The Government's question for the referendum is straightforward, concise, and will elicit a clear answer in either direction. It is, quite simply:
Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?
Naturally, the Unionist lickspittles within Scotland, as well as the British régime, are up in arms about it. They would rather the question went something a little more like "do you believe that Scotland should be ripped from the embracing bosom of her neighbours, the queen shot at dawn, EastEnders forever banned from Scottish television screens, and machine gun posts erected at the border so that you can never visit your granny in Barnsley again? Do you? WELL, DO YOU?!"
This sniping and whining should, of course, be treated with the contempt it deserves. As I said on BBC Scotland's Big Debate on Wednesday last, it is astounding that political parties which only nine months ago campaigned on a platform of no referendum, now or ever, wish now to dictate the terms of the referendum. The Unionists had three centuries to set up their own referendum.
But is there something in this particular whine?
In the last such referendum, in Europe, when a nation seceded from a larger state (Montenegro leaving Serbia-Montenegro), the question was:
Do you want the Republic of Montenegro to be an independent state with a full international and legal personality?
Whilst Southern Sudan didn't have a question per se, I can see the British régime and the Unionists asking if the Juba administration has any blank ballot papers left over. I think they'd rather like the wording.
SLab's preferred ballot paper
Incidentally, President al-Bashir of Sudan claimed that the issue was "about unity or separation" and refused to consider any discussions about further devolution to southern Sudan. al-Bashir is a violent dictator, indicted by the International Criminal Court, and widely regarded as a corrupt thug.
Perhaps Johann Lamont ought to consider if it is entirely seemly for the "leader" of the Labour Party in Scotland to be parroting al-Bashir's arguments verbatim.
"Separation": Lamont and Bashir, yesterday
Meanwhile, back in Europe, there are so many precedents for a similar question to the Government's proposed one that it would bore both blogger and reader to go through them all.
A selection will suffice.
Estonia EU referendum 2003:
Are you in favour of the accession to the European Union and passage of the Act on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia?
Latvian independence referendum 1991:
are you in favour of a democratic and independent Republic of Latvia
Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?
Do you support the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?
Ballot Paper, Ukraine 1991
Do you support the restoration of the independence of Georgia in accordance with Act of Declaration of Independence of Georgia of May 26, 1918?
The British régime recognises all of these countries. Clearly, there is no doubt that a "do you support", "are you in favour", "do you want", "do you agree" style of wording is no impediment to the referendum being clear, concise, free and fair.
Consequently, any further mewling from the British and their Unionist allies in Scotland can be treated with the utmost contempt.