “State” instead of “Country” and have the options to choose from “I agree” and “I disagree”, coupled with the term become rather than be.

      The problem is that if you ask the average Joe in the street they may need clarification of what it is that is meant by “State”.

      Is this supposed to mean a “State” as in a political entity, or is it a “state” as in the United States (Florida, Texas, Arizona) or German States??? Is this a question on further devolution in a federal set up or is it a question on becoming a Nation State.

      The word “Country” on the other hand has no such problems when you ask joe public. Everyone understands the concept of an independent country.

      Then there is the answer – I agree; I disgree
      Its a bit strange as you read it… for instance if you were to ask yourself the question:

      Should I have a Haggis Supper?

      I agree / I disagree

      It doesnt sit right in English, so why choose that option?

      Well it more likely has its roots int he “Better Together” campaigns insistence on refusing to call themselves the NO campaign.

      The Pro Independence Campaign calls itself YES SCOTLAND and is campaigning for a YES VOTE.

      Its fair to say that the Unionists dont want the word YES associated anywhere near that ballot.

      ANd finally there is that bothersome term “become” which implies that the process is over time and not at all the same as the use of “be” whereby the voter is choosing to confirm that Scotland should be independent immediately, no confusion on timing.

      In conclusion, this question is far worse than the “Cognitive Chute” question of the Scottish Government.

      So to clear it up here goes:

      Should Scotland be an Independent Country? Yes / No

    48. Do you Scots really want to put 60 odd Scottish Westminster MP’s (and their hangers on) out on the streets to work for a living by breaking up the Union?

      Yes, Too damn right!

      No – the poor we lambs ….. that would be very hurtful

      Don’t know – who you are talking about … what is it they do exactly ….

    49. Andrew says:

      @H Scott

      How no? 

    50. pa_broon says:

      Just found this on the BBC:

      “It was confirmed today after an expert panel appointed by unionist politicians produced their preferred question for the Independence referendum in 2014 that the SNP have performed a shock u-turn on the nature of the question they now want to ask.

      A senior unionist spokesperson said “As we’ve known for a long time the nationalists have been running scared from the onslaught of reasonable argument and discourse coming from our side, its not surprising they are on the run.”

      In what has been described as another sensational scoop by Herald Political correspondent Magnus Gardham, he claimed “Its no surprise really, the SNP are so desperate for a Yes in 2014 they’ll stoop to any level…”

      When pressed for details of the question Gardham became cagey but eventually, with a depth of solemnity and breadth of honesty he revealed, “The SNP’s new preferred question will be, ‘does a bear shit in the woods?’…”

    51. meljomur says:

      Do you want to spend the rest of your life drinking Irn Bru and eating deep fried Mars bars, while the lazy, bloated public sector brings the country down to third world status because your oil is running out, and what you do have is really in English waters and doesn’t belong to you?

    52. Davy says:

      The question should be :

      Scotland what do you want to eat your STOVIES with ?

      a. oatcakes.

      b. muffins.       

    53. Juteman says:

      Sorry Davy.
      Most folk know stovies are better with a pitta bread.
      BTW, is that corned beef stovies(with onions), or leftover stew stovies?

    54. William T says:

      What type of sausage do you want on your roll?

      1.  What do mean? 

      2.  Lorne

    55. DougtheDug says:

      Do you want to be thrown out of TeamGB and have to watch Scottish Athletes staggering round the track and coughing their way into last place in some hideous tartan tracksuit while happy Britons stand proudly as the Union Jack is hoisted for Gold Medal after Gold Medal and TeamGB football team crushes all before it?

    56. bill says:

      Scotland, do you want to be the only country in history, when given a chance of independence, actually be too wee, too poor and too afraid to step into the known certaintity of a sovereign self governing dignified state.


    57. Elizabeth says:

      Should Scotland separate from the United Kingdom and be re-named Armageddon? 

    58. uilleam_beag says:

      Quhit’s rang wi:-




    59. KOF says:

      Do you believe it’s not butter together?

      1 – Moo

      2 – Baa 

    60. sm753 says:

      Well, ho ho and thrice ho folks, but don’t the SNP have question questions to answer too?
      How come we were first presented with “negotiate a settlement so that Scotland becomes an independent state”, and that was ditched?
      How come we next had “extend the powers of the Scottish Parliament so that independence could be achieved”, and that was ditched?
      How come we now have “agree that Scotland should be an independent country”?
      Why has “agree” appeared in the question, and “state” vanished? Are people trying to con us? Can’t they even do a decent, consistent job of it?

    61. James Morton says:


      And what’s your point?..seems to me you described a process which all broadly agree that Scotland should become independent. The referendum is not the end of the Journey, it’s only the beginning. There is a lot to sort out afterwards, and I would agree with an earlier comment made on this site that it would most likely be 2020 before any historic papers are signed.

      It’s a big deal ending 300 years of Union, it’s not something that can be rushed can it?

