Salmonds Simple Idea
Mr Salmond said: ‘Independence, in essence, is based on a simple idea: the people who care most about Scotland, that is the people who live, work and bring up their families in Scotland, should be the ones taking the decisions about our nation’s future.’
But former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling said: ‘The question is loaded. He is inviting people to endorse the separation of a successful independent nation. He is not asking if you want to remain part of the United Kingdom, which I would prefer.
‘It is asking for trouble and if he tries to push through unfair wording someone will go to court. It’s typical of Salmond who wants to call the shots on the rules, the conduct, the wording and ultimately what the result means.’
Ministers viewed the wording of the question as unfair and liable to encourage a Yes vote – speculating that Mr Salmond wants to pick a fight.
One Westminster source said: ‘This is all about Salmond turning around and saying: “Look at all those dreadful people in London trying to tell us what to do.”’
A Downing Street official added: ‘Alex Salmond doesn’t have the power to set out the question. These are his proposals and they will feed into our consultation. But he doesn’t have the power to legally set up a referendum.
‘The Electoral Commission should play their usual role in the referendum and that means scrutinising the question. They are officially part of the process. That is mentioned in our own consultation document.’ Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said the Government would block any bid to introduce a devo max question.