      I mean honestly, if you had wanted to direct events leading to a referendum, why didn’t you do it in 2007? Why vote it down and swagger about as if you had acheived something of great note, Only to lose again in 2011, and realise that the horse had already bolted from the stable.
      Now you have the arrogance to demand the referendum be held immediately when clearly you had no intention of allowing it in 2007? You compound this arrogance with thinking you have the right to set any terms you so wish.

      Honestly, you’d think that Labour had won in 2011 and no the SNP, and was now being bounced into doing something it doesn’t want to do.

      The referendum is still a ways to go and your increasingly looking like you are all talk and no trousers. And Cameron clearly doesn’t want to be the one taking the heat for you.

    62. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Well, ho ho and thrice ho folks, but don’t the SNP have question questions to answer too?”

      Nope. They’re a majority government and they can put any question they like to the people.

    63. Roll_On_2014 says:

      I see nothing wrong with the question already outlined by the SG.


    64. Ananurhing says:

      Does you’s agree you’re too wee, too poor, and too stupid to be left on your own?

      1- Aye

      2- Aye right

      3- Ah dinnae ken.

      This could be misconstrued as all 3 options begin with aye.           

    65. Dal Riata says:

      Is sm753:

      a. A troll?
      b. Michael McKeown?
      c. Both a. and b.? 

    66. charlie says:

      That David Cameron’s pure magic, fine job the banks ur daen, Irn Bru should be banned.

      Aye whatever

      No never

      Double negatives count as ‘Yes”

    67. redcliffe62 says:

      I cannot understand why an arrangement similar to the Isle of Man is not suggested, it would appear to be what the vast majority want.

      Media should be pushing for what people want and not what the pollies want. That is why the Unions and Sime are seen as a threat as they do not fit the plan and have the interests of other Scots as well as themselves as their goal.
      A loose association with control over taxation revenue like the Isle of Man works for me..

      Hard to say it does not work when it has for years.

      As for the question.  Howzabout “Do you agree that Tory members from England who sit on the Scottish Affairs committee should continue to make sure Scotland funds the M25 area and Westminster in particular for ever?” 

    68. Nairn Clark says:

      Well, whatever you do, don’t do this…

       Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?

      Or, even worse, this –

       “The Government of Quebec has made public its proposal to negotiate a new agreement with the rest of Canada, based on the equality of nations; this agreement would enable Quebec to acquire the exclusive power to make its laws, levy its taxes and establish relations abroad — in other words, sovereignty — and at the same time to maintain with Canada an economic association including a common currency; any change in political status resulting from these negotiations will only be implemented with popular approval through another referendum; on these terms, do you give the Government of Quebec the mandate to negotiate the proposed agreement between Quebec and Canada?”

      Do you think anyone ever read that second one in full? Wars have been shorter. 

    69. Al Ghaf says:

      Do you agree that Scotland should continue being kicked in the teeth?

      1. Yes

      2. Hmmgpphhhh

    70. Roll_On_2014 says:

      Dal Riata
       I would suggest – a. A Troll?
       By the way DR his hero is none other than ‘David William Donald Cameron’.

    71. MajorBloodnok says:

      Please read the following statements and then answer the multiple choice questions below.
      a) Unionists did everything in their power to block a referendum in the previous parliament.
      b) Unionists think that the referendum would definately be illegal (and have paid lawyers to tell them that).
      c) Unonists are attempting to suppress legitimate discussion on possible options in the referendum.
      d) Neverthelss, they have been trying to come with their own question anyway.
      Having read the above statements do you agree that Unionists are:
      1. Deluded control freaks?
      2. Profoundly anti-democratic?
      3. Desperate?
      4. Currently or soon to be unelected has-beens?
      5. All of the above?

    72. Davy says:

      In reply to juteman:

      Stovies made with cornbeef is “cornbeef hash”, stovies has to be made with leftover beef. And ‘pitta bread’ against oatcakes is just sad.

      And in reply to “sm357 aka 753ms and so on”, yet again your poor worded argument is lying in the ditch, I suppose its just the normal negative unionist tripe we will be hearing for the next two years. Hay Ho.      

    73. Derick fae Yell says:

      “peter says:
      August 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      do you and yer maw, agree that if scotland becomes an indpendent state, your dad will leave your mum.”
      Might be the literal truth in the Steel household. 
      Thanks guys and guyettes – these q’s have fair cheered me up this morning.
      Q – Should Scotland Exist?
      1 What? Sweatyjockoskintland? don’t be ridiculous
      2 Scotlandshire is doing perfectly fine as well you know
      3 No, because ‘Michael’ from the ‘West Midlands’ said it doesn’t

    74. Patrician says:

      so a good move from the “No” campaign; they can now be known as the “Disagreeable” campaign.  I think they should ask for the money back as the experts have obviously been extracting the urine.

    75. Wullie B says:

      No Question

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